There are not many partnerships that endure a lifetime: Eugenio Valenti and Alessandro Calabrese are one exceptional duo.
Friends from the fields of the Italian village of Bivongi, Reggio Calabria (a mountainous village in the south of Italy), Eugenio and Alessandro are testimony to a successful business, family and friendship partnership.
When asked to about the secret to their lasting bond, Eugenio and Alessandro, reveal that the essence is trust, honesty and openness.
Eugenio migrated from Bivongi when he was nineteen years old to build a better life for his family. After establishing himself in Australia, Eugenio brought his brother in law and best friend, Alessandro Calabrese from Italy to work with him logging in Kalgoorlie and then at Midland’s workshops for the former Westrail.
Eugenio, whose middle name Liberato means freedom, had a greater vision for himself and his family – to plant a vineyard and to be a winemaker. Defying those that did not share his vision, Eugenio, known for his passion, fun and humour purchased his first property on Robinson Road in Millendon in 1952 where he planted his first vineyard. Alessandro is the quiet achiever who managed the operational side of the business including ploughing, pruning and teams of pickers.
The entrepreneurial Eugenio, a self-taught wine maker and dedicated Alessandro expanded their vineyards to progressively purchase 72 acres of land situated on Campersic Road, between Dalgety Road and Oakover Road. In 1975, the winery was moved to Campersic Road which is still the cellar door for Vino Italia today. The success of this family owned business would not be possible without the support of their wives, two strong women who have contributed by working in the business (picking, driving tractors and tending to customers) and raising children.
Vino Italia is known for the quality of their produce and preservative free wine, rich with rustic Italian tradition. Eugenio and Alessandro pride their business success on always treating their customers with respect. The warm, southern Italian spirit still lives in the Vino Italia cellar today, with customers greeted with Eugene’s familiar smile or cheeky bazalletta (jokes)!
As one of the largest grape suppliers in the region, Vino Italia has contributed to the Swan Valley’s history and reputation that is now internationally renowned.