The flavours of Italy in the Yarra Valley

The Yarra Valley. Photo: Supplied

The Yarra Valley. Photo: Supplied

Can we pretend, just for a minute? Today I am going to pretend to be in Italy, which is why I’m in a brand new Alfa Romeo Giulia Super Diesel and headed to the Yarra Valley where, of course, many Italian families settled from the 1920s.

It’s the perfect place to experience la dolce vita at close range. I’m going to eat pasta, play bocce and taste sangiovese and pinot grigio. As the Giulia heads east, it strikes me: we’re lucky that “Italy” is only an hour away.


With its rustic, chic aesthetic, and the serenity of its vineyard and orchard surrounds, The Farmhouse has a Tuscan feel. The rooms are stylish and welcoming, and the dining space, Meletos, offers a superb breakfast (house-made granola, baked beans with chorizo, pastry and great coffee), as well as an imaginative dinner menu.

  • The Farmhouse, 12 St Huberts Road, Coldstream


Bortoli's restaurant at xxx. Photo: Supplied

De Bortoli’s restaurant at Dixons Creek. Photo: Supplied

Wine tastings

If ever there was a perfect match, it’s driving an Alfa through the Yarra Valley for wine tastings and hearing stories about how the Italians settled here – many in the late 1940s – and made a new life on the land, many growing grapes.

We dropped in at the famous De Bortoli for a cheese platter and a tasting of whites, reds and the famous Noble One botrytis semillon.

At Corniola, we met the delightful Vince and Lucy Corniola, who showed us their home-based winery. It produces some lovely wines, including a stand-out petit verdot. Ask Vince about the photo of him as a young boy in his family’s vineyard in Italy.

Zonzo is chic style all the way and Seville Hill more rustic. Both are well worth a visit.


#Repost @benstastingnotes ・・・ Bocce (/boʊtʃi/), sometimes anglicized as bocci, is a ball sport belonging to the boules family, closely related to British bowls and French pétanque, with a common ancestry from ancient games played in the Roman Empire. Also a game you can play while tasting @puntrdwines #weekendsorted #sunshineforecast #puntrdwines #yarravalleycellardoors #yarravalleylife #yarravalley #winetasting #bocce #yvwine #timelapse

A post shared by Punt Road Winery (@puntrdwines) on

Why not try?

On your way home, take some of Italy away at the charming, Italian-to-the-core Yarra Valley Pasta shop. You can also watch a variety of pastas – ravioli, tortellini and egg-based spaghetti – being made.

At Punt Road Winery, we sat in the sun in the garden overlooking their fruit orchard with a glass and a cheese board before a game of bocce.


The Alfa Romeo Giulia

The Alfa Romeo Giulia Super Diesel

The wheels

A story about Italy in the Yarra Valley? Of course we took the new Alfa Romeo Giulia Super Diesel, what else? It’s a stylish vehicle with lots of Italian brio, and felt brilliant on the country roads between vineyards.

  • Price \ $65,895 (2.2 diesel)
  • Drivetrain \ 2.2-litre 4-cylinder turbo diesel, 8-speed automatic
  • Fuel consumption \ 4.2L/100km
  • Features \ leather upholstery, climate control, rain-sensing wipers, powered driver’s seat, heated front seats and steering wheel, active cruise control.

Peter Wilmoth was a guest of Yarra Ranges Tourism.




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