Forget Paris, forget Naples, forget Mumbai and Shanghai. There is a foodie’s heaven waiting right around the corner and it’s set amongst Victoria’s most relaxing scenery. Wangaratta and its surrounds have made a name for themselves as a culinary experience that has to be tasted to be believed. We’re not talking pots and parmas either – although that craving can be satisfied too.
This marvellous slice of countryside has played host to centuries of immigration which welcomed Italian influences to accompany local, modern Australian flavours.
If you’re feeling thirsty, this plethora of plates can be paired with days' worth of wineries that should be soaked in and savoured.
So come with an empty stomach because you’re about to get your fill of fun and flavours in Wangaratta and its surrounds.
The Milawa Gourmet Region is well-known for some of the finest foods around and the cheese scene is nothing to be sneezed at. Milawa Cheese Company has operated its historic butter factory since 1988 and now has an internationally recognised range. This proud, family-run business offers European-style cheeses from cow and goat’s milk.
If you’re interested in more than cheese, the building also houses complementary businesses such as Wood Park Wines, Wattle Tree Gift Collection, and the French-owned Milawa Bread & Kitchen.
A staple of so many cuisines, where would we be without the humble olive oil? More specifically, where would we be without EV Olives’ award-winning oil?
With fruits sourced from 35 groves across northeaster Victoria, there’s a good reason that leading chefs and suppliers choose EV for such an essential pantry item. If your palette appreciates the finer things, a tasting at EV Olives could be perfect for you, followed by a visit to the gift shop.
There are so many unique shopping experiences to discover around Wangaratta and Milawa Mustards is yet another example. Their range of 12 seeded mustards range from Mild Honey to Hot Chilli and each is as flavourful as the last.
If mustard is packed full of too much flavour for you, they also sell jellies, jams, chutneys, marmalades, and mustard oil salad dressings.
Make sure to stop by their humble little red-brick store for some marvellously handmade condiments.
If you’re looking for a sweet deal that captures the true flavour of Wangaratta, you can’t go past Walkabout Apiaries. This humble bee business produces “bloody good honey” that makes it hard to walk away with just one jar.
Don't be fooled, however, it’s not you the visitor that’s going walkabout – it’s the bees! Local beekeepers take their prized pets on a journey around the region to create unique flavours from the local flora. This not only keeps their product interesting, but ensures the region continues to flower year in and year out.
For something a little boozier that blurs the lines between casual and curated, the market leading Brown Brothers offer several types of culinary escapade.
A wine blending experience teaches students how to produce different varietals of shiraz, merlot and cabernet sauvignon. This allows you to taste and experiment with your favourite flavours before bottling and labelling your own unique creation as a souvenir.
The Brown Brothers slow lunch offers the chef’s favourite dishes and matched wines in a ‘feed-me’ style menu. This is your chance to unwind and soak in the finest Milawa has to offer. Each plate is made using organic, sustainable produce from the onsite Kitchen Garden and you sure can taste the difference.
If the idea of a “prosecco brunch” has your ears pricked, then you’re in luck. A gourmet spread of sweets, pastries, cheeses and seasonal fruits awaits you and up to twelve guests.
Finally, Brown Brothers’ wine and food adventure can fill your morning to the brim with foraging, history, a guided wine tasting, and a curated lunch with more matched wines. You’ve never known service like this before, so treat yourself to an experience for all the senses.
Glenbosch – A Theatrical Dining Experience
If your typical wine and dine night out isn’t hitting the spot anymore, Glenbosch takes things to another level. This winery, distillery and restaurant offers their ingenious “Food Theatre” every Saturday from mid-December to mid-January.
Lead by South African head chef Chris de Jongh, you’ll receive a culinary experience that takes you around the world from the comfort of your dining chair.
Spots are limited and coveted for a very good reason, so get in early to ensure this adventure is a highlight of your time around Wangaratta.
Rinaldo’s Casa Cucina
Found in one of the city’s original art deco buildings, Rinaldo’s now offers a gorgeous indoor/outdoor dining experience curated by Adam Pizzini. His love for Italian home-style cooking and seasonal local produce shines through every dish as you look out over the Ovens River in the heart of Wangaratta.
Finish the meal with some takeaway gelato as you stroll out of our Little Italy and back into town.
Tuck into Wangaratta and its surrounds
There’s no use delaying a trip to the countryside any longer. There’s food to be eaten, wine to be drunk and sun to be soaked in. If food is best served in good company and beautiful scenery, our proud community has what it takes.
Keep browsing our website to find even more culinary adventures, or book that annual leave and make your way to Wangaratta – we’ll see you soon!