Further along Maddens lane…


Stop 3: Coldstream Hills

James Halliday needs no introduction to wine enthusiasts in Australia (or probably anywhere in the world). Coldstream Hills is where he set up his own winery many years ago (now part of the TWE group) and still retains some level of influence. A nice long tasting bar and some more beautiful views over the valley made this a very pleasant stop on our journey down Maddens lane…

What we liked: The quality of wine here was very high. The cellar door staff were very knowledgeable about almost everything to do with winemaking in the valley, from which side of the hill which grapes grow best to what the blend of grapes is likely to be in the next vintage of sparkling wine (the current 2014 release is a Pinot Noir/Chardonnay blend but not your typical wine; it has extra levels of fruit flavour that tasters will either really enjoy or will decide detracts from the experience of a sparkling wine altogether).

What we weren’t so keen on: There is nothing cheap here at all. Which is fine, because the quality is high. But as a group of wine lovers who travel Australia (and the world when we get the chance) to find the underpriced, underrated wines that will still be drinking well once we have all retired…

Our verdict: This is a worthwhile stop if you are travelling down Maddens lane (there are so many wineries on this one back road in the Yarra Valley and we haven’t even reached the award winning wineries of Yarra Yering, Mandala or Dominique Portet yet…) for a number of reasons. If you are pressed for time you can probably drive past and concentrate on the larger locations, but if you have the time this is worth a visit.

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