One of the great things to do on a weekend in the Yarra Valley is to attend one of the many life music events. I especially love the music on a Sunday afternoon at the Yarra Glen Grand Hotel. First of all the food is quite good and second the venue is very suitable for the occasion provided there is not too much wind rattling the tent in which the bands perform.
Moreover, the Yarra Glen Grand Hotel is a beautiful historic building, a landmark in Yarra Glen, with it’s tower which is visible from many parts of the valley, it really stands out.
We had lunch and eagerly awaited the Bob Starkie Band which was to play in the afternoon. Bob Starkie is well known in Melbourne. He used to be one of the members of the legendary Skyhooks in the 1970s, a cult band in Melbourne. One of their top hits was “Women in Uniform”.
But first came the food.
The food was hearty and very tasty, as the two pictures above show. The wines we had with it were excellent examples of the local wine culture.
We had a bottle of ‘2006 Mandala Chardonnay’ from the Yarra Valley and a bottle of ‘2005 Dal Zotto Barbera’ from Whitefield in the King Valley, a neighboring wine region with very good cool climate wines.
Both wines were excellent and very enjoyable. The 2003 vintage of the Dal Zotto Barbera was given 90 points. The Dal Zotto family with a proud Italian heritage is well known for their quality wines. Their Italian varietal wines made from Barbera, Arneis and Sangiovese grapes have won high acclaim. Also their prosecco is commendable. The high altitude of the King Valley and its cool climate seems to be very suitable for those Italian varietals.
Owned by the Smedly family, Mandala Wines is located just a few kilometers up the highway, north of Yarra Glen. The cellar door and restaurant (open for lunch Thursday to Sunday and dinner on Saturday evenings) used to be “Henkel Vineyard” but has been redone completely. I love the design of the label, a huge mandala, which changes colour on the website, and expresses the philosophy of the owner on life and wine-making.
Dal Zotto Barbera
And then the music started. The Bob Starkie Band promised exciting entertainment. They did not disappoint playing many of the classical Skyhooks songs. It did not take long and the dance floor was crowded with rural folks moving and shaking. There is nothing better then a dance on a Sunday afternoon. It also makes sure that one is clear headed on a Monday morning. We had great fun. I can only highly recommend it to the accidental traveler. If in the Yarra Valley look out for live music events
Yarra Valley GRAND Hotel
Bell Street, Yarra Glen, VIC. 3775
Tel.: 03-9730 1230
int: +61 3 9730 2434
fax: 03 9730 2434
MANDALA WINES PTY LTD
1568 Melba Highway Dixons Creek Yarra Valley Victoria 3775
Tel. +61 3 5965 2016
Fax: +61 3 5965 2589
Dal Zotto Wines
Main Rd, Whitfield,
King Valley, Vic 3733 Australia
Tel.: +61-3-57 298 321
Fax +61-3 57 298 490