It all began way back in 1820s when the first Casellas began crafting wine in Italy. Over a century later, in 1951, Filippo Casella and his wife Maria decided to leave their homeland to pursue their hopes and dreams of a better life in Australia. Recognizing the potential of his new surroundings, Filippo purchased a farm in the small town of Yenda, New South Wales, and did what came naturally. He began selling grapes to local wineries, and by 1969 decided it was time to put his own winemaking skills to use and the Casella winery was born.
Filippo's son, John, entered the family business in 1994 and embarked on an ambitious expansion to build a new winery with a vision of blending old world heritage with new world technology. Today, Casella Wines, including Yellow Tail, is run by Filippo's three sons - John, Managing Director and Winemaker; Joe, Australian Sales Director; and Marcello, Director and Vineyard Manager. Filippo's grandchildren - Phillip and Rachelle - are the sixth generation to join the business.
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With a landmass the size of the US, Australia has just as many appellations. Many wines are simply labeled from their state of origin. Some of these are the most popular:
New South Wales
- New South Wales has a variety of smaller wine growing regions. Many wines are a blend of these smaller appellations, leading to the more encompassing designation of New South Wales.
– A small percentage of Australia’s winemaking occurs on the West Coast. The largest Australian state, Western Australia, includes the appellations Margaret River and Great Southern.
– This appellation encompasses the states of South Australia, New South Wales and Victoria. Grapes are often trucked in from at least 2 of these states for crushing and bottling, giving the wine a more general appellation of origin. This is the broadest appellation in Australia.
Like the United States, which is about the same size, Australia's winemaking regions are huddled into one or two pockets of the country. The state of South Australia, which produces about 60% of the country's wine, also has the most wineries and sub-regions, including McLaren Vale, Clare Valley, Coonawarra and Barossa Valley. New South Wales is home to the Hunter Valley, while the smaller, southern state of
Victoria is best known for theYarra Valley. Head way west to the very large state of Western Australia and you'll find the tiny region of Margaret River at the southern tip.
Most wine ranges from 10-16% alcohol by volume. Some varietals tend to have higher (for example Zinfandel and Cabernet Sauvignon) or lower alcohol levels (Pinot Noir and many white varietals), but there is always some variation from producer to producer. Some wine falls outside of this range, for instance Port weighs in closer to 20%, while Muscat and Riesling are usually a bit below 10%.
Wine Style Guide
Light & Crisp
Light to medium bodied wines that are high in acid and light to medium fruit. Typically no oak.
Fruity & Smooth
Light to medium bodied wines with lots of juicy fruit, typically medium acid and medium oak.
Rich & Creamy
Full bodied wines that have typically undergone malo-lactic fermentation and/or spent time in oak.