Zerella Wines is a relative new comer to the Australian wine landscape. The Zerella family however are not, they have a long and rich history in farming and viticulture.
In 1956 life’s daily struggles in Campania, Southern Italy, forced two poor families to turn their backs on their native land in search of a better future. Following their dreams and led by two very brave men Francesco Zuzolo and the late Ercole Zerella, the two families migrated to South Australia. They embraced all they knew; life on the land, a passion for farming, grape growing and winemaking and in doing so they laid the foundation for what would become a family’s life-long love affair with the land and more particularly the wine industry.
The late Vic Zerella, (son of Ercole) followed in his father’s footsteps and became an icon of the South Australian farming, produce, viticulture and wine industries. Among his many successes Vic founded Tatachilla Winery and this is where his son and our Managing Director, Jim Zerella’s, love of the wine industry was ignited.
Beginning life as a cellar hand Jim’s career has seen him have a hands on involvement in every facet of the industry. He has an appreciation of every step of the process that sees a vine seedling transformed into a bottle of wine.
It’s clear to all who meet him that Jim has inherited his ancestors’ passion for the land and vines along with their ambitious nature, work ethic and spirit of entrepreneurship.
Jim’s father Vic could often be heard to say “you can make bad wine from good grapes but you can’t make good wine from bad grapes”, emphasising the importance of quality fruit and Jim has stayed true to this adage. The grapes that go to making up our wines come from vineyards especially chosen for their combination of soil characteristics and regional microclimate producing fruit of the highest quality. The fruit is treated with the utmost respect throughout the growing, harvesting and wine making processes, allowing us to produce what we believe to be exceptional wines.
Jim is very proud of his heritage and appreciative of the journey his grandfathers' embarked on. He pays homage to both in our “La Gita” (The Journey) range which celebrates Italian Grape varieties such as Nero d’Avola, Arneis, Sangiovese, Barbera and Fiano.
Australia is home and without the opportunities this great country provided, Jim's family could not have realised their dreams. Our Zerella Family Vineyards selection recognises this, featuring some of Australia’s better known staple grape varieties Grenache, Mataro (Mouvedre) and Shiraz.