I’ve always loved Italian wines, they have a savoury quality to them that goes so well with food. 

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. In Piedmont, the Barolo and white truffles feature. I’m keen to explore the region of Puglia next – it’s different again. I love the way the regions vary so much in their specialties.

leanne de bortoli, chai yarra valley ciao, Italian wine, barrel room

In Italy, they just get it. They appreciate the best, and life revolves around freshness, flavour and family. Wine is such an accepted and anticipated part of a meal. There isn’t any pretense. There are wonderful wines, but just as often you will find the family made wine, grown and pressed by Nonno and Nonna and served in a tumbler.

The Italian way is simple and genuine. The abundant platters of food, the many bottles of wine, there would never be one without the other. There is great respect for wine, as there is for food.  A pasta should always have a Sangiovese! It’s a way of life.

It’s wonderful that people are curious about trying new styles of wine and I think this is where the Italian varietals are of great interest. People travel overseas and have memorable experiences with food and wine, so finding those wines locally made back in Australia is met with great enthusiasm. Who hasn't been to Tuscany and washed down the local food with a glass of Chianti!

At the De Bortoli Cellar Door we encourage people to experiment. We enjoy educating people about new wines, and a tasting is a great way to establish what people like, and guide them to new styles.  Our Nebbiolo Rose (under the Vinoque label) is well regarded – I often call it a ‘grown-ups’ rose, as its pale, dry, savoury qualities mean it is approachable for even the most insistent red drinker.

A tasting of our Nebbiolo Rose, Fiano e Greco and Sangiovese are a great place to start exploring Italian wines during Ciao Yarra Valley Ciao. And you can also join us for un pranzo Italiano (an Italian lunch) in our restaurant Locale for an authentic Italian experience.

Leanne De Bortoli, De Bortoli Wines