Stones of the Yarra Valley
14 St Huberts Rd, Coldstream, VIC
03 9739 0900
Stones is the creation of Steve and Vonnie Frazer, who have been operating the Yarra Valley winery since 2006.
Steve has a background in the sports and entertainment industries, while Vonnie has had a passion for hospitality and events since a young age, growing up on a wedding venue owned by her parents in Melbourne’s east. For the couple, the transition from events to hospitality has been a natural one and they have been incredibly successful in creating a food and wine destination.
When the pair were introduced to the Coldstream property in 2005 they saw huge potential in the extensive grounds and fell in love with a number of the historic buildings on-site, including heritage-listed stables.
The venue at 14 St Huberts Road was the original site of the St Huberts winery dating back to the 1860’s. While most of the original buildings had met their demise through the years, there were still a couple of structures that provided enough encouragement for the Frazers. They took a deep breath and started the process of creating something very special.
Today the extraordinary location is home to two restaurants – The Barn and The Stables at Stones – a breathtaking chapel, and a converted dairy. It also shares the property with one of the best vineyards in the region – Punt Road Wines. Century-old elm and oak trees line pathways for visitors as they wander the property and journey between each space.
The original stable quarters was one of the remaining buildings and in 2011 was thoughtfully transformed into an intimate fine dining space. The refurbished building features soaring red brick walls and roughly hewn timbers, polished concrete floors, bespoke lighting and styled seasonal foliage.
Now known as The Stables at Stones, the restaurant offers a locally sourced, five or seven course degustation dinner on weekends and a tapas banquet for lunches on Saturdays and Sundays.
Executive Chef, Hugh Davison, oversees the impressive seasonal menu each week. Hugh has been passionate about food since a young age and has worked in restaurants throughout the UK and Australia, including the Michelin-starred Kitchen W8 in London. For Hugh, The Stables is not wholly about the cooking, but about creating a unique dining experience for all guests.
Hugh works closely with a range of local suppliers and organic farmers from around the region to ensure the very best produce is used in all dishes. Fresh produce from businesses such as Timbarra Farm, Yarra Valley Dairy, Buxton Trout Farm, Yeringberg Lamb and Misty Valley Farm allows Hugh and his kitchen team to create innovative and experimental dishes.
Hugh’s degustation dinners are crafted from scratch each week based on the seasonality and availability of local produce. In an autumn month, customers might expect dishes like textured organic carrot, Timbarra honey, goat’s cheese and ground rice; followed by Buxton trout with daikon, wasabi and coriander; or Timbarra chicken with parmesan gnocchi, Jarrahdale pumpkin and parsnip.
Each dish is meticulously paired with a wine from the extensive list, made up primarily of local and a smaller range of international selections. The wine list is overseen and carefully curated by award-winning sommelier, Banjo Harris Plane, Stones’ Senior Wine Consultant.
While intimate, fine dining occurs in The Stables, The Barn plays host to outstanding events of up to 180 guests. Renovated and restored to its current state in 2006, The Barn features floor-to-ceiling glass windows, providing uninterrupted views through the vines to the rolling hills of the Great Dividing Range.
The Barn is the main dining space on the property and is open for lunch each weekend as well as hosting weddings and private events throughout the year. Hugh’s a la carte menu celebrates seasonal ingredients in a modern Australian style. Try the crisp polenta with green chilli yoghurt, carrot, sumac, roasted pepitas and sweet potato; or marinated Yeringberg lamb rump with mushrooms, caramelised onion sauce and a snow pea salad.
Any experience at Stones of the Yarra Valley illustrates the commitment and dedication from each of the chefs and front of house staff at the property. The entire team are visual people; they are creative, talented, innovative, informed and inviting.
For those who want to stay that little while longer, Stones of the Yarra Valley also offers accommodation at its boutique hotel, The Farmhouse, located at its sister venue Meletos. Stones offers options such as a Stay and Dine package, which includes a five course degustation dinner at The Stables, and the Yarra Valley Experience, which is a two-night stay including visits to a number of other iconic Yarra Valley destinations.
On any given weekend, guests may find Stones of the Yarra Valley filled with locals, tourists and Melbourne day-trippers exploring the picturesque grounds and vineyards, savouring a regional lunch in The Barn, or enjoying tapas in the stunning Stables. Whatever your reason for venturing to Stones of the Yarra Valley, it’s sure to be special.