The whole object of travel is not to set foot on foreign land; it is at last to set foot on one’s own country as a foreign land.” – G.K. Chesterton

Tuesday, 15 April 2014

Farmers' Market and Domaine Chandon Winery in Yarra Valley, Victoria (Australia)

A couple of months ago, we were in Melbourne for my sister's wedding. Many of our relatives flew in to Melbourne to attend the wedding, and they had a grand time sight-seeing the city on their first trip to Melbourne. The relatives planned a last-minute day trip out to Yarra Valley on the day after the wedding, and since I'd already made my own plans to meet up with hubby's side of the family, I declined joining the group. However, what I didn't know was that there was a surprise proposal planned, and one of my cousins was going to pop the question and ring to his long-time girlfriend while they were at the valley. The proposal was kept so secretive that I didn't find out about it until the morning of the trip! My sister (the bride) was only told about the planned proposal the night before at her reception, and she made last minute changes to her schedule to fit the trip in - and that was how I found out about it the following morning. I guess everyone assumed that everyone (but the lucky girl) knew about the surprise proposal, while my sister and I were busy with the wedding preparations. I really wanted to be there for it, so I briefly discussed our options with hubby, decided that I could bring the 2-month-old baby along with me to Yarra Valley, while hubby and son remained behind in the city to spend time with his side of the family, and off we went on an impromptu visit to the valley! It worked well because I could spend more time with my family, and hubby could spend time with his family (who I had also seen the night before).

Yarra Valley is a wine region about an hour's drive out of Melbourne's CBD, with gorgeous landscapes and beautiful scenery. Our first stop was the Farmers' Market at Yering Station (held on the third Sunday of every month), where there were plenty of delicious baked goods and hot food to eat on site, and many more other food products to take home. Many stalls were offering free samples of their goods, and I wanted to buy everything I tried!

Coldstream apple cider - refreshing and tasty, and the gentlemen running the stall was such a lovely and generous person:

One of my cousin bought hot crepe fresh off the griddle!

I was quite tempted to enjoy one myself:

Hot meat and vegetable pies:

My younger sister asked me to share a steak pie with her. I took only one bite before we got split up, and it was gone by the time I saw her again:

The undercover stalls with lots of yummy take-home goods such as jams, cookies and fresh produce:

After the Farmers' Market, we went winery-hopping and wine-tasting to a few wineries before reaching the picturesque location at Domaine Chandon where my cousin mustered up his courage to pop the question to a very surprised girlfriend!

The landscape at Domaine Chandon winery - picturesque location and delicious champagne:

The vineyard:

The hands of two doctors. She said "Of course yes!"

We bought two types of Chandon sparkling wine to celebrate the joyous occasion - brut (dry) and sweet. Both good, but the sweet wine was more popular:

It was a good but short day trip out to the Yarra Valley:

To visit the Yarra Valley without the hassle of planning, check out Wine Compass for a personalised and fully customisable winery tour.

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