Domaine Chandon's enduring quality begins at its roots. With generations of grape growing knowledge, Moët & Chandon established the Yarra Valley winery that is now home to Domaine Chandon. The developers knew that this particular location would be ideal to cultivate their prized champagne varietals.
Domaine Chandon’s vineyard, Green Point, was once the site of an old dairy farm, making it the perfect growing ground for the classical chardonnay, pinot noir, and pinot meunier varietals that Chandon made famous with their premium sparkling and still wines. The combination of the region’s gentle climate plus its red, volcanic soil made this an excellent location to provide the perfect home for creating the best Chandon wines.
So, Chandon laid down its Australian roots, quite literally back in 1986. For over two decades the winemaking teams have been selecting the best grapes, not only from the Yarra Valley, but also from other cool growing regions such as the Coal River Valley in Tasmania, Coonawarra, and Victoria’s Macedon Ranges, Strathbogie and King Valley, to create its range of wines.
Founder, Moët et Chandon, had a vision of sharing his French tradition for making complex, elegantly superior wines, and all Domaine Chandon’s sparkling wines are made by using the méthode traditionnelle, the traditional winemaking technique perfected in Champagne for making the very finest sparkling wines.
You can taste these great wines at the winery’s Greenpoint Bar, where you can sit and relax while taking in some of the best views in the Yarra Valley. The full line of still and sparkling wines is available along with tasty snacks, and if you are celebrating a special occasion, there are also Chandon signature cocktails available.
While you are visiting the vineyard, why not treat yourself to a guided tour? The only way to truly understand what lies under your nose and in your glass is by actually witnessing what passion and labour goes into those little bubbles. Your tour will allow you to experience a small, but significant piece of the méthode traditionnelle that takes anywhere from 18 months to as long as 15 years to complete from harvest to cork. The tour will also allow you to witness some of the winemaking processes and walk you through the barrel rooms and the all-important riddling hall, where the best of what Domaine Chandon is widely known for comes to life. Yes – those bubbles again.
Trending in the world’s best restaurants are seasonal menus based on fresh, local produce. Passionate chefs are finally following their winemaker counterparts, and allowing the local terroir to tell its story on each platter. Domaine Chandon’s head chef, David Cafarella, takes full advantage of the cornucopia of agricultural products within the Yarra Valley each time he sets a menu for the Greenpoint Brasserie and the estate’s other events. David doesn’t need to search too far for local cheeses, seasonal fruits, vegetables and even local meats throughout the year. And of course, each of David’s creations is paired with his choice of Domaine Chandon’s sparkling or still wine.
The Brasserie’s menu is created so that many of its treasures and specialties can be shared amongst a group. After all, a food and wine experience is much more enjoyable when surrounded by friends. The team of chefs and wine staff make it easy for guests to enjoy an exciting dining experience to allure your senses. Start off with the signature Caraway pickled beetroot and goats curd salad, rounded out with crunchy beet crisps and pine nuts, all delicately finished with carrot puree and Mt. Zero extra virgin olive oil. Enjoy this dish even more, if you can believe that, with Domaine Chandon’s Sauvignon Blanc.
Don’t stop there, after all, you are sharing and need more tasty bites to go around. Try a French derived classic of locally raised beef carpaccio, with toasty and aromatic sage-roasted prosciutto with roasted pumpkin, garnished with toasted pumpkin seeds and a rich sherry glaze. For a more casual occasion, try one of the shared platters – an antipasto or a cheese platter. The perfect combination for a vineyard tasting experience!
You cannot leave Domaine Chandon without trying their Heathcote Shiraz from the Colbinabbin Vineyard, where the prized vines are grown in five-hundred year old Cambrian soils located in the Mount Camel Range.
There are some other must-try starters! While you order those, I am going to get started on the main plates. You are in Australia and that means it is an absolute requirement that you taste some local lamb. Try the Three point rack of Flinders Island lamb with potato confit, seasonal peas and carrots all finished with the rich lamb jus. This lamb is something special and unlike any other lamb you will taste. It originates from Melbourne’s southeast on Flinders island, where the lambs are milk fed, giving the meat incredible juiciness, tenderness and a very unique flavour. To match this dish, bump the previous Shiraz up a notch with Chandon’s Barrel Selection.
For those who want a taste of the Yarra Valley local vegetables, try the Yarra Valley Pasta asparagus and lemon ravioli with Yarra Valley Dairy “saffy” marinated feta, garnished with sweet cherry tomatoes, pine nuts and olive oil. I know most of you came for the bubbles, so enjoy this luscious pasta with the Vintage Blanc de Blancs. There are plenty of other tasty offerings from oysters to squid and snapper. I am sure, that whatever you choose, the experience will exceed ‘enjoyable’.
Before you get up from the table, you must check the dessert menu. For something a little on the edge of savoury for dessert, have the Gorgonzola dolce with quince paste, fig and ginger crisps, finished with micro celery!
The local terroir certainly influences the look, taste and feel on every platter served at Domaine Chandon. Once tried, you will have to agree that David’s food is up there with the best in the world.