Ever wonder why a champagne bottle has a concave indentation at its base (a punt)? Well, you can get that question and many others answered on this informative and enjoyable day tour from Melbourne. Our Wine Bus driver and guide, David, was knowledgeable, enthusiastic, friendly, and had a great rapport with staff at the wineries we visited. I had a fabulous time with a group of complete strangers and no doubt the credit goes to David for creating such a congenial atmosphere. The wine and cider tastings were good, the lovely lunch at Oakridge Winery was nicer and tastier than I could have imagined. The Yarra Valley and distant mountain views were memorable. I was grateful that the tour was simply focused on wine, and did not include cheese, chocolate, beer or any other sort of tastings! In fact, if anything, I wish we could have visited one more winery, but I can't complain about much. We started the day at Domaine Chandon, touring the facility before other groups arrived, before sitting down to a glass of sparkling wine with accompanying nibbles. In addition to wine tastings at Chandon and Oakridge, we also visited the smaller wineries of Punt Road, which also makes pear and apple ciders, and Soumah, which focuses on Italian varietals, including savagnin (tastes like Albarinho). I highly recommend this as a day tour while visiting Melbourne. They picked me up on Franklin St., close to Queen Victoria Market. This was not the most serene or pleasant place to wait as a steady stream of cars belched out exhaust, which was a particular drag as my pick-up was late, but I guess it was convenient. A hotel pick-up would have been better. Please note they do not accept AMEX cards.
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