De Salis is a small, family winery located at an altitude of 1050m on the northern slope of Mt Canobolas on our, ‘Lofty Vineyard’ in the cool climate region of Orange. Our minimalist winemaking philosophy is borne from a desire to capture the seasonal ebb and flow, the intersection of our vines with their microenvironment and create wines that challenge the ‘industrial’ wine culture. Our handcrafted wines are produced using the classic French varieties, Pinot Noir, Chardonnay, Sauvignon Blanc, Merlot, Cabernet Franc and Pinot Meuniere.
Lofty Vineyard was first planted in 1993 to Chardonnay and Merlot by renowned Orange horticulturalist, David Gartrell. Subsequent plantings have increased the vineyard area to 9Ha. Our hand tended vines are planted in basalt over a limestone base, when coupled with winter snow, warm summer days and the long cool evenings of late autumn, it allows us to harvest grapes of exceptional quality.
De Salis was established in 1999 as a ‘garagister’ winery located on Sydney’s Northern Beaches by research scientist Charlie Svenson. Known as ‘The Francateers’, Charlie, Martin Ostrowski and Andrew Collins produced award-wining wine from premium Cabernet Franc sourced from artisan wine maker Murray Smith of Canobolas-Smith fame. Whilst researching the production of renewable fuel ethanol at the University of New South Wales, Charlie spent many vintages learning the dark art of minimalist wine crafting from the eclectic Murray Smith. During this time, an eight-year search resulted in Charlie and wife Loretta, acquiring one of Australia’s most ideally located, stunningly beautiful and highest wine grape growing locations, Lofty Vineyard.
De Salis is named in honour of Charlie’s original Australian ancestor and great, great grandfather, Leopold Fabius Count Fane De Salis, an Englishman, born in Florence in the early 1800’s who emigrated to Australia and establish a colonial home in the Cotter District, close to what is now Canberra in the mid 1800’s. The blocks of Lofty Vineyard bear the matriarchal names of the De Salis family.
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