18 Feb Yarra Valley Wine & Food Festival 2017, Preview
Taking place during the first weekend of the Melbourne Food and Wine Festival, the inaugural Yarra Valley Wine & Food Festival will be held at Rochford Wines on 1-2 April, from 11am-5pm. Food and wine lovers will converge on the transformed lawns of Rochford Wines to enjoy wine, cider, food and local produce sourced from the Yarra Valley, while listening to live music and entertainment from artists such as Chunky Jam and Lisa Edwards. MKR 2017 contestants will be also hosting cooking demonstrations throughout the festival, and Sunday will have a family focus, with activities such as kids’ cooking demonstrations, stage shows, roving performers and face painting.
We all know wine goes hand-in-hand with cheese. Our media preview included a visit to Yarra Valley dairy, where beautiful goat’s and cow’s milk cheeses were tasted. The festival’s Farmers Market will feature local producers, and you’ll be able to sample and purchase goods such as fruits and berries, baked goods, dairy, coffee beans, cheese and biscuits.
You won’t have to travel all over the Yarra Valley to taste the offerings from different wineries, though after having a sneak peek of their wines, you may decide to make a return trip to visit their cellar door. Both smaller boutique wineries and larger ones will showcase their products over the two-day festival. Yering Farms and TarraWarra Estate are just two of more than 40 wineries that will be participating. You don’t have to be a wine expert to have fun either. There’ll be masterclasses running, helping you to learn about and appreciate wine more than ever before. Don’t worry about having to lug your new purchases around the festival grounds. Arrangements can be made to collect your wines on the way out, or to be delivered to your door.
Local brewers including Coldstream brewery, Watts River Brewing, Buckleys Brewery, Napoleone Brewery & Ciderhouse, Cherry Hill and Hargraves Hill will be showcasing their cider and beers. At YVWFF it will be easy to compare vendors, as there’ll be laneways dedicated to specific varietals, such as Shiraz, Sparkling, and white wines, as well as lanes for local beers and ciders.
Food trucks will be on hand to provide some grub to go with your drinks. Names include Lady Paella, Babaji’s Kitchen, St Kilda Burger Bar, Mr Calamari, Cajun Chicken Twisted Mac, The Real Jerk, Toasta and Von Crumb. Alternatively you can always head over to Rochford Restaurant for a meal. Rochford offers a wonderful dining experience, with shared dishes also available, such as roasted pork hock and slow-roasted beef oyster blade.
To foster community spirit, there’ll be a Wine Barrel Art Competition held amongst local artists, where the barrels will be transformed into anything from painted works of art to carvings, with the winner announced on Sunday faternoon. Money raised from the competition will be donated to the region’s local primary schools. A mural will also be painted over the course of the festival, and together with the completed barrel artworks, will form part of an exhibition which will rove around different vendors in the Yarra Valley.
The $25 (+booking fee) entry ticket includes a commemorative wine glass. Wine tasting cards will be available for $20, entitling holders to 10 standard wine tastings of their choice. YVWFF Restaurant Dining Experience tickets are $150 per person, per day and includes festival entry, a tasting card and a commemorative wine glass, plus a two-course meal and wine at Rochford Restaurant. With all the wine, cider and beer available to taste, you might prefer not to drive. Thankfully there’ll be transport available for booking, with pick-up points in the CBD and at Lilydale train station.
To find out more about YVWFF 2017 or to purchase tickets, visit http://www.yarravalleywineandfoodfestival.com.au/
Disclaimer: I attended the media preview courtesy of Yarra Valley Wine and Food Festival and Tyrrell PR.