The Hunter Valley and Lovedale are home to some of the oldest and best-known wine families in the country. With many years in the business of growing grapes and making wine, these families have a wealth of experience in growing and producing their own unique wine styles.
The De Bortoli family made its foray into the Hunter Valley in 2002 with the purchase of the former Wilderness Estate in Lovedale, with 26 hectares of established vineyards, including semillon vines over 40 years old. The subsequent purchase of the adjoining 40 hectare property increased the size of the business, allowing De Bortoli to make the distinctive Semillon and Shiraz styles for which the Hunter Valley is renowned.
De Bortoli is a third generation family wine company which was established in 1928 by Vittorio and Giuseppina De Bortoli in NSW. The couple emigrated to Australia in 1924 from Northern Italy, from mountain villages at the foothills of the Italian Alps, near the historic town of Asolo. Vittorio De Bortoli’s first crush of just 15 tonnes of black Shiraz grapes was made into wine for family and friends, but even in his wildest dreams, the 24 year old could never have imagined that he would establish one of Australia’s most important winemaking dynasties.
The De Bortoli Family 1930s
The winemaking philosophy of De Bortoli is that great wine begins in the vineyard and that the winemaker should use minimal handling and interference in the winery. This hands-on approach in the vineyard and hands-off approach in the winery reflects the family philosophy of allowing the fruit and the terroir to be fully expressed in every bottle of wine.
The winemaking team in Lovedale is overseen by third generation winemaker Darren De Bortoli and his brother-in-law Steve Webber who is married to Leanne De Bortoli. Steve, who was awarded Gourmet Traveller Wine’s Winemaker of the Year, oversees the Hunter Valley winery and vineyards.
Visitors on a Saturday to the De Bortoli cellar door in Lovedale, can not only taste their wide selection of wines, including the famous Noble One, but can enjoy the Hunter Valley markets, which are held weekly.