Festa della Vendemmia, Saturday 7th March 2015

By Tennille Chalmers

Festa della Vendemmia, Saturday 7th March 2015

‘Slow Food is … a global, grassroots organization with supporters in 150 countries around the world who are linking the pleasure of good food with a commitment to their community and the environment.’


Each year in March the local Mildura arm of the internationally recognised food movement group Slow Food hold a seriously epic and memorable dinner ‘Festa della Vendemmia’.  This celebration of the vintage/harvest celebrates everything that Slow Food represents; good, fair and clean food, local, and seasonal produce, community awareness and involvement, and getting consumers to think about where their food comes from.   This dinner is held at a stunning property just outside of Mildura owned by the Garreffa family, local producers of quality fresh and dried fruits.  Long tables are set up under high pergolas of Red Globe table grapes, ripe for the picking.  The tables are filled with courses of fresh, regional fair and the atmosphere is abuzz with like-minded diners enjoying the last of the balmy Mildura nights of the season.  It truly is an amazing event.


This year we have had the pleasure of working with Slow Food Mildura in creating a wine specially for the dinner.  After tasting the fruit from various varieties in our Chalmers Merbein vineyard during January and discussing with Brad Fyfe, local Slow Food representative, together we decided to make a rosato (rose) made from Montepulciano.  This Italian red grape variety is grown throughout central, and mainland Southern Italy and is well suited to our warmer wine growing regions in Australia.


Very simply as with all our #bucketwines, this wine has been hand made with minimal input but a lot of love, care and enthusiasm. The fruit was picked, crushed and left to macerate on it skins for a day to extract colour, pressed into a glass demijohn and left to ferment naturally with wild yeasts.  Fermentation took almost three weeks and we will be bottling it tomorrow ready for the thirsty guests this Saturday.  This wine has seen no additions, and is filtered only by natural settling, so what you see is what you see is what you get!


There is something very cool about the idea of sitting amongst a group of 200 people, all drinking a wine that was on the vine just a month ago.  It’s working together with great people and organisations on projects like this that makes us love what we do.

Want to join in on the fun? Buy tickets here.

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