The King of Winery Experiences
by Border Cafe, April 2018
Set high on a ridge in the King Valley is one of the Top 50 wine experiences in the world, according to Gourmet Traveller Wine Magazine.
For two consecutive years, anonymous judges have visited Chrismont and pitted it against the best in the world.
“It’s a wow moment when you first see it,” the magazine notes.
From humble cellar door beginnings a few decades ago in a ‘converted garage’, Chrismont has evolved into a modern masterpiece of architecture and spectacular scenery, underpinned by an expansive wine list and heartfelt, seasonal food.
Children of local Italian tobacco growers, winery owners Jo and Arnie Pizzini grew up with a strong work ethic and a respectful understanding of working on the land.
“Mother nature, she can be cruel,” Jo says. “You can’t cut corners”
This attention to detail might help to explain why Chrismont is considered an ‘experience’ rather than just a winery visit.
“We welcome people the way we would want to be welcomed, “Jo says.
“They’ve come a long way and if they can come here for two hours or five hours and just switch off from everything else, then that’s what we want.”
Chrismont’s grape varietals are also worlds away from many other wineries, with a range of German, French and Italian style wines making wine tasting quite dynamic (one of Chrismont’s labels, La Zona, will increase your vino vocabulary exponentially with names such as Barbera, Arneis and Fiano Mama mia!!).
As you might also expect, the food on offer by Jo and Arnie is also designed to make you feel right at home. The menu works around regional produce that is readily available and typically Italian in flavour as well as quality.
“My mother was a very good Southern Italian cook,” Jo says.
“It’s not rocket science, it’s about simplicity. Keep it fresh and don’t overcomplicate.”
Chrismont winery also has a food and produce larder, allowing visitors to “take a piece of the experience with them”. For those who want to linger longer, there is also an event space and accommodation.
Jo and Arnie are passionate about the King Valley and creating both visitor and employment opportunities for the local community. They lead by example with their passion to work seven days a week, a novelty you would think might well and truly worn thin by now. But that is not the Chrismont way.
“It is an absolute pleasure to open our doors daily,” Jo says.
Border Cafe is a locally owned and produced online magazine for Albury Wodonga and surrounds (North East Victoria, Southern NSW). We invite our readers to check-in, and be inspired by what’s happening in our backyard. We shine a light on everything that’s great about living in or exploring our beautiful region.