All posts tagged: Yarra Valley

coombe

Behind the Hedge – Coombe Farm in the Yarra Valley

For as long as I can remember, I have been a regular visitor to the Yarra Valley, and recall my father telling me as a young girl that the huge gates on the bend just past Coldstream were the entrance to the estate of Dame Nellie Melba, whom I knew to be a great opera singer.   If you have, like me, ever wondered what lies ‘behind the hedge’ , the news is good. Not only is it breathtakingly beautiful and perfectly restored, it is also now open for the public to enjoy, and not just as an historical homage. Coombe Farm is styling itself as an artistic hub, which will play host to thousands of visitors every year, as people stream through the gates to explore the gardens on guided tours, as well as to weddings, corporate events and opera performances as part of the Dame Nellie Melba Opera Trust. They will also, like me return for the wine, as Coombe Farm Wine Cellar door is also located here.   Dame Nellie Melba was in …

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Yarra Valley goodness – Train Trak

A spare Sunday afternoon, some magnifent Spring sunshine, a new car to take for a drive, and volunteers to try out the passenger seats.  Destination: Yarra Valley.  After a zoom through green vineyard-covered hills, stopping at a few favourites for some tasting including Balgownie Estate (the sparkling Shiraz should not be missed) we pulled up at Train Trak for some lunch. Having not been back there since a 40 degree February day some years back for Grape Grazing, where the ground was brown and dusty and we sat on picnic rugs under the shade of a tree, it was a delightful discovery indeed to step into ZONZO, the restaurant, festooned with paper lanterns and flowers, and to be met with an aroma of wood-fired pizza and other Italian fare.  A quick glass of  Train Trak Sparkling Pinot Chardonnay to wet the whistle, and we moved outside into the sunshine, a vista of vines and daisy-dotted grass laid out before us. The menu was packed full of Mediterranean goodness, and we wasted no time ordering up a storm of pizzas, including the alla salsiccia (tomato, mozzarella, pork and …