Shortest Lunch – Winery Profile – Whispering Hills – by Denise McCann

A philosophy of Murray and Marie Lyons
Owners of Whispering Hills Vineyard

Located in Victoria’s picturesque countryside just an hour from Melbourne’s CBD, Whispering Hills is the ideal spot to spend a relaxing afternoon. Family owned and run, owners Murray & Marie Lyons are passionate about all things food and wine related.

Established in 1985, Whispering Hills is a beautiful 10 acre property nestled in a natural amphitheatre above the township of Seville in the Yarra Valley. There are 8.5 acres under vine planted with Riesling, Chardonnay, Pinot Noir, Cabernet Sauvignon and Shiraz.

Murray’s winemaking journey began in the Mornington Peninsula and Bendigo, where the famous Cambrian soil arguably produces some of the best Shirazes in Australia. As a result of this pedigree, Whispering Hills also produces a beautiful Shiraz with fruit sourced from Bendigo. Yields are tightly controlled to enhance quality and the wines are only released in small quantities.

The Cellar Door, a converted logging truck shed, is where you’ll be introduced to Murray and Marie’s brand of exceptional country hospitality. You can relax and take the time to chat and sample the wines all within metres of the vineyard. In winter, you can warm up by the open fire while enjoying Marie’s famous sourdough bread and pizzas produced in their unique 13 tonne wood-fired oven. Oh and did someone say cheese??!!


Shortest Lunch – Winery Profile – Steels Creek Estate – by Denise McCann

Joanne and Simon Peirce
Owners & Winemakers of a hidden gem in the Yarra Valley

Simon established Steels Creek Estate in 1981. The 20 acre property is situated in the picturesque Steels Creek Valley (located about 10km north of Yarra Glen) with sweeping views towards Kinglake National Park and Mount Slide. It is home to 5 acres of 35-year-old vines set amongst this beautiful landscape.

Premium cool climate wines are produced from estate grown fruit at Yarra Valley’s smallest 5 star Winery. The low cropped fruit is handpicked and processed in small batches adopting wild yeast ferments with minimal intervention.

“With such a small amount of fruit Simon makes each of his wines as a straight varietal so wine lovers can identify and enjoy the characteristics that each grape type delivers” says Joanne

Shortest Lunch – Winery Profile – Yering Farm Wines – by Denise McCann

Vicki and Alan Johns,
Owners of Yering Farm Wines

Five Generations of Orchardists turned Viticulturists & Winemakers

Yering Farm is steeped in history, for its location and for the vines this site was originally known for. It is located on the original site of the Yeringa Vineyard once owned by the Deschamps family back in the 1800’s.

As fifth generation Orchardists, the Johns family resurrected the property in 1980. The old hay shed was transformed into the charming rustic Cellar Door that you can visit today, complete with the original “Yeringa Vineyard” sign adorning the entrance.

The whole property exudes charm, with commanding views of the Yarra Valley: perfect to linger with a bottle of wine and the Yering Farm “Pruner’s Platter” by the fire or out on the large verandah.

The replanting of grapevines began in 1989 and to this day, all Yering Farm wines are still produced on site from estate grown fruit with the sole focus being to produce high quality, low yielding, hand picked grapes.

Shortest Lunch – Winery Profile – Payne’s Rise – by Denise McCann

Meet Narelle and Tim Cullen

Owners and Winemakers at Payne’s Rise

Payne’s Rise is a family owned, boutique winery located in the beautiful township of Seville in the Yarra Valley. Specialising in small batch wines produced from carefully selected fruit from their vineyard Tim and Narelle with their two lovely kids, Brody and Jed bring passion and commitment to the historical surrounds of Seville.


Tim, Brody & Jed with the team
Tim, Brody & Jed with the team
Historic and rustic Cellar Door
Historic and rustic Cellar Door











The incredibly inviting cellar door is incorporated into the 1860′s homestead and property of Seville’s first settler, Thomas Payne. Mr Payne was granted the allotment in Seville on the 18th February 1867. Before settling in Seville, Mr Payne worked in the goldfields and building trades, mastering the skills of lath plastering and the like. These skills were applied to the construction of his lath and plaster home overlooking the valleys of Seville and Wandin.

 Shortest Lunch – Winery Profile – Five Oaks Vineyard – by Denise McCann

Wally and Judy Zuk, Owners and Winemakers of Five Oaks Vineyard are quintessential over-achievers!

Wally, a born and bred Canadian from Quebec, graduated with a PhD in Nuclear Physics from Queens University in Kingston in eastern Ontario and Judy, an Australian who had the guts to go travelling in her early 20s and found her niche in Canada, achieved her Law degree from Carleton University in Ottawa, which is where she met Wally.

Since releasing their first wine, a 1995 Cabernet Merlot, Judy and Wally’s wines have earned over 90 awards at National and International wine competitions and they export wines to Canada, Macau, Hong Kong and Greater China.

Which for a rocket scientist and “Gentleman Winemaker” ain’t too bad at all!

Shortest Lunch - Winery Profile - Five Oaks Vineyard
One of the five Oak Trees

Judy and Wally will celebrate their 50th wedding anniversary later this year! A true achievement in today’s fast paced society!

As mentioned, Wally and Judy arrived in Canberra in 1968 where Wally was a visiting Research Fellow in Nuclear Physics at the Australian National University. It was there that Wally was introduced to Australian wines, which started an interest that subsequently became his passion.

Judy and Wally returned to Canada for twenty years but interest in Australian wines continued to grow, fuelled by numerous trips back to Australia while visiting Judy’s family.


Shortest Lunch 18 & 19 June 2016 - Winery Profile - Seville Hill
John D’Aloisio, Owner & Winemaker, Seville Hill

Shortest Lunch – Winery Profile – Seville Hill – by Denise McCann

The D’Aloisio family has been involved in the agricultural heritage of the Yarra Valley since the late 1960’s: from growing strawberries in the Wandin area to managing orchards of cherries, peaches, nectarine, plums and apples and finally turning to vineyards in 1991.

John and Josie D’Aloisio purchased the 43 acre property that is known as Seville Hill in 1985 and since 2004 the Shortest Lunch has turned into a tradition at Seville Hill.

We’re now into the seventeenth year of this festival and we have worked hard to keep a highly-personal and casual atmosphere to the Shortest Lunch, giving wine lovers the chance to get up close to our working wineries and to understand the passion behind what we do” says John.

Shortest Lunch 18 & 19 June 2016 - Winery Profile - Seville Hill
Up the dirt track to Seville Hill Cellar Door

From initial vintages that focused on elegant, fruit driven reds, recent years has seen the introduction of whites, dessert styles and Sparkling Wines. Not afraid to stretch the palette,

Some of the best things in life come in small packages!

Yarra Valley Smaller Wineries are celebrating the virtue of smaller things with the Shortest Lunch over the shortest weekend of the year on Saturday 18 and Sunday 19 June, with small tastes, bites and sips of the region’s best boutique wines.

Wine and food lovers can celebrate this year’s winter solstice as they progress from one winery to another sampling a series of small serves, without the hustle and bustle of other wine festivals.

Fifteen Yarra Valley Smaller Wineries will open their winery gates, cellar doors and sheds, pouring their wine to visitors over the weekend who purchase a Shortest Lunch souvenir glass available at all participating wineries for just $15.

Seville Hill owner and winemaker, John D’Aloisio says the Shortest Lunch is a great way to meet the people behind the wines and explore some of the lesser-known winery pockets of the Yarra Valley.

“The Shortest Lunch is a family-friendly and relaxed festival, giving people the opportunity to access some of the region’s best wines directly from the makers,” says John.

“We’re now into the seventeenth year of this festival and we have worked hard to keep a highly-personal and casual atmosphere to the Shortest Lunch, giving wine lovers the chance to get up close to our working wineries and to understand the passion behind what we do.”

Shortest Lunch wineries include established names like Seville Estate, Millers Dixons Creek, Yering Farm, Steels Creek Estate, Whispering Hills and Five Oaks Wines as well as some newer Yarra Valley wineries, like Warramunda, Payne’s Rise, Brumfield Winery and Boat O’Craigo.

Menu items include tasty treats such as, Nonna’s pan seared soft homemade ricotta gnocchi at Billanook Estate, slow braised five spiced beef brisket at Elmswood Estate, Calabrian style risotto at Killara Estate and old-school bread and butter pudding at Wild Cattle Creek.

“All the wineries participating in the Shortest Lunch work together to offer something different at each venue, allowing people to plan their day from appetiser to dessert and encouraging people to experience three to four wineries each day,” says John.

Festival-goers can plan their day by accessing the menu and map of participating wineries in the festival brochure available at tourist information centres, hotels, B&Bs and wineries or on the website,

Make the most of the shortest weekend by staying overnight in the Yarra Valley and enjoying the festival over both days.

Yarra Valley Smaller Wineries donate nett sales from Shortest Lunch entry fees to the local Country Fire Association and encourage safe driving and responsible drinking over the festival weekend.

Dusty of Miller Dixons Creek Estate would love to see you!

Stretch your legs with Dusty at the Shortest Lunch Festival Yarra Valley

Event information:

Yarra Valley Smaller Wineries Shortest Lunch

  • Saturday, 18 and Sunday, 19 June 2016, 10am to 5pm.
  • Entry $15 per person and includes souvenir glass, payable at any participating winery.
  • Small, entrée sized meals are available at each winery up to the value of $18.
  • All nett proceeds from entry fees go to the Country Fire Association.