MELBOURNE | Balgownie Estate Yarra Valley is winery, hotel, and restaurant that I’ve been to a few times in the past. A kitchen fire destroyed the restaurant in 2020, which was rebuilt and renovated. Along with the new dining and tasting room, Balgownie used the opportunity to refresh their accommodation, which launched in Spring this year. I was recently invited to check out the new incarnation, designed by ZWEI Interiors and Architecture.
Located off Melba Highway in Yarra Glen, about a five minute drive from the centre of town, Balgownie Estate is well located for those looking for a base from which to explore the Yarra Valley. Healesville is an 18 minute drive away, and there are no shortage of wineries, artisan producers of things like chocolate and cheese in the area.
Balgownie Estate Yarra Valley has 70 accommodation rooms and suites. The Garden Terrace and Standard Queen room are a great option for those looking for a base from which to explore the area, which the larger suites, with view of the Yarra Valley, are perfect for those looking for something more luxurious. I stayed in one of the Premier Corner Suites.
Rooms are clean and modern with white and neutral tones, natural materials, and floor to ceiling windows. The open-plan main room features a small dining table, couches and coffee table, and a furnished balcony. It’s a much brighter, modern affair than before.
Each suite includes a small kitchenette with kitchenware, Nespresso pod coffee machine, and a kettle. There’s a 55-inch smart TV in the main room, and a 43-inch smart TV in the bedroom. You can stream from your own devices to both.
Suites feature a king-size bed, with both the bed and the pillows being firm but comfortable. There’s an in-room safe, iron, and ironing board. The bathroom impresses, with a large ‘wet zone, featuring a rain shower and bathtub. There’s the usual selection of bathroom accessories, and toiletries by Mr. Smith.
There’s free Wi-Fi in all rooms (and throughout the hotel), and multiple Australian standard power outlets.
Amenities include and indoor heated pool, steam room and gym. They’re available for all guests, along with the offer of 10% off wine purchases from the cellar door during your stay.
There’s free parking for guests, located directly next to the rooms.
Eat & Drink
The kitchen at the newly renovated Restaurant 1309 is headed up by Irish chef Aidan Gallagher. The basic layout is the same as before but, like the rooms, it’s a much more modern look which feels fresh. The menu champions seasonal Victorian produce, with a wine list that showcases Balgownie’s extensive range of wines.
Local burrata and heirloom tomato salad is topped with Yarra Valley Dairy goats cheese foam, salute olive oil, dehydrated black olive, and basil gel. It pairs well with Balgownie’s 2022 Black Label Pinot Gris. For something larger, go for the 250g ‘Southern Ranges’ MB4 porterhouse. It’s served with crushed sweet potato, wilted greens, charred shallots, pickled garlic shoot and herb butter. Grab a side of the excellent duck fat potatoes, which have carried over from the old menu, and pair it with the 2015 Balgownie’s Old Vine Shiraz.
The in-room dining menu features options like grazing plates, pizzas, and sweet treats. For breakfast, it’s a continental style buffet with hot and cold things like bacon and eggs, cereal and fruit.
Balgownie Estate Yarra Valley
1309 Melba Highway