In 2013 Melbourne Food and Wine Festival presented by Bank of Melbourne (1-17 March 2013) returns to the source – Earth – with a global celebration of getting your hands dirty, growing and making it yourself, and savouring local produce. With tickets on sale from 1 February, the Festival will bring to life every little nook and laneway with spectacular events across 17 days – from hands on experiences and exclusive behind-the-scenes tours to memorable dinners and exhilarating crawls.
Celebrations kick-off on Friday 1 March with the highly anticipated tradition, Bank of Melbourne World’s Longest Lunch in the picturesque Fitzroy Gardens. With a touch of vintage Australiana, 1,200 guests will gather at one spectacularly long table to enjoy a truly Australian menu created by culinary icons Stephanie Alexander and Maggie Beer and brought to life by Peter Rowland Catering.
Continuing festivities across the opening weekend, winemakers, brewers and producers will come from all corners of the state to Cellar Door and Artisan Market (2–3 March) in the grounds of historic Como House and Garden. Explore Victoria’s finest with artisan breads, cheeses, charcuterie, preserves and much more alongside wines from over 40 Victorian wineries, as well as locally brewed beers and ciders. Gather your produce and some wine and relax on the lawn listening to live music or watch cooking demonstrations from chefs including Adam D’Sylva (Coda), Scott Pickett (Estelle Bar & Kitchen) and Darren Purchese (Burch & Purchese).
Over the same weekend, grab the family and head to Queensbridge Square for free hands-on, patch-to-pizza fun. Budding pizza masters can pluck fresh tomatoes and basil from the vegie patch, mill the flour and create their own handmade pizza, cooked up in a wood-fired oven. Kids can learn how mozzarella is made and how to grow a vegie patch.
From 8–10 March the internationally acclaimed heart of the Festival, Langham Melbourne MasterClass, will again see chefs from all around the globe and across Australia converge on the city for three spectacular days of one-off experiences and masterclasses. Join international chefs including Magnus Nilsson (Sweden), Enrique Olvera (Mexico), Dan Lepard (UK), Virgilio Martinez (Peru) among leading locals chefs Andrew McConnell, Karen Martini and Guillaume Brahimi, to name a few, as they explore their connection with earth.
Learn from one of the world’s most recognised wine experts, Jancis Robinson OBE MW (UK) as she presents weird and wonderful varieties at The Wines of Wonderland at Acqua Panna Global Wine Experience or enter the fray as we debate Whose Pinot Reigns Supreme? in a blind tasting of New Zealand versus Australian pinot noir.
A few steps along Southbank, head to the Crown Melbourne Food and Wine Festival Live Site (9-11 March) as some of its most acclaimed restaurants including The Merrywell, Mr Hive Kitchen & Bar, Nobu, The Atlantic and Bistro Guillaume hero their producers through their own signature dishes.
Throughout the Festival revel in one-off experiences in undiscovered locations or go behind-the- scenes guided by local food and wine stars with unique events that embrace the theme of Earth.
Board a historic tram with the Everleigh’s acclaimed mixologists for a cocktail degustation tour of Melbourne (Speakeasy Cocktail Tram Bar); be one of the lucky few to experience dinner in Seppelt’s underground cellar (Feast Beneath The Vines, Seppelt Great Western Winery); dine in Shelley Panton’s Middle Park pottery studio with 2013 Chef of the Year, Michael Ryan from Provenance (Dinner in the Studio); or head out into Port Phillip Bay on a fishing trip with Stokehouse head chef, Ollie Gould, followed by a ‘sea to plate’ lunch featuring your catch of the day (Hook, Lunch & Sinker, The Stokehouse).
Explore new ingredients and indulge in five courses centred around cactus (Explorar Nopales, Senoritas); taste some of the earth’s rarest salts and learn how to cook on a Himalayan salt slab (Salt Appreciation Workshop, Gewurzhaus Spice Kitchen Cooking School); or enjoy a twilight kayak along the Yarra River followed by a three course feast by the river (Kayak me A River, the Wharf Hotel).
Get hands on at classes throughout the Festival – crush and stomp grapes to create your very own wine (Crush, Stomp, Drink, Epocha); learn how to cook with native Australian ingredients (Cooking With Native Produce, Charcoal Lane), try your hand at making camembert cheese (Camembert Cheese Making, Gplace), or learn how to wield a knife like award-winning chef Donovan Cooke (Skillery with Donovan Cooke, The Atlantic).
Regional Closing Weekend, (15–17 March), will see the Festival pack its bags and head to Victoria’s regions as they burst with unique and memorable food and wine experiences. Plan your weekend away starting at one of 19 Regional World’s Longest Lunches (15 March), held at spectacular locations across the state. Head to Boyntons Winery in the Alpine Valley and enjoy a menu created by five of the High Country’s best chefs; lunch among the paddle steamers on the new Red Gum Wharf at Echuca with Oscar W’s, or enjoy a long lunch with wine as the hero as 12 Mornington Peninsula wineries take centre stage at a long lunch at Elgee Park.
Take your pick from another 50 inspiring regional events – try your hand at fly fishing at Pizzini (Fishing & Flavours); head out on a Mornington Peninsula cider tour with Rebello Wines (Cheeky Rascal’s Cider Tour) or go back to 1968 in Bendigo and reminisce with a menu inspired by the legendary Margaret Fulton Cookbook and hits from the day – 1960′s dress required (Salt of the Earth, The Dispensary Enoteca).
This is just a small taste of Melbourne Food and Wine Festival 2013. The full program can be viewed from 1 February at melbournefoodandwine.com.au.
Tickets on sale 1 February 2013 For more information visit melbournefoodandwine.com.au
TICKETS FOR NEVER-TO-BE-REPEATED WINE EXPERIENCE AT MELBOURNE FOOD AND WINE FESTIVAL 2013, ON SALE NOW
International first lady of wine, Jancis Robinson OBE, MW, wine educator, writer and critic, will join local, interstate and international leading lights of the wine world at Melbourne Food and Wine Festival presented by Bank of Melbourne (1-17 March, 2013) for pillar event Acqua Panna Global Wine Experience (9-10 March, 2013). Tickets are on sale now.
A wine lover’s nirvana, Acqua Panna Global Wine Experience is a weekend of four global benchmark wine tasting sessions with discussion and debate guided by some of the world’s most inspirational wine people.
The marquee tasting of Acqua Panna Global Wine Experience is Great Wines of the World: An Exploration, a session that will explore what makes good wine truly great and promises to demonstrate how a handful of wines transcend being just a delicious drop to become so much more. Jancis Robinson has personally selected 12 benchmark wines from iconic producers of the world’s great wine regions, including J-J Prüm (Mosel), Giacomo Conterno (Barolo) and Armand Rousseau (Burgundy). She will be joined by celebrated wingmen James Halliday AM, Michael Hill Smith AM, MW, super sommelier Franck Moreau MS, with moderator Max Allen on hand to guide the discussion.
The Wines of Wonderland will introduce us to some of the world’s most rare, endangered and unusual wine varieties and the unique flavours and stories that come with them. We don’t want to spoil the surprise but amongst the stellar line up will be Puffenay (Jura) and Alvaro Pelacios (Bierzo). Joining Jancis Robinson, who will also choose the wines for this session, will be wine writers Jane Faulkner and Mike Bennie, Australian viticultural pioneer Kim Chalmers (Chalmers Wine, Heathcote) and moderator Max Allen, also renowned in the field of alternative varieties.
On the fizz front, there’s To Champagne and Beyond! where new breed bubblies from southern England to southern Tasmania and other locales will be tasted alongside classics from Champagne. Heavyweight Australian fizz experts Ed Carr (House of Arras, Tasmania), Tyson Stelzer (The Champagne Guide), Kate McIntyre MW (Moorooduc Estate, Mornington Peninsula) and Lincoln Riley (Stokehouse, St Kilda) will join moderator Nick Stock. There will be Nyetimber (Britain’s internationally acclaimed sparkling wine), Jacques Selosse, Krug and more in this exhilarating foray.
Ready with the referee’s whistle in Whose Pinot Reigns Supreme?, Nick Stock will guide a blind tasting which sees the best of Australian and New Zealand pinot noir go head to head. Pinot heroes, Australia’s Michael Dhillon (Bindi, Macedon Ranges) and Nick Farr (By Farr, Geelong) and New Zealand’s Blair Walter (Felton Road, Central Otago) and Nick Mills (Rippon, Central Otago), will assess how the two countries are faring in achieving their pinot dreams. The line-up will include the panel’s own esteemed pinots (both Bindi and Felton Road’s iconic Block 5 releases) and others, such as Bass Phillip Reserve and Ata Rangi.
Melbourne Food and Wine Festival also offers something for those who like to explore the intricacies of food and wine matching. Perfect Match, part of the hallmark Langham Melbourne Masterclass (9 – 10 March, 2013), comprises eight sessions across the weekend. Inspired by the premise that food and wine are natural partners, Stefano de Pieri (Stefano’s, Mildura) and Kathleen Quealy (Quealy Wine, Mornington Peninsula) opening the doors on their love affair with all things Italian and Philippe Mouchel (PM24, Melbourne) and Dominique Portet (Dominique Portet, Yarra Valley), who bring that ‘je ne sais quoi’ of true Frenchmen, are just two of the pairings set to celebrate the unity forged through good food and wine.
Melbourne Food and Wine Festival presented by Bank of Melbourne, 1-17 March 2013
Acqua Panna Global Wine Experience, 9-10 March 2013 at ANZ Pavilion,
Arts Centre Melbourne
Bookings: Arts Centre Melbourne 1300 182 183 or artscentremelbourne.com.au
Tickets now on sale
Twitter: @Melbfoodandwine #APGWE