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Monday 17 July 2023

Calabria family offers a little taste of Italy Down Under


The Calabria family are one of the big success stories of the Australian wine industry, graduating from backyard producers to major players. 

Now the family is celebrating la dolce vita and its Italian cultural links with a new cellar door food offering and revamped winery experiences

The Calabrias have unveiled an Italian-inspired bar menu at the Calabria Family Wines cellar door in Griffith. 

There are now a selection of Italian-style shared plates and a seasonal shared menu designed by the venue’s new chef Amanda Fuller.

The food offering follows a revamp of the cellar door, which now includes a suite of tasting experiences, a winery museum, and a sensory wall. 

“This has been a huge undertaking by the cellar door team and one that will be a great addition to the region." says third-generation sales and marketing manager Andrew Calabria. 

"The Riverina is such an iconic region for outstanding produce, generations of independent family businesses, and of course, an array of sensational wines. We aim to celebrate that with our new experience offerings. 

“While there are still traditional wine-tasting experiences to guide you through our portfolio of wines, we feel the best way to get to know all about the Calabrias is by taking a seat at the tasting bar and enjoying a selection of Italianesque menu items alongside our delicious wines.”

So think salumi and cheese boards, warmed olives, hand-rolled arancini and home-baked focaccia. 

A more elevated lunch experience is available to book and features a seasonal menu of shared dishes and matched wines enjoyed inside patriarch Bill Calabria’s private cellar.

This season’s La Dolce Vita dishes include hand-made pasta tossed in a traditional rag├╣, Calabrian baked eggplant, pizza topped with arugula, and an assortment of Italian desserts. 

The La Dolce Vita lunch experience costs $90 per person, with bookings mandatory.

“Food is an essential part of the wine experience, and I’ve worked with the Calabria family to best showcase their Southern Italian heritage and the incredible local produce we have available in the Riverina,” says chef Fuller. 

“The dishes celebrate the region and its produce while sticking to the laid-back Italian philosophy of riposo - or rest - where guests are invited to relax, sip wine and enjoy delicious food with friends around the table. The new space and food experience will be a welcome addition to the exciting food scene here in Griffith.”

In addition to the menu offering, Calabria Family Wines has added an interactive sensory wall to showcase the aromas that inspire the Calabria family’s wines. 

Utilising a system of hand-blown glass decanters and aroma pumps, the team have carefully curated a selection of aromas to give visitors a scent-driven, self-guided experience in the cellar door.

The cellar door experiences aim to highlight the 76-year history of the family winery since Francesco Calabria first founded Calabria Wines & Sons in 1945.

The new wine tasting menu includes the Discover & Taste flight, the Sorseggia e Assaggia (Sip & Taste) Italian tasting, Riverina Signature Flight self-guided experiences and the Icons of the Riverina Bill Calabria & Three Bridges Durif vertical tasting - hosted by Bill Calabria AM.

“Whether you simply want to enjoy a light tasting through our collection of outstanding wines or dig into the private cellars and taste something rare and wonderful, every guest that comes to Calabria Family Wines will be given a special experience worth remembering,” Andrew Calabria said.

The complete list of experiences and prices is at www.calabriawines.com.au/visit-us/riverina.

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