King Valley Feature - Pizzini Wines Cooking and Lunch
Pizzini Wines are a King Valley treasure giving us a cacophony of Italian bliss. Fred and Katrina Pizzini are foodies and masterful winemakers and the house of Pizzini sings with the greatest of Italian love songs. We were privileged to imbibe the fruits of Pizzini on a warm Spring day as a bloggers/media group from Melbourne. (This post is part of a series on my magical visit to the King Valley of Victoria with the aforesaid group. Photo on home page link credit to Ewen Bell photographer).
Arriving at the modern Cellar Door we were ushered into the Pizzini sanctum of its commerical kitchen. We were greeted by the graceful Katrina Pizzini who has wowed all visitors and guests with her magical Italian cooking and her highly successful cooking school named "A tavola!"
Katrina Pizzini had us donning aprons and mixing up the gnocchi dough. It was a matter of rolling the mixture and cutting off the segments for each piece of gnocchi. Then rolling the balls of gnocchi in our palms the final act was to roll the gnocchi onto a grooved wooden board and flick into the bowl. The wooden gnocchi board is so the sauce sticks successfully to the pasta. Getting our gnocchi groove on! Check out Katrina's Potato Gnocchi recipe on the Pizzini Wines website.
Katrina in action (above) in the Pizzini kitchen. Large saucepans simmer away nearby with unspeakeable delights, giving off alluring aromas. The Pizzini family have seen their winery grow substantially in recent years, after coming to Australia in 1955 to start a new life.
Of course a cooking session in King Valley is not complete without Prosecco... I'm loving Prosecco as a refreshing sparkling drink that is appropriate almost any time of the day. It's always safe to say "It's Prosecco time!" Australia has seen a Prosecco rennaisance and Pizzini Wines has been a premium exponent of the trend. Champagne lovers are enjoying Prosecco and Australian wineries like Pizzini Wines are making quality sophisticated wines.
Our lunch at the long table at Pizzini's was utterly memorable with pasta cooked to perfection and arranged artistically for maximum appeal. This was the perfect Italian meal!
This ravioli was extraordinary, all the more pleasurable for the shavings of parmesan on top.
Our gnocchi had passed the quality control test and was combined with Katrina's killer pasta sauce... Just to sit at a long table with outdoors beckoning, enjoying the company of Fred and Katrina Pizzini, as well as other bloggers, was memorable. This was an Italian experience with authenticity, of course with the unique touch of the Pizzini tradition. I was able to chat with Fred Pizzini about the family history, love of fine wines and export of Pizzini Wines. Like other King Valley wineries there's a small and growing proportion of export wines, but local demand is always strong. These wines walk out the door.
Pizzini's grounds are spectacular with modern cellar door, vinyeards nestled in the valley with a backdrop of hills. Roses and barrels, small garden beds, and well kept lawns are a feature.
I was compelled to purchase some items at Cellar Door to make my own gnocchi at home, as well as to taste and purchase some of their wine.
I can't wait to return to Pizzini as one of the most compelling and enjoyable wineries I've been to in my travels. (Stay tune for more articles on the fabulous King Valley).