Mitolo Wines became established via the unusual path of potato growing. Frank Mitolo has a history of Italian farming from the Abruzzo region of Italy. After they emigrated to Australia, the family became successful market gardeners, with Frank producing wine as a hobby. In 1999, he decided to turn his hobby into a business, and after a ‘legendary’ five-hour discussion with renowned winemaker Ben Glaetzer, they came up with a plan to make the most of McLaren Vale’s rich and bountiful soils. Their business plan consisted of six words: ‘individuality, integrity, quality, purity, elegance and power’. The first wine released was the ‘G.A.M Shiraz’ in 2000 and was named after the Mitolo children, Gemma, Alex and Marco. The fruit is sourced from the vineyard of the Lopresti family, themselves Italian migrants, with 200 acres of Shiraz, Cabernet Sauvignon and Grenache, planted in 1975. Apparently Frank had to do a lot of convincing to get Don Lopresti to part with his prime fruit, but since that time, the partnership has flourished. Over the years, further plantings have been made, particularly of Italian varieties, including Vermentino, Sangiovese and Sagrantino. The vineyards are situated near Gulf St Vincent on heavy, grey loams, with rain almost non-existent during the final stages of ripening, helping to concentrate flavours within the grapes.
Mitolo offer wines under several different labels: ‘Jester’, including budget-priced reds such as the ‘Jester Cabernet Sauvignon’, as well as Malbec, Grenache, Vermentino and a Sangiovese rosé; the ‘Small Batch Series’, including fuller reds and more complex whites, such as ‘The Angela Shiraz’; and the ‘Single Vineyard Series’, the premium label, including the full-bodied, opulent ‘G.A.M. Shiraz’ and the ultra-premium ‘Marsican Shiraz’, made from selected parcels of their finest fruit, made in limited quantities during the best years.