I love wine. And while I don’t tend to discriminate between red or white, I can be a bit of a wine snob. This becomes particularly embarrassing when out wine tasting, as I find it hard to conceal my true feelings when your host is looking you in the eye, eagerly awaiting feedback on a wine you simply loathe. Luckily there was nothing mediocre or forgettable about Yering Station, one of several Yarra Valley wineries we experienced on a long weekend of wine tasting and other gourmand pursuits. It goes without saying, Eleonore’s was without a doubt the jewel among all the indulgences encountered.
Situated in 250 acres of farming land, Yering Station’s history dates back to the mid 19th century as one of the most celebrated wineries of the region. Chateau Yering was established as a country mansion in the late 90’s, and painstakingly renovated into a small number of luxury guestrooms with a nod to the historical narrative of the region. Eleonore’s occupies a newly added conservatory wing, with sweeping vistas of farmland and vineyards.
Period ambiance is probably the best way to describe the interiors, which if you like that sort of thing means you’ll be in your element the first time you enter the premises. If however you’re sensibilities are more appeased by a contemporary finish, you’d be forgiven for being somewhat dubious in the presence of so much chintz and antiques, despite the grandeur of the manor house. We certainly raised an eyebrow or two as we were shown into the very plaid and floral sitting room for a pre-meal aperitif. Cradling our kir royales for what seemed like an eternity, we kept each other company until eventually one of us went in search for another living soul to let them know we were ready to move to the dining room. You can imagine the build-up here, and between all the warning signs we were beginning to question the sanity of our dining choice.
Our concerns were unwarranted, as this restaurant experience will go down in our books as one of the top 5 greatest meals we’ve ever had. Charlotte who looked after, was the consummate professional – personable while delivering terrific service, yet keeping the interaction discreet. We opted for the tasting menu with wine pairings, which consisted of a generous pour to accompany the unsurpassable duck breast and foie gras burger (favourite dish of the meal). This was followed by the most heavenly Wagyu beef I’ve ever encountered. Both were a visual and culinary treat and the team rallied around us throughout the meal to deliver faultless service in a charming and professional way.
I’ve run out of superlatives, been left speechless and am beyond delighted. Eleonore’s is a shining example of how to deliver a grown-up experience and take care of your guests while wowing them with superb food and wine. I cannot recommend this place enough.
Restaurant – 9/10