By Jacqueline Alanne
January 15, 2021 | 5 minute read
As another Spring in Australia looms, and rubber-armed Australians continue to affirm Prosecco’s place on Australian wine lists, we explore a region where The Italian Spirit feels right at home – The King Valley. With very generous opening hours across the board, if you’ve got the stamina for multiple Prosecco pitstops, there’s no reason you can’t fit these all into a weekend…
* At the time of writing, activities and places mentioned in this guide are at varying stages of recovery from COVID-19. Please check government and business websites for specific details on opening times and any restrictions before you travel.
From Sicily to sunny Aus, Politini Wines is a great place to begin your Italian Australian adventure. Owner Salvatore learned the ropes by watching his father work the vines under the Sicilian sun. Reflective of his origins, the Politini range specialises in Italian varietals, and includes a Prosecco, Pinot Grigio, Vermentino, Greciano, Rosato DiNero, Sangiovese, and Nero D’Avola … just to name a few. Beyond molto buono wines, Politini offer accommodation and a range of Sicilian Cooking classes, from Cannoli making, to salami and Salsicce creation! Eat, drink, enjoy.
Another true family business, founders Alfredo and Katrina Pizzini planted their first vines in 1978. Today, joined by their four children, Pizzini is a modern landmark of the King Valley, championing a range of Italian varietals and building a one-stop shop for the Italian experience.
Head to the Experiences tab on their website to uncover which adventure ‘sounds just like me!' – from Girls Trekking Adventures, to Prosecco tasting experiences. Visit their King Valley home to taste a wide range of Italian whites you may never have heard of before (including Arneis and Verduzzo), and plan your weekender around a visit to Katrina’s A Tavola cooking school.
Just winning Halliday’s 2020 ‘Dark Horse Winery of the Year’, there’s no denying Dal Zotto have more tricks up their sleeve. With their Prosecco, Nebbiolo, Arneis and Fiano all smacking 94-95 points from Halliday, you’ll want to take the time.
Make a day of it and take in their sweeping lawns and bocce pitch, full winery, cellar door, and last but not least… Trattoria. Open Thursday to Sunday for lunch (and Friyay for dinner), the Tratt takes you on a journey through Antipasti, cheese, and pizza, to more substantial, seasonal Secondi, and an unforgettable Dolci selection.
The Italian adventures continue…While the craze of natural and minimal intervention wines cycles through again, the reality is, natural farming is essentially old school farming re-branded. The Corsini family are all about tradition, and bringing beloved Italian varietals to modern Australia, including Pinot Grigio, Dolcetto, Sangiovese, and (my personal favourites) Barbera and Nebbiolo.
La Cantina’s winery is built in a traditional Tuscan style, and their humble labels are quintessentially Italian. Take a few favourites homes and your friends will be convinced the bottles came straight from the motherland!
Which came first, the Brown Brothers, or the Kings Valley? Either way, no visit to the Kings would be complete without a trip to the big BB. A member of Australia’s First Families of Wine, even if their wines aren’t your cup of tea, you’re bound to learn something.
Their Patricia’s Table fine dining restaurant is certainly worth a look. Book in for two or three courses, and let Head Chef Bodee Price show you just how magical modern Australian cuisine can be.
You won’t miss it! Spottable by its 40-foot tower that draws light into their cellar door, Sam Miranda wines is a striking space, and home to a cellar door and restaurant nestled between the vines. Judging by the range of varietals on offer, winemaker Sam seems to have a lot of fun in the winery.
Get your hands on a Pinot Noir, continue your Prosecco pilgrimage, or move onto a juicy Sparkling Shiraz Durif…With an extensive menu ranging from small plates to mains, there’s something no matter the time of day.
Since 1996, Chrismont have been growing their own fruit to produce estate wines in an overall European style. The cellar door really is quite spectacular. As well as cracking wine country views, Chrismont offers tasting for Italian varietals such as Pinot Grigio, Prosecco, Fiano and Sangiovese, as well as Tempranillo and other European varietals that are securing a strong foothold in the Australian market.
A restaurant and larder with sweeping views heroes Northern Italian fare – perhaps the perfect Sunday lunch when you’re in need of comfort food? On the way out, pop through the larder to load up on the fanciest driving snacks you’ve ever had the pleasure of munching!
Whether it was on your radar for it’s Prosecco, or you didn’t know of it at all, nestled in the Kings, there’s really a wine and a venue for every taste and occasion.
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