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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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

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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

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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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Chicken Cacciatore

Chicken Cacciatore Recipe

leanne / March 18th, 2013

Looking for a very tasty but rather easy dish to make. Why not try my Chicken Cacciatore. Perfect with polenta or rice for those cool Autumn days. Make a big batch and you have lunch sorted for the next day!

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In Celebration of the Humble Pig; Our Salami Day

leanne / July 24th, 2012

Our family traditions come out to play in the form of our Annual Salami Day. After the relief of another vintage under our belt and with the cooler weather upon us, this is the time when we can let our hair down and relax.

In part we do it as a celebration of the provenance of our food and maintaining long-held traditions, but it is more than that. It gives us a chance to get together with family, friends, staff and enjoy a good day just for the hell of it.

Wine definitely plays second fiddle on this day.

Traditionally it is held in mid-June when the weather is miserably cold but conditions perfect for the traditional salami making. Winter does have its benefits.

On offer is home-made salami and prosciutto (to die for) from previous years’ salami making days, followed by a pig-on-a-spit and plates plied high with crackling. All washed down with wine straight from the barrel and espresso topped with Grappa. It’s not a day for the faint-hearted but the bonhomie more than makes up for the cold wintry weather.

For a snapshot of what is involved in Salami making check out this video, courtesy of Nerida Conway from Chef Masterclasses on the finer points of making salami, sausage and cotechino. Sausage and Salami Making Video

Go on, give it a go for there is nothing better than your own home-made sausages and salami. Truly.



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Yabby Yabby Yum Yum

leanne / October 18th, 2011

Now that the weather is starting to warm up, it’s yabby time.

I remember as kids, the fun my brothers and I would have heading down to the channel banks to go yabbying. We would tie up chunks of meat with string, throw them in…..and wait for the yabbies to come feasting. It was always a competition to see who could scoop up the most yabbies in one go.

Another favourite past-time of my brother would be to get the biggest, meanest looking yabby with the biggest claws imaginable and chase after me. I’ve never been much of an athlete but I reckon I could have given Cathy Freeman a run for her money.

Fast forward to now and we still have fun yabbying. Nowadays we use yabby pots that we throw into our dam here in the Yarra Valley. Yes, it’s cheating but so much easier.

Head chef, Heath Dumesny has added yabbies to our restaurant menu so for a feast of something truly local you can’t get better then that.

Click here for 40 second video. (The yabbies were a little shy when the cameras were rolling, but trust us, there are plenty there).

Visit Locale restaurant and you can try them for yourself; Yabby and Tomato Bruschetta with Garlic, Basil and Lemon Oil. Yum yum!

The restaurant is open Thursday through to Monday for lunch and Saturday night for dinner Ph (03) 5965 2271



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The Curious Story of Washed Rind Cheese

leanne / October 13th, 2011

This weeks blog is by Richard Thomas, as he explores the history of Washed Rind Cheese.

Hastily denied by the French, but by the assurance of the legendary Keith Floyd of “Floyd on Food” TV series, it is probable that the cheese, known as ‘washed rind’ was a style introduced to mainland Europe by the monks of Ireland.
Floyd explained that many of the monks and abbots of Europe were wiped out during the plague. Those who were isolated from the spread of the disease by the natural barrier of the Irish Sea, ventured across to continue ‘the work of the Lord’ and also continue the traditions of the Trappist cheese-, wine- & beer-makers of continental Europe.

The style was based around the Irish variety ‘Molines’. A stinking, but delicious little soft ripened fellow, that once relocated, took on the distinctive character of its new home. Pont l’Eveque, Livarot and Maroilles in Normandy, Epoisses in Burgundy, Limburg in Germany, Chimay from Belgium and the Italian Taleggio are some of these styles but there are many more.

Curiously, the bacteria which flourish on the rind of these milky-cream to bright red, pungent cheeses are said to be the same species filtered out of the waters of the Great African Rift lakes, by Flamingoes, giving them their pink colouring.

So, what wine to drink with Washed Rind cheese?
Pinot Noir with a little age is good (Estate Grown, Riorret  or Gulf Station)   A fruity and light beer like William’s Pale Ale or a pear cider.
But perhaps best of all, why not try it with (a not too chilled) Noble One or Deen DeBortoli Vat 5 botrytised Semillon. (Visit the De Bortoli cheese shop at our Yarra Valley Cellar Door. Open Daily from 10am to 5pm)


Hail Harry, King of the Salami!

leanne / September 5th, 2011

Many a winemaker was sweating on their smallgoods winning the inaugural Wine Industry Smallgoods Smackdown competition (#WISS), held last Friday in the Barossa.

Organised by winewriter Mike Bennie and winemaker Dave Brookes, it pitted Italians against Germans, salamis against country hams. Other judges included  Nick Ryan and Richard Cornish and the stakes were high. Check out the #WISS Blog here


When it was announced that our very own Harry’s Hotstick Salami won the Best Salami bracket followed by Best of Show, the squeals of delight could be heard from all over the Yarra Valley.

This salami was made in June this year at our annual Salami Day held in the Yarra Valley.

Huge congratulations to Harry Clegg, our Salami Maestro, and also to Stick, Brick and Straw, who sacrificed themselves for our greater pleasure.

Next year the #WISS competition will be held in the Yarra Valley.



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