Friday, February 15, 2019

Australian Winery Visit: Yarra Valley’s Yering Station

Located in the heart of Australia’s Yarra Valley, Yering Station is Victoria’s first vineyard.

Something Old, Something New

Our last stop on our tour of Yarra Valley wineries was Yering Station. In 1838 Victoria’s first vineyard was planted. Although two grape varieties were planted, the area was primarily used for cattle. In the 1850s the property was developed into the largest vineyard in the area.

Yering earned honors for best Victoria vineyard in 1861 and then nabbed the prestigious Grand Prix award at the Universal Exhibition in Paris in 1889.
The golden age for Victoria’s wine industry faded, however and in 1973 the first commercial vintage in 50 years was produced in Yarra Valley. The region was ready for a resurgence. After changing hands several times in the early 1990s, Yering Station was purchased by the Rathbone family in 1996. Yering continues to be a family owned and operated winery.

The wine world’s tastes have changed too. Cool climate wines, such as those produced in Yarra Valley, are prized for their subtle flavors and excellence in Pinot Noir and Chardonnay.

Tasting Heritage

In the historic 1859 building, we climbed upstairs to a private tasting room with exposed wooden beams and a view to the eucalyptus trees and rolling hills of Yarra. We were ready to taste the wines of this historic estate.

Our first wine was unexpected. It was a rosé from 70% Nebbiolo and 30% Sangiovese – a couple of Italian varieties. It’s all estate grown and shows the diversity of grapes in Yarra Valley.

We then moved to some wines for which Yarra Valley is well known: Chardonnay and Pinot Noir. The 2015 Chardonnay has bright and clean flavors of citrus and peach. It is aged in 20% new French oak which lends a nice toasty flavor without being overdone.

Yering Station - Yarra Valley

Yering Station produces five different ranges of Pinot Noir – so there is a wine for every palate and budget. The Yering Station 2017 Pinot Noir retails for AU$40 and has earth notes and flavors of black cherry.

Our tasting continued with the 2017 Village Merlot. Village is the entry range for Yering Station wines and this one seemed a simple one. Great for sipping, but not long on complexity.

The 2017 Yering Station Shiraz Viognier was a sophisticated sip.We’ve always enjoyed Shiraz (or Syrah!) when blended with a touch of Viognier. This is a well-used technique in France’s Rhone region. The Viognier adds nice aromatics and a smooth texture. This is velvety with blackberry flavors and a touch of pepper.

Yering Station is also famed for its Yarrabank sparkling wines, made with Chardonnay and Pinot Noir. Alas, we’ll have to sip those on our next visit.

Yering Station is a landmark in Australia’s wine history. While firmly rooted in the past, the wine continues to earn accolades for its innovative cool climate wines. Be sure to pull into the Station on your next visit to Yarra.

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