THE FOUNDING FATHER OF DIGIORGIO FAMILY WINES, STEFANO DIGIORGIO ARRIVED IN AUSTRALIA FROM ITALY ON JULY 9TH, 1952.
Apart from a brief stint on his arrival and a later move to Queensland to take up a sugar cane cutting job, Stefano has always held interests in the Lucindale district of the Limestone Coast, and has been acquiring land and developing farming businesses in the Lucindale district since first arriving. This was through the contracting of services to local councils and farmers.
From 1956, he and his family have worked in the area. During his early years in Australia Stefano worked in several farming operations and was admired for his ability to take on any challenge handed to him.
Stefano and his wife Rita have four children, Frank, Nanni, Anna and Nicky. Today the entire family work passionately in the family business and have proved a formidable team.
The DiGiorgio family farm covers a vast area and includes cattle, sheep and wool production together with interests in horticultural produce as well as viticulture.
In 1989 the family set aside four hectares on their Lucindale farm for vines. After much consideration of microclimate, average sunlight hours, water supply and soil testing, the first two hectares of Pinot Noir and two hectares of Cabernet Sauvignon were planted. As a result of its initial success, the family gradually developed the vineyard to its 126 hectares with the final planting in 1998. The varieties planted now encompass Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Shiraz, Pinot Noir and Chardonnay.
During the nineties, the fruit was purchased mainly by the large winemaking companies based in Coonawarra and the Limestone Coast. In 1998, the family decided it was time to produce their own bottled wines from the family's vineyards and to market these wines throughout the world. Initially, the wines were produced at a nearby winery by a contract winemaker. Then in March 2002, though a stroke of fortune, the family became proud owners of the second oldest winery in the world famous Coonawarra district.
Frank is the public face of DiGiorgio Family wines, and the driving force behind day to day operations of the winery and vineyards.
After studying law at Hobart University, Frank (along with his new bride Margot) moved briefly to Melbourne to practice law before returning to the Limestone Coast. Frank founded Westley DiGiorgio Solicitors in Naracoorte with long time friend and colleague Peter Westley, before the family acquired the Coonawarra winery in 2002. After this Frank moved into the family wine business full time.
In addition to managing the family farming operation, vineyards and winery, Frank has been instrumental in the establishment of DiGiorgio Family Wines' domestic and international distributor network, and has worked tirelessly to promote the family business on the Limestone Coast, across Australia and around the world.
Frank and Margot have two children, Nick and Jessica.
Nanni runs the pastoral side of the family farming business, and is based at Lucindale full time. Nanni was instrumental in the establishment of the Lucindale vineyard, and along with Frank and Margot, manages the vineyard throughout the season to ensure quality and continuity is achieved.
Nanni and his wife Nadine have two children, Natalia and Brittany.
Anna joined the family business after several years as an Italian teacher in Melbourne, and is now the DiGiorgio brand ambassador in Victoria. Anna works closely with Alepat Taylor to ensure DiGiorgio Family wines can be found in Melbourne's best restaurants and independent wine shops. In addition, Anna is often seen in the DiGiorgio family wines cellar door in Coonawarra, where she assists with weekends and events.
Anna and her husband Nick have two children, Anthony and Katya.
The youngest of Steve and Rita's children, Nicky also lives in Melbourne and regularly visits Coonawarra to work in the DiGiorgio Family Wines cellar door and at winery events held throughout the year.
Nicky and her husband Joe have two boys, Michael and Steven.