Cherry growers of the Warburton and Yarra Valley enjoy rich soils and a temperate climate in order to grow the best cherries for you to enjoy.
Different varieties are grafted onto a rootstock in the orchard and most growers will have at least ten varieties that will mature at different times throughout the season.
Each week at least one variety will be ready for picking, and each variety has its own characteristic flavour and texture, even white and sour varieties are sometimes available.
The region boasts many U-Pick cherry orchards, where you can go with friends and family and pick your own fresh cherries straight from the tree. Visitors should look for cherries that are firm, bright and shiny with fresh green stems. Ask if you can sample some of the different varieties to work out which ones are your favourite.
Most people are amazed by the size of the cherries you can pick from the orchards of the Yarra Valley. They are sure to beat anything you can buy in the supermarket for size and flavour.
It pays to call before you visit to make sure you arrive when the orchards are open and the cherries ready for picking.
Group and coach visits are usually welcomed but ring ahead to check and book.
In the month of September the orchards of the Warburton and Yarra Valley are a mass of colour as the cherry trees come to life after the winter months. The cherry blossom signifies the arrival of Spring.
This is also a special time for the Japanese, who celebrate Hanami, which means 'watching the flowers' and is a famous annual Japanese tradition to celebrate with a picnic under the 'sakura' cherry blossom trees, as they are called in Japan. Look out for orchards hosting blossom events throughout this period.
The cherry season begins in most areas about the first or second week of November and continues through until mid-January. Peak season is in the weeks leading up to Christmas. In Australia, cherries have a strong connection with the Christmas table and are common treats and gifts during the festive season.