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Food, Travel

New Grappa Tasting Bar Experience at Pietro Gallus Estate

A slice of Italy in Melbourne, Pietro Gallus Estate Warrandyte is a revelation, adding to its prolific offerings with a new dedicated Grappa Tasting Bar, serving up it's award-winning Australian Grappa. Grappa is famous in Italy (made from grape skins) and the fact there is a Grappa Distillery in Warrandyte is a real coup, bringing the best of Italy to the people. We were invited to enjoy a fabulous day of tasting at the new Grappa Tasting Bar, a tour of the Grappa distillery, and a sublime lunch in next door Olivgna. The views from the Grappa Tasting Bar are stunning and the Grappa is smooth (maybe unlike that home made brew from your Italian uncle). In terms of things to do in Melbourne, this is a premium experience.

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Husband and wife team John Di Pietro and Anna Gallo, founded the 20-acre estate and new tasting bar, adjacent to their popular restaurant Olivigna. 

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"We follow treasured recipes that trace back centuries. In the early 1900s, Anna's family distilled Grappa at Mount Vesuvius, Naples, and Northern Italy. We're all about authenticity and tradition. From the estate grounds to our Grappa range, what we have created is true to our Italian tradition and upbringing. To be awarded locally and internationally for our Grappa and Liqueur has made us so proud.

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"We have competed against some of the oldest and most famous distilleries in Italy, and we have only been in operation for six years! This proves that our product is of the utmost quality. Now, with the addition of the new Tasting Bar, which houses our vast grappa, liqueur, and craft spirits, everyone can enjoy and share grappa with friends this Summer,” says Di Pietro.


We enjoyed a tour with head distiller Nathan Rigby, who showed us his techniques and explained the Grappa-making process using century-old Italian methods. No shortcuts here. Nathan creates sophisticated top shelf Grappa and an amazing range of liqueurs. Check out the Grappa di Prosecco and Grappa al Caffè, while the prized Grappa is the Grappa Stravecchia, a limited edition Grappa that has Cognac-like qualities.

The Limoncello Crema also made a big impression, as did their Crossover Gin! Gift packs are a great way to experience the plethora of high quality drinks on offer. 

Prized Grappa Stravecchia, a limited edition Grappa that has Cognac-like qualities was an absolute showstopper.

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After your Grappa Tasting head on over to Olivgna as we did and savour the fine Italian dishes.

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Well presented high quality dishes, paired with wines, spirits and cocktails sourced from Pietro Gallus Estate.


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Negroni anyone?

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Lunch was a triumph, with Olivgna serving up stunning Italian dishes in a dreamy location, with engaging and attentive service.

Come for the Grappa, Craft Spirits and Olivigna, and stay for the extraordinary vistas featuring Italian Cypress trees and olive groves. The 7.5-metre polished concrete Grappa Tasting Bar is an attraction in itself (with marble tasting platters).


“When building the estate we’ve always imagined creating a Tuscan villa in Warrandyte that combines the best of Italy and Australia,” says Pietro. Kudos to John and Anna who claim that “over the years, careful planning, building and planting has allowed us to create a mini Italy surrounded by bushland, which to us feels very much like ‘La Dolce Vita’ – the sweet life,” says Di Pietro. We can't but agree. Highly recommended.

Prized Grappa Stravecchia, a limited edition Grappa that has Cognac-like qualities was an absolute showstopper.