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A foodie guide to Griffith

Yarran Wines, YendaCREDIT: Destination NSW

Yarran Wines, an award-winning vineyard in Griffith.

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A foodie guide
to Griffith

Yarran Wines, Yenda CREDIT: Destination NSW

Yarran Wines, an award-winning vineyard in Griffith.

#lovensw #newsouthwales

Hashtags #lovensw #newsouthwales

Experience Griffith, in the Riverina region of southwest New South Wales, via your wine glass, sweet tooth or picnic basket. This town and surrounds are home to award-winning vineyards, a bakery selling biscotti made from a century-old Italian recipe and memorable paddock-to-plate experiences.  

Griffith has a strong food and wine culture, partly thanks to the European population that settled here after World War I. There are excellent wineries, local eateries and food producers to savour, plus culinary events to look out for (like the Griffith Italian Festival). These essential itinerary items provide great opportunities to sample as much of the local fare as possible. 

Tour the wineries 

In 1928, Vittorio De Bortoli saw promise in the glut of shiraz grapes that other farmers were discarding in the region. What he bottled led to local demand for his business, De Bortoli Wines, and nearly a century — and a few wine-making generations later — his family is still tending to vines at their Bilbul estate. Visit the cellar door to hear about the company’s history and to enjoy a bottle under a pergola in the garden. Established in 1945, Calabria Wines is another family-run winery with long-standing connections to Griffith. Its Tuscan-style cellar door offers a number of tasting experiences, with options for cheese platters and group tastings, all executed with real warmth and Italian hospitality.  

Yarran Wines is a boutique winery overlooking Cocoparra National Park, producing sauvignon blanc, pinot grigio, shiraz and cabernet sauvignon. Its intimate size allows for tailored tastings and personalised group bookings — and its impact has been significant. Gourmet Traveller Wine magazine ranked Yarran Wines as the region’s best small cellar door in 2018 and Halliday Wine Companion, one of Australia’s leading authorities on wine, named it “Dark Horse Winery of the Year” for 2021.  

Piccolo Family Farm, Wyangan CREDIT: Destination NSW

For a taste of Griffith, visit Piccolo Family Farm.

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Piccolo Family Farm, Wyangan CREDIT: Destination NSW

For a taste of Griffith, visit Piccolo Family Farm.

#lovensw #newsouthwales

Zecca, Griffith CREDIT: Destination NSW

Chef making fresh pasta at Zecca Restaurant, Griffith.

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Zecca, Griffith CREDIT: Destination NSW

Chef making fresh pasta at Zecca Restaurant, Griffith.

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Dig into some great food 

Another way to enjoy the area’s Italian roots is via the menu at Zecca Handmade Italian, a casual eatery housed in a 1930s Art Deco building. Its tagliatelle, rigatoni and pappardelle and other artisanal pasta shapes are made with Riverina wheat (and available to buy for your own pantry). The restaurant serves lesser-known Italian dishes (such as raschiatelli from Basilicata) and its name (Italian for “mint”) is a reference to the building’s history as Griffith’s Rural Bank. Zecca also pays tribute to its surrounds by pouring Riverina wines made with Italian varietals.  

Aquna Sustainable Murray Cod’s native, pond-grown Murray cod has been backed by celebrity chef Heston Blumenthal and also appears on various restaurant menus across Australia. To experience this sustainably harvested fish yourself, head to the company’s shopfront in Griffith to taste this local delicacy.  

This ingredient has also been championed by local chef Luke Piccolo, who runs Limone Dining. At his fine-dining Griffith restaurant he serves battered Aquna cod with fermented chickpea dip. He also crumbs the cod and offers it with chips and salad and he pan-fries it, too, presenting it with pickles and fermented cavolo nero. Piccolo, who was named 2019 Young Restaurateur of the Year by the Appetite For Excellence awards, also highlights the Riverina’s gems on his menu: a Berkshire cutlet with almond and miso purée is sourced from Wagga Free Range Pork, while semifreddo is flavoured with licorice from Junee.  

Nearly two-thirds of Griffith’s population have Italian roots — a connection that stems back to the 1880s, but strengthened dramatically in the 1930s, when migrants from Sicily, Calabria and other districts arrived in significant numbers and made the region home. This cultural exchange has especially benefited the food scene, so make a stop at fourth-generation bakery Bertoldo’s Pasticceria for cannoli, coffee, bread and more. This family-run business sells 27 tonnes of gelato a year (with bubblegum, Baci and salted caramel among the bestselling flavours). And its French nougat, which has been in production for 39 years, comes in six varieties, which are sent across Australia. This bakery also sells over 15 types of biscotti, made from a century-old family recipe that originated in Italy. 

Go straight the source  

There’s much more to this fertile region than just grapevines. Catania Fruit Salad Farm in Hanwood, 5km south of Griffith, is as fun (and delicious) as it sounds. It’s home to an impressive range of growing fruit (prunes, oranges, apricots, plums, loquats), which you can experience during one of the daily tours. You can also sample the orchard’s flavours by tasting the farm’s home-made condiments during your visit. If you need some regional ingredients for a picnic (or dinner), visit Riverina Grove in Griffith to stock up on award-winning olives, condiments, salsa and pasta sauce. 

For the ultimate paddock-to-plate experience, stop off at the Piccolo Family Farm in Lake Wyangan. This working farm supplies its restaurant, Limone Dining, with sustainably grown herbs, fruits and vegetables — all harvested by hand and free from pesticides. The property itself is beautiful, with a homestead built in 1921, ornate hedging, a lovely garden and birch forests. The site has previously hosted special long lunches on the lush grounds, and has staged musical festivals, like A Day In The Orchard, too. Look out for upcoming music and arts events at the farm.  

Catania Fruit Salad Farm, Hanwood CREDIT: Destination NSW

Oranges ready to be picked at Catania Fruit Salad Farm, Hanwood near Griffith.

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Catania Fruit Salad Farm, Hanwood CREDIT: Destination NSW

Oranges ready to be picked at Catania Fruit Salad Farm, Hanwood near Griffith.

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Limone Dining, Griffith CREDIT: Destination NSW

Enjoy food and drink at Limone Dining, Griffith.

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Limone Dining, Griffith CREDIT: Destination NSW

Enjoy food and drink at Limone Dining, Griffith.

#lovensw #newsouthwales

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