8 March 2012 by Luke McCormick
Victoria's Yarra Valley is launching a new signature food and wine event set to showcase the best of the region's quality local produce and producers.
The inaugural Yarra Valley Food & Wine Festival will take place from 26 - 29 April 2012 and festival goers will be able to experience cooking classes, cider sessions, greenhouse tours, chocolate making, world class degustation dinners and twilight wine tastings.
The four-day festival just outside melbourne will showcase the Yarra Valley's top wineries and restaurants, allowing festival goers to relish the culinary delights of the region.
The festival will open with a grand opening degustation dinner at Stones of the Yarra Valley, where diners can enjoy a five-course degustation dinner in the historic Barn Restaurant - a collaboration between the Yarra Valley's finest chefs, with a menu inspired by the region's freshest seasonal produce.
An avant garde producers dinner will be held on Friday 27 April with the opportunity to meet with people in the Yarra Valley who buck the norm. Join winemakers Luke Lambert from Luke Lambert Wines, Andrew Marks from The Wanderer, Gary Damon Mills from Jamsheed and award-winning Sommelier Christian Maier in a shared feast of innovative ideas, fresh flavours and lush textures within the intimate surrounds of the Healesville Country Club.
After a day of festivities, on Saturday evening, retreat to the Autumn Harvest Dinner in the gardens of De Bortoli Yarra Valley Estate, where guests will mingle over canapés and sparkling wine with Leanne De Bortoli, chief wine maker Steve Webber and special guest James Halliday, before sitting down to a sensational six-course dinner with matched wine.
The festival will end on Sunday 29 April 29 with a Sunday garden party at the Healesville Racecourse. Here you can sip artisan beers and ales, sample farm house cheese, try award-winning chardonnary and pinot noir, take home fresh produce and marvel at a demonstration, all to the sounds of a host of local artists.
With these events - and more - the inaugural Yarra Valley Food & Wine Festival promises to be a highlight of the gastronomic calendar in 2012, and a chance to join in a celebration of regional produce and producers, in a region renowned for its quality food and wine offerings.