Celebrity chef and grape grower Stefano de Pieri has been awarded a trophy and three medals for his range of Italian-style, food friendly wines at the Australian Varieties Wine Show in Mildura last  weekend.

He was awarded a gold medal and a trophy for Best White Italian Variety Wine for his Stefano De Pieri Fleurieu Vermentino 2017.

“Italians have been enjoying wines made with the Vermentino grape since the 14th century, and I’m excited to see that more Australians are falling in love with this exciting white wine variety.”
“This wine is made from grapes sourced from the beautiful Fleurieu Peninsula in South Australia, and is a light, crisp and refreshing white that pairs perfectly with seafood,” Stefano said.

Stefano de  Piero was also awarded two bronze medals for his Stefano’s Mia Vita Pale Rosé 2017, a vibrant Rosé wine made predominantly from Sangiovese grapes, and Stefano De Pieri Di Qualita Sangiovese 2016, an elegant red wine which is the ultimate pairing with pasta.

Stefano, who has studied wine in his motherland Italy, has launched an entire Italian style wine range with Cellarmasters.

The chef says he is passionate about creating wines specifically to be enjoyed with good food.

“My approach to making wine is similar to cooking – it’s all about finding the best ingredients. We seek small, delicate parcels of fruit to make balanced and exotic wines,” he explained.

“The flavours of my wines are vibrant and fresh, their taste leaning more towards savoury rather than fruity and sweet. We have aimed for a pleasant acidity to make the wines balanced, so they can be matched with a range of food,” he says.

Originally grown in Sardinia in Italy, Australian winemakers have recently started growing the Vermentino grape with great success.

According to Christine Ricketts, Cellar Director at Cellarmasters, alternative wine varieties such as Vermentino and Sangiovese are growing rapidly in popularity, and Wine Australia confirms the Vermentino grape has ‘huge potential in Australia’ [1].

In 1999 Stefano de Pieri and Bruce Chalmers, along with Dr. Rod Bonfiglioli, initiated the Sangiovese Awards and continued in 2000 with the Australian Italian Wine Show.

 Following the success of these shows, the first Australian Alternative Varieties Wine Show was held in Mildura in November 2001.