WHO IS MR BARVAL?
He is Margaret River, Barolo and Valtellina.
“All incredible areas of natural beauty, all with a history and tradition of fine wine making and all with a strong influence upon me and the fine wines which I craft.”
The story of my journey in wine is one strongly influenced by the regions from which I have originated, lived and worked. An accumulation of the many personalities, culture and of course the amazing grapes from which I have had the privilege to work with. There have been three regions to date that have influenced and shaped my winemaking in particular.
The Margaret River region is where I, Robert Gherardi live most of the year round with my wife Kellie and two children. With stunning coastal landscapes under strong influence from the bordering Southern and Indian Oceans, areas of tall forest growing all the way to the deserted white sandy beaches, there is no shortage of natural inspiration for expressing this incredible environment in the wines.
The Barolo region, lying in the Northwest corner of Italy, is an area of rolling hills with characteristic foggy valleys and producing some of the most highly regarded fine red wine in Italy. The fine winemaking tradition of Barolo stretches back centuries but the current worldwide reputation is a far more recent phenomenon. As a result, the people of the area are still firmly rooted in their close links to their lands. I have had the privilege of working with two of the areas most famed producers over several seasons since 2009. In working with them, side by side in the differing vineyard sites and wineries, doing all manner of work from pruning, to shoot positioning, hand harvesting and cellar work with these astounding wines, my ideas of what makes a great wine and how to achieve it have been profoundly effected.
Finally there is the Valtellina of Northern Lombardy, where both sides of my family originated. The Valtellina is a large mountain valley wedged between the Italian-Swiss and Italian-Austrian Alps. My family were farmers tending cattle in the high alpine pastures through the Spring and Summer months, as well as growing vegetables and of course tending a small patch of vines to make some wine for the family and friends. My direct family in Australia have always maintained a strong connection with our roots in Valtellina and through my my journey over the years of living and making wine in Italy, the influence of this area upon me has grown.