Yarra Valley Birthday!

Yarra Valley Birthday!

Sorry for the delay, people. There has been a serious lack of sufficient wifi to post, and I actually wrote this post on dodgy wifi nearly two weeks ago and wasn’t able to post until now.

My birthday was in early January and Shawn decided we were going to Yarra Valley to celebrate. Yarra Valley is wine country just outside of Melbourne. I have to be honest here – the place looks just like California. But it was so beautiful and felt like home. It’s my favorite type of scenery, with rolling hills of golden grass and the occasional oak or gum tree. I loved every second of our time there (well, except for the massive “why did I drink red wine?” hangover I woke with on my birthday, but that’s okay).

Our first day in town, we had a lovely lunch at a local brewery, Hargreaves Hill, which had the best veggie burger we’ve ever tasted. So good, in fact, that I forgot to take a photo. Then we headed to the Yarra Valley Chocolaterie because chocolate is my favorite and Shawn loves me.

Two kangaroos hanging out in a chocolate shop

The chocolate was much sweeter than I’m used to, but it wasn’t bad. After chocolates, it was finally time to have some wine. We went to Tarra Warra, which is the most beautiful winery we visited. It has stunning grounds and an art museum on site. The wine was good, but not entirely memorable. What I loved most was the scenery.

Beautiful Tarra Warra

We checked into our lovely B&B, the Tuck Inn, which is a former monastery that was converted into a B&B. We highly recommend it if you’re in Yarra Valley. The place is gorgeous, beds comfy, hosts generous and welcoming, and the brekky was amazing!!!

Our first night, we ate at Giant Steps, which is a restaurant and tasting room. The wine was really good, and I especially loved the labels. I wish I had taken a picture of one. The food was much better than we were expecting and we left a bit tipsy with very full bellies. I made the mistake of being coerced into a glass of red wine, which, if you know me, causes massive headaches. Whoops.

Yummy salad
Roasted peppers

The next morning we woke up, “enjoyed” a leisurely morning (I basically drank water and tea, and tried to get rid of my headache) and headed out.

The B&B owners put a candle in my brekky, which I barely touched…

The first stop was at Chandon Australia. We had a pretty terrible lunch, and tried their new sparkling wine that is bottled with orange bitters, Chandon S. It’s served over ice with an orange twist, and it was my favorite thing about Chandon.

Lovely views at Chandon
Learning about the history of Chandon

Our second stop was at Oakridge, which had the best wine we tried, and my favorite stop of the day.

Take the picture already! I want to go try this wine!

We tried all the whites and a rose, and even got a special, limited wine that I don’t know the name of. Highly recommend this winery!

Yes, give me all this special wine.

That afternoon we hiked (without planning to, and not really dressed for it) to the top of Mt. St. Leonard for 360-degree views of the region. It ended up being one of the highlights of the day.

Beautiful, tall eucalyptus trees
On the viewing platform at the top

Dinner was at the dining room of the historic Healesville Hotel. We tried the salmon and the pork belly, the salmon being the clear winner of the night.

Pork belly

My 33rd wasn’t the most flashy birthday I’ve had, but it was relaxing and lovely and my amazing husband made it the best! Thanks Shawn!

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