Deen De Bortoli

Late Company Chairman

Deen De Bortoli, Patriarch of the De Bortoli family and Chairman of one of Australia’s foremost family owned wine companies De Bortoli Wines, died suddenly on 26th October 2003. Son of the founder Vittorio De Bortoli, Deen was loved and admired by all for his humble, generous nature and his dedication to the Australian Wine Industry. Deen was 67 years old and survived by his wife Emeri, their four children and 12 grandchildren.

Deen was a part of the wine industry for more than 50 years. He commenced work at just fifteen leaving school to help his parents Vittorio & Giuseppina run the family wine business. He was instrumental in the growth of the company and witnessed many innovations in the industry over the years including changes in wine styles, wine making and viticulture.

Some highlights from Deen's career include creating Noble One with his son Darren during the 1980s and establishing the company's Victorian vineyards in the Yarra and King Valleys. Deen received many awards and accolades including the Graham Gregory Award for Services to the NSW Wine Industry in 1995. He was also awarded the Inaugural Golden Plate Award in recognition of his contribution to the wine industry in the Riverina. Another highlight for Deen was De Bortoli winning Australia’s most prestigious wine trophy, the Jimmy Watson in 1997. Deen was also able celebrate the milestone 75th Anniversary of De Bortoli Wines before he died. 

While largely self taught, Deen had an instinct and passion for the industry. One of his most important legacies was his open-mindedness and willingness to try new ideas. 

At Deen's funeral service at the Sacred Heart Catholic Church in Griffith, his friend Peter Budd read his poem entitled 'Our Deen', which gives an insight to the man who was Deen De Bortoli. 

Deen Tribute Poem by Peter Budd