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Five questions with Mel Brauer, Prosecco Festival

Mel Brauer or the Prosecco Queen as she's commonly known has been a champion of this beloved Italian sparkling and the founder of the Prosecco Festival.

For over ten years, she has been working to promote the 'magic of Prosecco, spreading the word of its versatility and drinkability'.

  1. How did your love affair of prosecco begin?

In Italy, over 12 years ago, when we discovered a very enjoyable and affordable drink at the local supermarket while on an extended holiday.

My husband proposed in Venice at the famous Harry’s Bar, by dropping a diamond ring into the Bellini I was drinking (made with peach puree and Prosecco) so that really sealed the deal!

2. What inspired you to stage a Prosecco Festival?

I had been hosting Prosecco masterclasses and dinners for quite a few years, which were always very popular. I then realised I could reach more people, and take the guesswork out of finding the perfect drop if I put all my favourite winemakers and importers in the same room at the same time and invited people to come and taste their way through all the different styles ! Many people don’t realise that there are so many – so the festival really is a place of education as well as a great day out.

3.  How does a punter work out the difference between a good prosecco from an average one?

The top quality Italian Prosecco has the letters DOCG on the bottle, this means the grapes are grown in a small area in the epicentre of the Prosecco Hills in North East Italy which is listed as of UNESCO world heritage importance, the grapes are handpicked, the wine is made under very strict conditions, to preserve the characteristics of the grapes, and expressing the unique terroir of the soil and climate.

When we are talking about Australian Prosecco, always look for the back of the label to make sure the wine is coming from a winery with an address in the wine region, rather than a supermarket brand. That way you will be guaranteed to be drinking wine from a family-owned business, and supporting those people who have pioneered the variety in Australia. The best Prosecco grapes are from The King Valley in North East Victoria, as well as the Alpine Valley and Central Victoria, near Nagambie.

4. What’s the perfect food pairing for prosecco?

Almost everything except chocolate! Seafood, antipasto, cheese, pizza, white meat, and even desserts featuring stone fruits like peach and nectarine, or anything with citrus!

5. Kylie Minogue has just released a prosecco rose that will be starring in the festival, will she make an appearance?

Ha, wouldn’t THAT be amazing? I’ve tagged her in a few Instagram posts and she’s liked and commented on them so you never know!


Prosecco Festival
26 March
North Laundry and Mercator Lawn
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