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JOHN ROZENTALS enjoys the fruits of the DiGiorgio family’s labour.

October 23, 2020 Beverage No Comments Email Email

Apart from a brief stint on his arrival and a later move to Queensland to take up a sugar cane cutting job, Stefano Digiorgio has always held interests in the Lucindale district of the Limestone Coast, and has been acquiring land and developing farming businesses in the Lucindale district since first arriving.

This was through the contracting of services to local councils and farmers.

From 1956, he and his family have worked in the area.

During his early years in Australia Stefano worked in several farming operations and was admired for his ability to take on any challenge handed to him.

Stefano and his wife Rita have four children, Frank, Nanni, Anna and Nicky.

Today the entire family work passionately in the family business and have proved a formidable team.

The DiGiorgio family farm covers a vast area and includes cattle, sheep and wool production together with interests in horticultural produce as well as viticulture.

In 1989 the family set aside four hectares on their Lucindale farm for vines.

After much consideration of microclimate, average sunlight hours, water supply and soil testing, the first two hectares of pinot noir and two hectares of cabernet sauvignon were planted.

As a result of its initial success, the family gradually developed the vineyard to its 126 hectares with the final planting in 1998.

The varieties planted now encompass cabernet sauvignon, merlot, shiraz, pinot noir and chardonnay.

During the nineties, the fruit was purchased mainly by the large winemaking companies based in Coonawarra and the Limestone Coast.

In 1998, the family decided it was time to produce their own bottled wines from the family’s vineyards and to market these wines throughout the world.

Initially, the wines were produced at a nearby winery by a contract winemaker.

Then in March 2002, though a stroke of fortune, the family became proud owners of the second-oldest winery in the world famous Coonawarra district.

WINE REVIEWS

DiGiorgio 2019 Montepulciano ($25): Montepulciano is a red variety widely planted in Italy and is especially popular in the southern region of Abruzzi or Abruzzo, where it makes dark, almost brooding, wines. It is more restrained here and would be a fine partner for full-flavoured red-sauced pasta, or to take with you to a good pizza joint.

DiGiorgio 2019 Tempranillo ($25): Tempranillo seems to be going gang-busters in Australia at the moment — and for good reason. It produces sound well balanced dry reds such as this one and grows well in a range of districts. Its wines are probably closer in weight to cabernet rather than to shiraz. Do as the natives do in its Spanish homeland and drink with meaty tapas.

WINE OF THE WEEK

DiGiorgio 2018 Coonawarra Chardonnay ($29): A very modern chardonnay with the emphasis very much on complexity and restrained use of oak. This dry white exists in the white stonefruit and rockmelon spectrums. A notable feature is the creaminess on the palate. Drink with white meats such as poultry and pork, or with rich, white-sauced pasta.

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