Just as wine lovers make sure to visit Napa and Sonoma when they travel to San Francisco, every vacation to Melbourne, Australia, should include wine tasting in Yarra Valley and on the Mornington Peninsula.

The wineries of Yarra Vally are about 45 minutes east of Melbourne, home to the Australian Open tennis championships every January. Mornington Peninsula is an hour south of Melbourne.

mornington peninsulaWine Compass, which began operating small-group wine tours on Mornington Peninsula in 2013, helps international travelers explore both wine regions like a local.

“Our aim is to provide a day out that will be ideally suited to our guests and will deliver ‘A Day To Remember,’” says Wine Compass owner Adam Nicholls. “We use our knowledge to guide you in the right direction and can also take on board any preferences you may have. We can even mix things up with breweries, cideries, dairies (for cheese), distilleries, and chocolateries.”

There are lots of things to love about the Yarra Valley, which features vast open spaces, magnificent countryside views, amazing nature and wildlife, and of course, great wineries. It’s the largest wine region in Australia and a key tourist attraction, drawing 3 million visitors per year. (Not too shabby when you consider it’s not that far behind the 3.5 million who visit Napa Valley annually.)

The climate is less harsh and cooler than other wine regions in Australia, resulting in amazing expressions of Pinot Noir and Chardonnay. Winemakers also experiment with traditional varieties of the old world, plantings of Syrah, Cabernet Sauvignon, Riesling, and Pinot Gris.

koala in a treeClick here for an Insider Guide to Yarra Valley

Mornington Peninsula is known for its Pinot Noir and Chardonnay. Pinot Gris is another specialty. Heavier red options are scattered throughout the region.

Click here for an Insider Guide to Mornington Peninsula

Wine Compass offers public tours but specializes in personal, private tours that cater to the interests of each group, including corporate events.

Contact Wine Compass for further information.