In an effort to allow readers to get through a whole post, our next two winery reviews (this and the next) will be kept to no more than four paragraphs. We will see how this goes.
Innocent Bystander is located in Healesville, in the Yarra Valley; right across the carpark from Giant Steps. The amount of merchandise on sale, from glasses to t-shirts has the feel of a large winery, which is quite deceptive. The range is limited, so a full tasting is possible and the method of tasting (from taps into conical flasks reminiscent of school science classes) is quite unique.
What we liked: The Central Otago Pinot Noir ($25 per bottle RRP) was quite nice. The dining room was nearly full and the diners seemed quite happy. The prices for wines are all around the $25 per bottle mark which represents OK value for money, not the best but not the worst in the Yarra Valley. The staff were quite knowledgeable and very helpful.
What we didn’t like: A lot of the range rated low on our scales of interestingness (not a word, we know, but trying to save space…) with aromatic and complex wines not really present. There wasn’t really a hero wine here in our opinion; the cider was a highlight which is disturbing at a winery.
Our verdict: Not being set amongst vines and being very near Giant Steps which has some really amazing wines means you can probably give this one a miss. The dining looks good, but we travel wineries to taste and buy wine and we didn’t take anything home with us from this stop.