Shortest Lunch – Winery Profile – Killara Estate

Leo Palazzo

Shortest Lunch – Winery Profile – Killara Estate – by Denise McCann

Benvenuti a Killara Estate
From Leo and Gina Palazzo

It was a beautiful sunny day in autumn when I visited with the team at Killara Estate to chat about this year’s Shortest Lunch. We were bathed in morning sun, the sky was ridiculously blue and the vineyard was a blanket of beautiful autumnal hues of yellow and red. I couldn’t wait to hear more about this spectacular place.

The property has a rich and famous Victorian history of ownership since the late 19th century. David Mitchell, father of the famous Australian operatic Soprano, Dame Nellie Melba, originally owned the estate. In 1883 the property was sold to David Syme, of the family who owned and controlled The Age newspaper in Melbourne for 127 years, from 1856 to1983. It was David Syme in the late 1890’s who named the property “Killara” from an Aboriginal word meaning “always there”.

Perched 250m above sea level in the Upper Yarra Valley, the vineyard was planted in 1997 with Pinot Noir, Chardonnay and Shiraz. Other varieties now grown on the property include Pinot Grigio, Sangiovese, Nebbiolo and Cabernet Sauvignon a well as varieties for their Italian Sparkling wines.

The property is a wedge-formation allowing vineyard blocks to experience their own microclimate within the Yarra Valley’s microclimate, producing grapes distinctly unique compared to those grown elsewhere in the Valley.

The cellar door was opened in 2006. In the best Italian tradition, good wine, good food and good company are combined masterfully.  The open fireplace, welcoming lounge areas, extensive outdoor decking, manicured lawns and kid friendly areas allow family and friends to enjoy all sorts of occasions, whether it’s a group of 2 or a crowd of 150: your individual needs are always well catered for.

With generations of Italian family occasions to draw from, Killara Estate knows how to run events. Set amongst the lush vines with breathtaking views of the surrounding mountain ranges, sloping hills and valleys, it is a perfect location for weddings. Guests are offered exclusive use of the property and facilities, which includes both indoor and outdoor areas. A dedicated Function Coordinator will be with you from inception to the big day.

The “Racers and Rascals” Cellar Door café (and the wine label of the same name) pays homage to a book produced by the Vintage Sports Car Club of Victoria. The book celebrates the car club’s history in 1940’s when the Killara property was used to race “Quarter Mile Acceleration Trials”. Have a look at the book when you visit.

To fully understand the heart of the Palazzo family’s traditions, you need only to look at Leo’s Italian heritage of farming and winemaking originating from Southern Italy since the 16th century.

“The joy and simplicity of farm life has worked as a catalyst in maintaining the family unit and it is these traits that my family brings to the winery”. Says Leo.

The Italian word for welcome, benvenuti, is what the Palazzo Family is renowned for and properly embodied by their much loved “Wine Dog” Winston, a beautiful St Bernard.

Smaller Wineries Yarra Valley

Shortest Lunch Menu at Killara Estate


Risotto Calabrian Style

Prosciutto 20-month aged from Italy, sliced before your eyes with Ciabatta bread

Roast your own chestnuts on the hot coals

Enjoy a real pick me up with our authentic Tiramisu

Live Music & Open fires, matched with warm Italian hospitality


Killara.racers logo


773 Warburton Hwy
Cnr Sunnyside Road
Seville East Vic 3139

Ph: (03) 5961 5877
Fax: (03) 5961 5629

Opening Hours
Cellar Door – Wednesday to Sunday 9am – 5pm
Racers and Rascals Cafe – Wednesday to Sunday 12.00pm – 3.00pm


Shortest Lunch 18 & 19 June 2016 - Winery Profile - Seville Hill

Saturday 18th & Sunday 19th June, 2016
10am – 5pm