I first tried pasta at a local Italian restaurant in my hometown in Germany when I seven years old, and I thought it was the best thing ever!
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My passion for Italian cheese started many years ago when I was travelling around Northern Italy in my campervan. I couldn’t believe the bite and complexity of the pecorino, and the way parmesan matured over time. The way Italians serve cheese is so appealing.
A sense of generosity and hospitality is part of the Italian way and an integral part of the Yarra Valley. Italian heritage is in our produce, our wines and in our major tourism offerings. We will have one of Australia’s most highly regarded pasta makers Joel Valvasori-Pereza make a special guest appearance at Oakridge for our ‘Lulu La Delizia’ dinner.
My grandparents on both side of my family are Italian so I grew up with the Italian customs and way of life. The De Bortoli family comes from the Veneto region of northern Italy, north-west of Venice, at the foothills of the Dolomite Mountains. In Veneto, there is much love for gnocchi and risottos washed down with the local wine.
“The wine growing area of the Yarra Valley reminds me of the wine region between Florence and Sienna in Italy. The topography and aspects of the climate are very similar. There are rolling hills, and both wet and dry conditions during the year. It’s not crazy cold and the soil provides a similarly rich environment,” says Dino Giammarino, winemaker at Giammarino Wines. “These are great conditions for Nebbiolo, Sangiovese, Montepulciano and Fiano – Italian varietals that I am passionate about introducing to more people in Australia. I make all my wines from my heart.
A glass of Rochford Pinot Noir with a Margherita pizza – that’s my preference. The two make perfect companions. The simplicity of the combination is the reason why it’s so good. A quality cheese, fresh basil, the wine. It’s what Italian food is all about.
My passion is to see people enjoy pasta with a smile on their face. Simplicity and abundance are words I use often when I talk about ways to eat fresh pasta. I believe the pasta should be the hero. Simple accompaniments like a quality olive oil, fresh herbs from the garden, a grating of good parmesan. Let the ingredients speak.
The best of Italian cinema comes to the Healesville Memo and the Warburton Arts Centre with a program of four handpicked Italian cinematic releases that showcase the breadth of Italian film making mastery.
Reading aloud in Italian brings the language to life. Italian Family Storytime will be a chance ot listen to familiar stories told in Italian.
It’s official Australia’s best new sparkling wine lives in Melbourne’s stunning Yarra Valley.