FAMOUS for its focus on food and wine, Griffith will shine when a month-long festival with an Italian flavour kicks off this week.
The inaugural Taste Riverina Food Festival launch at the Junee Liquorice and Chocolate Factory on Friday will begin a month-long celebration of food, wine and all things Italian across the region.
Griffith restaurants will be ramping up the Italian theme and the city will be inundated by celebrity chefs and authors.
Seven Griffith wineries have also got on board a Wine Discovery Tour, where vino lovers can purchase a $2.50 lanyard and received 20 per cent off at local cellar doors.
Other events include a Master and Apprentice book talk, a short film festival, cooking classes, a 100-mile assigini event and an Italian high tea.
McWilliams Hanwood Estate will host the high tea – which will include Italian sweets, champagne, bocce and accordion music – and cellar door manager Karin Penninga said it was a good opportunity to tie in their annual event.
“We have our high tea every year as a fundraiser for Griffith Can Assist but this year we’ll be having an Italian twist,” Mrs Penninga said.
“I think the festival is definitely a good move - people might not be aware of what the Riverina has to offer and this way, we can showcase it all.”
Belvedere Pizza and Gelati Restaurant will be among the Griffith eateries offering Italian-themed specials, focusing on local produce.
Pizza chef Alex Traynor said the festival would be a great tourist attraction for the region.
“I think it will be really good for the community and for outlying towns because it will bring a lot of people in,” Mr Traynor said.
“The Italian theme is perfect for Griffith, I don’t think anything else would really suit.”
A number of events will also be held in Coleambally, including farm to food and organic farm tours.