Photo Friday: Packing Prosecco Picnic in Victoria’s King Valley

Forges Farm offers a Packing Prosecco picnic in the King Valley


I took this Photo Friday image in the bucolic King Valley in Victoria’s High Country.

The afternoon sun glints on the Prosecco glasses set beside platters of local Milawa cheeses and crusty bread. Ancient river red gums shade our picnic area, set with hessian-covered hay bales, blankets and bright pillows as Hereford cows feast on clover in a nearby paddock. Our horses also enjoyed chomping on those sweet green grasses on the 20-minute pack horse ride…more of a lazy amble really…to the picnic spot along the King River on Forges Farm.

How do you pack a horse

Fifth generation cattle farmers Anne Marie and Graham Forge are the last original settler family on the King River. Before we had set out, they’d demonstrated the fine art of packing horses, once used to take supplies into the high country.

“I am so proud to be living and working on the same piece of property as my forefathers,” says Anne Marie. “And it’s great to be able to show visitors our packhorse skills.”

Local wine has an Italian twist

Today our adventure at Forges Farm is called Packing Prosecco, courtesy of Dal Zotto Wines, the Prosecco-making pioneer of the King Valley’s vibrant Italian wine-growing community. It is an amalgam of all that is great in this beautiful valley in the heart of Victoria’s high country, just 45 minutes southeast of Wangaratta.

Family is king in the King Valley, whether it is Aussie settlers like the Forges or the Italian families, like the Pizzinis, Dal Zottos, and Politinis, who settled here after World War II. The Italians first grew tobacco but, at the encouragement of one of Australia’s oldest winegrowing families, the Brown Brothers in nearby Milawa, they became contract grape growers. In the last couple of decades, the grape growers became winemakers and today they are passionate about Italian varietals… Sangiovese, Nebbiolo, Arneis, Barbera and, of course, Prosecco.

If you want to experience more of what the King Valley has to offer, come during La Dolce Vita is the King Valley’s annual spring wine and food festival (Nov 15-16, 2014) where all the wineries offer new releases of Prosecco, Pinot Grigio, Sangiovese and Barbara with Italian food such as handmade pasta and gnocchi, pizza, seafood and Italian desserts. Lots of music and kids’ activities too.

King Valley

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King Valley -36.459950, 146.372910


Sue Gough Henly

Sue Gough Henly is award-winning travel writer and photographer whose bi-line has appeared in The New York Times, Travel & Leisure, The Guardian, The Toronto Star and all the major Australian publications. Her travel blog, Genuine Journeys, is full of insider tips on the best places for authentic experiences and luxury splurges. She is also the author of Australia’s Best Places travel app. When she doesn’t have sand between her toes or a pack on her back, she writes about food, wine and culture.

2 comments to Photo Friday: Packing Prosecco Picnic in Victoria’s King Valley

  • Emma  says:

    Hi Sue

    So glad you loved it!

    Great blog :o)

    • Sue Gough Henly  says:


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