Best wines for the spring

Yarra Valley vineyards are a stunning sight to see in spring.

By Parker McKenzie

The Yarra Valley is synonymous with wine of all varieties, but with spring quickly approaching the huge selection can often be overwhelming.

Tourist News spoke to those in the know about their favourite varieties to drink during the season.

Wine Yarra Valley Marketing Coordinator Sarah Donnellan said the soil composition in the Yarra Valley allows for a wide variety of wines to be produced.

“Chardonnay and Pinoy Noir are obviously what the region is known for, but we’ve also got producers making smaller batch, lesser-known varietals like Italian, French and Spanish varietals that we don’t see in the mainstream industry,” she said.

“You’ve got a variety of Rosés as well, whether they’re quite light and fresh drinking styles or a more natural style; cloudy, funky and what we can call skinsy because the wine has spent more time in contact with the grape skins.”

While this can produce a wine that is darker in colour with vibrant flavours, not all wine producers in the region are focusing on pushing the envelope.

Seville Estate’s winemaker Dylan McMahon said the longevity of their wine— where vines were first planted in 1972 by his grandfather — is because they’ve earned the respect and trust of consumers.

“We’ve been around long enough to see things go in and out of fashion,” he said.

“We do what we do well. It’s in the fruits where you see a little bit of experimentation from us.”

The old favourites like Chardonnay, Blanc de Blancs and Riesling remain popular for a reason after all.

Ms Donnellan said there is a lot of complexity in the region in terms of pushing for innovative winemaking techniques beyond varieties and flavours.

“How can we grow wine sustainably and reduce our output, how can we use less water or chemicals and be more organic and biodynamic in our winemaking principles?” she said.

“Being the oldest wine region in Victoria, we have the history of established producers, but we’ve also had younger winemakers coming through over the last decade or so and pushing the boundaries.

“With new technologies, adapting to climate change or looking outside of what is normal and has been done previously, it’s about how they can be sustainable as an industry.”

When it comes to a fine wine for spring, the two had different opinions and personal tastes.

“For me, something with a little bit more weight and structure,” Mr McMahon said.

“A medium weighted wine like a shiraz, something with fruit.”

“Potentially something rich with a bit of fizz to it, heading into the warmer months,” Ms Donnellan said.

“Chardonnay can have an easy, light and refreshing style so that’s a good place to start.”