Blog Archives

Wine and Food with a Dash of Sunshine; Noosa Styleool

Wine and food; Noosa Style

leanne / March 26th, 2015

Is your next holiday destination Noosa?

Well maybe it is, if we have anything to do with it. It is so easy to enter our little comp – Just buy a bottle of Rococo, La Boheme or one of our Yarra Valley Estate wines at participating stores/restaurants, keep your receipt and enteronline at

Four lucky couples will be winging their way to the fabulous Noosa Food and Wine Festival (May 15th to 17th)….and you could be one of them. Hope to see you there.


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2015 Seafood spaghettini - small

Autumn Dining in the Yarra Valley

leanne / February 27th, 2015


Food and wine are so connected that we can’t (or wont) do one without the other. At our Yarra Valley vineyard, our Italian-style ‘Locale’ restaurant has been in operation for 25 years (yikes, I am really showing my age now). For us it is all about showcasing our wines with food and for that same reason we have set up a Cheese shop and maturation room within our Cellar Door Sales.

Adam Mead, our head chef makes delicious food, sourcing as much locally as he can, growing as much as he can and relying on good produce from reliable sources. I must say, it speaks volumes to see the contented look on customers faces after dining in the restaurant. Autumn is such a lovely time to visit too. You could be dining in the restaurant, supping on our 2012 Shiraz whilst seeing the 2015 Shiraz being harvested right outside the window. Now isn’t that worth a visit!

Just in case you are interested, the restaurant (which has undergone some recent renovations) is open from Thursday to Monday for lunch as well as Saturday night for dinner. Phone 03 5965 2271 or book online at Hope to see you soon


Leanne de Bortoli

To keep posted with daily happenings and other events, check us out on twitter, instagram, facebook

2015 Rohan tipping Pinot into trailer

Vintage 2015 – Off and Running

leanne / February 15th, 2015

The Summer holidays were just coming to an end and we were turning our thoughts back to work, wine and the impending vintage when…. Wham!

Suddenly the grapes were ripening and before we knew it we were on our way. Vintage 2015. Whilst our winemakers up north in the Riverina were already harvesting, crushing, fermenting, here down down south we were still out berry sampling in the vineyard and mentally preparing for another busy season.

Suddenly it was all a-happening. On the 30th January, the first load of fruit that came into our Yarra winery was from our King Valley farm in North-East Victoria.  Harvested during the cool of the night, the early ripened Chardonnay’s destiny was for Sparkling wine. Only a week later we started picking Yarra Valley Chardonnay….again for Sparkling wine base.

One week later, and we are well and truly into our Crazy season. Chardonnay, Pinot Noir, Pinot Gris has started flooding in. Early morning starts, and I mean very early morning starts; crazy hours; Vintage staff numbers swelling to double with internationals flooding in from Argentina, Hungary, France…and a couple of Aussies here and there. Machine harvesting, hand-picking, crushing, pressing, hand-sorting and it already feels like we have been at it for months rather than a mere two weeks.

So stay tuned over the next couple of months as we work our way through Vintage 2015, hopefully the best yet! To keep posted with daily happenings, check us out on twitter, instagram, facebook


Leanne De Bortoli


Zucchini Salad

leanne / January 19th, 2015

I love Summer and I love Zucchinis, and this tasty recipe by my mother Emeri features in our calendar this year. Simple to make too. Why not try it with your Australia Day BBQ Emeri’s Zucchini Salad

Braised short ribs

Rib tickling Winter Braise

leanne / August 21st, 2014

Winter is the time for slow braises and this one is a beauty; tasty and finger licking good. This recipe is matched with our Heathcote Shiraz – a warming combination.

Click here for the recipe Braised Beef Short Ribs

2012 June 17th Salami Day 003

In Celebration Of The Humble Pig

leanne / August 17th, 2014


For the last few years we have celebrated a family tradition by holding a salami making day in June. In true celebration of the provenance of our food, we had hands-on salami making followed by a delicious luncheon feast, featuring the humble pig. This was all done in an old dairy at the top of our Yarra Valley vineyard complete with a rustic pop-up ‘restaurant’ in a marquee set up for the occasion. A good chance to get together with family, friends, staff and enjoy a good day just for the hell of it.

This year, we have decided to reverse the party and invite you to join us for a rustic dining experience in our ‘pop-up’ shed at our Locale restaurant. For one week from the 21st August, enjoy platters of Salami, prosciutto and some other delicious porky dishes such as gnocchi with pork ragu and roasted suckling pig along with our normal a la carte menu. And to keep in the theme, we’ll be serving carafes of wine straight from the barrel, specially selected by our winemakers. (We are open every day for lunch and Saturday night for dinner).

Friday night 22nd August will be a special celebration that is completely about the pig; communal tables with generous salumi platters, delicious suckling pig with winter vegetables, beautifully matured cheese, all washed down with carafes of wine. Cost: $85 per person for three courses and wine.

To make a booking for lunch on any of the days we are open from August 21st to the 25th or for our special Friday night dinner (22nd August) phone (03) 5965 2271 or email yarra(at)



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Back deck madness

The Social Spotlight on Rosé

leanne / September 6th, 2013

We were pretty thrilled to discover that socially, we are up there with the big boys.

Two nights ago we were acknowledged as an influential wine company, picking up the award for ‘Best Presence in Social Media’ in the wine category at the Drinks Awards. For me personally, this is a tremendous achievement. Anyone who knows me, knows I am a social media tragic; Twitter (a personal favourite), Facebook, Pinterest, Blogs, LinkedIn, Youtube and Instagram (my newest playmate).

One of the major attributing campaigns to us winning this award was that of Rosé Revolution. Basically, 3 years ago, a bunch of us felt that premium dry Rosé should be celebrated so we decided to do something about it. Driven purely through Social Media and with very little budget (plus the boundless energy of Trish Barry from Mastermind Consulting), Rosé Revolution became a 3 years crusade involving 66 wineries to spruik the benefits and joy of dry (mostly pale but not all) delicious Rosé.

But how do you measure its real success? In our case, you can’t do better than consistently selling out of Rosé each year. More importantly we have seen a much wider awareness of provencal-style Rosé; a wine that translates so well from the South of France to the Australian shores. Our climate is just made for it.

So to all of those like-minded wineries, restaurants, retailers and savvy Rosé drinkers that took a punt on supporting our crazy campaign 3 years ago; thanks muchly.



Follow me on Twitter@DeBortoliWines or visit us at

A Blind Tasting With A Difference

leanne / August 16th, 2013

If you are wondering what to do next Saturday night (24th August) why not come along to a one-of-a-kind wine tasting evening at our Locale restaurant here in the Yarra Valley.

‘Blind Tasting’ is a unique one-woman contemporary show, starring Sylvia Keays, and what better venue to host it but within a winery. Be prepared to enjoy a thoroughly entertaining evening with Sylvia’s quirky performance followed by a meal prepared by new chef Adam Mead served with matched wines.

Winewriter, Huon Hooke recently attended Sylvia’s show in Sydney and gave this review…
Corker of a performance
Wine tasting is not usually a subject for serious theatre. But it is the essence of a one-woman Australian play called Blind Tasting. It’s about a woman who works in a wine club call centre, not unlike CellarMasters, and is performed by a woman who has worked in such a call centre. I attended a sell out performance at the ensemble Theatre in Sydney recently, co-hosted by Canberra district winery Shaw Vineyard Estate. It was a barrel of fun. Estate owner Graeme Shaw is a sponsor of the theatre, and we had a tasting of his wines before the show. It was one of the most enterprising ways to promote wine that I’ve seen in a while. Written and directed by Paul Gilchrist, and performed with great vitality and charm by Sylvia Keays, Blind Tasting was entertaining and funny. It’s not a send-up of wine tasting, but wine is the starting point for the tragicomic story of the heroine, Sophie, and the basis for allegorical comments on life, death and love. It kicks off with the star hilariously guzzling while blindfolded, the best part of bottle of Shaw red which I was reliably informed was cordial. Keays has taken her show on the road and if you ever hear it’s on, I recommend you go!

Cost is $120 per person for the show, dinner and matched wines.
Phone (03) 5965 2271 for enquiries or to make a booking.



Follow me on Twitter @DeBortoliWines or visit us at


Amy Looker (insta)

Gumboot Discovery Tour

leanne / July 26th, 2013

Not doing anything this weekend ?

For this weekend (the 27th and 28th July), along with next weekend (3rd and 4th August), don your favourite gumboots and come out to our Yarra Valley Cellar Door for a tour with a difference!

Take a self-guided walk through the vineyard to discover a few interesting (and irrelevant) facts on growing grapes. Free of charge and for those who are game to brave the elements there are special offers and prizes.

Gumboots (or other appropriate footwear) are essential, moderate fitness is recommended, along with plenty of good humour. Afterwards treat yourself to a cheese and wine tasting or a relaxing lunch in our restaurant.

Cellar Door is open from 10am to 5pm. Phone (03) 5965 2271

Duck Breast recipe

Duck and Pinot; What a great Combo

leanne / July 24th, 2013

There is something very compelling about a good Duck and Pinot combo. Try this mouthwatering recipe for Szechuan Pepper Duck Breast with Chestnuts, Brussel Sprouts and Beetroot…. and match it with a charming Yarra Valley Pinot Noir click here for the Szechuan Pepper Duck Breast Recipe

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