Winner of the IWSC Trophy: Castelli Estate Il Liris Chardonnay 2018
Domaine Castelli is based in Denmark, Western Australia (WA), but its origins lie thousands of kilometers away, in a small village in the Italian region of Lazio.
In San Giorgio a Liri, Sam Castelli’s family made wine at home, treading the grapes on foot, and then once a year the locals visited all the local winemakers to taste their wine. No wonder, then, that Castelli says wine was in Sam’s blood …
From those humble beginnings, the Castelli family now produces a wide range of wines in WA, including three IWSC medalists, but the group’s choice is Castelli Estate Il Liris Chardonnay 2018, winner of an IWSC Trophy. The wine scored 96 / 100pts and has been described as a ‘richly layered cornucopia of aromatic oral pleasure’, thanks to its notes of yellow plums, citrus, wood smoke and pineapple – praise indeed.
Castelli established his winery in 2004, buying a half-finished property, then restoring it and opening within six months. The first vintage followed in 2007, and to give an idea of the growth of Castelli Estate, it has gone from crushing 15 tonnes of grapes at the time to around 250 tonnes today.
Here’s Ana Fiore from Castelli Estate to tell us more about this award-winning winery:
Tell us about the history and journey of Castelli Estate…
With deep roots in Italy, wine has always been in the blood of the Castelli family, and the Italian philosophy of making wine that you would be proud to share at the table with friends and family remains strong. From the small village of San Giorgio a Liri to the vineyards of Denmark, Australia, despite the rapid growth and success of the Castelli Estate brand, it remains a part of both worlds, proud of the bond with family and the culture that continues today ‘hui.
How did you get into wine?
The Castellis’ dream of a family winery became a reality in 2004 with the purchase of Castelli Estate. As they had always loved Denmark, when they found the idyllic property on the slopes of Mount Shadforth, with its existing vineyard and half-built vineyard, the deal was done – and the family opened the doors within six month. It wasn’t long before they formed their own label and quickly achieved success, fame and a WA brand reputation to watch.
Thanks to the time spent building a dedicated winemaking team with extensive experience, the Castelli Estate brand has never been stronger. With a range of over 30 wines, a 500-ton vineyard, and an extensive network of producers and farms in Perth and Denmark, the Castelli name should be around for a long time to come.
What is your winemaking philosophy?
Making wines with real flavor, consistency and character starts with the best fruit. We are collaborating with growing partners in specific sub-regions of southern WA, each with distinct characteristics and microclimates, from which we can select the perfect plots. From Pinot and Chardonnay in Denmark to Cabernet Sauvignon and Shiraz to Frankland River and Riesling at Mont Barker, each of our regions has been carefully identified for its strengths – a key part of what makes our wines so consistent in taste and quality. .
What was your most important influence and why?
The Italian culture of giving and the love of sharing wine and food is behind everything we do. Wine should not be about price or prestige; for us, it’s about the occasion and the business held. We want our wine to be part of people’s lives and memories.
How can people get the most from your wine?
Ideally with food, and never be taken too seriously – they should be enjoyed and be a part of the moment. Of course, you would also like people drinking your wine to get a feel for the work that goes on behind the scenes!
See more award-winning Chardonnay wines