After touching down at Melbourne Airport, we drove directly to Yarra Valley where we had our wine escape for the next 3 days. By the time we checked into our cottage, we were all hungry and thirsty (for wine)! We waited no time and headed for our first winery - Innocent Bystander for tasting and lunch. Located along Maroondah Highway, Healesville Victoria, Innocent Bystander is a winery, cellar door, bistro , bakery, cheese room and cafe all rolled into one.
Here, you get to sample and buy the 2 wine labels by wine maker Phil Sexton - Giant Steps and Innocent Bystander.
The name Giant Steps comes in part from Phil’s love for jazz and John Coltrane’s album of that same name, and in part due the Giant Step Phil took in relocating with his family from Margaret River to the Yarra Valley. Giant Steps wines are always exclusively single vineyard Yarra Valley wines.
Giant Steps focuses exclusively on the distinctive expression of single vineyard sites in the Yarra Valley. Grapes are drawn from estate and leased vineyards, as well as a selection of long-term contracted vineyards.
Why Innocent Bystander? According to their website: This is a group of winemakers and viticulturalists who eschew the bland direction and market dominance increasingly exerted by the large corporate winemaking groups. In a nutshell, they see themselves as Innocent Bystanders.
Besides wine tasting and tour, we got to taste their artisan bread and wood-fired pizza for lunch.
For starters, we had platters of Calabrian style Kurobuta pork shoulder salami and Blackmore full-blood Wagyu Bresaola - Cured eye of topside.
We ordered a few of their delicious pizzas to go with the Innocent Bystander Pinot Noir:
Spicy pork sausage, Buffalo Mozzarella, San Marzano Tomato and chilli
4 Cheese pizza - Asiago, Taleggio, Buffalo Mozzarella, Cravero Parmesan with roast garlic
Roast Mushroom, Asiago, Black truffle oil, garlic and parsley
San Daniele Prosciutto, San Marzano Tomato, Cravero Parmesan and Parsley
The Pinot Noir is easy drinking but still possesses enough body and complexity. The wine won Gold at the 2011 Sydney Royal Wine Show.
We enjoyed the food and the wine. A very good start to our trip!
Giant Steps / Innocent Bystander Winery
336 Maroondah Highway
Healesville, Victoria 3777
Tel: (03) 5962 6111
10am - 10pm (Mon - Fri)
8am - 10pm (Sat & Sun)