A quiet corner of the Hunter Valley goes Italian for one weekend in April | PHOTOS

FUN: A Little Bit of Italy in Broke returns to the Broke-Fordwich of the Hunter Valley on April 7 to 9, 2017. Book your tickets now.
FUN: A Little Bit of Italy in Broke returns to the Broke-Fordwich of the Hunter Valley on April 7 to 9, 2017. Book your tickets now.

A Little Bit of Italy in Broke brings the essence of Italian hospitality and cuisine to the picturesque Broke-Fordwich region each April. And food lovers, the countdown to the 12th annual festival has well and truly begun. 

This tranquil corner of the Hunter Valley is a premium wine-producing sub-region which, on April 7, 8 and 9, comes alive with this fun, Italian-inspired foodie festival for all ages to enjoy. 

Intrigued? A sneak peek at the program of events planned by the 11 participating venues suggests this year’s festival will be bigger and better than ever. There will be fresh, authentic cuisine and local produce to enjoy, cooking classes, workshops, demonstrations, vineyard tours, wine-tasting and live entertainment, all with a distinctly Italian flavour. 

The signature event of the weekend is La Grande Festa, to be held in the award-winning Margan Barrel Room on the Saturday evening. Guests will join local winemakers, vignerons and producers for Italian cocktails and antipasti under the stars in Margan’s courtyard, followed by a four-course feast. 

Greenway Wines will offer picnic boxes to share on a long table and Broke’s Promise will have Italian meatballs, sausages and a feast of Italian patisseries and espresso from Ray the Butcher. Krinklewood Vineyard will serve wood-fired pizza and gelato in its Tuscan-inspired courtyard, while at Catherine Vale Wines visitors can build their own antipasto platter or indulge in pork or lamb from the open fire pit with pasta salad and traditional Italian bread.

There’s also plenty on offer for those who love cooking and creating as much as eating. There will be gnocchi-making classes, cooking schools, a Margan garden tour and lunch, pizza-making demonstrations and a Vermouth cocktail masterclass.

Krinklewood Vineyard will host a biodynamic walk and talk and Whispering Brook has a vineyard, winery and olive grove tour planned. Catherine Vale Wines will host an olive tasting and preserving workshop, and Ascella Organic Wines a pop-up talk on organic wine, olives, herbs, natural soaps and scrubs.

Transfer buses can pick visitors up from accommodation in the Cessnock, Rothbury, Lovedale or Pokolbin areas, with shuttle buses running between venues all weekend. Be sure to book these in advance. The full program can be found at italyinbroke.com.au.