Dad of Divas' Reviews: Yellowtail - A Wine That Everyone Can Enjoy!

Monday, April 5, 2010

Yellowtail - A Wine That Everyone Can Enjoy!

About Yellowtail
Recognizing the potential of the region, Filippo purchased a farm in the town of Yenda, New South Wales, in 1965. When Filippo and his wife Maria immigrated to Australia, they brought hopes, dreams and grape-growing and wine making know-how acquired through three generations of Italian heritage.

Even in the early years, Casella family wine was much more than something you drank with dinner - it was something you shared with family and friends. Filippo was passionate about his wine and enjoyed sharing it. He knew how much hard work, cooperation and skill went into making a great wine and he instilled this knowledge into each of his children. It's an approach the Casella family stay true to today.

In the beginning, the Casella family sold grapes from their farm to local wineries but in 1969 Filippo decided it was time for a new generation to put their wine making skills to use, and the winery was born.

Casella is still very much a family business, with the second and third generations all involved in this extraordinary success story. From humble beginnings, the Casella family has become Australia's greatest wine exporter.

The day-to-day operations of the winery are run by the three Casella sons - John, Managing Director and Winemaker; Joe, Australian Sales Director; and Marcello, Director and Vineyard Operations Director.

Casella Wines shot to the forefront of the export arena in mid 2000 with its hugely successful [yellow tail] brand. [yellow tail] was created with a simple philosophy in mind - to make a great wine that everybody can enjoy. The Casella family believe [yellow tail] is everything a great wine should be - fresh, approachable and flavorsome, with a personality all of its own!

In the initial stages, Casella Wines concentrated predominantly on the export market, and is now a key player in Europe, Asia, the UK, the US and Canada. In September 2003, Casella launched into the Australian market with [yellow tail], which has been a remarkable success on home turf.

A Word from John Casella

The son of Sicilian immigrants, John Casella is one of the most private and self-effacing men in the modern wine business. He's also one of the most highly respected - he's admired for his integrity, honesty and family values.

Much has been written about John, but interviews are rarely on his agenda. One of [yellow tail]'s friends from London, Lulie Halstead, journeyed to the plains of Yenda to discover what [yellow tail]'s founder makes of his success. Here are a few comments from the man himself...

LH: Did you always think you'd end up working in the wine industry?
JC: What happened was I'd started off doing an arts degree at Wollongong University and decided that it wasn't going to go anywhere, and took a year off. Then came wine making. There were courses available in Wagga, which is only 170 kilometers from here, and it wasn't too difficult to get in. So I thought I'd try wine making, given that we had a small winery. That was the start.
LH: So it wasn't a passion that you'd grown up with, thinking ‘that's my destiny'?
JC: No, but then I'd always worked in the summer anyway and helped my father make wine, and my father would leave for Queensland and I'd be left with my mum to clean up all the wines, filter them and prepare them, and fill the drums for him. It really was just a logical step and, I think, it just took that year off to decide that it was probably the best career for me.
LH: When did it become apparent to you that this was something you really wanted to do?
JC: Well, once I'd finished college there was a job going at one of the local wineries. I'd worked here at our own winery for a few months and thought, oh well, it's better that I get a paid job rather than working here, and that was the start of it. So I did two years as an assistant winemaker sort of lad, and took over the winemaking. I worked there for 12 years all up - 10 years as a general manager and winemaker. And that was really the grounding and experience that I needed to bring back to Casella.
LH: What prompted the decision to come back to the family fold?
JC: It was probably a combination of a lot of things. One of them was that I could see I was doing most of the work! I did the buying, I did the selling and I looked after the winemaking, and everything else. This was all for somebody else and I thought, well, it can't be that difficult to do it for ourselves.
The idea of having our own winery was more about working for ourselves - my parents, brothers and I - rather than working for somebody else. Our father, at that stage, had had his [heart] bypass, and he wasn't working very much anyway. We thought we'd expand with a few tanks and make a few dollars, and we wouldn't need to work for anybody else.
LH: So the motivation was really to be in control, to be your own boss?
JC: Self managing, yes, but never really believing that we could grow to the size we would - and I wouldn't have been the only one that would've said that, because the wine industry is very capital-intensive. My father had small land holdings ... to think that we could have built a working capital, and the general capital that you need, is just one of those things that you'd never believe possible. If I'd have said ‘I'm nobody today, but in 15 years time I'll be part of the biggest family wine company in Australia', the industry would have laughed.
LH: Would you have laughed at yourself if you'd had that thought?
JC: Yes - I would have thought that's crazy, because of the amount of capital that you need and how intensive the competition was, and it really hasn't changed. It's an industry that has always been very competitive and a lot of the family companies have gone through a very slow growth. We see that with Brown Brothers and Yalumba, and a lot of family companies out there that have taken literally 100 years to get to where they've got to. And they had this new winery that was started in 1965 come out of nowhere and leave them behind.

My Take on the Wine
I was able to try the Yellowtail Riesling and I have to say it was quite good. It was not as sweet as other Rieslings that I have had in the past, but still good. The wine had some flavor of both lemon and orange and was light and fresh like a Riesling should be. The wine did leave a slight aftertaste that was nice overall and not unpleasant.

Overall, I would recommend the Riesling and other Yellowtail Wines. I have had quite a few and for the price you are getting a high quality wine that will deinitely be the life to a nice dinner or an evening with friends.

Check out all their great wines today!

All opinions expressed in this review are my own and not influenced in any way by the company.  Any product claim, statistic, quote or other representation about a product or service should be verified with the manufacturer or provider. Please refer to this site's Terms of Use  for more information. I have been compensated or given a product free of charge, but that does not impact my views or opinions.

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1 comment:

Mely Wilcox said...

Thank you for all that information. I've seen their wines at the store but never purchased them. Now I will... :-)