The Riverland is well known for its sun-drenched days, abundant fruit, and the River Murray, where many people head for water sport, fishing or to enjoy a house boat holiday
As children, Mario and Lucy grew up on the land, so it was not surprising when they purchased their own fruit property at Winkie, in the Riverland some 45 years ago where they started their family and raised four sons. In 1999 they acquired their present property where they built a new house. This property was later to become Bella Lavender Estate - coincidentally the house and the Bella Lavender Estate building were both build by Mario and Lucy's 3 oldest sons, Laurie, Andrew and Steven who had earned trades as an electrician & builders respectively.
Beginning in 2008, Bella Lavender Estate with its 3500 plants of lavender is set on 5 acres of land amongst a backdrop of vineyards and olive trees. As you turn off the bitumen road onto the property and drive between the rows of grape vines towards the café you can be forgiven for thinking you are in Tuscany or Provonce.
In 2014 Mario and Lucy's youngest son David and his wife Nicola joined them in the business which coincided with an extension of the cafe and the introduction of a wood-fired oven to cook pizzas in.
When visiting the lavender farm you can choose to walk amongst the heavenly fragrant rows of lavender or browse in the Mediterranean style coffee shop where the shelves are filled with local products from olive oil, organic jams and more. If you prefer, sit back, look out over the boutique lavender field and relax, while you are served a light lunch, wood oven pizza, home made cake of your choice or lavender scones with home made jam and cream while Mario makes you a cup of his famous cappuccino.
The family are always available to talk to guests about the process of growing, drying and distilling of lavender. During the summer months visitors can view the distillation process as Mario picks and distills and lavender to produce the lavender essential oil used to make the body products and various bath soaps available for
Bella Lavender grow lavender varieties that are well suited to the Riverland as they require little water in a well drained position and enjoy full sun exposure. Lavender is a popular plant for the home garden where it is appreciated for its beauty and fragrance. It is an amazing plant best known for its calming effects in aromatherapy. Other useful qualities include reducing stress and headaches, improving sleeplessness, healing burns and mosquito bites