Nestled between Victoria’s snowfields and the Murray River, tobacco was once big business here but now the region boasts a bounty of varied providores. Characterised by winding alpine roads, green flats and wineries tucked into hillsides, the scenery is almost as good as the food. Almost.
Everyone knows you should…
Visit the Milawa Cheese Company
This small but multi-award-winning fromagerie in the tiny township of Milawa produces handmade cheeses in their historic butter factory, using traditional, preservative-free methods. Be prepared to loosen the belt after sampling their morish Milawa Blue.
Travel Prosecco Road
Australia’s first (and now largest) prosecco-producing region, the Prosecco Road wine route was developed by six local wine producers including Brown Brothers and Dal Zotto. Each offers unique food and cellar-door experiences along the trail. winesofthekingvalley.com.au
Pedal to produce
Pick up a complimentary ‘Pedal to Produce’ hire bike and spend the day cycling and sampling Milawa’s best. Start at the Brown Brothers winery with a picnic of prosecco and a cheese and charcuterie plate, then pedal around the gardens or explore other providores. northeastvalleys.com.au
But locals say you need to…
Stock up at Snow Road Produce
A newbie to Milawa’s food scene, this grocery-and-café-in-one stocks the most extensive range of local produce around. As many small producers don’t have a shop front or cellar door, Snow Road Produce is a one-stop shop for collecting local goodies from Milawa organic beef, Rutherglen lamb and King Valley free-range pork, to fresh vegetables and an array of local beers, wines and ciders.
Treat yourself at Pizzini Wines
Much more than a winery, Pizzini is also a haunt for local sweet tooths. Matriarch Katrina Pizzini makes a mean Rocky Prosecco Road, which you can buy at the winery or learn to create at their popular cooking school.
Grab some fresh free range
Locals reckon King Valley eggs are the best in the country. Pick up a super fresh carton from their roadside stall on the Glenrowan-Moyhu Road, or find them at the Moyhu Farmers Market, held on the third Saturday of each month.
Where to stay
Not a typical pub stay, Mountain View Hotel claims to be a ‘boutique gastro-pub’ situated in the heart of King Valley. Rooms are well-appointed with king-sized beds and LCD televisions but we’re rather fond of the restaurant, which champions local produce with a European flavour. From $135 a night.
Each of the light-filled guest rooms overlook local vineyards – though once you snuggle into one of the fireside armchairs or your king-sized bed, we dare say you won’t be focusing on the views. From $229 a night, including full breakfast.
Clarice Jean’s Cottage:
A quaint country cottage for travelling families, Clarice Jean’s can accommodate up to six guests, along with all those modern conveniences we can’t do without. Better still, it’s centrally located in the heart of Whitfield, which is walking distance to several local cellar doors, including Dal Zotto Wines. From $185 a night; visitwangaratta.com.au