The best events of Yarra Valley Fireside

Published on 18 July 2019

Photo: Courtesy of Yarra Valley Fireside

To celebrate winter in one of Victoria’s most picturesque regions, Wine Yarra Valley have cooked up a brand new nine-day festival, Yarra Valley Fireside, celebrating great wine, food cooked over smoke and the seasonal pleasures of cosying up next to a fire. If you were looking for an excuse to take the one-hour drive from Melbourne, this is it. Here are the best events according to Wine Yarra Valley’s Lauren McKay.

Why should people go to Yarra Valley Fireside?
Fireside is all about celebrating the best bits of winter, from roaring fires to smoky food, moody skies and incredible wine. We want to show off how we do winter in the Yarra Valley. It all kicks off on Saturday 27 July with a wine-tasting event that has you rubbing shoulders with some of the region’s best winemakers.

What event will be the ‘you should have been there’ moment of the program?
The wine-tasting event at Healesville Hotel on Saturday 27 July. You get to live like a local for the afternoon, taking a peek into where Yarra Valley winemakers hang out during the winter months. Unlike typical tasting events where winemakers are stuck behind tables, the people from Mac Forbes, Yarra Yering, Rob Dolan Wines and eight other wineries will be wandering through the beer garden, chatting and pouring their wines for guests. There’ll also be live music throughout the afternoon and a hearty menu to go with the wine, including slow-cooked pork shoulder and mushroom and thyme soup.

What’s an absolute bargain?
Vines & Wines since ’99 is a free event happening at Paynes Rise to celebrate their 20th birthday. Fire, food and fun is what they do best, so why mess with that? You can celebrate with the crew on Saturday 3 and Sunday 4 July with live music, roaring fires, gourmet pizza and, of course, wine. Along with the current Paynes Rise line-up, there’ll also be pre-release and back vintage wines available for tasting and purchase.

Give us your three most unusual events of the program.
Fire, Food and Flights: De Bortoli Wines are celebrating Fireside in both the cellar door and restaurant with a menu of food cooked over smoke paired with the estate's award-winning wines. it's available every day, according to opening hours, throughout Fireside.

Pie + Pinot: Both weekends during the Fireside festivities, Rob Dolan Wines will have Boscastle pies available in their cellar door, so you can savour the pleasure of a hot pie and a glass of wine. Choose from beef burgundy, roast lamb, korma or chicken and mushroom, along with a glass from the White Label Range. Winter snacking sorted. 

Barby and Barrel: Helen & Joey Estate will have winemaker Meg Brodtmann on-hand to take you through a very special tasting of the new vintage straight from the barrels. Learn about the year that was 2019 and taste these yet-to-be released wines, while the team fire up the smoker for a lunch of pulled pork sliders and brisket.

Which event should people go to for hands-on fun?
Smoke It Up Sunday at Innocent Bystander. You’ll get to join a smoking masterclass run by Chieftains Smokehouse, learning different techniques for getting your smoke on at home. Try your hand at cold-smoking DIY cheese and then taste hot-smoked food from the experts with matched wines from Innocent Bystander.

Yarra Valley Fireside, 27 July-4 August, various locations across the Yarra Valley. Tickets and info at wineyarravalley.com.au/fireside.