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De Bortoli Wines born in the land down under

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De Bortoli Wines

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In 1924, Vittorio and Giuseppina De Bortoli immigrated to Australia from a village near the historic town of Asolo in Northern Italy to escape the ravages of World War I. Vittorio, at the age of 24, worked his way through odd jobs on farms and wineries. With 3 years savings, he purchased a 55-acre mixed “fruit salad” farm in Bilbul near Griffith. In 1928, due to a grape surplus, Vittorio was unable to sell his grapes so he made his own wine to enjoy with friends and family. The first crush yielded 25,000 gallons of shiraz. De Bortoli survived through the Depression, but was rocked by the onset of World War II as Australians of German and Italian descent were confined to prison camps or severely restricted by the government. In 1952, the rationing system on alcohol was lifted and a consumer boom pushed De Bortoli Wines to the forefront.

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Vittorio’s youngest son, Deen, joined the family business with his passion for winemaking machinery and new technology. By 1959, De Bortoli had increased capacity to 110 vats holding 795,000 gallons. De Bortoli Wines is still family owned and run by Deen and Emeri De Bortoli’s four children: Darren, Leanne, Kevin, and Victor. Their vineyards stretch across Yarra, King, and Hunter Valleys from its original base in Bilbul, in the Riverina region of southern New South Wales. The core remains the same: “Hard work, generosity of spirit and sharing good food, good wine, and good times with family and friends.”

DB Family Selection Chardonnay 2011 is from the Riverina region. The Chardonnay is medium dry and medium bodied; appearance is pale straw with green hues. Tasting notes: white peach aromatics; citrus fruit, green apple, bright lemon, and floral flavors experienced on the palate; serve as a reception wine with appetizers or pair with simple pasta like angel hair tossed in olive oil & pecorino cheese, citrus marinated chicken, or shellfish like mussels or clams. This wine won the Gold 2012 Berlin Wein Trophy, Silver at the 2012 AWC Vienna and 2012 Concours Mondial De Bruxelles, and commended at the 2012 Decanter World Wine Awards.

DB Family Selection Shiraz 2010 is also from the Riverina region. The Shiraz is dry and full bodied; appearance is deep red in color with purple hues. Tasting notes: mixed berries and oak aromatics; black cherry, oak, chocolate, and spice flavors experienced on the palate; pairs with barbequed meats, pork roast, and actually really well with Mrouziya (Moroccan Honey Spiced Lamb). This wine won the Silver at the 2012 AWC Vienna and commended at the 2012 Decanter World Wine Awards. Thumbs up!

Limited Release Emeri Pink Moscato is medium sweet and light bodied with pale translucent pink appearance. Tasting notes: fresh fruit, strawberry, musk, and grapefruit aromatics; clean, crisp apple and peach experienced on the palate; pair with fruits, seafood, light appetizers, float mixed berries in the champagne glass for presentation, or desserts like Moroccan dates stuffed with almond paste. Thumbs up!

De Bortoli is always striving to be environmentally friendly by reducing their carbon footprint. They won the International Sustainability Award at The Drinks Business Green Awards in 2011 by achieving a 40% reduction in landfill waste and relatively inexpensive aeration system initiative for producers their size. Their goal is to be “The Zero Waste Wine Company”. In 2013, De Bortoli completed installation of the largest solar arrays of any Australian winery. This will reduce greenhouse gas emissions by more than 300 tons of carbon dioxide per year.

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De Bortoli Wines
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If you plan a trip to Australia, check out one of their tasting room locations:
Bilbul Cellar Door
De Bortoli Road
Bilbul NSW 2680
Australia
+61 02 6966 0111
Hours: Monday through Saturday from 9am to 5pm, Sunday from 9am to 4pm

Yarra Valley Cellar Door
Pinnacle Lane
Dixons Creek VIC 3775
Australia
+61 03 5965 2271
Hours: Sunday through Saturday from 10am to 5pm

Hunter Valley Cellar Door
532 Wine Country Dr
Pokolbin NSW 2320
Australia
+61 02 4993 8800
Hours: Sunday through Saturday from 10am to 5pm

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