The Hunter goes Italian

It is time to hit the road from the inner west again. Destination: the Hunter Valley. For one weekend a year a small corner of the Hunter adopts a serious Italian accent, Winsor Dobbin reports.

After a two-year hiatus, the much-loved A Little Bit of Italy in Broke festival returns at the end of April, running from Friday, April 29 to Sunday, May 1.

A Festival Starter Kitis what you need to get started. A payment of $30 will give you a take home Zafferano glass, a festival map, and a minimum of four tasting experiences that you book at your chosen wineries. 

You create your own festival itinerary from the eight participating cellar doors – all via the ticketing platform on the new Broke Fordwich website.

You can add on extra tasting experiences and unique events when you book. The schedule features several events and workshops as well as a welcome dinner in a transformed piazza, pasta- making classes, chocolate workshops, cocktail masterclass, Italian wine masterclasses, degustaziones, picnic hampers and more. 

Participating cellar doors are Greenway Wines, Krinklewood Wines, Margan Wines, Mount Broke Estate, Nightingale Wines, Somerville Wines, Whispering Brook and Winmark Wines. 

Margan is one of the best cellar doors in the Hunter and a good place to start your festive fun.

With classical Italian guitarists to set the scene, Italian and estate-grown wines, cocktails and beer and an Italian-inspired menu the festivities start with Margan’s signature welcome dinner Benvenuta – Dining under the Stars on the Friday night.

The Margan courtyard will be transformed into a beautiful piazza while chef Joey Ingram and his team will serve a five-course degustazione menu inspired by regional Italian cuisine.

An Italian Wine Masterclass will be held at Margan on both theSaturday and Sunday at 10am, while other events include a Margantini Cocktail Masterclass and Aperitivo at Margan with two house- curated cocktails featuring estate-grown and -made Vermouth.

The event website features several accommodation options for anyone wanting to stay for the weekend.