Picture yourself… it’s a Friday night and you’ve left work to start your week-end, and you’re unwinding, sitting out on a rug on the rolling lawns at de Bortoli’s winery in Dixons Creek in the stunning Yarra Valley. You’re kicking back, enjoying a lovely long gentle summer’s evening with a group of friends, laughing and joking, drinking in the impressive views and watching the sun sink as you sip on a glass of their award winning wine and mull over the platter menu. “Oh let’s get one of each – a cheese platter and antipasto and all share?” Not a bad way to finish the week is it? And you can do this every Friday and Saturday night for the months of January and February at de Bortoli and seven other leading Yarra Valley wineries, who are part of the Twilight Cellar Door, and are opening their cellar doors til 8pm.
If you’re really organised you might be able to get to two of the participating wineries in the same evening. Check out where they’re situated on the map, they seem to be located in pairs helpfully near one another. But then that’s the beauty of the Yarra Valley, nothing is far away, once you’re here. And if you’re lucky enough to be staying locally, or live here, what’s the hurry, if tonight’s Friday, why not save the next winery til tomorrow night! If you don’t want to drive, give Yarra Valley Transfers a call on 1800 146 706, they will pick you up, take you to your winery and collect you later. Simple.
De Bortoli and Mandala are within a stone’s throw of one another in the gorgeous hills of Dixons Creek and both are participating in the Twilight Cellar Door.
They are two of my favourite wineries with many similarities, as well as being distinctly different. They’re both family owned and managed, both serve great European cheeses, both took home medals for their Pinot from the 2011 Royal Melbourne Show and have chef’s who’ve made a name for themselves growing and managing their own produce meticulously and carefully select and source all their local ingredients.
So, I think that’s your diaries sorted for Fridays and Saturdays til the end of February! See you there.
Helen Collier is a local writer in the Yarra Valley with her own business JustWords