Located three hours north of Melbourne, the fertile lands and varied climate above the King River is home to some of the country’s leading Prosecco producers. With Wine Down Pop Up taking up residence in the King Valley and the return of the annual Feast High Country festival in May, autumn is the perfect time for a short break in the King Valley.
Inspired by his childhood in northern Italy’s town of Valdobbiadene, the godfather of Prosecco, Otto Dal Zotto, was the first to plant the sparkling Italian variety in the region in 1999. The family owned and operated winery, set amongst beautiful gum trees with views across to the Alpine mountains, features a cellar door and Trattoria with hero ingredients straight from family matriarch Nonna Elena’s garden. Dal Zotto Wines are hosting temporary hotel Wine Down Pop Up until June 3. 4861 Main Road, Whitfield, Victoria, 3733. (03) 5729 8321.
Visitors to Pizzini can experience a truly unique tasting when they visit Pizzini Wines. A member of Ultimate Winery Experiences Australia, Pizzini offer a range of personalised hands-on experiences to explore their range of Italian and French varietals, including wines paired with cheeses, tasting straight from the barrel and private Italian cooking school with Katrina Pizzini. Drop in for a taste or stay for a glass on the lawn while kids play with the Giant Jenga or Connect Four in the gardens. 175 King Valley Road, King Valley, Victoria, 3678. (03) 5729 8278.
Located at Oxley in the heart of the King Valley and Milawa Gourmet Region, Sam Miranda’s striking forty-foot light tower rising above the vineyards provides a beacon for travelling visitors. Entry through a subterranean passage leads to the cellar door, filled with natural light from the tower and access to the outdoor terrace. Taste rare wine varieties from Italy, Spain, France and Russia or take inspiration from the Mediterranean and relax on the terrace for coffee or a shared lunch. 1019 Snow Road, Oxley, Victoria, 3678. (03) 5727 3888.
King River Brewery is the odd one out on the famed King Valley Prosecco Road. Located in the heart of the sparkling region, King River Brewery produce 100% of beers in house with a taproom open on weekends. Along with their popular King Valley Kolsch, the certified independent microbrewery produces a range of seasonal beers, including a Fig Porter and Mabon Doppelbock – a dark lager with hints of bitter chocolate and roasted coffee. The rustic taproom is built inside the original tobacco kiln while an extensive beer garden surrounds the alfresco dining area. 4515 Wangaratta-Whitfield Road, King Valley, Victoria, 3678. (03) 5729 3604.
The Mountain View Hotel is a boutique gastro-pub situated in Whitfield - the heart of North East Victoria's King Valley wine region. Set amongst beautiful established gardens, and surrounded by Jessie's Creek, the Mountain View offers a unique experience with its modern, European influenced menu. The hotel is open seven days a week and has a large bar area and a beautiful beer garden. The hotel has multiple dining spaces and offers both pub classics plus an extended Italian influenced menu. The Mountain View offers modern and stylish accommodation, with four fully refurbished rooms adjacent to the hotel building and a golf course. 4 King Valley Road, Whitfield, Victoria, 3733. (03) 5729 8270.
Chrismont’s Cellar Door, Restaurant and Larder is located in the upper reaches of the King Valley and is an award-winning culinary centrepiece where visitors can experience wine tastings and casual lunch-time dining with a modern touch. The contemporary and sleek award-winning venue offers spectacular views across the King Valley and a space for visitors to indulge in and relax with a glass of wine or lunch. Chrismont also features elegant guesthouse accommodation set amongst the vines, making it an idyllic place to restore, relax and rejuvenate. 251 Upper King River Road, Cheshunt, Victoria, 3678. (03) 5729 8220.
One of the most established family-owned wine companies in Australia. Founded in 1889, Brown Brothers have established a reputation as an innovative producer, willing to experience with varieties. Located in the lower reaches of the King Valley, the Milawa vineyard grows the fruit source for renowned wines such as Patricia Noble Riesling, Shiraz Mondeuse and Cabernet and Dolcetto. Visitors can taste the complete range of Brown Brothers at the cellar door, including limited release and stay for lunch at the Epicurean Centre. 239 Milawa Bobinawarrah Road, Milawa, Victoria, 3678. (03) 5720 5500.
8. King River Estate
King River Estate was established in 1990 when the first traditional French varieties were planted on the property. The winery has since extended their range to include Prosecco, Pinot Grigio, Vermentino, Chardonnay, Merlot, Shiraz, Sangiovese, Barbera, Sagantino, Lagrein, Saperavi. Located directly across the road from the crystal-clear King River, the winery uses its rich natural resources and “old-world” minimal intervention techniques in the winemaking process, which uses wild yeast (natural ferments) allowing the wine to show its true personality. 3556 Wangaratta-Whitfield Road, Edi, Victoria, 3678. (03) 5729 3689.
Overlooking the upper reaches of the spectacular King Valley from their Chestnut property, Politini Wines produce small quantities of elegant, fruit-driven cool climate wines with a focus on Italian and Sicilian varieties, including heritage varieties Nero d'Avola and Grecanico. On-site accommodation - 'Casolare B&B' provides for an ideal short stay with a two-bedroom, self-contained little country house which sleeps up to four people. Politini offers Sicilian Cooking Experiences with Salami and Salsicce Making and Cannoli Making classes run from April to early September. 65 Upper King River Road, Cheshunt, Victoria, 3678. (03) 5729 8277.
Feast High Country showcases High Country’s talented chefs, makers, producers and brewers with a range of events and experiences across the region’s beautiful towns and villages from 3-19 May. The annual festival celebrates the region as a producer with more than 40 unique, intimate and creative ways to sample the High Country's bounty of delicious food, drink and fresh local produce. Dal Zotto Wines are hosting a Cocktails and Cicchetti lunch at the Trattoria and Pizzini will host a long lunch of food, wine and opera. Various locations.
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