|At the Weekend Fit for a King $15 buys a tasting glass which you can use at all the wineries|
MTV and I started our day on the terrace at Sam Miranda where there was a blazing outdoor fire and the prosecco bar was already popular. The King Valley is known for making Italian style wines like prosecco (there is even a “prosecco road”) thanks to all the Italian settlers who moved to the area many years ago. At the tiny Boggy Creek Vineyard they had sadly sold out of the pinot gris which came recommended by Carly of Greedy Diva but we loved the dusty and almost savoury sangiovese
|Wine barrels amongst the olive trees at Boggy Creek Vineyard|
All the wineries had special food on offer for the weekend but a few different friends had all recommended eating at The Mountain View pub which is owned by the Pizzini family of Pizzini Wines. The Mountain View is not your typical country pub (it was recently rated in Epicure’s Top 10 country pubs) the dining area is pretty bare and sombre but in summer time there is a lovely beer garden area.
|Terrine at the Mountain View|
To start a really meaty terrine ($14) full of great hunks of pork. This was perfection in piggy form along with the few accompanying cornichons and a glass of fizzy and light Dal Zotto prosecco ($7).
|Roast rare breed pork at the Mountain View|
My main of rare breed pork ($26) was really two meals in one, it came with a huge slab of meltingly tender pork on top of roasted vegetables. But that wasn’t all, there was also an accompanying pig trotters pie, salad, potatoes and apple sauce. It really could have fed a family. The eye fillet ($38) was a perfect example of prime beef perfectly cooked. Looking at all the cows grazing in the fields around the pub the benefits of paddock to plate were pretty obvious.
|Pear crumble with cinnamon ice-cream at the Mountain View|
My dessert stomach kicked in for a spiced pear crumble ($14) with the perfect accompaniment of cinnamon ice-cream. The topping erred on the side of being more grainy than crumbly but all up our meal at the Mountain View managed to live up to the glowing recommendations we had been given. It’s an unpretentious place and the food is very local and very good.
|The band at Pizzini Wines|
Our final stop was at Pizzini Wines which was hosting a giant all day party for the event. There was a brilliant band wandering around and big groups of people eating and drinking with no apparent intention of moving for the day. It was really too packed to do any tastings properly but we managed to try a few wines and ended up buying a case of the spicy full bodied 2010 Shiraz.
Details: Sam Miranda, 1019 Snow Rd Oxley VIC 3678 (Ph 03 5727 3888)
Boggy Creek Vineyard, 1657 Boggy Creek Road Myrrhee VIC 3732 (Ph 03 5729 7598)
Pizzini Wines, 175 King Valley Road Whitfield VIC 3733 (Ph 03 5729 8278)
Mountain View Hotel, Mansfield-Whitfield Road Whitfield, King Valley VIC 3733 (Ph 03 5729 8270)
Damage: Pricey. Our bill at the Mountain View came to $118 for two.
Gourmet Travel Tips
- We stayed in Beechworth which is about 45 minutes drive from the King Valley. The King Valley is about three hours drive from Melbourne. There are mini buses that go between the wineries on the Weekend Fit for a King. If I go back that’s what I’ll be doing instead of fighting over who is the designated driver.
- We stayed at La Pausa bed and breakfast in Beechworth which I would really recommend. It’s right in the centre of town set in a beautiful old homestead which has a sense of history while not being chintzy. I loved the log fire in our room, the complimentary bottle of wine when we arrived and the packet of home made florentine biscuits on the mantlepiece. Breakfasts each morning include Bircher muesli, fruit, poached eggs, mushrooms and bacon. The ensuites to the rooms are a little dated but otherwise this is the perfect bed and breakfast and hosts Gill and Jon are very helpful with lots of tips for what to see, do and eat in Beechworth. La Pausa. 34 Loch Street, Beechworth 3747 (Ph 03 5728 2138). $220 a night.