The Mitolo and Lopresti families share history going back to 1999, with Frank Mitolo’s children running around the vineyard whilst Frank tries to convince Don Lopresti to part with his top Shiraz from the Chinese Block. After several visits Don relented to this ‘cheeky guy’ and never let up, and the strong bond between the two families continues to this day.
The Lopresti vineyards, situated in proximity to the coastal town of Aldinga in McLaren Vale,
make up over 200 acres of prime Shiraz, Cabernet and Grenache plantings. Started in 1975 by Don Lopresti, a Calabrian, the vineyards are fastidiously maintained by himself, as well as sons
Joe and Michael. Over time newer plantings of traditional Italian varieties such as Vermentino, Sangiovese and Sagrantino have also added intrigue to the Mitolo wines portfolio. Frank, Don, Joe & Michael continue to work closely together to produce the style Mitolo is renowned for.
Sandwiched between the Gulf St Vincent and the nearby Willunga Hills, known as the Clay Plains of Aldinga, the soils are of heavy, grey loams mixed with black ‘Biscay’ clay overlying ancient Ngaltinga formation, formed one million years ago in the Pleistocene age. Winter rains soak deep into the clay holding the moisture deep in the soil. During spring budburst strong and vigorous shoot growth is developed, providing critical shading for the developing grapes. By the start of summer, and in the final stages of ripening, rainfall is almost non-existent. The clay soils have dried out, cracking open creating positive stress on the vines as they strive for energy, concentrating fruit flavours.