De Bortoli Wines is this year celebrating 40 years of one of its most iconic and award-winning wines – Noble One, which was first pioneered by Darren De Bortoli in 1982, when he was experimenting with Semillon, shortly after finishing he studies at the Roseworthy wine college.

Part of the experimentation was looking at the potential to make high-quality dessert wines from grapes that were infected with botrytis, or noble rot, and De Bortoli believed the conditions at the De Bortoli Bilbul Estate vineyard near Griffith in the New South Wales Riverina region were ideal for sweet wine production.

He said: “It feels like only yesterday that Dad and I were asking the local growers to allow their grapes to go rotten. They thought we were both mad, yet here we are celebrating 40 years of Noble One and what a journey it has been.”

Over that 40 years Noble One has only missed two vintages – 1989 and 2012 – both caused by too much rain causing issues for the Botrytis, in fact in 2012 the vineyards were flooded.

Speaking previously about Noble One, De Bortoli’s Senior Winemaker, Julie Mortlock said: “Today, Noble One is the most commercially successful dessert wine made from botrytis-infected grapes in Australia. Prior to its development, the Riverina region was only known for producing inexpensive table wine but Noble One changed all of that.

“As one of the most recognised dessert wines in the world, Noble One has really cemented its place as the De Bortoli family’s flagship wine, both at home, and internationally. As Noble One’s winemaker, I’m just a custodian, I look after it, and I find it quite a privilege to be given the role.”

To kick-off Noble One’s 40th celebrations, De Bortoli’s Cellar Doors in Bilbul, Hunter Valley, Yarra Valley and Rutherglen will showcase Noble month in April 2022. This includes back vintage tastings for Noble One and wine pairing with Noble One truffles. The pinnacle of Noble One’s 40th celebrations will be a Grand Noble celebration later in the year.

Noble One is truly one of the sweetest success stories in Australian winemaking history, with over 182 trophies and 505 gold medals awarded to-date. The wine has also been named Best Dessert/Fortified Wine at the Australian Liquor Industry Awards for the last six years.

Over the past 40 years, De Bortoli has expanded the food pairing with Noble One to beyond dessert and cheeses, as it is also great with savoury dishes such as Peking duck or freshly sauteed scallops with truffle and pear. Darren’s personal favourite is simply enjoying Noble One with some fresh fruit – apples, oranges, pears, a combination he describes as “delicious”.

Andy Young

Andy joined Intermedia as Editor of The Shout in 2015, writing news on a daily basis and also writing features for National Liquor News. Now Managing Editor of both The Shout and Bars and Clubs.

Leave a comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *