Viva il re!
For those not fluent in Italian, this means ‘long live the king!’ Long live King Valley, a hot spot of Italian-influenced winemaking.
This region – not unlike the hills of northern Italy – was built on the hard work of Italian families that migrated to Australia and brought with them a forte for prosecco, sangiovese, pinot grigio, nebbiolo, dolcetto, arneis and barbera.
Visitors may be unsurprised to find cellar doors that lure them to stay longer with rustic Italian food and games of bocce, as well as other gourmet delights like cheeses, preserved sausages and mustards.
A scenic three-hour drive from Melbourne is just as much a part of the destination; covering roads flanked by the mountains of the Great Dividing Range, snowfields and, in some parts, national parks.