Having come into being in 1980, Christmont is not just a winery but an altogether different world. Home to a cellar door, a restaurant and larder, and a guest house, it is one of those lifestyle destinations that offer much more than wines and pique the curiosity of nature lovers and food buffs along with wine geeks. The idyllic location of this winery is indubitably the cherry on the cake. Settled in the King Valley in the Australian state of Victoria, the winery is an absolute delight for explorers, especially those who enjoy being outdoors. From breathtaking vistas to delectable grub and warm hospitality to the vibrant wine culture, the place has it all.
The family-run winery is owned by Arnie Pizzini who, apart from his father’s farms, also inherited the intricacies of horticulture from him. Taking forward his paternal legacy of growing grapes in Italy, he embarked on a journey to make the rural village of Cheshunt, King River Valley, one of the hubs of premier vineyards. Tucked away in the foothills of the Victorian Alps, the valley boasts topography and climate similar to that of the Italian regions of Tuscany and Piedmont. Fondly addressed as the “little Italy” of Victoria and rightly so, lots of Italian families call the valley their home after their immigration to Australia post-WWII.
Making the most of the suitable climatic conditions and the picturesque settings, Arnie and his wife jumped at the opportunity of realising their 20-year-old dream of turning their expansive estate into a wholesome destination – Christmont Cellar Door, Restaurant and Larder. It is an unprecedented amalgamation of contemporary winemaking with an Italian touch and warm hospitality individualistic to King Valley, and hence draws globetrotters in troves.
Although Christmont catches people’s fancy for varied reasons, its wines remain at the core of it. Handpicked grapes go into the making of flavoursome Christmont wines that are sold under four distinct labels, namely Christmont, La Zona, Riserva and Casa. Wine lovers can choose to treat their palates either by placing an online order via its online store or making their way to Christmont’s Cellar Door.
Sitting pretty on the outskirts of Cheshunt, the cellar door features a spacious wine tasting area, offers exceptional panoramic views of the valley along with hearty conversations with hosts and lets wine buffs take their own sweet time to indulge in wine tastings of as many varietals as their hearts desire. Who knows one may end up falling in love with a wine they never had a chance to taste before!
Furthermore, Christmont Restaurant and Larder has more to it than just a wine and dine affair; it’s a fulfilling experience for the mind and the soul. Fresh ingredients and unadulterated farm produce go into the making of dishes that manifest the perfect balance of purity, authenticity and generosity in every flavour. Each dish on its à la carte menu is inspired by timeless recipes belonging to Italian and Sicilian heritage and makes for a good pairing for the epic collection of Christmont wines.
All in all, Christmont is that beautiful escape that our heart yearns for every now and then. And, add wines to the scenario, there’s no way one could resist the charms of this gem of a place.