The Credaro family, name synonymous with wine and farming in the Margaret River Region in Western Australia’s southwest, is celebrating 100 years in the region.
Over the past century, the Credaro estate, just like the family, has grown, yet the business remains family run, making it the oldest family run winery in Western Australia’s southwest.
It began in 1921 when Cesare Credaro migrated from Sondrio, Lombardy, in Italy’s north, following his brother Olympio to Fremantle in search of a better life after World War I.
The following year, the brothers found themselves in the southwest region with an opportunity they seized, to purchase 146 acres of land in the subregion Carbunup, halfway between Yallingup and Busselton.
The Western Australian Government sold the land to the brothers for 250 pounds, or the equivalent of 1000 Crowns, on the condition that they continued to cut sleepers and thus clear the land for farming.
Robert Credaro, Cesare’s grandson, still has the broadaxe his grandfather used.
“They had saw pits where they’d roll a big log over and they’d be one guy above and one below ground in the pit sawing by hand, which would have been hard work,” said father-of-five Robert.
Cesare sourced vine cuttings from Italian neighbours, the Meleri family in Yallingup, and planted his first Fragola vines. Cesare helped the Meleris tend their own existing five acres of Fragola while he waited for his own to fruit, from which he made table wine for family, friends and the community.
“Back then, Fragola was known as ‘Red Dynamite’ and it was enjoyed by family and friends as well as sold and consumed at the Carbunup hall which was the community’s social hub at the time,” Robert said.
Cuttings from that first Credaro vineyard live on with Fragola one of the winery’s cornerstone varietals.
Alongside Cabernet Sauvignon and Chardonnay that have traditionally thrived in the region, the five Credaro vineyards, a total 110 hectares under vine, produce Pinot Gris, Merlot, Sangiovese, Semillon, Sauvignon Blanc, Cab Franc, Shiraz, Malbec, Petit Verdot and Fragola - their wines are made using only the fruit that they grow.
Matt Credaro said that besides Fragola, acknowledgement and appreciation of the family’s origins will continue in the vineyard.
“It’s humbling to look back to where it all started and hear the stories of all the hard work and sacrifices my great grandfather, grandfather and father have made to give their family a better life.” Matt said.
“To honour that, we’ve grafted Italian varietals Montepulciano, Nebbiolo and Barbera earlier this year for a future Credaro Heritage Range.
“Not only are we really excited to celebrate one hundred years in the region, we’re looking forward to the future and the next hundred years.”
The full Credaro range of wines is set to represent the core of the Credaro identity, a tribute to Europe from Australia, celebrating the rich history of their story, bringing two homes together in bottles to share.
The Credaros have a diverse agricultural history in the Margaret River Region. They have raised livestock including sheep and cattle, and nurtured a range of fresh produce, from the potatoes Cesare traded a century ago to thriving avocados and pomegranates today.
The first commercial crop of vines was planted in 1988, and in 2003, the Credaros built a winery and soon after established their own namesake label.
The Credaro wine range includes the 1000 Crowns, named after the inception of the Credaro story, Kinship and 5 Tales, all linked to the family’s history over the past hundred years.
To celebrate their centenary in the Margaret River Region, Credaro Wines will host a series of events over the next 12 months, including a family day at their Caves Road cellar door in April, and will continue to tell their story as new chapters are written.
For more information, visit www.credarowines.com.au and sign up to their mailing list to be the first to know about upcoming events.