In 1926, Joseph Napoleone migrated to Australia from Abruzzi, Italy, seeking a new life for he and his family. He began working in South Australia, clearing bush for day wages to earn enough money to bring his wife Josephine and their 5 children over from Italy. Though he intended to bring them over as soon as possible, the Great Depression and World War II interrupted, and he had to wait until after the war before they could join him. These were difficult economic times throughout the world, and the local wine industry virtually collapsed. Most vineyards were returned to pasture for dairy, cattle, and sheep, and it wasn’t until the 1960’s that replanting began in the Yarra Valley. Post-World War II, the Napoleone family was reunited, and in 1948 they purchased land in Wandin and began the family business, Red Rich Fruits, as orchardists growing apples.
In 1961, Michael Vivien Napoleone (Joe and Michael’s father) planted 2 more acres of orchard on the original 20 acres his father had acquired, and the first generation of Napoleone’s were born in Australia (Josephina, 1960, Joe 1961, Michael 1972). In 1978, as the Yarra Valley wine industry began to wake again, the Napoleone’s purchased the property at Coldstream which was formerly home to the original St. Huberts vineyards and winery.
They began planting vines in 1987 and, in the late 1990’s, a modern winery was built on the Napoleone Vineyard here in Coldstream. In 2001, the first range of Punt Road wines was released to the market with great success. Today, the Napoleone family, through their vineyards, winery, orchards, brewery and ciderhouse, are committed to crafting the most exceptional wines, beers and ciders in the Yarra Valley.
Open 7 days a week from 10AM to 5PM
Our full Punt Road range is always available for tastings. Try our Yarra Valley Dairy cheese platters with local produce or enjoy a Gundowring ice cream in the back garden. Only an hour’s drive from Melbourne, we are the gateway to the Yarra Valley – the perfect place to begin or end a day experiencing this incredible region.
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