Calabria Family Wines Group News
FOURTH GEN JOINS CALABRIA FAMILY WINE GROUP
We are thrilled to announce that Calabria Family Wine Group has welcomed fourth-generation family member; Sophie Calabria to our team. Sophie brings a fresh perspective to our family-owned winery, currently completing a Bachelor of Marketing & Communication through University of South Australia, we look forward to seeing her grow and continuing to share our love of wine with our customers around the world.
Sophie's grandfather, Bill Calabria, is especially proud to see his granddaughter join the family business. He has always been a strong advocate for family values and passing on the traditions and knowledge of the company to the next generation. “As a family-owned business, we are proud to have been producing award-winning wines for over 75 years. We believe that our success is due to our commitment to quality, sustainability, and family values.
With Sophie joining the marketing team, we are excited to continue this legacy and to pass on our passion to the next generation.” Bill Calabria.
CALABRIA’S VINTNERS & CO. WELCOMES DOÑA PAULA AGENTINIAN WINES TO DISTRIBUTION PORTFOLIO
Calabria Family Wine Group’s international distribution arm Vintners & Co. Merchants has welcomed Argentinian wine producer Doña Paula to its global wine portfolio, with the wines now available to purchase.
Established in 1997, Doña Paula is founded on an estate winemaking philosophy with 100% of its fruit sourced from its very own vineyards in select areas of the high-altitude Mendoza wine region. While the name is known for producing premium malbec, the winery also produces award-winning torrontés, chardonnay, riesling, cabernet sauvignon and pinot noir.
Doña Paula is also accredited by the Bodegas de Argentina Sustainability Protocol as a certified sustainability managed winery and is one of 10 Argentinian wineries to be certified. Its wines are consistently rated highly by international wine critics, with Robert Parker regularly scoring Doña Paula’s malbec releases 90 points and above.
“Doña Paula offers an incredible mix of value for money and premium Argentinian wines that we know Australian wine lovers will enjoy. We have seen the incredible excitement and growth around malbec in the market, so feel confident that Doña Paula will be able to offer a diverse and authentic selection of Argentina’s premier red grape variety here in Australia,” third-generation Sales & Marketing Director Andrew Calabria said.
The initial portfolio of Doña Paula wines to land in Australia will focus predominantly on the winery’s premium malbecs, commencing with:
Dona Paula ‘Paula’ Malbec
Dona Paula High Altitude Malbec
Dona Paula High Altitude Pinot Noir
Seleccion de Bodega Malbec
Alluvia Parcel Malbec
Doña Paula joins a selection of premium wine producers in the Vintners & Co. Merchants distribution portfolio, which now includes Deutz Champaign, Dow’s Port, Librandi, and Canti Prosecco.
A TASTE OF ITALIAN HISTORY ARRIVES IN AUSTRALIA: FONTANAFREDDA JOINS CALABRIA FAMILY'S VINTNERS & CO. MERCHANTS
Fontanafredda, one of Piedmont’s most historic Barolo producers, will be making its way into Australian wine glasses following a new distribution agreement with Calabria Family Wine Group’s Vintners & Co. Merchants. Founded by the first King of Italy more than 160 years ago, Fontanafredda is celebrated the world over for producing wines of excellence from their estate in the rolling hills of Le Langhe.
The Fontanafredda estate was first purchased in 1858 by Vittorio Emanuele II as a gift for “La Bella Rosin” – Rosa, the woman he loved - with the first Barolo vineyard purchased by the King in 1866. The first wines were vinified in Fontanafredda’s cellars in 1870, with the winery innovating its winemaking and viticultural practices ever since. The King and Rosa planted the first vineyard together, which is now named Vigna La Rosa, dedicated to Rosa Vercellana, "La Bella Rosin".
“We are thrilled to be welcoming such a prestigious name in Italian wine to the Vintners & Co. Merchants portfolio. Fontanafredda is synonymous with producing some of Italy’s finest wines, with further recognition by the world’s top critics for the winery’s Barolos,” third-generation Sales & Marketing Director of the Calabria Family Wine Group, Andrew Calabria said.
“As one of Piedmont’s most recognised wine producers, this new partnership presents an exciting opportunity for our team to tap into new sales channels as the thirst for great international wines grows amongst Australian wine drinkers.”
Fontanafredda is located in the northern region of Piedmont, nestled in the foothills of the Alps that form the Italian border with France and Switzerland. The diurnal temperature variation of the region and diverse soils of the Fontanafredda property allows for the production of an extensive array of varietals at the winery, from powerful Barolo to bright sparklings. In 2015 the winery began converting all of the estate’s vineyards to organic farming techniques, and in 2018, Fontanafredda’s 160th birthday commenced their first certified organic harvest. Today, the winery has 120 hectares of organically grown vines to source its fruit.
In addition to the winery’s highly rated Barolos, Vintners & Co. Merchants has also secured a selection of other well known Italian varietals from the Fontanafredda portfolio, including the Roero Arneis DOCG, Langhe DOC Nebbiolo, Piedmont DOC Dolcetto and Piedmont DOC Barbera.
The Fontanafredda portfolio will be available in Australia in late June. For more information about Calabria Family Wines Groups Vintners & Co. Merchants, please contact: email@example.com
BILL CALABRIA RECOGNISED AS RIVERINA LEGEND AS FAMILY WINERY SWEEPS REGIONAL AWARDS SHOW
Second-generation Winemaker Bill Calabria, AM has been recognised as the 2021 Riverina Legend at this year’s Riverina Wine Show following his namesake winery’s sweeping of the competition with a total of six trophies and the award for Most Successful Exhibitor for the third consecutive year.
Bill (William) Calabria, AM has been a notable figure in the Riverina since first working for the family’s winery at the age of 14. He has long held that the region can produce outstanding, premium wines, in addition to creating some of the world’s most notable value drops.
Despite the highs and lows of the industry, Bill has been steadfast in forging a different path for the Calabria family, creating premium, regionally focussed brands like Three Bridges in addition to expanding the business’ footprint into the Barossa Valley. In 2013, Bill was made a Member of the Order of Australia for his significant service to the industry.
Speaking to the award, NSW Wine Industry Association President Mark Bourne said: “This deserved recognition of Bill’s accomplishments are borne from his passion, innovation and commitment to the Riverina, New South Wales and Australian wine industry over many years. We look forward to the exciting future for Bill and the entire Calabria family as they continue to play a significant role in the prosperity and growth of the Riverina for generations to come.”
Of the trophy winning wines, in the Riverina Wine Show Calabria’s Three Bridges Durif 2019 won the coveted trophy for Best Riverina Durif, with McWilliam’s Wines winning both the Best Riverina Dry White and Dry Red Trophies for the On the Grapevine Pinot Gris 2020 and Alternis Nero D’Avola 2021 respectively.
In the Australian Italian Varieties Wine Awards, McWilliam’s Alternis Nero D’Avola 2021 also took home the Chief Judge's Award for ‘Most Exciting Wine’. And in the Tumbarumba GI Wine Show, McWIlliam’s 480 Estate Chardonnay 2019 received Best Young White and Wine of Show in the regional competition.
After receiving the award at a special gala presentation, Bill Calabria, AM said: “What an honour to be the recipient of the Riverina Legend award. I am grateful to my distinguished peers and Riverina neighbours for continuing to support our family, even through the most challenging times in our 76 year history.
“I have always believed the Riverina to be incredibly underrated, both locally and globally, but through our consistency of quality wines from year to year, the region continues to be the heart of the NSW wine industry. One thing that stands out is the incredible sense of community and camaraderie found in the region and I send my sincere thanks to everyone who has contributed to the ongoing success of our family winery over the past seven decades.”
The Riverina Legend award first launched in 2019 as part of the Riverina Wine Show. Bill Calabria, AM joins Les Worland (2019) and Jim and Keith McWilliam (2020) who have both been recognised for this distinguished regional award.
For more information about the Riverina Wine Shows, please visit www.riverinawinemakers.com.au.
The Calabria family has launched the Calabria Family Wine Group signifying a new era for the Griffith-based family winery. Following a year of significant brand acquisitions, namely the historic McWilliam’s Wines brand and Hanwood Winery, along with Deakin Estate, and La La Land Wines, the rapid growth of the family business has evolved significantly, cementing them among the largest family-owned wine groups in Australia.
Calabria Family Wines is toasting a ‘century in the making’ success after being named a Best in Show winner at the Decanter World Wine Awards 2021 for its top wine, Calabria The Iconic Grand Reserve Shiraz 2018. The wine, the only Shiraz in the world to be named Best in Show, is crafted from premium fruit sourced from 100-year-old vines on the family’s Barossa Valley ‘William’ Vineyard. Calabria’s wine was one of only two Best in Show wines from Australia. READ MORE
CALABRIA FAMILY WINES ACQUIRES AUSTRALIAN DISTRIBUTION OF BEST-SELLING ITALIAN BRAND, CANTI
The deal, commencing this week, sees the family-owned winery take over the Australian import, sales, and marketing of the family-owned and operated Canti from Accolade Wines.
As a third-generation Italian-Australian wine business, Calabria Family Wines hopes to bring Canti’s distinct Italian flair and style to the booming prosecco market in Australia.
“This is our first shot into the distribution of wines outside of the Calabria Family Wines brand and we can’t think of a better business to be working with than Canti,” third-generation Sales & Marketing Manager
Andrew Calabria said. READ MORE
CHAMPAGNE DEUTZ X MELBOURNE SYMPHONY ORCHESTRA
We are thrilled to announce that our International partner brand; Champagne Deutz is the official Champagne Partner of the Melbourne Symphony Orchestra! As two iconic brands with a shared passion for excellence and creativity, we are excited to bring together the world of music and champagne, which we are looking forward to celebrating with you all.
Champagne Deutz is a world-renowned champagne house that has been producing exceptional champagne for over 180 years. Their commitment to quality and tradition has earned them a reputation as one of the finest champagne producers in the world, creating a range of exquisite champagnes that are renowned for their elegance, complexity, and finesse. With its delicate bubbles, rich flavors, and luxurious texture, Champagne Deutz is the perfect choice for any celebration or special occasion. Whether you're toasting a milestone or simply enjoying a glass with friends, Champagne Deutz is sure to impress.
MAURICE O'SHEA AWARD RETURNS IN 2022 UNDER NEW BANNER; AUSTRALIAN WINE INDUSTRY AWARDS
Prestigious Maurice O’Shea Award will continue, in partnership with McWilliam’s Wines and Mount Pleasant Wines.
Australian Wine Industry Awards event will recognise Mount Pleasant’s Maurice O’Shea Award and the new McWilliam’s Wines Excellence in Action award.
A judges committee will be formed to confer with leaders of the industry and select the winners of each award.
Awards will be presented at a special ceremony to celebrate the industry ahead of the Australian Wine Industry Technical Conference (AWITC) in June.
The prestigious Maurice O’Shea Award will return in 2022 under the new Australian Wine Industry Awards event, in partnership with McWilliam’s Wines and Mount Pleasant Wines. The new awards will
be presented at an exclusive event in Adelaide, South Australia on Sunday, 26 June 2022 ahead of the Australian Wine Industry Technical Conference taking place that same week.
Founded in 1990 by the McWilliam family, the triennial awards ceremony commemorates and pays homage to Mount Pleasant's legendary, Maurice O’Shea. This significant industry award recognises an individual, group, or organisation for their incredible service or contribution to the industry through winemaking, cultivation, innovation and technology.
Following the change of ownership to both Mount Pleasant and McWilliam’s Wines in 2021 by the Medich Family Office and Calabria Family Wine Group respectively, the two felt passionate about working together to honour these distinguished awards and bring this important industry program into a new era.
“Maurice O’Shea was a man who devoted his efforts to the craft of making great Australian wine. The Maurice O’Shea Award is to honour and recognise a group or individual that has made a significant contribution to the industry by forging new pathways in their efforts to strive for excellence and greaten the industry as a whole,” Chief Winemaker for Mount Pleasant Wines, Adrian Sparks said.
“Mount Pleasant is proud to honour Maurice O’Shea and his enduring legacy to the Australian wine industry by presenting this award in collaboration with the Calabria family.”
In addition to the Maurice O’Shea Award, the new McWilliam’s Award for Excellence in Action will also be presented on the night to an individual, group or organisation that has made a significant impact in
the face of the numerous challenges currently facing the Australian wine industry.
“While the iconic Maurice O’Shea Award celebrates the significant contribution of a group or individual to the industry, we’ve created the McWilliam’s Award for Excellence in Action to focus on the many
challenges facing the wine industry - challenges like climate change, diversity and equality, and international market access - and the important people or industry bodies that have tackled these
obstacles head-on for the betterment of our industry,” third-generation Sales & Marketing Director for Calabria Family Wine Group Andrew Calabria said.
“McWilliam’s Wines has had its fair share of challenges in its 143-year history, but the family’s perseverance and commitment to the industry are what, to me, stand out over those many years and we felt this new distinction was an important way to honour that.”
Under the new partnership, Mount Pleasant and McWilliam’s have called upon leaders across the Australian wine industry to join an exclusive judging committee to confer and nominate potential
winners of both awards. The selected judges include industry body leaders, journalists, winemakers and representatives from Mount Pleasant, McWilliam’s Wines and Calabria Family Wines. A full list of
judges is provided below.
“The conferral process aims to ensure the two awards remain true to Maurice O’Shea’s reputation as the highest honour afforded to a member of the wine industry. We are excited to bring together this
selection of respected and experienced wine professionals to nominate the finest candidates for these awards,” Sparks said.
The Australian Wine Industry Awards, presented by Mount Pleasant and McWilliam’s Wines, will take place by invite only on Sunday, 26 June 2022 in Adelaide, South Australia. The names of the winners
will be announced that evening and via media release the following day.
Mount Pleasant and McWilliam’s Wines are pleased to welcome the following industry representatives as inaugural judges of the Australian Wine Industry Awards:
Phil Ryan, Ambassador, Mount Pleasant Wines
Campbell Mattinson, independent wine journalist
Louisa Rose, Head of Winemaking, Yalumba and Hills Smith Family Vineyards
Bill Calabria AM, Director and Winemaker, Calabria Family Wine Group
Mark Krstic, Managing Director, Australian Wine Research Institute
Tony Battaglene, Chief Executive, Australian Grape & Wine
Jane Faulkner, independent wine journalist
Doug McWilliam, past chairman, McWilliam's Wines and 5th generation industry family member
A special thanks to the generous support of the Gold Sponsors of this event:
Orora Packaging Australia
For more information about the Australian Wine Industry Awards, please visit:
MCWILLIAM'S MAKES DEBUT ON DRINKS INTERNATIONAL'S WORLD'S MOST ADMIRED WINE BRANDS
McWilliam's Wines has claimed a place as one of The World’s Most Admired Wine Brands, making its debut on Drinks International’s annual list at #45 alongside a growing number of familiar Australian wine producers.
The World’s Most Admired Wine Brands is a prestigious list of the 50 most loved and respected wine brands globally. Now in its 12th year, the annual list is decided by an academy of top retailers, sommeliers, buyers and Masters of Wine from six continents.
After a challenging year for Australia’s wine producers, the growing number of local winemakers on the list is a promising sign for Australian wineries eager to break new ground in international markets and demonstrate the increasing quality of Australian wines. McWilliam’s joins other familiar Australian producers on the list, including Penfolds (#2), 19 Crimes (#18), Henschke (#21), Yellow Tail (#24), and Yalumba (#33).
The debut of McWilliam’s Wines to #45 on the list reflects the significant development in the winery’s journey over the last two years. The sixth-generation family winery boasts over 140 years of winemaking history, embodied through its rich portfolio of premium wines.
This global recognition comes a year after the winery was purchased by its Riverina neighbours, Calabria Family Wine Group, proving the partnership between the two family wineries is already off to a promising start.
Sixth-generation Global Brand Ambassador Scott McWilliam said of the accolade: “The growing collection of Australian wineries on this distinguished list is hugely exciting for our industry. We commend all of the notable Australian producers who have received a mention this year.
“For McWilliam’s Wines to earn a spot among the most respected wineries in the world is a testament to our perseverance, rich heritage, and unique partnership that we have formed with Calabria Family Wines.”
The complete list is available on the Drinks International website here.
Editor’s note: Drinks International listed McWilliam’s Wines as a ‘re-entry’ into the list at the time of publishing. The Drinks International team has confirmed this was an error, and McWilliam’s is a new entry into the list.
For more information about McWilliam’s Wines, visit www.mcwilliams.com.au.
Follow McWilliam’s on Instagram at @mcwilliamswines.
WAVE OF TROPHIES FOR CALABRIA AT RIVERLAND WINE SHOW
Calabria Family Wines has taken top honours at the 49th Riverland Wine Show, receiving a total of six exhibition and individual wine trophies in the regional competition.
Calabria’s trophy haul includes the Wally Ware Trophy for Most Successful Exhibitor (Red Classes 2, 9
12-16, 23), MCC Multi-Color Australia Trophy for Most Successful Exhibitor (White Wine Classes 1, 3-8, 10-11, 18-19, 21-22), Rabobank Trophy for Most Successful Exhibitor (Classes 1-23), Novozymes Australia Trophy for Most Successful Exhibitor (Overall) in addition to individual awards including the A.P. John Coopers Trophy for Chief Judge’s Wine of Choice for its 2020 Calabria Private Bin Pinot Bianco and Australian Vintage AW Kelly Memorial Trophy for Best Fortified Wine for the McWilliam’s Wines Show Reserve Muscat.
In addition to the major trophies, Calabria also received a top score and gold medal for its Three Bridges Botrytis Semillon 2018.
While many of the country’s regional and national wine shows have been postponed or cancelled due to the COVID-19 pandemic, third-generational Sales & Marketing Director Andrew Calabria welcomes the outstanding results.
“We are beyond thrilled with the outcome from the show as it demonstrates our continued commitment to the Riverina region and the potential it has to produce outstanding wines. We commend the Riverland Wine Show team for putting on a fantastic show despite the challenges presented this year,” Calabria said.
“While the Riverland and surrounding river regions excel at consistently producing top value wines, there’s a movement by producers of all sizes to push the boundaries and showcase the premium side of the river regions and it’s great to see the Riverland Wine Show shining a light on these premium producers.
The Riverland Wine Show has been a forum for the evaluation of wines produced from fruit sourced from the inland irrigated regions of Swan Hill, Murray Darling, Riverina, Rutherglen and Riverland regions. Judges include a mix of winemakers and industry leaders, with Oliver’s Taranga winemaker Corrina Wright as Chief Judge.
Other trophy winners in the competition include Pete’s Pure Shiraz 2021 for Best Wine of Show, Temple Bruer Wines Agonist White Frontignac 2020 for Best Organic / Biodynamic Wine in Show, and the Ricca Terra Fiano 2021 for Best Alternative Wine in Show.
For more information about the Riverland Wine Show, please visit http://www.riverlandwineshow.com.au/
We are pleased to share with you that Calabria Family Wines’ purchase of McWilliam’s Wines is now complete.
Both of our families have a rich heritage, contributing much to the Australian wine industry and the Riverina wine region. While the recent acquisition closes a difficult period for the McWilliam family, I speak for everyone in the Calabria family that we aim to respect their many contributions to the growth of Australian wine and champion the unique attributes that have made the McWilliam’s name celebrated around the world. READ MORE
AUSTRALIAN WINE BRANDS DEAKIN ESTATE, LA LA LAND AND AZAHARA FIND NEW HOME AT CALABRIA FAMILY WINES
Australian winemaker Calabria Family Wines is welcoming three Australian wine brands to its growing portfolio; Deakin Estate, La La Land and Azahara. The formal agreement is a brand-only sale and transfers ownership of these well-established brands from the Wingara Wine Group, part of Henkell Freixenet, to the Calabria family.
Calabria Family Wines will now produce all of the wines across each of the brands’ portfolios from their Griffith, NSW winery as well as manage marketing across all markets. Calabria Family Wines will continue the current distribution partnership with Red & White for all three brands in Australia. READ MORE