Dal Zotto brothers buy the family winery
Brothers Michael and Christian Dal Zotto have purchased the family’s Dal Zotto Wines from parents Otto and Elena, marking the first change of hands the winery has seen since the first vines were planted over 30 years ago.
The Dal Zottos are the pioneers of prosecco in Australia. They were the first to commercially plant prosecco varieties in the country, beginning with cuttings from Otto’s home town of Valdobbiadene – a cool climate, wine-producing village near the Veneto region and the home of prosecco.
Patriarch Otto Dal Zotto says the transition of the business to the second generation will ensure a smooth succession plan for the family-owned winery, as the two brothers focus on expanding the business’s prosecco offering.
“This changing of hands is a natural progression for our family business and the journey we have been on since we first released our wines in 1993 and planted prosecco in 1999, and it comes at a perfect time as we celebrate 24 years of the winery next year,” said Otto.
Otto and Elena will still play a role in the business but will now leave the major decision-making to sons Michael and Christian. Christian will continue to oversee the marketing and sales for Dal Zotto Wines, while Michael will continue in his role as chief winemaker and CEO.
“Prosecco is part of our family history – I learned the art of making prosecco from my father, and he learned it from his father, so we’re really proud of our heritage,” said Michael.
“The greatest lesson I have learnt about prosecco is focusing on simplicity and minimising the process. Over the next three years, we want to see the Dal Zotto name become synonymous with Prosecco and vice versa.”
In 2017, prosecco production accounted for 50% of the Dal Zotto business with 40,000 cases distributed across Australia. There are plans to increase production by 30% in 2018, and 15% each year after that.
Dal Zotto also produces a variety of easy-drinking styles including barbera, sangiovese, pinot grigio and arneis, and they grow prosecco vines on seven separate sites across the King Valley.
Dal Zotto offers international fellowship
Dal Zotto Wines in partnership with the International Specialised Skills Institute (ISS Institute), also announced last week that it is offering an international fellowship worth $12,500 to encourage regional Victorians to develop social and economic skills through innovative practices and leadership.
The International Fellowship for Economic Innovation will be awarded to one regional-based person to undertake international applied research to develop as a professional, innovative leader while using new learning and skills to contribute to their local community.
Michael Dal Zotto said: “The fellowship presents a chance for a regional Victorian to advance their knowledge and identify innovation in the wine industry.
“This is the first time we have offered the fellowship, but as a past recipient the skills I gained abroad have not only benefited me but also the Dal Zotto brand and Prosecco within Australia.”
Dal Zotto Wines was first introduced to the ISS Institute Fellowship in 2009 when Michael Dal Zotto was awarded the international honour to gain extensive knowledge of the Prosecco variety from both a viticultural and winemaking aspect.
He travelled to Italy and visited his father’s hometown of Valdobbiadene where he gained knowledge on the principles of growing and making Prosecco to build the family’s Dal Zotto Wines brand, and benefit surrounding wineries wishing to enter the Prosecco market.
“ISS Institute recognises and applauds Michael’s commitment to growing regional Victoria and has had the pleasure of watching his incredible successes since completion of his fellowship. We are honoured to be working with Dal Zotto Wines in offering this fellowship to a Victorian who shares their societal vision,” said Louisa Ellum, Chief Executive Officer is ISS Institute
Applications for the Dal Zotto Wines International Fellowship for Economic Innovation are open to Victorian residents over 18 years of age. Applications are now open and close Friday, October 27, at 4pm.
Click here for more information on the fellowship requirements.