Victorians always get excited when it comes time to look for wine tasting in Melbourne. These events are fun, informative, and can inspire an entire season of wine enjoyment as we discover exactly what variation of the sacred grape we love, not to mention how and where to buy it. And it’s not just Victorians, of course. People come from all over the country and from around the world to sample some of the fine wines produced in the region.
When you go for a full vineyard tour, however, there’s quite a bit more to it than just a wine tasting. Those who go to a full-on vineyard tour expecting it to be just like any other wine tasting that they’ve been to are in for some short and sharp lessons. Here’s what to expect from the full vineyard tour:
1. The Focus Will Be on the Vineyard
The main point of a vineyard tour is to show you around the place where particular wines are made. The tour guides will explain their processes — without giving away too many key secrets, no doubt — as well as the history and philosophy behind the vineyard’s production. Wine making is a surprisingly philosophical process, as growers attempt to prove things that they’ve theorized will create the very best vintage.
Each vineyard might have different notions on how the vines are grown, how to manage the soil or fields, how to crush the grapes, on particular additives and much more. Some vineyards have histories going back almost 200 years, such as the Wyndham Estate in New South Wales and the Olive Farm in Western Australia which were founded in 1828 and 1829 respectively. The oldest vineyard in Victoria is Yering Station (1838). That means there’s a lot to take in!
2. Yes, There Will be Wine Tasting
For those who perhaps find the history and philosophy lessons a little dry, fear not. There will be wine tasting. No sane vineyard tour operator would dare not to include a proper wine tasting. It’s only good manners to treat the guests, after all!
While some vineyards may offer free tastings depending on what kind of ticket or tour package you bought, you should expect that some might have a charge on tasting if you exceed a pre-set limit. Always check with the vineyard you’re visiting before you get stuck into the tasting session.
3. The Scenery Will Often Blow You Away
Another thing to expect in virtually any place where wine is being made is to be surrounded by impossibly beautiful and breathtaking scenery. Vineyards produce some of the most dramatic and stunning farmland you’ll see, and many also love it because it’s quieter than pastoral farms where there may be excess noise from the herds of cows and sheep. In any event, prepare to be impressed!
4. There Are Usually Attached Amenities
There are more than 2,000 individual wine producers in Australia right now, so competition is pretty stiff in every region. One way that vineyards try to stay ahead of each other is by offering their visitors the best amenities, such as an on-site restaurant, as well as bed and breakfast accommodation. Vineyards can make for some of the most romantic locations to enjoy a sunset dinner with fine wine and locally sourced eats.
5. Expect a Pitch to Sell the Wine
Finally, be ready for the inevitable pitch from the vineyard operator to buy their wines. This should be very high on your list of expected things to happen. You should also expect clever upselling tactics to get you to spend more on premium or limited-edition wines.