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Last night, NSW Environment Minister Gabrielle Upton presented De Bortoli Wines with the state’s first Sustainability Advantage Platinum Project at a ceremony in Sydney.

Awarded for outstanding environmental leadership and innovation, De Bortoli Wines is the only business in NSW to have reached this level in the Office of Environment and Heritage’s (OEH) flagship Sustainability Advantage program, which encourages and enables sustainable business best practice.

This acknowledgement recognises ‘The De Bortoli Method’, a unique potassium recovery system that turns the winery’s wastewater into an environmentally friendly cleaning agent that has the potential for commercial application for any business using caustic chemicals.

Alice Cahill, Manager Strategic Delivery, Sustainability Programs Branch, OEH says: "We are proud to have partnered with De Bortoli Wines over the last decade and to have supported their journey to improved sustainability.


“With this innovative Platinum Project, which is truly circular by design, De Bortoli Wines is rightly acknowledged as a world leader for its demonstrated commitment to sustainable production and consumption. We applaud De Bortoli Wines pursuit of zero waste and zero harm and their willingness to share their knowledge with the NSW business community."

Lindsay Gullifer, De Bortoli Wines Health Safety and Environment Manager, who received the certificate on behalf of the De Bortoli family, said: “Potassium recovery is of value because it creates a closed loop system to reduce consumption of harmful chemicals in cleaning our tanks and machinery. Working with a dedicated team to achieve recognition at this level has made me very proud. We’re really making progress to leave a positive legacy for the next generation."

The culmination of five years of research and development, the De Bortoli Method is the latest in a long list of energy efficiency and wise water management initiatives the family-owned business has undertaken as they strive to become a ‘Zero Waste Winery’.

Core to this has been the drive to address sodium salinity and water availability, which are key environmental risks for any business operating in the Murray Darling Basin.

Ten years ago, Managing Director Darren De Bortoli made the decision to go ‘No added sodium’ to reduce soil salinity. This decision transformed the family-owned business’ industrial ecology and set in motion a whole-of-business ‘improvement cycle’, where everything from viticulture to bottling, is considered through a sustainability lens, reflecting the family’s motto ‘Semper ad Majora’, or ‘always striving for better’.

A switch to potassium-based cleaning agents, enabled the company to re-use and value-add its wastewater to grow fodder crops, as it now contained potash, a common agricultural fertiliser. The sale of these crops offsets the costs of wastewater management at the winery.


The De Bortoli Method takes this process a step further. By recovering potassium from winery wash water to produce a sodium-free cleaning solution (potassium hydroxide) for re-use at the winery, the system aims to reduce the build-up of potassium in the wastewater farm’s soil. In addition to improving wastewater recycling, by reducing the usage of imported caustics, this technology has the potential to deliver significant savings and lower greenhouse gas emissions.

Looking to the future, De Bortoli Wines is now working to have 30% of their Riverina vineyards organic in five years. 

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De Bortoli Wines is a third generation family wine company established by Vittorio and Giuseppina De Bortoli in 1928. The couple emigrated to Australia from Northern Italy, from mountain villages at the foothills of the Italian Alps, near the historic town of Asolo. Their son, the energetic and dynamic Deen De Bortoli, (b 1936 – d 2003) expanded and consolidated the business created by his parents. Deen's children established De Bortoli's reputation for premium wine including icon dessert wine Noble One and the Yarra Valley wines.

Italian family values passed down from Vittorio remain core values, there is a culture of hard work, generosity of spirit and of sharing good food, good wine and good times with family and friends. Below is a video of the De Bortoli family taken as part of the Australia's First Families of Wine joint marketing initiative which involves some of Australia's oldest and most respected wine families.

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De Bortoli Wines’ Hunter Valley Estate includes 34 hectares near Pokolbin, the gateway to Hunter Valley Wine Country, and a smaller vineyard near Rothbury planted with established Semillon vines planted in the 1960s. There is an onsite winery and barrel room at the main property and a stone fronted cellar door building, open daily for tastings that highlight our Hunter Valley portfolio.


The Yarra Valley is one of Australia's premier cool climate wine regions. Located approximately 50 km north-east of Melbourne near the towns of Yarra Glen and Healesville, the Yarra Valley is recognised for producing some of the finest Pinot Noir and Chardonnay in Australia.

The De Bortoli family cultivate three unique vineyard estates in three parts of the region. The Winery Vineyard at Dixons Creek, which is home to the winery, Cellar DoorCheese Shop and Locale Restaurant, is in the Northern section of the Yarra Valley. The Abbey Vineyard at Tarrawarra is in the centre of the region and Lusatia Park Vineyard at Woori Yallock in the upper reaches of the Yarra River.

The family holdings  are managed by Leanne De Bortoli and her husband and Winemaker Steve Webber.

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The winemaking philosophy is that great wine begins in the vineyard. The belief is that sustainable vineyard practices will deliver exceptional fruit quality to the winery as well as real environmental benefits.

The focus is on careful site selection, vine maturity and high input viticulture with a move towards biological farming principles. There is also increasing awareness of the importance of single vineyard wines. In the winery minimal interference, allowing the wine to 'make itself' and the mantra ‘it is harder to do nothing’ encapsulate this belief.

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Inside information

Our philosophy is that great wine begins in the vineyard and should reflect the region where the grapes that made it are grown. Achieving this must involve both vineyard and winery.

In the vineyard, it means thoughtful site selection, vine maturity and a move towards sustainable, biological farming practices that deliver exceptional fruit quality and real environmental benefits. It also involves an increasing embrace of single vineyard wines.

In the winery, it’s all about restraint, minimal interference and allowing the wine to ‘make itself’. With our winemaking, the mantra “it’s harder to do nothing” expresses our approach.

Chief winemaker Steve Webber believes that to make wines of “detail, texture and minerality, charm and interest” it has to be about “site and season”.  

“Character and personality in wine comes from the imperfections of nature,” he says.

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16 different wines with 26 vintages


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 De Bortoli  has news


1m 16d ago

 Ken Gargett, Wine Writer (Australia)  tasted  5 wines  from  De Bortoli . In a tasting of  33 wines 

De Bortoli ‘Riorret’ ‘Lusatia Park’ Pinot Noir 2016 / This exciting Yarra Valley vineyard does Pinot Noir as well as it does Chardonnay, perhaps even more so. This is a cracker. Plums, earth, slightly sappy notes with some animal skin complexity. Licorice and dark fruits. Satiny tannins and excellent length. This is no simple Pinot; this is seriously good. Should age well for a decade or more. 

Score: 95/100

1m 16d ago

 Essi Avellan MW / Editor of the Champagne magazine, Pro (Finland)  tasted  1 wines  from  De Bortoli . In a tasting of  15 wines 

“Cloudy Bay and other Sauvignon Blancs: Cloudy Bay was established by David Hohnen, of Cape Mentelle fame, in 1985. Cloudy Bay takes its name from a bay at the northern tip of the South Island named by Captain Cook in 1770. Cloudy Bay now has 60 hectares of vineyards planted with Sauvignon Blanc, Chardonnay, Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot and Pinot Noir. Cloudy Bay also sources grapes from elsewhere in the Marlborough region. Cloudy Bay's staggering success can be attributed to its groundbreaking Sauvignon Blanc, as well as its distinctive labels, which reflect the skyline of the nearby Richmond Ranges. It is now owned by Veuve Clicquot.”

1y 7m ago

 Ken Gargett, Wine Writer (Australia)  tasted  1 wines  from  De Bortoli . In a tasting of  21 wines 

“Lots of spice here. This is more structured than most and offers much more complexity. Nicely balanced. There are Christmas cake notes, cassis and black fruits. Also cigar box notes. A supple and creamy texture. This is a superb example of what Black Label can offer. Utterly seamless, endless length, good concentration right through. A very long finish. There is also power and richness. One of the very best.This was the first under screwcap.”

4y 9m ago

 Ken Gargett, Wine Writer (Australia)  tasted  1 wines  from  De Bortoli . In a tasting of  21 wines 

“Cracker pinot. Very much in the funky, complex, exotic mould. Has earthy notes, some red berries and cherry flavours. Gentle and fragrant. There is a stalky note. Interestingly, maker Timo Mayer concedes that “it looks like it but it doesn't” actually have any stalks. Such is the vineyard. Good structure. Good length. To use an outdated, and often detested, expression, so apols in advance, this is very much in the “feminine” spectrum of pinots. It has an elegant complexity.Neither fined nor filtered”

4y 10m ago

 Ken Gargett, Wine Writer (Australia)  tasted  1 wines  from  De Bortoli . In a tasting of  21 wines 

“Sandro Mosele makes an array of top pinots on the Mornington Peninsula and this is a winner. Savoury with forest floor, earthy, animal hide and smoky notes, this is primeval pinot. Exciting and visceral.”

4y 10m ago

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