Published 9 December 2019
Rayner’s Orchards actually grows more than 450 varieties of fruits and, on any day in the year, there are at least eight different varieties to try – BUT – in the summer the fruits on offer explodes in a joyful array of juicy goodness.
The stonefuits are ripening right now and if you’ve never tried an aprium you’re in luck. The apricot harvest has started with abundant fruits, and the plum season (which runs until May) has every ‘colour of the rainbow’ plums (on tasting from Dec 20) - from black to yellow and all the shades in between! And for a special surprise for Valentine’s Day there will be pluots – a heart shaped plum-apricot cross.
Also ripe and ready during summer (in addition to apricots, plums, pluots and apriums) are peaches and clingstone peaches, nectarines, figs, plumcots and currants. A rainbow of stonefruits. Plumcots, donut peaches, nectaplumsand peachcots might sound a little strange but these hybrid fruits are not only unique they are supremely tasty too. Fruit platters will never be the same. Summer is also about tomatoes and miniature pumpkins and who can forget berries… all ready for picking and eating.
So what’s the best way to sample and savour summertime?
The answer is there are many!
- Tractor guided tours where you can sample at least 8-12 varieties of fruit (and more as the season ripens), with loads of useful farming info direct from the farmer (wheelchair accessible)
- Pick your own (only available on a tractor tour)
- Enjoy a bottling workshop and take your preserved fruits home
- Enjoy homemade and farm style fruity dishes in the café or on a picnic with the seasonally inspired menu – ice cream sundaes are a must
- Purchase a variety of fruits direct from the orchard shop, which also stocks an interesting range of fruity gifts and items including local beer and wine and Rayner’s famous Christmas treat – the Lily Pilli liqueur
- Visit the nursery and take home your own fruit trees for your garden
- Look out for range of special events on the Rayner’s Orchard website including the Fruits of the Yarra Valley Festival on 15&16 February
Fruit Taste Adventure Tours are running every day of the week, from 9am to 3pm. The trailers are covered so they can go out in all conditions. A tour lasts about an hour and there’s room for everyone (150 seats over 5 trailers). Fruit is grown with a minimum of chemical sprays and a real consideration to the environment.
Adult: $32.50 pp
Seniors & Children (5 yrs and under free): $27.50 pp
Family Group (4 +) all @ kids prices: $27.50 pp