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Carlei Estate, Australia – Sergio Carlei

February 3, 2012


A first generation Italian, Sergio lives with his wife Mary Carlei and seven children in a mud-brick house he built next to the winery. Located in Upper Beaconsfield, 31 miles east of Melbourne, the property includes a modest biodynamic vineyard which was established in 1997.

“Coming from an Italian background, winemaking was always part of the household tradition,” says Sergio.


Sergio on Real Wines:

Nothing is more enjoyable than doing what you love doing….it becomes play rather work and we all like to play. And nothing is more rewarding than when somebody pays a genuine compliment about their enjoyment of what you have created, in this case Real Wines.

So we’re all about making Real Wines.

Real Wines are Terroir Wines.

Terroir Wines are achieved by growing vines of a specific variety in a specific region, in a specific soil, in a specific climate; and that’s not all.  To truly express terroir, a pure and natural environment free of artificial elements and un-natural interferences is needed. Therefore, vines need to be grown naturally.

Soil to a vine is like blood to a human being. Toxic soil means improper vine health. Toxins in the blood lead to all sorts of health problems in people. Cleaner vineyards allow the true flavors in the fruit to be expressed, which results in better tasting wines. In biodynamic fruit the tannins are physiologically richer and riper. These natural preserving agents soften with the ageing process and add complexity to the wine – that’s the idea of ageing. The wines have real length and wonderful depth. Now certainly as the vines get older, they will just get better and better.

The role of the winemaker is to express these terroir components by minimal intervention through a combination of “old world” tradition (experience) and “new world” technology (practicality).

Like grape growing, winemaking is a natural process and will express terroir if left to its own devices. No doubt the personality of the winemaker will be imprinted in that wine….and that’s terroir too.

Life is too short to create “engineered” wine.  Leave it alone, then drink it!




From → Interviews

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