Mitolo Wines: How A Plan On A Napkin Turned Into A Beloved Winery Twenty Years On

Cheers To Twenty Years, Mitolo. Starting as a plan on the back of a napkin, this beloved and respected winery has a story worth the read.


All images sourced from facebook @mitolowines

Modern life makes us all so busy. We fill our diaries and make endless plans; but often this means that we forget to take time out for ourselves and others.

Perhaps good food and wine shared with family and friends is all we really need.

Well Frank Mitolo, the man behind McLaren Vale’s beloved Mitolo, seems to think so.

The winery is celebrating twenty years this year and to mark the occasion, they have shared their story with us. (And we think it’s just the thing you need to read this morning)

The story begins in the 1950s, when the Mitolo family arrived in Australia from Italy.

A few generations later, Frank Mitolo developed a passion for wine and winemaking.

Frank says it came from his father Bruno who had, “a love of wine handed down to him from his viticulturist father Francesco, and an ethos belonging to the Abruzzo region – forte e gentile or strong and gentle.”

He first made wine as a hobby, in 1995, before completing a winemaking course at TAFE. In 2000, he released his first vintage of Mitolo G.A.M. Shiraz, named after his children Gemma, Alex and Marco.

A year later Frank was introduced to winemaker Ben Glaetzer and the rest is history.

Frank and Ben developed a plan to make the ultimate expression of McLaren Vale terroir, scrawling their philosophy on the back of a restaurant napkin – ‘individuality, integrity, quality, purity, elegance and power.’

With strict adherence to these values, Mitolo wines has since grown into the region’s most respected wineries, with its premium range of wines winning critical acclaim and building a cult following both in Australia and around the globe.

The winery works closely with its grape growers, the Lopresti family, fellow Italian immigrants and long-time friends who have a natural affinity with the land.

“The fruit is the essence of Mitolo,” they say.

In recent years Mitolo has opened at new state-of-the-art tasting room and Bocca Di Lupo restaurant.

The stunning development represents the latest chapter in the evolving Mitolo success story and Frank Mitolo thinks it will be the most exciting yet.

“When this property came on the market I sensed there was something special about it and that we could realise our dream here,” he said.

“I wanted the space to represent the brand and its people. It needed to be unique and special.”

And that it is. It’s a unique and daring structure, incorporating 10 shipping containers joined by glass that frames breathtaking views of a natural creek, vast vineyards and the Willunga ranges. You can read all about it in our article here.

Award-winning Head chef Tom Jack’s style is described as Italian third-wave, fearlessly taking traditional and contemporary Italian staples and giving them the modern Australian treatment.

He prides himself on making quality Italian food with a subtle twist, accessible and acceptable to a broad range of customers, not only chefs and foodies. The tables are big and the generous plates are served with a smile.

Throughout the years and across all of the expansions and evolutions, Mitolo’s twenty year old story has remained humble and guided by passion and love.

As Frank Mitolo says:

“In my life it’s all about family and friends. A table, served with food and wine made with passion and love. This is the essence of Mitolo.”

And we think you’d agree, it is also the essence of life.

We’ll be raising a glass to you, Mitolo. A big congratulations from us.

For more information about Mitolo head here.

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