A vision that became a reality. The Calabria Family Wines story began in 1945 with founders Francesco and Elisabetta Calabria. More than seven decades later, the third generation proudly carries on their grandparents' values of hard work and innovation.
THE BEGINNING OF CALABRIA FAMILY WINES
1927 – 1959
Founder Domenico Calabria migrated from Southern Italy followed by his son, Francesco Calabria in 1929.
Once enough money was saved Francesco wrote to his wife Elisabetta to join him in Australia, which he often referred to as the “Rich-land”. Upon arrival, their first dwelling was Villa 116 on Leonard Road in South Eastern Australia.
'Calabria Wines & Sons' was officially established with homemade wine being supplied to family and friends, which was purchased in barrels.
“THE IDEA OF MAKING HOME-MADE WINE WAS SIMPLY TO SURVIVE; IT WAS A MEANS OF INCOME FOR MY PARENTS, SOMETHING THAT MY FAMILY AND I ARE ETERNALLY GRATEFUL FOR.”
BILL CALABRIA AM, 2ND GENERATION
Calabria Wines & Sons reach a total crush capacity of 84 tonnes.
PASSION & HARDSHIP
1966 – 1974
Francesco’s son, Bill, was fortunate enough to learn the secret behind his father’s wines, which led him and his brother Tony to take over the winery and grow the total crush to 256 tonnes.
The brothers released their first bottled wine under the ‘Calabria’ label.
Calabria Wines & Sons open a cellar door at their Riverina home-base in Griffith.
BUILDING A LEGACY
1988 – 2000
The Australian wine industry was in the doldrums. A persistent Bill handles the downturn by washing bottles for larger wineries, not ideal but it saved the family business and provided the opportunity to produce wines for the export market in the early ’90s when demand for Australian wine grew.
Bill is determined to make premium wines and sends his first container to the UK. Bill starts a rapid expansion at the winery, taking capacity from 280 tonnes to 950 tonnes.
Bill Calabria releases the very first wine of the Millennium; ‘Eternity Chardonnay’.
The third generation, Frank, Michael, Andrew, and Elizabeth, pursue sourcing fruit from cool-climate regions, adding dimension to the winery portfolio. Calabria wines are sold across all Australian markets and exported around the world to 36 countries. Total crush capacity reaches 8,000 tonnes at the winery.
Bill, along with his children, purchase a 100 years old vineyard estate in South Australia’s Barossa Valley - one of the world’s greatest wine regions.
The family is now proud custodians of three significant parcels of land within the famous Barossa Valley wine region.
Bill Calabria celebrated his 70th birthday milestone with a charity event in Sydney, raising funds for the Charlie Teo Foundation and Sydney Children's Hospital.
Calabria Family Wines opened the doors to their newly acquired Barossa Valley Cellar Door and Restaurant, located on the family vineyard, ‘Elisabeth Estate’.
Marks the 75th Anniversary of Calabria Family Wines.