A commitment to quality and a desire to make European wines in an Australian context sets Chrismont apart from the rest. The addition of a Cellar Door, Restaurant and Larder in 2015 means customers can taste and enjoy the food and wine on offer, all while taking in the amazing views of the King Valley.
Chrismont is the culmination of two generations of grape growing and winemaking experience. It remains a family business, with Arnie Pizzini and wife Jo heading operations at the expanding property. Arnie learnt his craft from his father, but also spent time working and learning in established wine regions throughout Australia and Italy. His heritage and years of experience in trialling and growing grapes from his family’s homeland led to a desire to create European-style wines in the King Valley. Since joining the team in 1999, Head Winemaker, Warren Pro , has worked together with Arnie to create every single bottle of wine under the Chrismont label.
Warren completed his studies at Charles Sturt University, before spending three years as a flying winemaker in Spain and throughout Australia. His innovative wine techniques are underpinned by an understanding of the cultural diversity of the global wine industry. Chrismont focuses on making wines that tell a story of the vineyard, the region and the people who grew the grapes. The two main vineyards in Cheshunt and Whitfield grow up to 20 varietals of grapes each season. This includes classic chardonnay, pinot gris, merlot and shiraz, as well as the more innovative arneis, sagrantino, marzemino and fragolino.
Try the flagship wine – a 2005 Il Ré Nebbiolo – in the modern Cellar Door, or pair it with seasonal Sicilian and northern Italian fare in the restaurant.
Both are housed in a state-of-the-art complex, specifically designed to bring a modern touch to a rustic landscape.
Jo and her cousin – Sicilian food specialist, Giovanna Jones – create the carefully designed meals for their 24-dish menu, with many served on ceramics made using clay from the property by designer, Sarah Schembri. The space itself matches the fare – door-to-ceiling panels present panoramic views of the region, while the spacious ‘floating’ balcony is the perfect spot to admire the vineyard while drinking the fruits of its vines.
Take a seat on the balcony to enjoy something small, like Arnie’s salami paired with asiago cheese, or oxtail in umido served with crusty polenta. Bigger plates include local chicken with golden raisins, pine nuts and vegetables; gnocchi with herb butter and walnuts and local lamb shoulder with peperonata and patate fritte. Once again, Chrismont wines are perfectly matched to the flavours on offer.
The property also features a larder for visitors to create their own antipasti or dessert plates at home, with a selection including Sicilian pickled melanzane, cumquats in syrup, chocolate spicy walnut biscotti, and sesame and pumpkin torrone. Best of all, between the two spaces, Chrismont offers all-day dining seven days a week, meaning there’s no bad time to pop by.
Chrismont offers a tranquil retreat for lovers of Australian and Mediterranean food and wine. The talented and dedicated staff fuse a talent and passion for contemporary winemaking with the individual style of the King Valley to create food and wine built on flavour, generosity and personality.