Sergio Maglione is best known as the chef and owner of Farina Restaurant on Ponsonby Road.
Growing up in Naples we didn’t just consume food and wine, we made it. Bread, olive oil, vinegar, wine – everything. I remember when I was growing up I used to love to go with my grandfather on one of his trips to a small village north of Naples. My family had a strong connection there. In this village my grandfather would buy grapes to make his own wine. I used to love these trips because we would also pick up delicious olives to make the olive oil. It was always like this, we would make wine for our family. If we ran out then another family would give us some of theirs and we would do the same. Many families in Italy still make their own wine today.
Wine in Italy is an important part of lunch and dinner. After school, my grandad would drop red wine in some soda water so the kids could try some too with our dinner. Wine is always served with food. Even if you are having a glass of wine to socialise you would still always have at least some good olives to go with it. I think you taste the wine on a different level when it is with food.
At Farina we try hard to keep that connection. While we have Italian wines as well, we are also very proud to support local especially in this challenging year. We work with Francesca and John Kirwan and their fantastic local Italian wine company JK14, and by the glass we are serving great New Zealand produced wines like the Deep Down Organic Pinot Noir and the McGeorge Chardonnay – I got to know the winemaker Simon through mutual hospitality friends, then fell in love with their wine!
The support for us from the local community here has been really amazing too. We invested a lot into the restaurant recently with upgrades including a new covered sun terrace. We were hoping that the community would continue to support us and they really have which means so much. We are looking forward to having all of these lock downs behind us so we can have a full restaurant once again.
On the Farina pop-up restaurant at Winetopia?
The food we will be serving at Winetopia is all about freshness. We will use the best seasonal produce and create simple dishes including fresh pasta stirred in our parmesan wheel, beautiful New Zealand olive oil and ingredients to balance the wine and to let it sing. There will be some classic Farina dishes on the menu as well. We will serve some of our best food at the event and serve it quickly to make sure we provide a great service to our customers and help to make a fantastic overall experience.
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