Usually springtime in the Yarra Valley is all about festivals and amazing spring blooms. Tesselaar Tulip Festival and the Blossom Festival at Cherry Hill Orchards are packed each year with people loving life in the Yarra Valley. Enter COVID and the flowery fun is looking a little different this season. Coming to households for a whole weekend, the Yarra Valley Garden Party – a virtual event October 3 and 4 will saturate internet feeds with colour, classes and blooms. Spring lovers from all over the country are invited to enjoy a fun and uniquely Yarra Valley schedule of online events that champion flowers, festivals, food and the loved wine of the region – plus meeting the local talent behind them.
On Saturday 3 October, start the weekend right with a yoga class set in the award-winning Alowyn Gardens. Wake-up and stretch to a glorious back-
drop of crab apple blossoms, and look out for the beautiful wisteria blossoms known to bloom later in the season. Walk through Country at Healesville Sanctuary in a virtual morning walk with Elder Murrindindi. Explore the significance of Wurrundjeri culture and learn about the indigenous plants found around the property. Spend the afternoon at CherryHill Orchards and virtually wander the avenues of blossom laden trees in a tour-guided blossom walk. Under the blossom trees, the High Tea Mistress will deliver a workshop themed on how to cater in spring with the perfect bespoke picnic or modern high tea setting. Saturday night means live music – even if it’s rocking out in the loungeroom with the speakers turned up. A line-up of Melbourne acts will take over No7 Healesville via livestream, with bands matched to Yarra Valley wines and spirits for a perfectly harmonised night of bands and brews. Ben Frazer from No7 has also curated the perfect Yarra Valley Mixed Tape for your aural pleasure that can be listened to on Spotify.
On Sunday 4 October, jump online for a virtual cooking class with special guest and prominent food writer Julia Nishimura in collaboration with Lisa Giffard of Yarra Valley Pasta. Budding home-cooks will get to recreate a recipe from Julia’s latest book, A Year of Simple Family Food. Afternoon drinks are sorted at the tulip fields of Tesselaar with content creator Jessica Nguyen who is known for her recipes online, and foodie appearances on pop culture podcast, Shameless. Jessica will guide a live tasting of the Garden Party six-pack and more. Wine-lovers are encouraged to round-up their best weekend buddies at home – IRL or over Zoom – with a six-pack in tow, and spend the afternoon sipping in the flowers. The Garden Party weekend will culminate with a stunning recital from the Yarra Valley Opera Festival who will perform live from the Tesselaar Tulip garden.
Yarra Valley Garden Party six-pack
Spring lovers can enhance the experience at home by getting their hands on a Garden Party six-pack available now. Not just a box of wine – it is a whole Yarra Valley experience delivered to your doorstep. Designed to inspire future visits to the region, the at-home six-pack presents a one-stop shop inspired by local wines paired up with creative add-ons that evoke the spirit of the Yarra Valley.
Valued at $195 but available to the public for $165 through The Regional Pantry, the indulgent six-pack includes:
• Coombe Farm – NV bubbles
• Soumah Wines – Savarro
• Mac Forbes – Rose
• Innocent Bystander – Arneis
• Greenstone – Gusto Pinot Grigio
• Seville Estate – Estate Riesling
The pack also includes six recipe cards matched to each wine, a spring garland DIY kit, Diggers seeds to plant your own sweet peas, Tesselaar tulips voucher valid in January 2021, Spotify playlist inspired by the wines and the region, and a list of ‘Instagrammable’ spots in the Yarra Valley
The Yarra Valley Garden Party is a virtual weekend of reimagined events inspired by iconic ‘bloom’ festivals of the region. Full program is available at visityarravalley.com.au/yarra-valley-garden-party and the Garden Party Six pack is available at $165 each at www.regionalpantry.com.au