By Jo Rittey


Everything that’s good about eating and drinking in Italy comes together under one roof in June with the second Melbourne Italian Wine + Food Festival at the Royal Exhibition Building in Carlton. Just as the appeal of Italian food runs from street-style pizza-fun for the whole family to fresh-pasta finery for the connoisseur, the festival has food and drink, entertainment and information to suit everyone from spaghetti-loving kids to the most engaged Italian-speaking wine lover.


The Italian Wine + Food Festival is produced by Progetto Panevino, an events company obsessed with all things wine and food, and especially all things Italian. Created in 2013 by sommelier and passionate Italophile Lara Caraturo, the festival celebrates and promotes Italian wine and food culture in Australia.


Melbourne’s top Italian chefs are turning out in force to make it a day to remember, with much-loved locals Rosa Mitchell (Rosa’s Canteen), Johnny di Francesco (400 Gradi), Carmine Costantini (Pasta Adagio) and Andrea Papadakis and Alberto Fava from Tipo 00. Feast on pizza, pasta and Italian snacks in our pop-up restaurants from Melbourne favourites 400 Gradi, 38 Chairs, Caterina’s Cucina e Bar, Trattoria Emilia, Bar Idda, Pasta Classica, La Bonta, Small Axe and Pasta Adagio plus there’ll be cooking demonstrations with chefs and providores on the Smeg Main Stage.


Taste over 200 Italian wines by the region, explore Italian-centric Aussie wines, or take an Italian Wine Masterclass curated by our team. Meet winemakers and importers, learn more about the grape varieties, the regions and best of all, how good they taste. Featuring wines from Bellavista, Marchese di Barolo, Brancaia, Fuligni, Boscarelli, Fontodi, Tenute del Cerro, plus many more! The Barolo Bar and Franciacorta Bar – a wine experience like no other – with sommeliers, verticals and information about these unique styles are not be missed.


Taste your way through the Marketplace, brimming with Italian goodies featuring Brunetti, That’s Amore Cheese, Saluministi, Paneepizzico, Prosciutto di Parma Consorzio, Parmiggiano Reggiano Consorzio, Pasta Classica, Luca Ciano Sauces, Eurostore, Ardor Gnocchi, Truffle Traders, Arancini Art, 7 Apples Gelato, Maccora Vinocotto, Vinotopia, Molecola Italian Soda, Books for Cooks plus more!


Festival organisers are thrilled to announce a very special appearance by Australia’s favourite tenor Mark Vincent performing Italian songs by Mario Lanza. Mark is the only artist in Australian history to have released 6 albums by the age of 20, going on to sell more than half a million albums worldwide. His latest album ‘A Tribute to Mario Lanza’ debuted at number one, becoming the 8th number one debut in his career.


Plus there’ll be coffee from Espresso di Manfredi’s baristas, Moretti Beer on tap, or sip on an authentic cocktail from the Festival Bar, serving up Negronis and Venetian Spritz all day! Proudly presented by Smeg, the festival is all about celebrating wine, food and culture together in inimitable Italian style.


Prices from $40-$135 and tickets include festival entry, all wine tasting (no tokens), food sampling, coffee, mineral water, cooking demonstrations, entertainment and children enter for free!


Tickets are on sale now:

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