Originally from Italy, Pat and Vicki Vasarelli landed in Melbourne on the 26th January, 1968 with one dollar in his pocket. As a jack-of-all-trades, he tried his hand at various things, including fitting and turning, bricklaying and carpentry (he later built the house they sill live in as well as all the sheds in the winery).
It was as a vigneron that Pat and his wife Vicki finally hit pay dirt. They established their first vineyard in South Australia’s McLaren Vale in the early 1980s and soon found their grapes in demand from local wineries including Petaluma, Rosemount, Orlando and Wirra Wirra. In 1994 they bought a prime 40-acre property on McLaren Vale’s blue chip Seaview road and the following year they signed a deal to sell their wines exclusively through Cellarmasters.
Award winning pedigree
Their wines have been incredibly successful on the wine show circuit, winning numerous Trophies, Gold and Silver medals. Vicki says that it … “makes us proud to have a successful label. When you go into the vineyard, you want to produce the best fruit because your name is going to be on the bottle.”
Great wine is made in the vineyard
With the help of family and friends, they hand prune and hand pick every vine on their 55-hectare McLaren Vale property. Pat refuses to let machines do any of the backbreaking work, as he believes it stresses the vines, and in turn produces poorer quality grapes. Like the Vasarellis themselves, their wines are warm and generous with plenty of character. They have good varietal definition, excellent concentration, and real persistence of flavour – surely a reflection of the care and attention lavished in the vineyard.
"We have grown grapes for Cellarmasters since 1996. We try and grow the best grapes so Cellarmasters can make the best wine, so the customer can enjoy Vasarelli wines. The opening of our restaurant so we can match food with Vasarelli wines. Best of all, the release of our own label, with our family name."
Vicki’s favourite wine moment
When we won double Gold in San Francisco.
Vasarellis’ winemaking Philosophy
1. Good grapes make good wine.
2. Don't cut corners.
3. Any fool can make wine but the amount of passion you put in will determine what it tastes like.
“My Grandmother believed that 2 glasses of wine a day would help you live longer (she died 88). But most of all to try and teach everyone how to drink wine but not abuse it.”