The picturesque Pialligo Estate sprawls across the banks of Canberra’s Molonglo River. Since 1824, the four thousand acres of land has been lovingly farmed and been a proud supplier of some of the ACT’s finest produce. Taking advantage of the rich, natural stores and the fertile river flats, the estate yields a variety of goods. From the orchards that grow heirloom varieties of peaches, nectarines, apples, pomegranates and plums, to the olive grove that produces award-winning Extra Virgin Olive Oil, vegetables and organic produce from the market garden, as well as the vineyard that dates back to the 1840s, the bounty of the Pialligo Estate is endless.
Pialligo Estate’s food offering begins at the Smokehouse, the award-winning farmhouse. This element of the estate is famed for its use of distinctive northern European cooking techniques that use smoke to bring out various flavours in the ingredients. Produce is cooked over charcoal and wood to create an earthy tone in hallmark products like smoked hams, salmon, chorizo sausage and bacon.
Produce from the Smokehouse and the estate’s gardens are placed on centre stage at the Garden Pavilions, where the dining experience truly comes to life. The rustic wooden gazebos are blissfully isolated and enjoy an uninterrupted view from three open sides. Here you’ll be able to graze the a la carte menu from the estate’s culinary delights in the privacy of your own secluded hut.
Pialligo Estate’s culinary team is managed by Jan Gundlach, who leads with the philosophy of farm to table, and the community’s place in this process. The menu is heavily influenced by the rhythm of the season and is inspired by the vintages produced on the estate. As such, freshness is at its core, with dishes like Kingfish Ceviche with apple and compressed pear, or Heirloom Beetroots with hand-picked artichokes and goat’s fetta, setting a fresh start to the meal. Offerings from the paddock like Flatiron Steak with béarnaise sauce, or from the ocean like the Line Caught Mooloolaba Tuna, are sure pleasers. Hand-made pasta and gnocchi also grace the menu, topped with a Slow-Roasted Wagyu Bolognese Sauce, or King Mushrooms with mascarpone and herbs from the kitchen garden.
Wine produced on the estate and sourced from beyond by the resident sommeliers match beautifully with the food offerings from Smokehouse and the Garden Pavilions. Drops from the estate include a citrusy riesling, a light sangiovese, rich merlot and a fruity shiraz that showcase the distinctive character of Canberra’s cool climate winemaking conditions. Each bottle can be purchased from the farm shop, so you can take a sample or two home with you.
Pialligo Estate is also home to Glasshouse – a stunning event space as well as a cooking academy, where guests will learn from the masters the ins and outs of the Smokehouse’s approach to cooking. Everything from food to wine and horticulture in the area is covered, so you can enter a novice and leave an expert.