Visit Australia's most traditional Italian wine region / Victoria
Tucked away in a quiet corner in the high country of northeast Victoria, the King Valley is a little slice of Italy Down Under. This region was once tobacco country, but over the past 30 years it has become renowned for producing wines made from alternative grape varieties, many of them crafted by Italian families who have lived in the region for generations and welcome you to their rustic cellar doors.
The preeminent winery names here include Pizzini, Dal Zotto and Chrismont, all of whom make Italian varieties like Sangiovese, Barbera and Nebbiolo. Family patriarch Otto Dal Zotto was born in Valdobbiadene in the Veneto, home of Italy's favourite sparkling wine, Prosecco and the Dal Zottos produced Australia's first commercial Prosecco. When you walk into Dal Zotto's cellar door you will usually be greeted by a family member – and may be invited to enjoy a game of bocce after your wine tasting.
On weekends, visitors flock to enjoy a traditional Italian meal at the Dal Zotto Trattoria, affectionately known as the Tratt, where "Nonna Elena" Dal Zotto creates antipasto combinations, delicious gnocchi dishes and hand-made pasta.
Experience … The surrounding region: King Valley is approximately a three hour's drive from Melbourne airport. In the region you will also find Pizzini Wines which has a cooking school called A Tavola! that can accommodate groups of 10. While 30 minutes away from King Valley is Brown Brothers Milawa cellar door. Here you can book a wine blending experience, take a tasting tour or dine at their restaurant, Patricia's table.
Paddock to plate in vineyards with a view / New South Wales
Hidden away at the end of a quiet country lane, minutes from Shoalhaven's finest beaches, Cupitt's Winery and The Vineyard Kitchen restaurant sits amoung picturesque vineyards, with outstanding views of Burrill Lake and Buawang mountain ranges. The restaurant offers the opportunity to dine on a working farm, sampling the bounty of fresh, seasonal produce including Black Angus cattle, vegetables and herbs grown in the kitchen garden or foraged from the pastures, and boutique cheese; all paired with Cupitt's award-winning handcrafted wine.
Indulge in a long, lazy lunch or a casual meal from the light menu and visit the winery's historic cellar door, tasting wines and talking to the winemakers. Make an appointment to tour the underground wine cave, sampling directly from the cuves and barrels. The property also hosts a number of food-focused events throughout the year, from Long Table Lunches to local growers markets, held on the grounds on the last Saturday of every month.
Experience … Stay the night: A short 15 minute drive from the winery you will find two luxury resorts, Rick Stein's Bannisters by the Sea and Bannister Pavillion, both located in the seaside town of Mollymook. Bannisters by the sea features 32 rooms and a seafood restaurant while Bannisters Pavillion has 33 rooms and a suspended rooftop pool.