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FINE WINE

Warrenmang Vineyard

luigi-bazzani
Written by Aksel Ritenis
luigi-bazzaniLuigi Bazzani who is both vigneron and restaurateur, has always worked in conjunction with high profile, professional winemakers but often makes final decisions regarding styles, blending, food matching, qualities, etc. He is also the visionary who creates special release vintages to mark special milestones and events al Warrenmang – a successful and impressive vineyard & resort.

WARRENMANG VINEYARD

Warrenmag has recently released the Luigi 30th Anniversary “Tribute”. This coincided with the announcement that Luigi and Athalie Bazzani were inducted into “Legend Status” by the 2008 Committee of the Melbourne Food and Wine Festival along side Michel Roux from the “Waterside Inn” and Le Gavroche fame.

To give you the background of the wine – Luigi has been determined for the last 2 years to select and blend the best parcels of the remarkable 05 Vintage. With a particular superb batch of Estate Cabernet Franc and Estate Merlot; Luigi particularly enamored with Bordeaux / Pomerol, organised the bench trials to see how it would work with the 05 Black Puma and the best of the Cabernet Sauvignon from the Estate. Production is 400 cases (doz), 310 dozen of which were pre-sold. The wine retails for $110 AUS at Cellar Door.

Warrenmang continues to produce wine of exceptional quality and the upcoming release of the 2005 Black Puma shiraz has 80% sold en-primeur. The introduction of the Bazzani Shiraz Cabernet offers an outstanding price/quality ratio and has more than doubled Warrenmang’s production in the last 2 years.

Warrenmang VineyardLuigi Bazzani grew up on a vineyard in the Province of Parma in the Emilia Romagna region of Italy. His father was a builder and vigneron and his mother – a wonderful cook. Luigi has 5 brothers and sisters currently living in Paris, London, Italy and Australia.

In his early twenties Luigi moved to London to commence work in the hospitality industry to work with Grand Metropolitan Hotels as Banqueting Head Waiter, at the Connaught Hotel in Mayfair for three years. Subsequently moving on to work as a fi rst class Dining Steward on Cunard Liner Queen Elizabeth 1st on its trans-Atlantic crossings from London – New York – London.

Later on – after meeting his Australian born future wife in a German Club in London – he travelled to Australia where he continued his involvement in the hospitality business by designing, building, opening and operating “The Copper Pot Restaurant” that was acknowledged as a pioneer of fine dining in country Victoria and described as a “culinary oasis in a dining desert”.

He spent the next few years extending and improving the restaurant. In the mid-seventies Luigi convinced his brother Angelo to become a partner in his newly bought “Ballarat” restaurant and together they spent one year creating what was to become, at the time, one of Australia’s best known and most lauded restaurant and entertainment complexes – “La Scala” restaurant.

Only three years after the opening “La Scala” was named the State Winner in the Australian Small Business Awards as well as country Victoria’s finest restaurant – the only provincial establishment to be awarded 2 Chefs hats by the Age Good Food Guide. “La Scala” played host to Royalty, CHOGM, Prime Ministers, Governors, international celebrities including Peter Allen, Benny Hill, the Australian Cricket Team, etc. Gourmets, connoisseurs, politicians, flocked to “La Scala” for the next nine years.

After a few other business ventures Luigi acquired full ownership of Warrenmang Vineyard in the Australian Pyrenees wine region (Victoria) which he soon turned into Victoria’s first winery with resort facilities and fi ne dining. He has been involved in winemaking there in a “hands on” capacity since that time.

luigi-bazzani2His establishments and his wines have won countless awards and accolades during his 35 years in Australia and he has been acknowledged as one of Victoria’s most enduring wine and food specialists by the media, his peers and various industry organisations.

Luigi’s passion for winemaking is not motivated by profit, but by a desire to achieve the best possible results from each vintage and he is dedicated to extracting the concentrated flavours from his low yielding Pyrenees vines.

At vintage, he is willing to gamble with nature to ensure grapes are picked at optimum ripeness to produce the best possible wine.

Luigi believes in traditional winemaking processes (hand picking, hand plunging, hand pruning, basket pressing) and aims to make exceptional, intense wine with great character and continuity of style. He is not interested in following fads and fashions but has great faith in his own directions together with an immense belief in the Pyrenees as Australia’s truly great wine producing region, particularly Shiraz and Cabernet.

About the author

Aksel Ritenis

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