2022 “Discover Australia’s “Little Italy” – Luxury Italian Food & Wine Experience”
Another UNIQUE Cooking Passions “Small-Group” Food & Culture Experience
THE KING VALLEY (North East Victoria) – AUSTRALIA’S HOME OF ITALIAN WINE STYLES
Photo – www.winesofthekingvalley.com.au
Handmade Gnocchi from A Tavola Cooking School – www.winesofthekingvalley.com.au
Date: Thursday 06 October 2022 to Friday 14 October 2022
9 Days / 8 Nights
$AUD4,655 per person (Double or Twin Occupancy)
Single Supplement (Own Room) + $AUD1,795per person
– 2 FINAL PLACES REMAINING –
(Please contact us to be placed on our “Discover ‘Little Italy’ in Australia” Experience Waitlist for any place that may become available)
*ALL INCLUSIVE LAND CONTENT including 8 Nights Luxury Accommodations; Food & Wine Tastings & Experiences;
Coach Transport to Victoria’s High Country (ex-Melbourne); Hands-on Italian Cooking Class; Tour Photographer
(Please refer to Inclusions & Non-Inclusions List below)
Booking Deadline – 06 June 2022
If you aren’t quite ready to venture beyond Australia’s borders to explore our big wide world, then be transported to “Italy within Australia” tucked away in the foothills of Victoria’s majestic Alpine National Park – in North East Victoria.
Only a short 3 1/2 hour drive from Melbourne, Nico & Belinda of Cooking Passions Cooking School will introduce you to the magic of one of regional Australia’s best kept Food & Wine secrets where you will enjoy “la dolce vita” as if you were in Italy, by popping Prosecco; learning how to cook like a nonna & nonno; sipping a Sangiovese amongst spring vineyards; and exploring one of Australia’s hidden food & wine destinations.
Victoria’s “Little Italy” in the King Valley Wine Region is where you will experience its unique wine history and also indulge in meals at some of the region’s finest restaurants; visits to Victorian gourmet farm gate producers of unique Wine producers; Cheese Artisans, and regional Distillers; all while soaking in the serenity and beauty of Victoria’s Alpine High Country.
Our 9 Day/8 Night “Discover Australia’s “Little Italy” – Luxury Italian Food & Wine Experience” includes visits to:
King Valley Wine Region with its Italian wine heritage forged by generations of Italian migrant families who have created an exciting food and wine trail especially for lovers of sparkling Prosecco and Italian varietals such as Sangiovese and Pinot Grigio.
Rutherglen Wine Region and its 150 years of winemaking history to become acquainted with the region’s uniquely Australian pioneering varietals which produce signature wines such as Durif and its famed fortified muscat and topaques.
Alpine Valleys Wine Region and its spectacular sub-alpine scenery and cool climate wines set amongst the Ovens, Buffalo, Buckland and Kiewa Rivers. In common with its neighbour, King Valley, the area was once a centre for tobacco growing which attracted Italian migrants who also went on to planting Italian varietals suited to the area including Sangiovese, Barbera, Nebbiolo and Marzemino.
As well as enjoying some of the finest food & wine of regional Victoria, you will also have the opportunity to explore the beauty and magic of Victoria’s Alpine High Country including the picturesque village of Bright; stepping into the historical & architecturally rich towns of Beechworth and Glen Rowan in “Ned Kelly Country” one of Australia’s most iconic bush rangers; and watching the sunset over the surreal River Redgums frozen in time in Lake Mulwala on the mighty Murray River in picturesque Yarrawonga.
Cooking Passions “Small Group” Cuisine & Culture Journeys
Our bespoke Cuisine & Culture tours have been designed so that you can make the most of your precious time, as we have done all of the “behind the scenes” research to scope out the finest luxury hotels, local transfers, sights, restaurants, & excursions, so you don’t have too.
Each of our tours are designed so you can do as much or as little as you like, while allowing you plenty of free time to explore and immerse yourselves in the sights, shopping, relaxation and eating that YOU want to experience (we’ll be happy to provide suggestions and tips on some of our favourites from our previous trips). So all you have to do is book your preferred flight, pack a bag & a sense of adventure, and join us for an unforgettable and luxurious Australian Food & Wine experience!
LUXURY ACCOMMODATION – At some of regional Victoria’s unique luxury properties including Milawa & the King Valley’s newly renovated – Lancemore Boutique Hotel; the Murray River’s No.1 Golf & Lifestyle Resort – The Sebel Yarrawonga; and luxury townhouse accommodation set in the heart of Bright’s food, wine & distillery district – Art House Townhouses.
ITALIAN COOKING CLASS & UMBRIAN DINNER – Master the art of creating silky smooth fresh pasta and light as a cloud gnocchi at a Hands-on Italian cooking class experience at one of the King Valley’s premier cooking schools – A Tavola and enjoy an Umbrian Dinner with one of Australia’s most acclaimed regional chefs in Bright.
VICTORIAN HIGH COUNTRY FOOD & WINE – Home to the Rutherglen, Alpine Valleys, King Valley and Glenrowan Wine Regions, north-east Victoria has rich, fertile soils, clean water and an ideal seasonal climate. Rutherglen offers wines with a strong history, including muscat, tokay and rich, red wines, but all are given a fresh stamp by modern winemakers. The unique sub-alpine conditions of the Alpine Valleys produce wines of great elegance, and the picturesque King Valley has a growing reputation for producing uniquely flavoured wines due to its high altitudes. Glenrowan is known for its full-bodied reds and fortified wines and, of course, Ned Kelly tales. Exploring & Indulging in some of the region’s finest food and vineyards including:
“Prosecco Road” Vineyard, Garden and Trattoria Experience
Brown Brothers Tasting & Winery Long Lunch
Milawa Gourmet Region – Conceived in 1994, Australia’s first gourmet region is centered around the townships of Oxley, Milawa, Tarrawingee, Markwood and Whorouly and is home to numerous makers of fine food plus a number of Australia’s leading wineries.
Rutherglen Wineries Visit & Tasting
Jones Winery & Winery Restaurant – A gastronomic experience that showcases the traditions of grape growing, wine making and cooking that have been kept alive for six generations.
Ned Kelly & Beechworth Historic Village Experiences
ALPINE HIGH COUNTRY
“Beyond the Cellar Door” Guided-Wine Appreciation Experience
Bright “Umbrian Kitchen Dining Experience”
Gin Distillery Tour & Tasting Experience
|✔︎ 8 Nights Luxury Accommodation – Milawa, Yarrawonga and Bright (High Country), Victoria||✖︎ Domestic Airfares of your choice|
|✔︎ Italian Cooking Class – A Tavola (King Valley)||✖︎ Melbourne Accommodation – Pre Tour|
|✔︎ King Valley & “Prosecco Road” Wine Region Visits||✖︎ Optional Tours or Sightseeing Experiences|
|✔︎ Rutherglen Wine Region Visits||✖︎ Additional taxi or ride-share while on tour|
|✔︎ Alpine High Country Wine Region Visits||✖︎ Alcoholic & Non-alcoholic beverages for included meals|
|✔︎ Included Meals – as per itinerary|
|✔︎ Luxury Coach Transfers – Melbourne/North East Victoria/Melbourne|
|✔︎ Group Escorts|
|✔︎ Tour Photographer|
|✔︎ Pre-Trip Briefing (Perth)|
2022 “Discover Australia’s “Little Italy” Food & Wine Experience
Wednesday 05 October 2022**
– PRE ARRIVAL IN MELBOURNE, VICTORIA
Our “Discover Australia’s ‘Little Italy’ – Luxury Food & Wine Experience” to North East Victoria experience officially commences on Thursday October 6th 2022**, so we request that you arrive at least one day before the tour start date as we will commence our adventures first thing on Thursday morning with an early departure from Melbourne’s CBD. Book into your preferred CBD Melbourne accommodation for your stay in Melbourne, and we will advise you of our Coach Pick Up location which will be in the CBD a short distance from Flinders Street Station.
Take advantage of Melbourne before the tour commences and all that it has to offer from shopping, eating, the Grand Final and just exploring this vibrant city. For those in the group that are interested, we can catch up for dinner at one of our favourite restaurants in St. Kilda tonight. Please do not hesitate in letting us know if you would like to join us.
Day 1 – Thursday 06 October 2022
– NED KELLY COUNTRY / “PROSECCO ROAD” EXPERIENCE
7:45am – Meet at our coach pickup location in the Melbourne CBD (to be advised closer to the date).
8am – Group departure for North East Victoria along the Hume Highway to Milawa.
10:30am – Enroute to North East Victoria, the Hume Highway travels through “Ned Kelly Country” where you can visit the places where Australia’s greatest bushranger lived and fought. We will have a quick photo stop in the village of Glenrowan where, in 1880, Ned Kelly was captured at the Glenrowan Inn after a bloody battle, bringing his bushranging days to an end.
Photo – www.visitmelbourne.com/regions/
We have now entered Australia’s famous “King Valley Wine Region” !
King Valley Wine Region
The King Valley – Australia’s Little Italy – is situated in the foothills of the Victorian Alps, in Taungurong country.
Surrounded by rivers, sub-alpine mountains, and picturesque rolling vineyards, this wine region boasts some of the highest altitude vineyards in Australia
making it the perfect location to produce its cool-climate and European style varietals.
Once scattered with hops and tobacco farms worked by Italian immigrants, these same Italian migrants looked to their homeland roots for inspiration. They planted vineyards, first, with French varietals, like chardonnay, riesling, and merlot. They then went back to their roots and planted Italian varieties; sangiovese, verduzzo, barbera, and others.
The “Little Italy” of Australian wine regions had been created and by the end of the 1990’s, one such migrant, Otto Dal Zotto had planted Prosecco vines,
and Australia’s Prosecco Road was established in this small corner of the King Valley in North East Victoria.
11:45am – Dal Zotto “Cento Passi (100 Footsteps)” Prosecco Experience
Our first exploration of the King Valley Wine Region will be with the Dal Zotto family, the pioneers of Prosecco in Australia. We will be taken on a journey of their story through a wander around their property in ‘cento passi’ (100 footsteps), where we will enjoy a glass of Prosecco while on a vineyard tour with one of the innovators themselves – Otto, Michael or Christian.
From the vineyard we will then visit the Dal Zotto garden as Elena shows how essential fresh seasonal produce is to life here.
Lunch will be at the Dal Zotto “Trattoria” where we will be treated to dishes featuring Northeast produce to complement Dal Zotto l’Immigrante wines – Prosecco, Barbera and Nebbiolo along with a fourth wine to match the season.
If there’s time, we’ll enjoy a favourite Italian Long Lunch pastime of a friendly post-pranzo “bocce” match amongst the Dal Zotto olive trees and vineyards.
18:00pm – Arrival Milawa. Check into our hotel, Lancemore Milawa, set amongst the vineyards of the Milawa Gourmet & Wine Region.
HOTEL – LANCEMORE MILAWA
HOTEL – LANCEMORE MILAWA
Recognised as one of Australia’s best regional hotels by Luxury Travel Magazine, Lancemore Milawa takes its cue from the astounding backdrop of Victoria’s High Country and the artisan producers of Milawa and the King Valley gourmet regions. 40 elegantly designed and spacious guest rooms* capture the serenity of surrounding landscapes, opening onto manicured gardens or overlooking neighbouring vineyards and distant alpine peaks.
(* Lancemore Milawa is currently undergoing extensive renovations which will be completed prior to our October arrival, so we will be enjoying the fruits of their labours with newly renovated guest rooms and public spaces).
pm – Remainder of the afternoon and evening at your leisure.
Accommodation: Lancemore Milawa
(Included Meals – L)
Thursday 07 October 2022
– KING VALLEY / ITALIAN COOKING CLASS EXPERIENCE
am – Join Nico for an early morning walk into Milawa for a coffee at Milawa’s famous bakery, or enjoy breakfast at your leisure at Lancemore.
09:15am – Group departure for a return to the King Valley and another visit to one of the region’s pioneering wine families The Pizzini’s.
10:00am – ‘A Tavola’ Italian Cooking Class at Pizzini’s
This morning Katrina Pizzini will share with us her secrets to creating the silkiest fresh egg pasta and light as a cloud gnocchi in A Tavola’s purpose-built cooking school kitchen. Here’s your chance to channel your “inner-Italian” as we flour things up and get hands-on in preparing today’s lunch.
14:30pm – Depart Pizzini’s after our Italian Cooking Class Lunch
14:45pm – Just before leaving this part of the King Valley, we will head a little further down the road to Chrismont Wines for a wine tasting at Christmont’s award-winning Cellar Door and its unparalleled view of the surrounding Black Ranges. Arnie & Jo Pizzini’s extensive collection of Chrismont’s classic European and “La Zona” Mediterranean wines include emerging varietals such as Fiano, Arneis, Tempranillo and Sagrantino alongside the classic Prosecco, Pinot Grigio, Barbera and Sangiovese varietals.
pm – Remainder of the evening at your leisure.
Accommodation: Lancemore Milawa
(Included Meals – B, L)
Saturday 08 October 2022
– MILAWA GOURMET FOOD PRODUCERS TOUR / BROWN BROTHERS EPICUREAN EXPERIENCE
am – Breakfast at your leisure at Lancemore.
09:30am to 12:30am – Milawa Gourmet Food Producers Tour – This morning we will go on a little foodie exploration of some of these unique offerings. See below for those that might like to do their own thing this morning to take the opportunity to go Hot Air Ballooning in the King Valley this morning.*
Milawa Gourmet Region
Australia’s first official ‘gourmet region’ – the Milawa Gourmet Region is a food and wine gourmet epicentre located just outside the front door of our accommodation at Lancemore. The town centre of Milawa is situated at the intersection of the road to Myrtleford (Snow Road) and the road to Bobinawarrah. Here there are a selection of producers and shops each with rich, distinct offerings spanning across wine, preserves, honey and mead, restaurants, organic meats, gin and much more.
(*OPTION (Own Expense) – HOT AIR BALLOON EXPERIENCE ($385.00pp) – For those in the group that might like to do something other than this morning’s Milawa Gourmet Food Producer Experience, get a real sense of this spirited wine region from aloft and take in the beautiful King Valley and surrounds in a Hot Air Balloon at dawn. From the vineyards and patchwork of fields, the views expand to the King and Ovens Rivers, spectacular Mt Buffalo, and the High Country beyond. For more details, please visit – https://www.goldrushballooning.com.au)
13:30pm – Wine tasting and Long Lunch at Brown Brothers Winery
Brown Brothers Winery
Brown Brothers is one of Australia’s leading family-owned wine companies, with the family making wine in Victoria for over 120 years.
Founded in 1889 by John Francis Brown, it was under the guidance of his son, John Charles Brown, that Brown Brothers established its reputation as a producer willing to experiment with innovative grape varieties. This experimentation and sense of adventure carries across the whole business and can be seen at cellar doors from Milawa to Tasmania.
Located in the lower reaches of the King Valley in North East Victoria, the Milawa Vineyard is the birth place of the Brown Brothers company.
Surrounding the Epicurean Centre and Cellar Door, the Milawa Vineyard is the fruit source for renowned wines such as Patricia Noble Riesling, Shiraz Mondeuse and Cabernet and Dolcetto. It is also home to Brown Brothers grape retrieval and winemaking facilities where thousands of tonnes of grapes are crushed each vintage.
Brown Brother’s Head Chef Bodee Price (ex Stokehouse and The Atlantic Restaurant) menus are Inspired by native Australian flavours and intentionally designed using ingredients sourced from its own backyard, the Brown Brother’s Kitchen Garden is located just behind the Brown Brothers Cellar Door and is where you’ll find most of the magic happens – outside the kitchen of course. Guided by the seasons, organic produce is tended to by our chefs and picked fresh each day, ensuring everything on your plate has been created with intention.
pm – Evening at your leisure.
Accommodation: Lancemore Milawa
(Included Meals – B, L)
Sunday 09 October 2022
– RUTHERGLEN WINE REGION
PHOTO – www.jetstar.com/victoria-rutherglen
Rutherglen Wine Region
Considered one of Australia’s most historic and iconic wine regions, the Rutherglen Wine Region has more than 160 years of winemaking history and is home to wineries passed down from generations.
It’s low land and long, dry autumns, combine to create perfect conditions for their rich reds. The region is also the adopted home of Durif, a French red wine variety with intense, bold characteristics. Their Durifs and range of fortifieds are famous on the world stage, with many awards and accolades held by the various wineries.
Muscat of Rutherglen is famous around the world and is a unique wine that could be considered a national treasure. Known as the world’s richest wine, some muscats available in Rutherglen have an average age of more than 50 years, which gives you an incredible opportunity to taste one of Australia’s most complex and decadent wines. Winemakers are playing on new takes of the old classics with some more refined styles of Durif and exciting innovations with their delicious Muscats and Topaques.
am – Breakfast at your leisure at Lancemore prior to check out.
10:00am – Group Departure for our exploration of the Rutherglen Wine Region.
11:00am – Winery visit and tasting at All Saints Winery.
PHOTOS – www.visitmelbourne.com/regions/high-country
All Saints Winery
Located on the banks of the Murray River in Wahgunyah in the Rutherglen Wine region, All Saints is a family owned winery which dates back to 1864.
Approaching the wonderfully imposing 1864 heritage-listed castle (designed to resemble the Castle of Mey), via its elegant front gates and avenue of ancient elms, its cellar door is situated in superbly tended garden & grounds making it one of the most spectacular winery settings in Australia.
Rated a red Five-Star winery by James Halliday, All Saints uses traditional vineyard practices, hand picking and sorting of grapes to produce regionally distinctive table wines with a modern attitude. Varieties such as Marsanne, Durif and world-renowned fortified are hand crafted in the original castle winery using open concrete vat fermenters and an 1880’s French basket press.
12:15pm – Rutherglen Water Tower
PHOTO – www.explorerutherglen.com.au
A quick photo stop to take in Rutherglen’s iconic 36-metre high water tower, which is now affectionately called the ‘The Wine Bottle’. The tower was built in 1900 and held 72,000 gallons to supply the town’s water. The tower became a backup supply once the new reservoir was constructed in 1945. The mesh top section was erected in December 1969 with funds from the Rutherglen Wine Festival (now called “Winery Walkabout”) and from a distance gives the effect of a large wine bottle.
12:20pm – Jones Winery & Vineyard
PHOTOS – www.explorerutherglen.com.au
Jones Winery & Vineyard, Rutherglen
On Jones Road, Rutherglen, the Jones family traditions of grape growing, winemaking and cooking have been kept alive for six generations.
Today, Arthur and Mandy Jones cultivate Rutherglen’s specialties of Durif, Shiraz and Muscat, as well as inspired plantings of Fiano and Marsanne, among others. Vines have been nurtured here since 1860. Arthur Jones tends the estate’s grapes and cattle, whilst Mandy Jones crafts wine with a taste of terroir. Mandy’s winemaking expertise is informed by 14 years’ experience in the Cotes de Bordeaux region at Chateau Carsin and a student at Le Cordon Bleu, in addition to oenology and applied science studies at Charles Sturt University.
12:30pm – Jones Winery Restaurant – Group Lunch
PHOTOS – www.explorerutherglen.com.au
Jones Winery Restaurant is headed by young chef Briony Bradford, who has a passion for classic French technique. Briony’s expertise has been developed by working with Michelin-starred chefs Claude Bosi at Hibiscus and Andre Garret at Galvin at Windows in London, and with Ross Lusted at The Bridge Room, Grant King at Gastro Park and Brent Savage at The Bentley Restaurant and Bar in Sydney
In Rutherglen, Briony and her team have access to a wealth of local ingredients, and collaborative relationships with farmers who produce them. The seasonal menu may include Murray Grey beef, bred on the property; local pork, trout, duck or goat; and a rainbow of local vegetables, including some from the kitchen garden.
Briony is inspired by gastronomic traditions, native ingredients and the sustainability ethos of ‘waste nothing’. Dishes are expertly executed, with all components made from scratch. Mandy applies the art and science of food pairing to ensure that there is an appropriate wine to match each one.
15:00pm – Group Transfer to Yarrawonga
15:45pm – Check in to The Sebel Yarrawonga
HOTEL – The Sebel Yarrawonga
The award-winning Sebel Yarrawonga resort is a 4.5 star boutique hotel on the banks of picturesque Lake Mulwala in Yarrawonga. Indulge your
senses and escape by the lake with a restaurant celebrating local regional wine and produce, open-air dining, spa and wellness centre, Black Bull
18-hole Championship golf course, infinity-edge pool and bar with breath taking views, and a relaxed vibe.
pm – Evening at your leisure
Accommodation: The Sebel Yarrawonga
(Included Meals – B, L)
Monday 10 October 2022
– YARRAWONGA & LAKE MULWALA (Free Day)
Today is an opportunity for you to take a break and do as much or as little as you would like!
Recognised as one of the “sunniest” regions of Australia, this region of Victoria is affectionately known as Sun Country on the Murray.
With access to the Murray, Ovens and Goulburn rivers, as well as Lake Mulwala, there is an attraction or activity to suit all tastes. Golf, water sports, adventure, fun, relaxing, art, fine food, wine and nature at it’s best.
RELAX* – The Sebel Yarrawonga’s SOL Wellness Spa is the perfect escape to retreat, relax and indulge in much needed self-care. Focusing on organic skincare and effective spa treatment protocols, chosen to calm, heal, soothe and repair, ensuring you leave relaxed, revitalised and looking forward to your next visit with us. Take time to reflect upon the rippling water views across Lake Mulwala and the stillness of our private sunlit garden enclaves adjoining each Spa Suite.
GOLF* – Yarrawonga & Mulwala is a golfer’s paradise with a choice of two different golf clubs and over 53-holes to select from to challenge yourself including:
Yarrawonga Mulwala Golf Club & Resort – Peter Thomson and Mike Wolveridge’s timeless 45-hole masterpiece is the Mecca of Murray River golf, Australia’s number one golfing destination. The golf course has 45 holes of some of the finest golf in Australia.
Black Bull Golf Club – Set on the doorstep of The Sebel Yarrawonga hotel, Black Bull is exquisitely landscaped to wrap around the stunning Lake Mulwala location. The Championship par 72 course has been expertly designed by course Architects Peter Thomson & Ross Perret to both excite and challenge golfers. With 400 picturesque acres to explore, spread across rolling fairways, with large well bunkered greens and stunning natural water courses, Black Bull Golf Course will delight with world class facilities.Professionals James and Glenn McCully at Black Bull Golf Club have a combined 60 years of coaching experience, providing tips and advice to all golfers, from the raw beginner to the tour professional, to get the best out of your game.
(OPTIONAL*) RICH GLEN OLIVES & CACTUS COUNTRY EXPERIENCE – For those in the group that might be interested in exploring some of the sights around Yarrawonga, we will arrange a visit to one of the region’s most successful migrant success stories – Rich Glen Olives – enroute to probably one of the most unique gardens I have ever been to and the regional Victoria Tourism award winning – Cactus Country.
Rich Glen Olives – In 1997 Franc Vodusek and his son Daimien planted 36,000 olive trees and with the addition of a state-of-the-art processing plant in 2001, the family started to make extra virgin olive oil. The processing plant enabled them to harvest and press the olives within a couple of hours thus producing one of the freshest and finest Australian first cold-pressed extra virgin olive oils (“EVOO”) in the market and bottles more then 200,000 litres of extra virgin olive oil each year.
Cactus Country* – Cactus Country transports visitors from the Victorian Murray bushland to the Mexican Mojave, African Sahara and the Argentinian Patagonia. This award-winning unique 12 acre desert oasis, situated a short drive from Yarrawonga, includes over 1000 plant varieties from the smallest of succulents to the ‘el capitans’ of the cacti in the Valley of the Giants.
Lake Mulwala & the Murray River* – Join one of the river cruises which depart from Yarrawonga to get up close and personal with this beautiful part of the mighty Murray River. Located over several kilometres of a stretch of the Murray River, what was once a forest of River Redgums along its floodplain now provides the eerily beautiful and now iconic landscape associated with this part of Australia. In 1939, Yarrawonga Weir was built across the Murray River between Yarrawonga in Victoria and Mulwala in New South Wales to create Lake Mulwala to service the needs of the residents and secure irrigation for agriculture. While the forest closest to the weir was cleared by hand in 1937, the remaining flooded mighty Redgums subsequently died but remain today to create these stunning other-worldly vistas!
pm – Dinner at your leisure either in house at The Sebel or at one of the restaurants or country pubs in Yarrawonga.
Accommodation: The Sebel Yarrawonga
(Included Meals – No included meals for this Free Day)
Tuesday 11 October 2022
– BEECHWORTH & VICTORIA’S ALPINE HIGH COUNTRY
am – Breakfast at your leisure prior to check out from The Sebel.
10am – Group Departure to Beechworth and Victoria’s Alpine High Country.
PHOTO – https://www.aussietowns.com.au/town/beechworth-vic
11am – Beechworth Walking Tour – Beechworth is a carefully and tastefully preserved 19th century gold mining town which has become one of Victoria’s most popular historic goldrush experiences. It has over 30 National Trust-listed buildings, most of which have been well preserved. The extensive use of honey-coloured local granite, and the determination to maintain the facades of many of the town’s historic buildings has ensured that it is an ideal place for visitors to just wander and experience. The public parks and gardens, with their mature English trees, the wide tree-lined streets, the 19th century houses and the picturesque setting in the foothills of the Australian Alps contribute to the graceful and dignified air of this charming town.
Each building has a story to tell, with its contents adding layer upon layer of fascinating detail on subjects such as Ned Kelly, the Gold Rush, the town itself and the colourful people who called it home.
This morning we will go on a 45-minute guided-walking tour of the stone walls that have watched over Beechworth for 160 years.
13:00pm – Group transfer to the Alpine Valleys Wine Region and the charming village of Bright.
Alpine Valleys Wine Region
The Alpine Valleys Wine Region is one of the most picturesque wine-producing areas. The name signifies the area’s location and natural landscape with vines planted on the hillsides above the Ovens, Buckland, Buffalo and Kiewa rivers, which all originate in the Victorian Alps. The cool climate here suits grape varieties such as Chardonnay, Sauvignon Blanc and Pinot Noir. The region’s Italian heritage is demonstrated by varieties like Sangiovese, Nebbiolo, Barbera and Pinot Grigio.
The region’s unique terroir has three elements. First and foremost are the snow-covered mountains (Mount Buffalo, Mount Beauty, Mount Feathertop and Mount Bogong), which provide the valleys below with a constant source of cool alpine breezes, which extend the growing season and help to stave off frost. Secondly, the varying altitudes and slopes on which the vineyards are located (reaching up to 320m/1050ft) result in significant temperature and rainfall variations. Last but not least, the Ovens, Buckland, Buffalo and Kiewa rivers deposit alluvial components in the fertile soil which results in generous yields without compromising the quality of the wine.
14:00pm – Arrival in Bright, Victoria.
The riverside town of Bright, located in the foothills of the Australian Alps, is renowned for its picture-perfect tree-lined streets, mountain views, local food and wine, boutique stores, markets, and outdoor adventures such as hiking, cycling and paragliding. All this, within close proximity to Victoria’s alpine ski resorts, has firmly established Bright as one of Australia’s most popular tourists destinations.
14:00pm – Check in to Art House Townhouse Apartments, our accommodation for the duration of our North East Victoria experience. Each of the two-level Art House Townhouses have two bedrooms (one upstairs with ensuite; and one downstairs with external bathroom) with the group divided amongst the four townhouses that we have secured.
ACCOMMODATION – Art House Townhouses, Bright
Set in the heart of Bright’s food, wine and distillery district, these luxury appointed two-bedroom townhouses offer a new standard in designer comforts married with individual collections of fine Australian art prints produced by celebrated contemporary artists Margie Sheppard and Dean Bowen, plus key works by John Olsen.
The Art House Townhouses Bright offer an uncompromised, luxury designer living experience. While exteriors evoke an ultra-modern European urban appeal mixing timber, stone, and steel; interior design styling is centered around the Art, with soft furnishing tones and textures mimicking the colours and moods of the museum quality Art hanging within.
The townhouses showcase interiors of limited-edition Art prints, twin level living, a large modern kitchen with purpose-built butler’s pantry, polished floorboards, flat screen TVs, plus a generous living space dressed with the finest in European and Australian made designer furniture and soft furnishings.
The lounge space with its deep colours and incredible textured furnishings provides the ultimate space to enjoy a glass of local wine or perhaps a glass of the local Gin from Reed & Co Distillery.
pm – Remainder of the afternoon to go for a walk amongst the charming tree lined streets of Bright.
18:00pm – Beyond the Cellar Door – North East Victorian Wines Experience – This evening we will be treated to a guided wine tasting of wines from the various Victorian Wine Regions we have travelled through. Led by one of the region’s most experienced wine educators, we will be taken on a tasting journey of some of the regions favourite wines and unique varietals from wineries in each of the Ovens Valley, King Valley and Rutherglen Wine Regions.
20:00pm – Group Dinner in Bright
Accommodation: Art House Townhouse, Bright
(Included Meals – D)
Wednesday 12 October 2022
– ALPINE HIGH COUNTRY & UMBRIAN KITCHEN DINNER
am – Breakfast at your leisure. Take advantage of the custom designed kitchen in your townhouse with its premium Franke appliances, an extended range of serve ware, cooking utensils and most importantly butler’s pantry with the perfect tea and coffee station to prepare your own breakfast, or step outside your front door to enjoy breakfast at one of Bright’s best coffee houses.
Remainder of the day is at your leisure to explore Bright and its surrounds however you would like. From just chilling out amongst the shops on Bright’s tree-lined streets, to sampling the region’s fresh produce, or to immersing yourself in the natural beauty of the High Country, here are some suggestions to help you plan your exploration of Bright.
SCENIC RIVERSIDE & ALPINE WALKS – Choose from one of Bright’s many walks and escape into the Alpine countryside. From a leisurely stroll along the scenic Ovens River on Bright’s CANYON WALK (Moderate / 3km / 45 minutes) or take in the views over Bright with a short climb up to HUGGINS LOOKOUT (Moderate / 1km / 25 minutes) to be rewarded with beautiful views over Bright and valley.
MURRAY TO MOUNTAINS RAIL TRAIL – Hire an E-Bike this morning and join Nico & Belinda for a relaxed morning ride around Bright’s Rail Trail. Victoria’s best developed rail trail, the Murray to Mountains Rail Trail, offers cyclists of all abilities a fantastic Australian cycling experience through the heart of Victoria’s alpine region. As you cycle along the sealed off-road cycle trail you’ll savour delightful hidden valleys with sublime views, spectacular mountain scenery as well as have the opportunity to get out of the saddle to grab a coffee and finish off at the beautifully situated Ringer Reef Winery for a light lunch or cheese tasting plate and glass of wine.
BRIGHT COUNTRY GOLF CLUB – Enjoy a hit of golf at the scenic Bright Golf Club. Manicured grass greens and tree-lined fairways define this Tony Cashmore-designed golf course resting at the foothills of the beautiful Australian Alps. The Bright Country Golf Club course features an 18-hole, par 72 course over 6,097 metres. Visitors are welcome and motorized carts, push buggies and golf clubs are available for hire.
18:30pm – Umbrian Kitchen Dinner – Tonight we will be treated to an Umbrian-inspired dinner by Chef Patrizia Simone, an icon of Bright’s restaurant & food scene since 1986 when she and husband George journeyed to North East Victoria, a region which reminded them of their home in Umbria.
Simones of Bright became one of Australia’s most celebrated regional restaurants with Patrizia presenting dishes inspired from her Umbrian heritage. Patrizia has helped to shape the culinary reputation of Victoria’s north-east and became a Legend of the Melbourne Food & Wine Restival in 2009 in recognition of her chef skills and passional promotion of seasonality and regionality through her close ties with local food and wine producers.
In 2012, Patrizia published her part-memoir, part-recipe book, My Umbrian Kitchen. Simones of Bright closed in 2016, after 30 years, however Patrizia continues to share her passion for Italian cuisine through her Country Cooking School in Bright.
Accommodation: Art House Townhouse, Bright
(Included Meals – D)
Thursday 13 October 2022
– BRIGHT / FREE DAY / DISTILLERY TOUR & TASTING
am – Breakfast at your leisure.
As our final full day together, today is another opportunity for you to explore Bright and its surrounds however you would like.
17:00pm – Distillery Tour & Tasting and Final Dinner – After a week of enjoying great food and regional wines, this evening we will move away from wine tastings to indulge in a sampling of locally produced spirits, just a hop/skip from where we are staying.
Reed & Co Distillery, Bright
Reed & Co Distillery is a family-owned and operated distillery and bar in the alpine town of Bright, northeast Victoria. Their philosophy is simple, they are captivated by the natural landscape and exist to create quality Australian spirits and experiences to represent the region and are worthy of sharing with others.
As chef-turned distillers, they seek discovery, continuously testing, tasting, and experimenting with techniques to create a quality that both represents them and captures the flavours of the North East. They hope that their love of artfully crafting spirits provides you with joy and a true North East experience worth returning for or recreating in your home.
Accommodation: Art House Townhouse, Bright
(Included Meals – D)
Friday 14 October 2022
– DEPARTURES and “Arrivederci”
am – Breakfast at your leisure.
10:00am – Checkout and Group Departure from Bright for our return to Melbourne before we say our final “goodbyes / arriverdercis” to the group!
13:30pm – Drop off to Melbourne Airport for any in the group that will be flying out.
14:30pm – Drop off to Melbourne CBD for any in the group that will be continuing their stay in Melbourne.
PRICING & INCLUSIONS
$AUD4655* per person (Double or Twin Occupancy)
Single Supplement (Own Room) + $AUD1795 per person
The following is INCLUDED in the price:
All Luxury Accommodations including:
At some of regional Victoria’s unique luxury properties including t and .
3 nights luxury hotel accommodation at Milawa & the King Valley’s newly renovated – Lancemore Boutique Hotel;
2 nights luxury hotel accommodation at the Murray River’s No.1 Golf & Lifestyle Resort – The Sebel Yarrawonga;
3 Nights luxury townhouse accommodation set in the heart of Bright’s food, wine & distillery district – Art House Townhouses
Italian Cooking & Dining Experience*:
“A Tavola” Italian Cooking Class – King Valley
“Umbrian Kitchen” Dinner – Bright
North East Victoria Food & Wine Experiences:
Dal Zotto Winery – Prosecco Road “Cento Passi – 100 Footstpes” Winery Experience – KING VALLEY
Dal Zotto “Trattoria” Lunch – KING VALLEY
Brown Brothers Wine Tasting & Winery Long Lunch – KING VALLEY/MILAWA
Milawa Gourmet Food Producers Visits – MILAWA
All Saints Winery Visit & Tasting – RUTHERGLEN
Jones Winery & Winery Restaurant Lunch – RUTHERGLEN
“Beyond the Cellar Door” Guided-Wine Appreciation Experience – BRIGHT
Distillery Tour & Tasting Experience – BRIGHT
Pre Trip Briefing (Perth)
The following is NOT INCLUDED in the price:
Domestic Airfares of your choice
Pre-Tour Additional nights’ accommodation – Melbourne
Alcoholic & Non-Alcoholic beverages for included meals
Optional Tours or Sightseeing Experiences – as suggested in itinerary
Additional taxi or ride-share while on tour