What I remember about my time travelling in Italy is how friendly people are. You are treated like a brother or sister by everyone. That hospitality is part of the way of life, and it’s something we really bring to Graceburn as well – a cosy space, a rustic bar that feels like home.
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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 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.
We adore the slow lifestyle that is the Italian way. There is always time for sharing with others, for connecting and being part of village life. The rhythms of the seasons are celebrated in what feels like an endless series of festivals.
Italians love to eat gelato any time of the day, but it is particularly popular at 4pm in the afternoon as a‘pick me up’ to get them through to dinnertime. Italians also love gelato any time of the year. It’s not just a summer treat but enjoyed regardless of the season.
I just love seeing the 'a-ha!' moment when people realise how achievable vegan Italian really is.
Yarra Valley and Dandenong Ranges breakfast spots you’ll want to get out of bed for!
We have been taken to heart by the local Italian community and regularly host large family events. People of Italian heritage, and those who simply love the flavours and feel of Italian culture, all find their ‘home’ here.
I grew up on Pinot and have always appreciated its qualities – and I also love the Nebbiolo we are making here, which is a wonderful traditional wine with silky tannins. Italian wines tend to have a savoury quality to them and work so well with food. Perfect for the Italian way of eating – wholesome and rustic, and a highlight of the seasonal qualities of the region
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.