Who wouldn't want to sashay down somewhere called Prosecco Road? It sounds like Willy Wonka for grown-ups, right? But this is no hyper-coloured fantasy. No. Prosecco Road actually exists. And we can show you where.
An Italian food and wine trail
Just three hours' drive from Melbourne, you'll find Prosecco Road – a string of five prosecco-producing wineries – in the Victorian High Country. It's a magical patch that will make feel like you've just been 'plonked' onto a hillside in the north east of Italy. Once you start tasting the region's Italian varietals and soulful Italian food, you'll be convinced you are there.
King Valley – the home of Italian bubbles
The King Valley is home to multiple generations of innovative Italian migrants who brought their smarts and passions for alternative grape varieties and Italian wines to the region. Otto Dal Zotto planted the first prosecco vines ('glera' grapes) in the late 1990s, inspired by his childhood in Valdobbiadene, prosecco's birthplace, and released their first prosecco in 2004. That initial batch really popped the cork on prosecco in the area - King Valley has some of the highest altitude vineyards in Australia, which make them perfect for this cool-climate sparkling - and before long, a clutch of surrounding winemakers had produced their own sparkling Italian whites.
With a total of five prosecco wineries – Dal Zotto, Brown Brothers, Chrismont, Pizzini and Sam Miranda – all within a blissed-out saunter, they decided to form The Prosecco Road, a luscious celebration of Italian hospitality, and one hell of a food and wine trail.
The vineyards of Prosecco Road
Dal Zotto Estate was established in the late 1980s by Otto and Elena Dal Zotto. It's still a family business, now sprawling over almost 200 acres, with a winery and cellar door, lush kitchen gardens tended by Elena, a trattoria that heroes Elena's produce alongside handmade pasta, and even a bocce pitch. If you want to treat yourself, buy a bottle of the super special Tabelo Col Fondo Prosecco. And if you want to really treat yourself, book in for Yoga in the Vines, followed by a vegan-friendly breakfast (with prosecco, natch). It's good for you, inside and out!
4861 Wangaratta-Whitfield Road, Whitfield 03 5729 8321 dalzotto.com.au
Another famous, family-owned winery, Brown Brothers began in 1889, and is still bottling the good stuff in the Milawa region of the King Valley to this day. This lavish vineyard includes a cellar door, restaurant and wine bar to while away some delicious hours. If you're curating a picnic basket, Brown Brothers' prosecco range includes a Prosecco Spritz and Prosecco Rose in bottles, piccolos and cans. This is also a great winery to have on your holiday-planning itinerary as it plays host to a multitude of gorgeous events, from comedy to family festivals to glamping.
Brown Brothers, 239 Milawa-Bobinawarrah Rd, Milawa 03 5720 5500
Fancy a splash of Chrismont's famous prosecco, La Zona? Saddle up for a tasting at this award-winning Cellar Door, where the producers will not only share their love of prosecco but they'll also switch you on to lesser-known kids on the vine. There's a sensational restaurant and larder where you can stock up on house-made Sicilian treats for a picnic par excellence, and there's a guest house onsite if you want to wake up to misty views of the vines and the Black Ranges.
Chrismont, 251 Upper King River Rd, Cheshunt 03 5729 8220 chrismont.com.au
This multi-generational Italian family winery has been producing Pizzini wines since 1994, and their scenic vineyards not only produce beautifully poetic wines (the 2019 prosecco is called Il Soffio, which is Italian for 'the breath', with the inspiration coming from the cooling evening breeze in the valley) but also host luscious events at their A tavola! cooking school. Although if you want to take your prosecco adventures to the next level, book in for one of Pizzini's 'Pop & Fizz – Prosecco Food Pairing Surprise Experience' – you'll be amazed by what you can match it with.
Pizzini Wines 175 King Valley Road, Whitfield 03 5729 8278 pizzini.com.au
With a family wine-making history stretching back to the 1930s, and a sprawling, sustainable kitchen garden mere metres from your plate in the restaurant, Sam Miranda is all classic Italian hospitality and flavour. Summer is the perfect time to relax on the terrace with a few friends, a few Italian share plates and a bottle of Ballerina Prosecco.
Sam Miranda 1019 Snow Road, Oxley 1800 994 750 winesofthekingvalley.com.au
Other regional delights of the King Valley
If you're heading to the King Valley, make sure you pack a couple of eskies (and a raging appetite) to fill with other regional specialties. The area includes the Milawa Gourmet Region, which has some gorgeous café and restaurants, as well as producers like Gamze Smokehouse, Blue Ox Berries, Milawa Cheese Company, Milawa Organic Beef, Walkabout Apiaries, Tolpuddle Goat Cheese – the dreamy list goes on! Roll your gourmet roadtrip into one of the many notable events (like cannoli-making!) to make it King (Valley) sized.