Off the back of arguably the best vintage in 25 years, Victoria's Yarra Valley wine region has more than ever to offer the seasoned cellar-door explorer. There is undoubtedly something for everyone among the region's 160-plus wineries, plus a swathe of other attractions, so to get you started we have collected a few of the must-visits into an indulgent long-weekend itinerary.
Start your weekend journey overlooking the esteemed vines of Coldstream Hills (above) and a taste of some exceptional chardonnay or pinot noir, such as the 97-point 2015 Deer Farm Vineyard Pinot Noir.
Next, wander over to the home of the 2017 Winemaker of the Year: Yarra Yering. It would be a crime to miss out on trying wines like the 2015 Dry Red Wine No.1, which garnered 99 points and the award for best cabernet blend this year.
If, like us, you are already thinking that an overnight stay is essential, check out some of the beautiful accommodation options in the Yarra Valley.
Continuing with our theme of exemplary wineries, Oakridge Wines and its renowned restaurant is third stop on our tour. You know you are in safe territory with the Oakridge collection but it would be hard to go past the intensely fruity 864 Single Block Release Drive Yarra Valley Chardonnay.
If you have the time, the uniquely sculptural cellar door at Levantine Hill Estate is another one for the list.
Continuing on you might like to mix things up with a visit to the Four Pillars Gin distillery, at the forefront of Australia's booming botanical gin movement.
If you like your wine blended with artistic talent in more ways than one, be sure to diarise a wander through the TarraWarra's museum of art (above). After appreciating the work of international artists you can stock up on your favourite bottles within the Hobbit-like cellar door built into the hillside.
Ward off palate fatigue with a snack stop at the New York-style Herd Café Bar in Healesville.
Keeping heading east to Boat O’Craigo (above), which was recently named 2018 Dark Horse of the Year, and make a point of trying the medium-bodied 2015 Reserve Yarra Valley Shiraz.
Retrace your steps and reward yourself, and any non-drinkers left at home, with treats from the Yarra Valley Chocolaterie and Ice Creamery. It goes without saying that cellar door exclusives and giant handcrafted marshmallows make for great gifts.
Knowing that the Yarra Valley is one of Australia's epicentres of pinot noir, it would be remiss to skip the historic Yering Station. Do yourself a favour and ask to taste the 2015 Scarlett Pinot Noir awarded 97 points in the latest Halliday Wine Companion guide.
And finally, do not be alarmed if spot a naked shivering male as you approach Coldstream Brewery; it's just a statue. Reset your tastebuds with a locally brewed pale ale or crisp apple cider and it's bottoms up to a weekend well spent.
Photos © James Halliday, Visit Victoria, David Hannah