The Primo Estate story began in 1953 with the arrival of Primo Grilli. A grape grower in his home region of Le March in Italy, he brought his skills to Australia and his legacy was taken up by his son, Joseph.
Having graduated Dux of his class at Roseworthy College in 1979, Joseph founded Primo Estate. An innovator from the start, Joe experimented with techniques such as double pruning, Amarone style grape drying and botrytis.
Joe’s passion is on show in the JOSEPH range, which brings together modern Australian winemaking techniques and his Italian winemaking heritage. Joe maintains his links to his father’s home by returning to Tuscany and Venice every year to make the wines under his Primo & Co labels.
What is your winemaking philosophy?
According to Joe, by combining modern Australian techniques with more traditional old world skills, the resulting wines are superior to those made using either method on its own. He adds, “Even after 35 years I remain swept up by the romance of it all. More than anything else Primo Estate celebrates la dolce vita, Australian style!"
What’s the most important piece of equipment in the winery?
Our five 10 tonne open concrete fermenters that we use for our red wines. Although they involve more work than stainless steel fermenters would, they release the soul of a red wine when the fermenting skins come into contact with air. According to the team, however, the most important piece of winery equipment is the coffee machine!
Did you know...
When I started Primo Estate, named after my father Primo, in 1979, I was only 19. I also made Australia’s first botrytised wine!