• Good wine, good food and good friends

Our Heritage

The De Bortoli family story is one of determination and triumph that started 90 years ago in war-torn Europe and is now told, generations later, across Australia.

Our heritage encompasses the universal story of immigrants making good in an adopted land, the rise and rise of the Australian wine industry and the tale of a hardworking and innovative family who considers good wine, good food and good friends to be among the true pleasures in life.

1920 - 1930

1924

Vittorio De Bortoli journeyed from Castelcucco to New South Wales and the following year arrives in Griffith (formally known as Bagtown). The flat plains and red earth are very different to the hillls of Treviso

1926

Vittorio worked hard and lived quite humbly under a rain water tank for some time. Giuseppina arrives in Australia the next year and is reunited with her fiancee Vittorio

1928

Vittorio purchases a 55 acre mixed fruit farm. That year there is a glut of shiraz grapes, many farmers see it cheaper to let them rot Vittorio takes them for free and crushes 15 tonnes of shiraz grapes. Local Italians and other European workers in the area offer to buy wine off him. De Bortoli Wines is born. The next year, Vittorio and Giuseppina get married on the farm

1930s

Sees the arrival of the second generation, Florrie, Deen and Eola and by 1931, demand for De Bortoli Wines sees train loads of 270 litre barrels being transported to Sydney and Queensland. 

1940 - 1960

1945

The war was over, food was plentiful and the business was growing

1951

Against his parents wishes, Deen De Bortoli at 15 years old leaves school to begin working in the winery

1957

Deen De Bortoli is now 21 and is itching to modernise the winery production

1958

Deen De Bortoli marries Emeri Cunial

1960s

The house built from the profits of the pumpkin patch is home to the third generation of De Bortolis – Darren, Leanne, Kevin and Victor who were all born in this decade. The home still stands today remaining the heart of the Bilbul winery

1970 - 1980

1970s

Deen De Bortoli continues to expand the winery (normally when his dad was out of town and unaware!) and Australia’s first major ‘wine boom’ occurs. Deen is instrumental introducing new wine to whole new generation of wine lovers

1982

Newly qualified winemaker Darren De Bortoli creates the acclaimed Noble One originally released as De Bortoli Australian Sauternes Botrytis Semillon

1985

Noble One wins the Trophy for Best Botrytis Wine at the International Wine & Spirit Competition. It would win again in 1992 and 2004

1987

The De Bortoli family purchases a winery and vineyard in the Yarra Valley, Victoria

1990 - 2000

1990s

Leanne De Bortoli and husband, winemaker Stephen establish the De Bortoli Yarra Valley Estate

1991

The family begins to welcome the fourth generation

1996

Victor De Bortoli establishes the company’s first off-shore branches

1997

De Bortoli Wines wins Australia’s most prestigious wine award, the coveted Jimmy Watson trophy for best young red

1990s/2000s

The family purchases vineyards in the King Valley, and a winery and vineyard in the Hunter Valley

2003

The De Bortoli family celebrates 75 years of making wine in Australia, not long after the anniversary celebrations, Deen De Bortoli passes away

2007

Steve Webber is awarded Gourmet Traveller WINE magazine’s Winemaker of the Year

2000s

The Yarra Valley Chardonnay 1998 wins the Trophy for Best Chardonnay at the International Wine & Spirit Competition.

Kevin De Bortoli marries Jennifer Ruston and Victor De Bortoli marries Melissa Roberts, and the second wave of fourth generation De Bortoli children are born

2010 - Today

2011

De Bortoli Wines wins International Sustainability Award at the Drinks Business Green Awards, the first of many accolades for their sustainable initiatives.

2012

De Bortoli undertakes the largest solar array installation at the time, at their Bilbul site.

2014

Green Globe Excellence in Sustainability Winners; NSW Business Chamber Award for Excellence in Sustainability; Tidy Towns Sustainable Business Award; Sustainability Advantage Gold Partner.

2015

ABA100 Winner


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