De Bortoli Wines
De Bortoli Wines is where the family philosophy of sharing wine and food with family and friends has come together in a magnificent setting only one hour’s drive from Melbourne. The Yarra Valley Estate is managed by third generation family member, Leanne De Bortoli and her husband, Stephen Webber, who is also the chief winemaker. The estate comprises 240 hectares of vines, some of which are more than 40 years old and make up the their portfolio of premium Yarra Valley wines. Visitors to the estate can enjoy delicious Italian style food in the restaurant or pop into Cellar Door to try some Yarra Valley favourites like Chardonnay and Pinot Noir, or try some of the newer Italian varieties.
De Bortoli Wines is a family company spanning four generations and was established in 1928 by Vittorio and Giuseppina De Bortoli who migrated from Italy and eventually settled in Bilbul, New South Wales.
The De Bortoli family purchased the Yarra Valley Estate in 1987 in their quest to produce premium wines from a well-known cool-climate region. The original vineyard was planted in 1971 which now makes this one of the oldest vineyards in the Yarra Valley. Since then, other vineyards have been added to the main farm reaching a total of 240 hectares.
The home vineyard at Dixons Creek has twice won the acclaimed (and coveted) Jimmy Watson trophy, once in 1978 and then again in 1997.
Vittorio and Giuseppina may have been the founders of the original company in 1928, but it was largely due to their son Deen and his son Darren that the family came to have a presence in the Yarra Valley. The region may not have had a large wine industry in those days but it had pedigree. Darren had visited the Yarra Valley in the 1980’s whilst studying winemaking at Rosewothy College in South Australia and was enamoured with the region. Deen and Emeri De Bortoli visited the region many times in the mid 1980’s and when the original 126 acre property came up for sale, they jumped at the chance to be part of this emerging region.
Their daughter Leanne and her husband Stephen moved to the Yarra Valley in 1989 to oversee the expansion of the vineyard as well as construction of a new restaurant and Cellar door.
Right from the time that original founder Vittorio De Bortoli made wine, through to son Deen and now in the hands of the third generation, the key has been to make interesting wines of charm and character.
De Bortoli Have pioneered many different wine styles and different varieties, constantly on the quest to find what is suited to each of the vineyards they own within the Yarra Valley. From the original plantings of Chardonnay, Pinot Noir, Cabernet Sauvignon, Shiraz and Riesling, the vineyard was expanded to include Sauvignon Blanc, Gewurztraminer, Pinot Gris, and in more recent times, lesser known varieties like Pinot Blanc, Nebbiolo, Sangiovese, Gamay, and Nebbiolo. Pinot Noir and Chardonnay may be the mainstay for the company but it is these newer varieties and especially the Italian varieties that excite the family with their potential for the future.
To look at their portfolio of wines is to see a cross-section of what the Yarra Valley does so well:
- The Yarra Valley Range with 3 tiers from Villages Chardonnay and Pinot Noir through to the Estate Grown Range comprising Chardonnay, Pinot noir, Cabernet Sauvignon and Shiraz through to the Single Vineyard Chardonnay, Riesling and Syrah.
- La Boheme with its beautiful packaging showcases 4 aromatic and interesting wines: Named after the famous Opera this range showcases 4 interesting blended and aromatic wines; Act 1 (Riesling), Act 2 (Pinot Rose), Act 3 (Pinot Gris and friends) and Act 4 (Syrah Gamay).
- The Melba Range (named after Dame Nellie Melba) showcases Cabernet and Cabernet blended wines.
- Vinoque is a range that Leanne De Bortoli refers to as their ‘play’ label where they experiment with some of the newer varieties and features Single Vineyard Gamay, Pinot Blanc, Sagiovese and Nebbiolo Rose.
- Last but not least, Rococo Sparkling wine made from a Blend of Pinot Noir and Chardonnay rounds out the range of Yarra Valley wines.