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Lap Of Luxury

Winelands Volume 2

James Halliday calls Yarra Valley his favourite wine region in the world. We call it a motoring paradise. Read more to find out why.

Nothing says luxury like Mercedes Benz. Add AMG to that name and you’ve got a driving experience par excellence. We paired our G63 with Victoria’s own luxurious winelands haven – the Yarra Valley – to take in glorious views, explore some history, and discover some amazing, hidden gems.

Only an hour or so drive north-east of the Melbourne CBD (depending on the traffic) and you’ll think you’ve been transported to a little piece of the Rhine or Burgundy. As you pass through the sleepy little town of Eltham, the scenery takes on an oldworld charm. Bubbling brooks meandering through rich green pastures bounded by manicured tree lines surrounding the quirky chalets that make you wonder when you’ll spot a golden-haired fraulein with a train of bell-necked cows in tow. But, no, you aren’t on the set of a Milka Chocolate ad. You’re in the Yarra Valley – home to world-class white wines, epic drives, and a must-see artist commune.

No visit to Yarra Valley is complete without a quick stop at Australia’s oldest artist community – Montsalvat. Made famous by a 1972 photo-shoot with British rockers, the Rolling Stones, its quirky, medieval village feel, and collection of outstanding artisans have made it a favourite place for weddings, collectors and photography buffs.

Now, whether you agree with James Halliday or not, the Yarra Valley certainly churns out enough medal-winning whites and sparkling to convince any wine snob that there’s something special happening there. And there is. It’s home to poundfor-pound some of the world’s best Chardonnay. Head to the home of Domaine Chandon’s Aussie operation and check out how the French champagne giant makes your favourite bottle of bubbly. After you’ve done that – simply follow the road to your heart’s content and uncover a special hidden gem of your own. Yarra Valley is chock full of amazing little producers whose small batches are either sold out before the year’s vintage has even been tapped, or simply waiting to be discovered by you.