Chrismont Wines incorporates the winery and cellar door operations, in addition to the estate vineyards, owned by Arnie & Jo Pizzini. The beautiful, undulating property in the heart of the agriculturally rich and diverse King Valley initially was dedicated to tobacco production in the 1960s. Chrismont founder Arnie Pizzini, along with his father Arnold, transitioned the property focus to wine grape production in the late seventies. Over the twenty years since then, the King Valley and Chrismont vineyards have become synonymous with the production of high quality wine grapes for red, white, and sparkling wine.
Arnold Pizzini grew up on a farm that had grape vines and a small orchard. He set sail for Australia in 1952 and landed in the North East Victoria town of Myrtleford, helping a migrant Italian family on their tobacco farm. It didn’t take long before a number of Arnold's brothers settled in Australia, too. The four decided to join forces to start a tobacco growing business. From a small share-farming plantation, Pizzini Brothers Pty Ltd grew into the largest tobacco growing enterprise in the Southern Hemisphere.
When the Australian Government introduced a quota system to the tobacco industry severely constraining tobacco production, Pizzini Brothers Pty Ltd was rendered bankrupt overnight. The end of the tobacco era saw the four Pizzini families divide their holdings.
Each brother possessed skills in vineyard management and winemaking, gained on their vineyard in Trentino. Following discussions with John and Peter Brown in 1979, Arnold and Arnie Pizzini received a ten-year contract to supply grapes to Brown Brothers of Milawa, thus embarking on the next Pizzini era.
The first block of Chrismont's vineyards was planted in 1980 by Arnie Pizzini and his father, Arnold. The vineyards now span 250 acres. Undoubtedly, the major force behind the quality of Chrismont Wines is the soil on which the property sits, and the fact Chrismont lies in the heart of the spectacular King Valley. With a similar climate and landscape to Piemonte and Tuscany in Italy and Alsace in France, long summer days enable the grapes to achieve genuine flavour ripeness which gives lovely fruit richness to the wines, while cool nights allow elegant cool climate characters to emerge.
Enjoying the characterisation as a cool climate grape growing district, situated on the northern side of the Great Dividing Range, the King Valley has longer and warmer ripening periods during autumn than most other winegrowing regions of a similar aspect. The King Valley is distinctly similar to regions such as Tuscany and Piemonte in Italy and Alsace in France. This is the basis behind the ability of grape growers and winemakers to achieve exceptional results with Italian grape varieties.
There is nothing pretentious or corporate about the King Valley. On your visit to King Valley cellar doors, often you will meet the families running the wineries. The annual La Dolce Vita festival in November brings out the best in home-made Italian cooking and hospitality. Local wineries join together to put on a fantastic selection of events.
In addition to the exceptional catalogue of Chrismont wines, the La Zona range is a tempting and exciting complement to the Chrismont label. Celebrating a rich history of Italian heritage, La Zona showcases Chrismont’s Italian varietal wines.