Otto and Elena Dal Zotto emigrated from Valdobbiadene in 1967, settling down in the King Valley, a few hours' drive north of Melbourne. Here in the foothills of the relatively cool Victorian Alps, they grew tobacco before turning to vines in 1987. Beginning in the 1990s, Otto introduced the traditional grapes of his Italian homeland, which remain the cornerstones of their range today.
Now their sons Michael and Christian have taken the reins of a winery turning out a stunning range of wines including this bright, vibrant Barbera.
The key to the success of this interpretation of Barbera is the terroir. You can find quite a bit of Barbera being made in Australia (and many other “alternative” varieties, Italian or not), but a lot isn’t exactly grown in the right places, and even when conditions are fair, the wines lean towards an overly ripe style.
I don’t think Barbera suits that sun-kissed, plump manner. You want bright fruit flavours for sure, but great Barbera has a fine acid line and a bit of backbone.
The Dal Zotto family pioneered Prosecco in Australia, and have gained renown for this and other Italian varieties, because they settled in the cooler climes of the King Valley, 3 hours or so drive north of Melbourne.
Northern Italian varieties like it here. It reminds them of home.
And that’s why Dal Zotto Barbera is ahead of the pack. It just makes sense, and boy do they make it well.