Yarra Valley

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Yarra Valley

The Yarra Valley is Victoria’s oldest vineyard area dating from the 1830s when three brothers, William, James and Donald Ryrie established a cattle property Yering Station. They planted vines; an act recorded as the first vineyard planting in Victoria. A few years later immigrants from Switzerland and Germany settled in the area. They planted commercial quantities of wine grape and established wineries. Among them St Huberts, Yering and Yerinberg produced wines to international acclaim and anchored the Yarra Valley’s reputation in the 1800s. Then came the depression of the 1890s. It was a major factor in the region’s decline along with other factors such as the consumer shift to fortifieds. By the 1920s the last winery ceased operations. The industry was resuscitated by medical doctors in the 1960s who caught the markets’ return to table wines. Mount Mary vineyard established by Dr John Middleton was a pioneer of the second wave. The third wave came in the 1980s with the arrival of James Halliday, de Bortoli and the prestigious Moet & Chandon. Since this time there has been a phenomenal growth. Hundreds of hectares came under the vine and millions invested in wineries. Now many of the ‘big guns’ of the Australian wine industry have a Yarra address. The climate is regarded as cool (cooler than Bordeaux and slightly warmer than Burgundy). The main wine styles: White – Chardonnay; Red – Pinot Noir, Cabernet Sauvignon, Shiraz.

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