Yarra ValleyJust to the north of Melbourne is the Yarra Valley wine growing region. Given that Helen and Sharon are partial to a drop or two we decided to have a tour round the region visiting a number of vineyards for some tasting. We set off to the start of a circular tour and quickly discovered that as it was early spring the vines were bare and, consequently, there were very few people about and no wineries open. Dreams of getting sloshed on free wine were quickly dampened.

Instead we found ourselves on the road to Kinglake, scene of the forest fires earlier this year. The level of devastation was truly shocking with huge swathes of forest reduced to blackened stumps. It resembled a nuclear fall out zone.

Having not been able to find any open wineries we decided to try and get some lunch. The only thing that we could find that was open was a garden centre and it was with some trepidation that we pulled into the car park. Actually, the food was very good and the girls got some wine, although it was paid for.

All of this trip was carried out in our hire-car – a Nissan Tiida. It really must be the world’s worst car. Underpowered, difficult to drive, ugly, with poor visibility out the front it really is a soulless vehicle.

imageMore pictures from the Yarra Valley