Rob Dolan Wines
Rob Dolan is a bit of a Yarra Valley legend. After playing two back-to-back AFL premiership games for Port Adelaide in the 80s, Dolan moved to the Yarra Valley – making friends everywhere he went.
He started a lot of wineries in those early years, most notably Punt Road Wines, and he retains a stake in Four Pillars Gin (whose famous Shiraz Gin originally used Dolan’s grapes). Another of Rob’s conquests was the Old Yarra Ridge winery, which he later renamed to his old footy nickname ‘Sticks’.
Then in 2010, it was time to use his proper name. Rob Dolan Wines is a worthwhile namesake. It sits on 120 acres, but the grapes are sourced from vineyards across the broader Yarra Valley region – from growers Rob’s been dealing with since the early days.
The grapes grown on-site are reserved for members of the ‘Huddle Club’ – who, in addition to a standard wine subscription, also get to pick and stomp their own grapes, coming back to bottle them when the time arrives.
For one-off visitors, it has to be said that Rob Dolan Wines isn’t actually in the Yarra Valley proper. It’s a former egg farm in the suburb of Warrandyte – you can still see the chicken sheds off in the distance. But at just 30 minutes from the city, it makes sense to start your day trip here.
There’s no lunch menu, but Stone & Crow cheese is made on site and available to purchase, alongside other locally-sourced charcuterie options.
In summer, there’s an outdoor pop-up cinema and Sunday picnics. Dogs are welcome every day of the week.