Coombe Yarra Valley – Coombe Farm Wines
The estate-grown wine brand of Coombe Yarra Valley – the historic property of legendary opera singer Dame Nellie Melba.
Coombe Farm’s wines are produced entirely from fruit grown on the estate vineyards. They are handcrafted in small volumes from fruit deemed to be the best of the vintage, the balance being sold to some of Australia’s most recognised, premium wine producers.
Coombe Farm flagships include the sparkling ‘Nellie Melba’ Blanc de blanc and the Estate Pinot Noir & Chardonnay – all popular, high-scoring and regular trophy & medal winners.
Coombe Farm has a FIVE STAR James Halliday rating.
Sixty hectares of vines surround the Maroondah Highway and St Huberts Rd, at the southern gateway to the Yarra Valley. The hills of Mt Mary are planted predominantly to Pinot noir, but now also Shiraz, Pinot gris and a selection of Bordeaux varieties. The hill provides a variety of aspects and excellent ventilation, meaning the site is a consistent and reliable one, even in the most difficult years. The low-lying vineyards are cooler and as such, excellent sites for a range of Chardonnay clones for both sparkling and table wines; and ideal for the elegant later ripening red wines (Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot) for which the Yarra Valley has been recognised.
Wines can be tasted & enjoyed at the beautiful new hospitality destination – Coombe – The Melba Estate in Coldstream.
Coombe Yarra Valley is one of the Yarra Valley’s largest and oldest family estates. Once the home of Dame Nellie Melba, the property is still owned and operated by her descendants, the Vestey family.
The estate’s 60 hectares of Coldstream vineyards were established in 1998, on the site of some of Australia’s original plantings by Hubert de Castella in the mid-late 1800’s.
Melba’s father, prominent businessman, builder & vigneron, David Mitchell, owned and operated the historic St Huberts winery and vineyards in the early1900’s and 550 acres remains part of the family estate as Coombe Farm.
The current vineyards were planted under the supervision of Pamela, Lady Vestey, Melba’s grand-daughter with the initial intent being a commercial vineyard to supply ultra-premium, cool-climate wine grapes to local wine producers.
The first wine made under the Coombe Farm label was a Pinot Noir in 2002. The original ‘Farm’ cellar door was established in 2007. A full-time winemaker, Nicole Esdaile was employed in 2011 and since then the range has expanded to include over 12 different wines, all made from estate grown fruit. Approximately 30% of the fruit grown on the estate is selected for Coombe Farm wines but as the fruit is much sought after, the balance supplies many of Australia’s top wine brands.
The opening of Coombe – The Melba Estate in 2014, now the location of Coombe Farm’s Cellar Door has introduced tens of thousands of visitors to Coombe Farm wines, helping establish Coombe Yarra Valley as one of the most significant Yarra Valley wine producers.
Pamela, Lady Vestey was Dame Nellie Melba’s granddaughter and resided at Coombe Cottage for almost 40 years until her passing in 2011. In 1998 she oversaw the re-establishment of vineyards on the Coombe Farm site where her great-grandfather David Mitchell had made wine almost a century before. The Coombe Yarra Valley estate is still owned and operated by her sons Lord Samuel and Hon.Mark Vestey.
The vineyard was planted and is still managed by Coombe Farm Vineyard Manager Xavier Mende. Xavier lives on the property with his family; has an innate ‘feel’ for and understanding the vines he has grown; is an integral part of the wine production team; and his operational abilities highly regarded by the winemakers with whom he deals.
Coombe Farm wines are handcrafted from the very best fruit that the estate vineyards produce. They are classically varietal, regionally expressive, elegantly fresh and deliciously tasty.
Rated as a FIVE STAR winery by James Halliday in 2014 and 2015 and one of his ‘Dark Horses’ in 2014, Coombe Farm’s wines have become some of the Valley’s most consistent performers.
Each range within the Coombe Farm portfolio (POLO, Estate and Tribute) is produced from the estate vineyards. They are styled and blended to cater for a wide range of tastes and price-points.
The POLO range of wines includes a hugely popular Sparkling ‘Pink Fizz’ Pinot Noir for fun and freshness, an unoaked Chardonnay and when not sold out, a very quaffable Merlot blend.
The Estate or Coombe Farm wines are stylish, elegant and consistently excellent wines made from traditional regional varieties, from sites identified as the best the vineyard produces and aged in fine oak when appropriate. These wines tell the ‘Coombe Farm’ story, with each wine showing the nuances of the vintage. They are made to enjoy on purchase, but will also develop well in the cellar for 5-10 years. Chardonnay, Pinot Noir and Cabernet Blends are regular recipients of 94+ scores and silver & gold Show medals.
The new Tribute Series of wines are special blends of barrels selected during the winemaking process as able to ‘stand alone’, too good or too interesting to be lost in the larger Estate blend. They are not made every year, only when the blend is deemed good or interesting enough. They are not necessarily better – its is more about personality – but they are often released with several years of bottle age for added complexity. Each is named in honour of the Melba and Vestey forefathers. The ‘Nellie Melba’ Blanc de blancs sparkling wine has been made every year since 2009 (except 2010) and is a regular winner of Trophies and Gold Medals at regional and National wine shows.
One of the few Yarra Valley wineries to produce a Dessert wine – the Coombe Farm Noble Viognier, made only when conditions are right, is a delicious complement to the range.