De Bortoli Locale Restaurant Yarra Glen is transformed for a few days each year into a pop up shed to celebrate the humble pig. Locale is part of the well established De Bortoli Wines which was founded in 1928 by Vittorio De Bortoli. The winery has been under the care of the De Bortoli family for three generation with Vittorio’s grandchildren Darren, Leanne, Kevin and Victor currently holding the reins.
The estate itself has an undeniable sense of warmth and family. That family feeling extends to all levels of this business. In fact “the celebration of the pig” began several years ago when the family would hold a day as a thank you for their staff. The day used to begin at 9.00am with a traditional sausage making workshop followed by a 12.00pm lunch. Unfortunately, the workshop did not last as most would sleep in however the lunch has now earned a permanent place on De Bortoli wines calendar and has gradually opened up to the public.
We were invited along to De Bortoli to taste a few of their wines and to celebrate the feast. To start the day off wine maker Andrew Bretherton introduced us to a few of De Bortoli’s wines, including The Oval Pinot Blanc, La Boheme Riesling, La Boheme Rose, Yarra Valley Estate Grown Chardonnay and PHI Pinot Noir.
The Pinot Blanc was light and clean, the Riesling was fragrant and floral, the Rose was superb and the Chardonnay had beautiful citrus notes. All of the aforementioned wines were great however the highlight was the PHI Pinot Noir. The PHI is the type of wine you would open if you are trying to impress someone – it is elegant, full bodied, with notes of strawberry and rose petals. This wine can easily be summarized by one word “ethereal” as Bretherton put it. Following our wine tasting we made our way upstairs to the restaurant.
A selection of antipasto and salumi were offered at the start of the celebration. There were fresh shucked oysters which matched perfectly with the Pinot Blanc we tried earlier. The wine’s green apple notes and clean finish complemented the slight salty oyster beautifully.
Excluding the oyster all remaining starters were made on site by chef Adam Mead and his team. This includes the salumi, the duck roulades, polenta chips and spoons with mozzarella, tomato and basil.
The duck roulade with pickles was one of my favourite hors d’oeuvres, the slight acidity of the pickle cut through the richness of the duck to give the right level of indulgence in each bite. The polenta chips were lightly fried to give a crispy outer shell with soft fluffy polenta in the centre. This dish was utterly moreish. Lastly, the classic combination of mozzarella, tomato and basil was perfect simplicity.
Of course as a winery there was a selection of wines on offer in the form of three large barrels which had been tapped. In addition to the wine De Bortoli had their Williams Lager, Pilsener and Pale Ale on offer. The Williams label is not produced at the Yarra Valley Estate rather it is brewed in NSW at a facility that also produces De Bortoli’s fortified wines. This beer is not going to win awards for originality but serves its purpose – solid examples of the 3 styles for those not in the mood for wine.
After eating a few too many appetisers the mains were served. Large platters of roasted Berkshire pork was placed on the tables along with kipfler potatoes, glace vegetables and pork jus. Each slice of pork was juicy and tender with a delicious portion of crackling. The vegetables were pleasant but the highlight was definitely the pork. Two side salads included a Mt Zero lentil salad with roasted carrot, pomegranate and mustard seed dressing and a mixed leave and herb salad.
Dessert consisted of a range of cheeses sourced and matured in De Bortoli’s cheese room. The Montasio, Gorgonzola Dolce and Taleggio were accompanied by fresh pear, candied walnuts, fruit paste and semolina flat bread. The cheese was paired with the well known Noble One dessert wine. Noble One’s apricot and orange blossom notes enhanced the slightly sweet creamy features from the cheeses provided. I highly rate the combination.
The cheese was delicious however the highlight was the lemon tart which was light and tangy. For those wanting a more substantial dessert there was the option of a decadent tiramisu.
If you are heading to the Yarra Valley make sure you stop by De Bortoli Wines and Locale Restaurant to try a range of their interesting wines and delicious food. You won’t be disappointed.
De Bortoli Locale Restaurant
Thu – Mon: From 12:00pm for lunch
Sat: From 12:00pm for lunch, from 6:30 for dinner