Winter Wine Time

Age and glasses of wine should never be counted. Italian proverb.

It’s winter here in Melbourne but, far from hibernating, things seem to be warming up, at least on the wine calendar.

With over 600 cellar doors scattered across 20 wine regions in Victoria, there’s a lot on offer this month.

Barely ten minutes away from my home (an hour from Melbourne CBD) Panton Hill Winery makes you feel like you’ve arrived in Tuscany.

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Me visiting “Tuscany” last year.

I don’t even need a passport to get there.

Next weekend (16-17 June) this sleepy vineyard and area in Nillumbik wakes up for its annual Winter Winefest.  Eleven wineries will open their cellar doors for a weekend of wine, food and entertainment.

Panton Hill Winemakers Teunis & Dorothy love sharing their passion of wine with visitors

Slightly further afield, nestled in the hills of the Yarra Valley, are the acclaimed wineries of De Bortoli, Ferguson’s, Domain Chandon, Tarra Warra, Oakridge Wines and Yering Station, to name just a few.

The site of Yering Station is where the first winery in Victoria was established in 1838. That history is enshrined in the old winery that now serves as the cellar door and gallery.

Reds, whites, sparkling … this cool climate wine country offers something for everyone, in a little slice of food and wine paradise.

However it’s not all about wine. The monthly farmers market held in Yering Station’s historic barn is the oldest farmers’ market in Victoria and is a must if you’re in the area.

There’s also hot air balloon rides, olive groves and art galleries, live music, historic farm stations, day spas and a chocolaterie that makes this a delicious and diverse getaway.

Travel further afield to the beautiful King Valley where the area around Whitfield is synonymous with fine Italian wines and hospitality. Cellar doors beckon with open fires, warming winter reds and feasts of pizza, pasta and porchetta.

I can vouch for peaceful riverside camping at nearby Gentle Annie Caravan Park or you can ditch the camper and book yourself a cosy little Bed and Breakfast.

This weekend (9-11 June) is the Queens Birthday long weekend here in Victoria and Heathcote will host its own three day wine and food festival Heathcoteonshow.

Seems that, regardless of the cold start to winter, it’s a sparkling time to venture out and explore the grape outdoors.

Beyond Victoria, Australia’s wine regions are scattered from the Barossa in South Australia to Margaret River in the West.

So what makes a good wine? Is it age that makes it better?

I’m no pro but, with my Italian heritage, I’ll share what I know.

Years ago dad used to make his own wine in the backyard. He and Sebastiano next door would take down fence pailings to make easy access to walk through the fence, to the barrels and crush the grapes.

These days it’s more civilised but quite honestly, I look back and realise it wasn’t simply about the process of making wine. It was about them having a good time, lots of laughs, friendship and tradition. The end result was not always the be all and end all, thank goodness!

Nowadays what I consider a good wine comes down to personal preference and I don’t crush. I prefer long romantic walks down the wine aisle to choose my wine.

adapt a bottleWell, you know what they say … not all who wander are lost … some just take their time to find their wine of choice. I’m not one to rush the important things!

At home I do enjoy the occasional glass of red with my meal.

Mum used to say “il vino fa buon sangue’ (good wine makes good blood) and she wasn’t far wrong.

Doctors agree a glass of red wine is good for the heart.

Whilst laughter is the best medicine I’d like to think a nice bottle of wine is the perfect accompaniment, especially shared with good friends.

Life really is too short to drink bad wine though, of course, it’s all about moderation and balance, isn’t it?

Here’s to getting out and exploring what’s on offer, whether it’s a food and wine event, an art or musical festival or anything that makes us feel good.

Cheers to appreciating the good things in life.

“People who wonder if the glass if half empty or half full miss the point. The glass is refillable.”

Salute 🍷

Keep enjoying the journey.


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92 thoughts on “Winter Wine Time

  1. Oh I love this Miriam, now I have so many notes to take. More places to visit in Victoria! I think in 2 weeks time the Adelaide Hills wine region has their annual ‘winter reds’ weekend. Wine, food, fires and entertainment – might just have to drag myself along. Cheers, happy long weekend 🍷

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Beautiful post Miriam, both photos and your introduction of wine is excellent.
    Also very tempting. 😊 . I like a good wine too and even recognised a few names
    you mentioned. Australian wine is, as you know, big export.

    I have been on vineyard trips in Italy and France. It is as you found, very enjoyable.
    Thank you
    ~ Miriam

    Liked by 1 person

  3. LOVED this post, Miriam. The scenery pulled me right in! What camera did you use!! AWESOME pictures, so clear and just perfect! My favorite picture is the DePortoli one, with the sign in the forefront and the enticing scenery in the background. NICE!!! Sounds like you had an exciting day and I thank you for sharing it with us!! 👏🏼👏🏼👏🏼

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Wow Miriam, it does look like Tuscany and not far from Melbourne! At the moment, we are alcohol free coming up to 13 weeks but I do enjoy a glass or two of red. I also loved the photo of the platter. You can’t beat a good cheese and fruit platter with a glass of wine – perfect way to spend an afternoon. Thanks for sharing and the photos are perfect x

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  5. It’s so beautiful there! Your pictures always capture the most gorgeous sights!

    I had to smile – as I read this, I realized that I was actually drinking a glass of Australian wine. Synchronicity! I’m sure my wine is probably considered “low end,” I’m hardly a connoisseur and I’m cheap, lol, but I love it. 🙂

    Here’s to sharing a glass with you!

    *hugs* ❤

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Haha, I’m hardly a connoisseur myself. How nice that you’re enjoying a glass just as I’m about to as well. Hubby is cooking salmon tonight and we’ll be having a rather “low end” Chardonnay as well. Yep, I’m rather cheap as well. 🙂 Cheers to us my friend 🥂 xx

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  6. My sister used to say to me all the time, “the glass is half empty, but I’ll just pour another.” It’s that kind of “out of the box” thinking that makes life worthwhile. Er, not that she drank wine out of a box, that was mom. 😉

    Cheers to your winter adventures, M! 🥂

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Australia produces some very good wine! You are lucky to live near such good wineries. We do have wineries in my area, but honestly, the product isn’t that good. We only visit them for the atmosphere and scenery, which are worth the trip. And I was so happy last year when I got to visit Napa Valley with my family! Napa combines great wine with great atmosphere!

    Liked by 1 person

  8. Miriam, I felt like I’d been transported to Italy … the wine, food, grapes and even the light were reminiscent of the wonderful country. Wow, what a brilliant festival – I’d be over in a flash if closer! Have a fabulous time and of course hopefully we can join you virtually later on through your post. By the way, your last quote had me laughing!! Keep filling that glass up! 🍷 🍇

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Absolutely will Annika! We had a lovely day out yesterday at the Heathcote festival and next weekend we’ll likely venture out again. If you were here I’d say “join us”. Instead I’ll raise a glass to you my friend. Hope life’s treating you well. xx 🍷

      Liked by 1 person

  9. Oh Miriam, this is beautiful! What an amazing country and visit. It almost seems to be Italy. 🙂 Did you go to the farmers markets too? And I love your focus on enjoying the little things, and really taking the time for this! You warm my heart, you really do.

    Thanks for a great contribution to Frank’s challenge. The quote at the end is perfect. Hugs, and MUCH loving to you Miriam!! Debbie

    Liked by 1 person

  10. I see what you did there…the grape outdoors…very clever my friend!! I’m not a huge fan of wine, but I’ve had a few white zinfandels in my day…my brother and sister-in-law are the wine connoisseurs. Would love to travel to wine country though and see all the vineyards. Beautiful country. Sounds like your Dad was a fun man…did they stomp the grapes? My brother used to make his own beer…he even grew hops. Well with 600 cellar doors you certainly have your work cut out for you this month…hehe! Enjoy your red. Big wine hugs xo ❤

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    1. I know you’re not a wine drinker Deb. That’s okay, when you come out here I’ll make you a delicious concoction of fruit and other goodies. Yes, dad stomped his wine, I think! Big hugs xx ❤️

      Liked by 1 person

    1. Haha, absolutely! Well, once you’re well and truly able to, we’ll share a glass of red together and toast to your new bub, your new journey and to our beautiful life in general. Love you lots my friend xx ❤️

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