Festa della Vendemmia
The Festa della Vendemmia (Grape Harvest Feast) is held March and is undoubtedly Slow Food Mildura’s largest and best-known annual event.
The Festa takes place at long tables under high trellis vines at the Garreffa’s Belar vineyard in Irymple, and features a procession of amazing courses inspired by the Italian tradition.
The Festa has grown steadily in size and status since 2002, and in 2016 hosted around 270 guests from all over Sunraysia and south-eastern Australia including Melbourne and Adelaide. Word is out that this is a dining experience not to miss, feasting on Mildura’s best local seasonal produce and local wines.
In 2016 Slow Food Mildura also made beer and wines specifically for the Festa, with the cooperation of Mildura Brewery and Chalmers Wines.
Each year in December Slow Food Mildura celebrates Terra Madre Day with the River Soiree event, held on the banks of the Murray River and sometimes on the river itself. The River Soiree is a fun evening event featuring innovative courses that showcase local indigenous foods, the skills of local emerging chefs, and locally produced beers and wines.
Terra Madre Day is an international Slow Food event which honours local food producers and culinary traditions across the world. The Terra Madre network is an international network of small-scale producers and others united by the production of a particular food that is closely linked to a geographic area. The network was launched by Slow Food in 2004 to support those around the world whose approach to food production protects the environment and communities.
In 2015, the River Soiree took place at the Mildura Rowing Club right on the banks of the Murray River. SuniTAFE apprentice chef Drew Sammut organised a series of dishes that included Murray Cod marinated in local pomegranate with pigface, samphire and saltbush garnish, yabby risotto, kangaroo burger and quandong tarts.
In 2013 and 2014 the River Soiree took place on the riverboat PS Mundoo, departing from Mildura wharf and navigating the Murray River upstream as far as the Trentham Estate winery.