De Bortoli Yarra Valley Estate
58 Pinnacle Ln, Dixons Creek
03 5965 2271
There aren’t many Australian wineries that have been family owned and operated for four generations. At De Bortoli, a passing of the bottle takes place each time the next generation is ready to learn the family trade.
Vittorio De Bortoli immigrated to Australia in 1924. He worked on a farm before se ing up a vineyard in Bilbul, New South Wales, where the hot sun and warm climate was a world away from his home at the foothills of the Italian Alps. When Vittorio crushed his first 15 tonnes of black shiraz grapes in 1928, the 24 year old couldn’t have imagined that this was the start of one of Australia’s most prominent winemaking dynasties.
As the De Bortoli family grew, so did the selection of wines and vineyards. In 1987 Vittorio’s granddaughter, Leanne, and her husband, Steve Webber, established the De Bortoli Yarra Valley Winery, with a cellar door and restaurant following soon after. The estate has north, south, east and west aspects, allowing them to grow an incredible variety of wines from pinot gris and chardonnay to pinot noir and sangiovese. De Bortoli is also famous for its Noble One dessert wine, still produced in New South Wales.
Alongside Steve, who is the estate’s chief winemaker, is a team of dedicated wine aficionados. Among these is Sarah Fagan, the award-winning winemaker who worked her way up the De Bortoli ranks, starting as a cellar hand in 2003 before moving up to winemaker in 2005. Sarah was recognised as the Gourmet Traveller Young Winemaker of the Year in 2009, so you can rest assured that a vintage under Sarah’s watchful eye is one worth trying.
Overlooking the slopes of the vineyard is Locale – a restaurant that showcases culinary delights and reflects the family’s Italian heritage. At Locale you are literally welcomed into the De Bortoli family – the modern, light- lled space features family photos throughout.
Leading the culinary charge is Adam Mead. His career started in Queensland and continued throughout Europe, where he picked up tips from some of the world’s best chefs. At the famous Il Marchesino restaurant in Milan, Adam honed his risotto and pasta-making skills. These traditional Italian skills made him the perfect candidate for the De Bortoli’s rst restaurant.
At Locale Adam draws on Italian traditions, using fresh, seasonal produce that leaves diners with a lasting impression of the Yarra Valley. As the menu showcases plenty of produce from the Estate’s kitchen garden, the offerings are constantly changing, but you’ll always be treated to home-style Italian fare.
A favourite is the traditional panzanella, a heirloom tomato salad with croutons, basil, anchovies, capers and preserved lemon. There’s also a gnocchi con ragu with slow-cooked pork shoulder, fennel, chilli and pecorino. Larger dishes include a roast lamb shoulder with semi-dried tomatoes, zucchini, yoghurt dressing and salsa verde. With De Bortoli’s wide selection of wines you’ll be sure to nd the perfect drop to match your meal.
If you’re crazy about cheese then you can’t go past a visit to the cheese room. You’ll find cheese plates to accompany your wine tastings and great deals on specialty matured cheese to take home with you.
When the cool weather sets in, On the Vine cooking demonstrations showcase Yarra Valley produce. You’ll take home the knowledge to re-create the meal, and you won’t have to look far to find a perfectly matched bottle of wine.
At De Bortoli, you can expect nothing but the best Italian wines, food and hospitality.