In 1952, Giuseppe & Maria Sergi emigrated from Calabria, Italy to Australia. They stayed in Sydney for about a month and then decided to make the move to the Riverina region as there was plenty of work on the farms for them to start their new lives together. They then began making a living on talents they brought all the way from Italy, producing olive oil and wine. They began working until they had enough money to buy their own farm and begin planting their own grapes which came about in 1968. Giuseppe & his son Antonio began growing their own grapes and producing a popular Italian style drop that then turned into supplying bulk wine in 200- litre drums Australia wide.
Antonio used to travel 1,500km’s to go to Northern Queensland to sell the wine to farmers that enjoyed their Italian style wine. Antonio used to sell the wine in 200L barrels and this became an annual trip for Antonio in the months of October as the Italian community purchased their wine for the festive season.
In 1969 Antonio started the cellar door at ‘The House of Sergi’s’ and used to sell their first batches of wine in 2l flagons with majority of the wine being fortified wines as this was preferred by majority of the community at the time. Fortified wines including cream cherry, blackberry marsala, brown muscat’s, choc mint marsala, coffee marsala, strawberry marsala and the list goes on.
Back in those days everything was done by hand and a clear example of this is when Antonio used to pitch fork the grapes off the back of the truck into a hopper to get crushed, it would then go into a tank with the refrigeration being blocks of ice in open fermenter tanks. Once this was done the skin and seeds of the grapes were squeezed through an all manual press. The wines were then filtered to get it ready for bottling with all corks and labels being applied by hand.
In 1989, the demand of wine grew and this is when Antonio and his father began planting more grapes for more varietals including Shiraz, Cabernet, Sauvignon Blanc and Chardonnay. They then moved onto another farm by the name of 1164 and began planting Italian varietals.. Montepulciano, Durif, Lambrusco and Lagrien.
By 1995 sales began to grow and because of this, the winery underwent a large expansion in production including development of their own vineyards and expansions to the winery. Antonio moved onto a farm that consisted of 1,600 acres to keep up with consumer demand and this came about in the year 1995 and they managed to plant the grapes within 12 months.
Today, Warburn is well over 50 years in winemaking and the family has achieved this by working hard and sticking together. Warburn Estate is now one of Australia’s top 10 wine producers and export wine to almost 30 countries, as well as distributing a large portion of wine to Australia’s biggest liquor retailer. The 4th generation works within different departments of the winery such as Marketing, Export, Sales, Administration and Winemaking.
Warburn Estate is the 8th largest winery in Australia and is currently run by the 3rd and 4th generation. Today, it is over 50 years that Giuseppe and Antonio Sergi became pioneer winemakers in the Riverina district and the family strives to continue their hard work and passion of making wine and most of all to support future generations here at Warburn Estate.
Our innovative style
Warburn Estate is a leader in the Riverina wine region and Australian wine industry. Proudly in Australia’s top ten wine producers – Warburn Estate is owned by the Sergi family, whose winemaking heritage was brought to the area from Italy in 1952. Today, it stands tall as a fourth generation, pioneering wine family. From the first grape plantings in Tharbogang, to today, producing one of Australia’s fasting growing brands under $7 – Gossips, Warburn Estate’s achievements have been remarkable. The foundations that established Warburn Estate in the 1950’s remain the same today – hard work and strong family values.