At 50 kilometres from Melbourne to Healesville, Victoria's Yarra Valley wine region is the closest to the Victorian capital.
In fact a number of the wineries and vineyards are even much closer to Melbourne starting near the junction of Melba and Maroondah Highways at Coldstream.
Yarra Valley Gateway Estate is near the junction while The Oaks is just north of the junction off Melba Highway. Unfortunately The Oaks is not open daily for those on a wine-tasting tour.
The wine triangle
The Yarra Valley wine region is almost completely circumscribed by the triangle formed by Maroondah Highway, Melba Highway and Healesville Yarra Glen Rd.
Outside the triangle, along Melba Highway and off Pinnacle Lane north of Yarra Glen, you will find one of the region's more popular wineries, De Bortoli, which has two other wineries, one in the Hunter Valley and the other in the Riverina, both in New South Wales.
Aside from its Yarra Valley cellar door, where wine tasting and bottle sales take place, De Bortoli also has a restaurant popular with visitors.
Melba Highway, particularly in the area north of Yarra Glen, has a cluster of wineries well worth a visit.
These include Yarra Glen Wines, B J Vineyard, Henkell Vineyard, and Steels Creek Estate. And, of course, De Bortoli.
Between Coldstream and Healesville, you can find St Huberts, Yeringberg, Domaine Chandon, Oakridge, Tokar Estate, Badger's Brook Vineyard, and Dominique Portet Winery.
Domaine Chandon is owned by the Moet-Hennessy Company famous for its Moet et Chandon champagne. Another Domaine Chandon is in California's Napa Valley.
A restaurant adjacent to the Domain Chandon wine tasting rooms serves generally light meals.
Healesville Yarra Glen Rd
Wineries of note in the Healesville Yarra Glen Rd area include Train Trak Vineyard, Hanson-Tarrahill Vineyard, Outlook Hill, Yarra Trak wines, Kiltynane Estate, and Tarrawarra Estate.
Most of the Yarra Valley wineries are open for wine tasting daily from 10am. Some open only on weekends, some on one weekend a month, and a few others by appointment.
Note that at some cellar doors there is a small charge for wine tasting, which is then deducted from wine purchases when and if made.
Join a tour
If you prefer not to drive to the Yarra Valley vineyards and wineries, there are bus tours which you can join. Visit the Melbourne visitor centre at Federation Square across the street from Flinders St Station.
Yarra Valley visitor centre
The region's visitor centre is at the Old Courthouse, Harker St, Healesville, telephone 03-5962-2600.