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Sunday 8 November 2015

How to enjoy La Dolce Vita in Australia

Head for the King Valley, that little slice of Italy in the north-east of Victoria, for taste of La Dolce Vita -Italian for "the sweet life".

The King Valley's spring festival, La Dolce Vita runs over the weekend of November 14-15 and aims showcases the innovative wine styles the region has become known for, the foods that many of the winemaking generation have grown up on and the hospitality that the local family-owned businesses pride themselves on.

Visitors will not only be able to sample sangiovese and prosecco in their new Australian homes, they can also journey around the world by tasting a range of intriguing Italian, Spanish, German, Portuguese, Russian and French varieties at the participating wineries.

Grape varieties such as arneis, pinot grigio, savignan, verduzzo, barbera, nebbiolo and tempranillo are available alongside a host of more mainstream varieties.

With the strong Italian influence - this used to be tobacco-growing territory - the menus at each of the participating wineries allow you to choose from authentic dishes prepared by Nonnas and renowned local chefs.

Think dishes like handmade pasta and gnocchi, pizzas and seafood along with Italian desserts, sweets and coffee. And don't forget the music. There will also be roving entertainers.

There is also a new attraction at this year's festival - the newly opened cellar door, restaurant and larder at the King Valley’s brand-new culinary destination, Chrismont.

Aromatic whites perfect for spring and summer will feature here, including the lively sparkling La Zona Prosecco and new release La Zona Pinot Grigio 2015, alongside savoury reds and the small-batch La Zona Nebbiolo and La Zona Sagrantino.

Host wineries range from local icons including Dal Zotto, Pizzini and Brown Brothers, to tiny family wineries like Merkel and Politini.

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