Giant Steps Cellar Door – now open by appointment.

Things are slowly starting to slowly improve for Victorian wine lovers!

Award winning ‘Tarraford Vineyard’ Pinot Noir – 2017 vintage. Giant Steps – Yarra Valley.

As of today – the cellar door @ Giant Steps, Healsville Yarra Valley, is open for tastings. Please note, that due to social distancing regulations, only 6 people at a time can visit the cellar door.

Please find details below – as sent to me by our friends @ Giant Steps.

“We’ll all remember 1st June 2020 for many years to come and yes, we are relieved that once again we can share our wines with you.

Our cellar door will be open from Monday 1st -Thursday 4th June by appointment only. Over the long weekend, Friday 5th to Monday 8th June we will be open from 11am – 4pm.
Bookings are recommended as our ‘pop up’ cellar door has a capacity of 6 customers only!

We have our Covid-19 protocols in place to keep you and our team safe so …”

I am confident that over the next fortnight, we will be able to start booking smaller tours (2 – 6 people).

All being well, the next stage will allow us to book up to 10 happy Perfect Day Tour customers.

Posted in News and Updates

Resumption of Perfect Day Tours

Thank you to everyone who has sent a request for a tour in the near future.

Ripening Merlot grapes. One of the few vineyards to grow Merlot in the Yarra Valley – Dominique Portet.

I am hoping that in the next week or so, we will get some clarity as to when and how we can resume. Most of the cellar doors, cafes and restaurants are still not able to open to the public.

It is frustrating that we all want to get out to the Yarra Valley, or the ‘Peninsula, and have some fun with our friends and families.

Please feel free to send me a request via the website – and I will let you know as soon as we are able to get the ball rolling again.

Meanwhile, I have just uploaded a blog post on one of the most asked questions on the tours, and that is “What is the difference between Shiraz & Syrah?” If you are interested – please have a look, and let me know what you think.

I am looking forward to hosting you all on a Perfect Day Tour very soon.


Steve Alexander.

Posted in News and Updates

You say Syrah – I say Shiraz?

Dappled Vineyard Syrah 2018 – Yarra Valley. Awarded ‘Best New Winery’ – James Halliday. Winemaker & owner – Shaun Crinion.

One of the questions most asked by customers on a Perfect Day Tour is “What’s the difference between Shiraz and Syrah?” With so many cellar doors and wineries offering one or the other, it is a topic I would like to explore, and hopefully demystify.

As both wine styles emanate from the same grape, the differences can include climate, elevation, oak regimes, alcohol content, harvesting / picking times, and even marketing trends and opportunities –  to name but a few.

It is understandable that many winemakers in the cooler regions are keen to draw a distinction between the  warmer climate ‘Big Aussie Shiraz’ – and their own more subtle offerings.

The first thing to be aware of is that the so called ‘Spiritual Home’ of Syrah is on the majestically high, stony and severely steep hills of the Northern Rhone, south of Lyon, France.

Traditional thoughts on the origins of Syrah are that the noble grape may have it’s origins in Syracuse, Sicily – or Ancient Persia.

According to The Oxford Companion to Wine – a more likely theory is that Syrah may in fact be indigenous to the Rhone Valley.  As a direct descendant of the local Vitis allobrogica, this vine is known to have produced fine wine since Roman times.

Two of the most famous villages in the Northern Rhone for producing strapping Syrah are Hermitage, and more recently Cote Rotie. Likewise the appellation of Cornas produces long lived wine, which like all great Syrah, should not even be considered for drinking for at least 5 years after bottling. Less concentrated wines can be found in Saint Joseph. Finally, Crozes – Hermitage, at the bottom of the hill, produces the largest volume – but least concentrated wine of these five major appellations.

An important fact to remember is that in the cooler and hillier Northern Rhone, Syrah is seldom blended (with the exception of an occasional splash of Viognier). The warmer and much flatter Southern Rhone however, has an increasing amount of Syrah under vine – and it is always blended. It is usually added to Grenache and Mourvedre. The warmer Southern Rhone, with it’s traditional Cotes-du-Rhone blend,  has inspired the South Australian regions of the Barossa Valley and McLaren Vale amongst others, to release their own version of these three blended grapes, colloquially known as G.S.M.  (Grenache/Shiraz/Mourvedre).

It is understood that in 1832, the botanist James Busby brought Syrah cuttings from France to Sydney, New South Wales, where it soon took a liking to the warm area of the Hunter Valley. In little time it became known in here as Shiraz.

Traditionally in Australia, Shiraz has been planted in warm areas – as it requires relatively high sunlight hours to ripen fully. This has led to the typical ‘Aussie Shiraz’ being high in alcohol (14 – 16%), full bodied, often smelling and tasting of blackberry jam and strong vanilla. The Australian Shiraz model has often been matured in newer American oak barrels – adding a strong overlay of ‘Cherry Ripe’ –  sweet fruit, chocolate and sometimes coconut.

In the cooler regions of Australia, and indeed New Zealand, many winemakers are leaning more towards the classical, elegant Syrah style. These wines are always matured in French oak barrels, to avoid obvious vanillin/oaky influences on the wine. The barrels may be only 30% new, with the balance being second and third use, to avoid the oak dominating the wine. The best producers are able to make medium bodied wines, with a savoury edge. The dark fruits are part of the story, but do not dominate with over ripeness or jamminess. Sometimes, particularly in cooler years (like 2017), a wonderful whiff of black, white, or green peppercorns can be detected. Some of my favorite Victorian Syrah producers include the Yarra Valley wineries of Warramunda Estate, Oakridge Wines & Giant Steps. From the Mornington Peninsula – Yabby Lake Winery make a wonderful Syrah.

One of the most fundamental advantages of cool climate Shiraz / Syrah, is that due to the slower, longer ripening period, the wines can maintain more of their natural acidity. Natural (tartaric) acid from the grapes helps makes the wines refreshing and delicious with a wide range of food. Yum.

As with most things in a complex world, there is nuance and exceptions to the rule. Many traditional cool climate producers have been making wonderful Shiraz for decades – long before Syrah was a word used in Australia. The Victorian Shirazes from Best’s  – Great Western, Scotchman’s Hill – Bellarine Peninsula, Seville Estate – Yarra Valley & Knights Granite Hills – Macedon Ranges (among many others), are all long standing makers of beautiful, elegant, cool climate Shiraz.


In a nutshell – I would contend that Syrah is pretty much cool climate Shiraz. Or would it be more correct to assert that Shiraz is simply warm climate Syrah? Either way, the main differences are as follows.


Syrah Style in Australia.

Usually from cooler areas including Southern Victoria. The Yarra Valley, Mornington Peninsula, and Geelong / Bellarine Peninsula produce high quality Syrah style wines. Tasmania is becoming recognized for the style as well.

Matured in French oak.

Savoury aromas, including pepper, smallgoods / charcuterie.

Usually has minimum, or no added tartaric acid.

Medium bodied.

Medium alcohol (12.5 – 14%).


Traditional Australian Shiraz Style in Australia.

Often from a warmer climate, such as South Australian – Barossa Valley, Mclaren Vale.

Matured in American Oak.

Often has added tartaric acid to balance to wine.

Aromas and flavours may include – very ripe blackberry / blackberry jam.

Sometimes strong aromas  of toast and vanilla.

Full bodied.

High in alcohol (14 – 16%).


I hope this has helps in clarifying the difference between these 2 wonderful wine styles. And by the way – you are free to enjoy both! It is not a competition, so now you know the difference, you will get even more pleasure from your Shiraz / Syrah.

Happy drinking – and don’t forget to book a Perfect Day Tour to explore our wonderful cool climate wines.



The Oxford Companion to Wine – edited by Jancis Robinson

The World Atlas of Wine – by Hugh Johnson & Jancis Robinson



Posted in News and Updates

Perfect 30th Birthday Celebration – just $99 per head.

If this isn’t the best value tour on the Mornington Peninsula or Yarra Valley, I’d love to know what is!

Only $99 per head –  for 11 people (max) –  for a full day of wine tasting and great food?

Are you kidding ?!?!

Having been out of action for the past two months with an unfortunate knee injury, I was delighted to host a wonderful group of ladies, celebrating a 30th birthday.

Our first appointment was at Quealy Winemakers. Always atmospheric and inviting, this small cellar door concentrates on an intimate tasting of their unique wines. Large and beautiful glassware adds to the theatre and atmosphere of the tasting.

The freshly baked sourdough and home grown olive oil was devoured with relish.

The ladies enjoyed the variety, and purchased a few bottles to enjoy with their much anticipated BYO (local wines) lunch.

Outside our first cellar door – Quealy Winemakers.

One of the interesting facts regarding Quealy, is that Kathleen Quealy, with her husband Kevin, introduced Pinot Gris and Pinot Grigio into Australia. Prior to that, Pinot Gris was grown predominantly in France, most commonly in Alsace region.

Pinot Grigios have traditionally been grown in Italy. It is interesting to note that Pinot Gris and Pinot Grigio are in fact the same grape variety. The French have traditionally allowed the grapes to ripen on the vine a little longer, often giving riper, more aromatic and medium bodied wine.

Pinot Grigio, as the Italians call the variety, is usually picked a week or two earlier. This helps retain more natural acidity, with less aromatics. The Italians generally prefer their white wines to have a high level of palate cleansing acidity, and low aromatics, to compliment regional cuisine.

O.K.  – so now we know all about the difference between Pinot Gris and Grigio, it is worth noting that Kathleen and Kevin established the famous T’Gallant Winery in the early1990’s. This business was subsequently sold to Treasury Wine Estates. Kevin remained at T’Gallant until 2014.


Our second visit was to one of the most popular cellar doors for larger groups on the Mornington Peninsula – Red Hill Estate. Even though it was very busy, the guests really enjoyed the experience as well as the wines. More delicious wine was purchased for lunch, namely Chardonnay, Pinot Noir and Shiraz.


After tastings at 2 wonderful cellar doors – lunch was highly anticipated. We enjoyed a semi private dining area at Greek inspired Food on the Hill. The shared plates of traditional dips, cheeses, olives and bread were most welcome. This was then followed by slow cooked lamb and chicken to share – with fresh Greek salad.

The wines, carefully chosen at the previous 2 wineries, were a Perfect accompaniment to the delicious lunch. Vegetarians and Vegan options are also available.

Generous shared plates for 2 of slow cooked lamb shoulder, chicken and salads.


Semi Private Dining Room with a long table for celebrations at Food on the Hill.


After a delicious and plentiful lunch – washed down with hand picked wine, we headed off to Dromana Estate for our final winery visit. We all enjoyed a leisurely tasting in the outdoor garden (I had coffee).

The ladies were generous enough to allow me into this shot for a final photo – on the beautiful lawns at Dromana Estate.

Thanks for a great day ladies – and  for being kind to me on my first tour for 2 months.

Dromana Estate. Hope you had a great 30th birthday celebration ‘G’.
Posted in News and Updates

New – Healsville No.7 – Featuring ‘Tilly J’ Pinot Noir – 2019

No.7 Healsville is an exciting new destination and business venture conceptualized and sponsored by family behind the Meletos / Stones of the Yarra Valley enterprises.

No. 7 is a magnificently re-purposed warehouse at 7 Lilydale Road – Healsville. Now tastefully featuring European style exposed brick and reclaimed multi pane arch windows on the interior, this new space is instantly inviting. Due to the tastefully distressed features, it feels as if it has been here forever, however the interior was only completed in 2019.

The impressive new space boasts a state of the art communal winery, restaurant / café and event space. It is dedicated to giving the next generation of Yarra Yalley winemakers the facilities and technical ‘kit’ they need to help in their quest to make beautiful Yarra Valley wine.

Notably the first such program of its kind in Australia; Damian North (Journey Wines), and Behn Payten (Payten & Jones, Four Pillars), have been chosen to oversee and guide those on the Healsville No.7  Young Winemakers Program.

The previous nondescript concrete car park at No.7 has only just been converted to a European style courtyard and outdoor dining space – complete with long tables, mature olive trees, shade umbrellas and 2 huge industrial fans – to breathe some sweet relief on the warm days ahead.

Once on the lonely edge of the industrial estate, at the western end of the township, Lilydale Road is now a rockin’ little precinct; featuring now world famous Four Pillars Gin Distillery, the idiosyncratic Paynton & Jones Cellar Door, and now No.7. You could easily spend the best part of a lazy day in Lilydale Road – as long as someone else was doing the driving.

Perhaps you could start with a comprehensive tasting at Paynten & Jones, followed by a cheeky glass of their delicious Sangiovese? Pop next door to No.7 for a coffee and cake of your choice – and make a lunch reservation. Now it’s off over the road to Four Pillars, for an informative and fun filled bench tasting. The formalities now out of the way – it’s time for a refreshing G&T, or my partiality, a lovingly constructed Negroni.

Ah Negroni…..

Well that was fun! Now it’s time for lunch – back over the road to No.7. The staff is welcoming and professional.

Chef Joel Bowers provides a concise menu of tasty morsels, including duck neck sausage at the moment. Tapas are / is also a feature of the casual dining style here. Importantly, the coffee is excellent, which is almost always the case when I visit Meletos (St Huberts Road Colstream), or No.7.Healsville.

You will find featured at No.7, a growing selection of wines produced by young Yarra Valley of talented budding winemakers, sponsored by Meletos for the inaugural 2019 Young Winemakers Program.

Tilly J (the person), spent some time at the wonderful Giant Steps winery – under the tutelage of the hugely talented and equally self effacing chief winemaker Steve Flamsteed. Steve has mentored Tilly through her first vintage of ‘Tilly J” Pinot Noir. 2 tonnes of fruit was sourced from Helen’s Hill Winery, Coldstream, Yarra Valley.

As a generous kick start to sales, No.7 buys half of the wine produced by those in the Young Winemakers Program – and features the wine at their venue.

 Tasting Note.

Tilly J Pinot Noir – Yarra Valley – 2019.

Vibrant and youthful mid purple colour. Raspberry and assorted red fruits waft up the nostrils. The taste is most evidently fruit driven, with red fruits to the fore – lovely fresh acidity and mild tannins. Medium bodied with a medium finish.

This is a modern style of fun Yarra Valley Pinot Noir. Not made to be overly complex, it is all about juicy generosity and instant gratification.

Drinking well now – I enjoyed my glass of Tilly J at No 7. Healsville very much. I believe this wine will be even better in 2-3 months when it has settled in the bottle, and will drink well over the next 3-4 years.

Recommended Retail Price is $36 per bottle.

No. 7 Healsville is selling this lovely wine for $30 per bottle while it is still featured.

I am delighted that we will be able to offer a visit to No 7. Healsville as another option for our Perfect Day Tours customers. It is also gratifying to support the new wave of Yarra Valley winemakers by visiting No.7, and furthermore having an opportunity to taste and buy the wines.

Posted in News and Updates

Giant Steps Single Vineyard Tasting – 2018 Vintage.

A PDT Connoisseurs Tour. Enjoying a Giant Steps Single Vineyard Master Class  at the new tasting room. December 4th 2019.

I was delighted to finally get the opportunity to partake in a masterclass tasting at the recently relocated Giant Steps tasting room on 9th of December 2019. The new venue is above Habituel Bakery 314 Maroondah Hwy, Healsville, Yarra Valley.

I have been taking small groups for visits with PDT – but hadn’t yet had the chance for a personal tasting. Finally I had time the to visit on a day off!

This impressively appointed tasting room is merely a ‘pop up’ destination, as long term there will be a purpose built tasting room at the iconic Sexton Vineyard, Gruyere. They have good neighbours, with the iconic vineyards of Yarra Yering to the west.

The house style, if you like, of Giant Steps has traditionally involved using 20% new French oak, and 80% older French oak for the single vineyard Chardonnays. The single vineyard Pinots, however, generally range between 8% and 25% new wood – depending on vineyard and vintage. This high percentage of older oak is to allow  the pure fruit of the vineyard to be expressed –  without a heavy oak influence on flavour and aroma.

The Yarra Valley range (estate blend), is wound back another notch – with only 10% new, and 90% older barrels. Once again – the aim is to let the pristine fruit do the talking. It also makes great economic sense – as the cost of new French barrels can be upward of $1200 a piece. Happily, this helps to keep the cost of the Yarra Valley range pretty sharp.


Tasting Notes.

2018 Tarraford Vineyard Chardonnay.

Stonefruit and greengage  – good length. Very nice drive on the back palate. Will continue to evolve and reveal buried treasures with patience and time. Cellar Door – $50.

2018 Wombat Creek Vineyard Chardonnay.

New season Granny Smith apple aromas – flowing onto the palate. Bracing fresh acidity from the cooler climate vineyard (450m above sea level). The Wombat Creek vineyard has the cooling influence of a rain forest to the south east.It reminds me of what the Chablis producers might describe as “a little bit cripsy”. Delicious. Cellar Door – $50.

Ocurinas – gently circulate the chardonnay to develop complex aromas and flavours due to the yeast lees contact. No oak is used in these wines.

2019 ‘Ocarina’ Chardonnay.

Just released. No Oak is used in the production or maturation of the Ocarina Chardonnay. The wine is instead matured in beautiful looking, egg shaped clay vessels.  The wine is unfiltered, and as such, has a slight haziness. The wine has a complex character, due in part to yeasty, leesy notes (think yoghurt soft, fresh cheese), as the wine gently circulates on the lees in the  clay ocarinas. Back to the future – as wine was made over 1000 years ago. Happily now  without any spoilage bacteria. Delicious and complex. Cellar Door – $60.

2018 Sexton Vineyard Pinot Noir.

Perfumed with a lift of red fruits. Medium bodied with a gentle fresh finish, complimented by fine tannins. I notice that I have also written ‘Wow!’ in my tasting notes on the day. I think that translates as ‘Really Good’.  Cellar Door – $60.

2018 Applejack Vineyard Pinot Noir.

More full bodied than the Sexton. Dark cherry, with lovely mid palate richness. A touch of bacon fat / charcuterie at the finish. Cellar Door – $60.

Winner of the 2019 ‘Australian Pinot Noir Challenge’ – Primavera Vineyard Pinor Noir – 2018.

2018 Primavera Vineyard Pinot Noir.

A trophy, a bottle, a glass, happy days!

Absolutely beautiful fruit on the nose. Dark cherry and complex alluring notes – the wine whispers “Come drink me.” Medium bodied with great length, that unfolds with velvety tannins. Demure and delicate with poise and presence. Wow. All MV6 clones. Captivating and delicious. Cellar Door – $60.



As well as a worthy winner of the 2019 Australian Pinot Noir Challenge, it may well be a serious contender for the Inaugural  Perfect Day Tours ‘Wine of the Year’. I’ll keep you posted.




2018 Tarraford Vineyard Syrah.

An exemplar of the New World Syrah style. Arising from a warmer vintage, there is less of the classical cool climate white pepper notes on the nose. There is however perfectly ripened, bright dark fruits, still retaining natural acidity. The medium bodied palate shows delicacy, with fine grained tannins that are soft yet persistent. The olderFrench oak gently frames the wine, allowing a soft complexity, but never dominating. Bargain Alert! Cellar Door – $50.


2018 Known Pleasures Mclaren Vale Shiraz.

Emanating from a vineyard in the Southern Mclaren Vale region of South Australia – to  which Giant Steps have exclusive access.

O.K. So this really highlights the stylistic differences between Syrah and Shiraz! This is a wine that your ‘Big Red’ lover will appreciate. A distinct and clever counterpoint to the  cooler Yarra Valley style.  Medium to full bodied, with ripe dark fruits, and coffee/ chocolatey notes on the soft finish. Cellar Door –  $60.

2018 Harry’s Monster – Sexton Vineyard Red Blend.

A brilliant  Bordeaux ‘Claret’ style. Predominantly Merlot this vintage, with Cabernet Sauvignon and Petite Verdot helping the team to shine. Stories abound regarding the ‘Harry’s Monster’ reference. Some refer to it as a way of keeping young’uns out of the vineyards. The story I am more comfortable with, is the crayon drawing that featured on the label of the very first Harry’s Monster. It was drawn at the time by 3 year old Harry, son of Giant Step’s owner and founder Phil Sexton. When asked about the drawing, Harry replied that it was a monster. I think that first vintage was in the early 2000’s.

The Iconic Sexton Vineyard. Soon to be home to the Giant Steps Tasting Room.

The elements of this wine are sourced form the prestigious Sexton’s Vineyard in Gruyere, Yarra Valley. This picturesque site will in time become the cellar door and ‘experience centre’ of Giant Steps. It looks to be a visionary step forward from this progressive company.

Harry’s Monster is all lovely things to connoisseurs  of Bordeaux style blends. Aromas of subtle blackcurrant, Harry’s Monster is well chiselled and aristocratic. Not a silken hair out of place. Medium bodied with definitive length. Polished fine grained tannins to finish. A shining example of how elegant Yarra Valley ‘Bordeaux style’ blends can be. CDP – $55.

I would love to take you and a few well chosen friends, on a Perfect Day Tour to explore the charms of Giant Steps & the Yarra Valley.

To find out more about Giant Steps – Yarra Valley, just click on the link below.

Posted in News and Updates

December Wine of the Month – Helen & Joey ‘Wayward Child’ White – 2018

Steve & Bruce.

If popularity and sheer foot traffic were any indication, Helen & Joey, located at Gruyere , Yarra Valley,  seem to have the Midas Touch.

Hugely popular with the so called ‘Millennials’, H&J boast stunning panoramic views of Coldstream and Gruyere, spanning 200 acres of vineyards, farmland and forests. The majestic Great Dividing Range adds a wonderful backdrop to the bucolic landscape.

Unicorns are the ‘shtick’ at Helen & Joey – very popular with the young ladies for photo opportunities.

Poor old Bruce  – the most senior of the Unicorn Mob, is looking somewhat the worse for wear, after being mounted by numerous and multiple Hen’s Parties and other celebratory groups.

Unfortunately Bruce no longer always boasts his big red horn, as it has been displaced by the pressure brought to bear by the enthusiastic groping thereof.

We all hope, for Bruce’s sake, that his big red horn is permanently  re-affixed as soon as unicornally possible.

Having one of the best and brightest winemakers in the Yarra Valley, if not Australia, Helen & Joey also make some pretty decent wines.

Senior Winemaker Meg Brodtmann was the first Australian female to attain the highest achievement in the international wine world  – ‘Master of Wine’, in 2002.


A treasured photo with Meg Brodtmann, M.W. at Helen & Joey

Having studied under Meg to attain my W.S.E.T level 3 qualification – I can assure you that she is incredibly knowledgeable on anything to do with wine, both in Australia and internationally.



The Wine.

Wayward Child ‘Ilion’ – Sauvignon Blanc / Semillon – 2018

The juice from this field blend was pressed directly to large barrels, where it underwent wild yeast fermentation. It remained in oak for 9 months, ageing on yeast lees.


Deeper in colour than most blends of this kind, due to the 9 months resting in oak. There are complex floral aromas of lavender, and nougat, due to the influence of the yeast lees and wild ferment.

The palate displays soft, mouth filling notes of stone fruit and citrus. The flavours build, finishing with mouthwatering acidity. Even though the acids are prominent, they are soft and gentle, due to the lees contact and barrel ageing.

The yeasty / leesy note on the mid palate helps to round out the wine.

The Ilion pairs well with homemade vegetable and pearl barley soup. I make the vegie stock for the soup from scratch, so take it pretty seriously!

The Ilion is a beautifully balanced wine – and so different from most white blends from these grape varieties. There is a level of complexity and nuance due to the love and time given in the winery.

The Wayward Child Ilion 2018 is available at Helen & Joey Estate, and on line. It sells for $35 per bottle.

Official Score out of 100.

Superior Deliciousness!



Posted in News and Updates

November Wine of the Month – Medhurst Pinot Noir 2018

The Medhurst winery and vineyards are tucked away on the enchanting Medhurst Road, in sub region of Gruyere Yarra Valley. With recognition for excellence at the Victorian Architectural awards, the winery and recently re imagined cellar door are well worth the visit. Not to mentioned the delicious wines.

Simon Steele is the winemaker. His previous gig was the highly respected winemaker at Brokenwood, Hunter Valley.

Much like Sarah Crowe, 2019 Halliday’s ‘Winemaker of the Year’ at Yarra Yering, Simon has migrated south from the hot and humid Hunter to make ‘proper’ wines. Those of the cooler climate styles. (It’s o.k. The various wine regions and states are always taking the ‘P’ out of each other. Just a joke. Well, half a joke).

After more rain than was required in December –  January,February and March proved to be warm and dry, without excessive spikes of heat to stress the vines.

The wine was matured for 10 months in French Oak barrels (30% new), and the clone is exclusively MV6.

PDT Tasting Note.

Having been bottled in February 2019, the colour is bright and vibrant, with youthful purple hues still dominant.

Fresh red fruits, subtle violets and spice greet the nose, and thankfully, flow through the palate.

Medium bodied, with a fresh and moreish tang from natural acidity.

After trying this wine again after 24 hours, I was delighted  to find that there were more enticing elements to discover. The wine showed more roundness and softness on day 2, and had more glycerol richness – due to the acidity becoming more integrated with  aeration.

The tannins are soft and fine grained , with a well integrated lift of natural acid on the finish.

Due to my tasting over 2 days, I would recommend keeping the wine for at least another 6 months to show at its best. It will continue to evolve over 5 -8 years.

The Medhurst 2018 Pinot Noir is available at the Cellar Door for $44 per bottle.


Official Score Out of 100.

Increasingly Delicious.

Disclosure – I was given a sample bottle of this  recently released wine for review purposes.

I was happy to review the wine and include it in the PDT Wine of the Month, due its high quality and recent release.

I am always looking for new vintage and diverse wine styles to review, as our happy PDT customers will taste on a tour.






Posted in News and Updates

Four Pillars Gin Tasting – Healsville Yarra Valley

B.P. from Four Pillars & Steve from PDT.
B.P from Four Pillars & Steve from PDT.

On Monday 18th of November, a day off from a Perfect Day Tour, I had a chance to indulge in a tasting at Four Pillars Gin Distillery in Healsville Yarra Valley.

As a dear friend of mine had a visitor from the U.S staying with him, who also happened to be a big gin fan, I offered to take them on a casual visit to Four Pillars.

I asked for B.P. to host our tasting, as he is always entertaining and conducts a friendly, informative session.

I hasten to add that all of the team members at Four Pillars conduct wonderful tastings. It  is just that I have developed a comfortable and friendly rapport with B.P over the last 2 years, so he was a good fit for the tasting.

After the tasting, my friends bought a bottle of the original Four Pillars Gin – and enjoyed classy Gin & Tonics that evening.

Thanks B.P. and all at Four Pillars, we all had a wonderful time with you.

We love taking our happy customers to Four Pillars, so if you love gin, check out their link below – and we can craft a bespoke tour for you.


Posted in News and Updates

Tour on Saturday November 9 – Yarra Valley.

On Saturday November 9th, I was delighted to host a group of ladies celebrating a birthday, and looking for a fun day out in the Yarra Valley.

We kicked off the festivities with a wonderful tasting at Warramunda Estate, in Coldstream Yarra Valley.

As usual, Owner Rob conducted a spectacular tasting, including his offering of Manchego cheese, and also Prosciutto di Parma, to accompany the newly released Warramunda Estate Pinot Noir 2017.

Warramunda Owner Rob Magdziarz, conducting a fabulous tasting of Warramunda Estate and Liv Zak wines.

Outside at Warramunda Estate.After purchasing a few bottles of fantastic wine from Warramunda Estate, it was off to Oakridge Winery.

On the deck at Oakridge.

Oakridge Winery is just next door, at the famous address of 864 Maroondah Highway, Not too far to travel for more wine and fun.

Here I am imposing myself in this photo, on the deck at Oakridge. As you may notice on the left, we had a few guests in the shot. They are obviously well practiced in the subtle art of social media.

After so much wine tasting – Lunch was most welcome. Shared antipasti platters, followed by gourmet wood fired pizzas  were consumed with great relish. Not the spreadable kind – I’m sure you know what I mean.

Lunch and wine tasting at Killara Estate – Seville East,Upper Yarra Valley.

Not a bad start to lunch. Antipasti platters at Killara Estate.

Killara also features striking views of the surrounding  vineyards, as well as the Great Dividing Range to the north, and the Warburton Ranges to the south.

The next 2  photos were  taken after lunch at Killara Estate. You can just see the majestic mountain range in the background, although it was misty and overcast. Perfect conditions for wine tasting.

The next shot taken just before we headed to our final destination,

Helen and Joey, Gruyere Yarra Valley.The ladies enjoyed the wonderful hospitality at Helen and Joey, as well as taking in the sweeping views of the 200 acre property, comprising vineyards, farmland and native forest. Not to mention a safe haven for the Unicorns, found at various locations around the property.

How much did this fabulous day cost, I hear you ask?

$110 per head.

I know.

Posted in News and Updates