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‘Red dynamite’ origins of Margaret River winemaking – new find

As Margaret River winemakers are busily preparing for 50th anniversary celebrations next year, Credaro Wines has revealed the region’s origins in fact date back to the 1920s, from an Italian grape variety called Fragola.

Margaret River history

It is often regarded that Vasse Felix, Cullen, Cape Mentelle and Leeuwin Estate were the region’s pioneers for producing world-class Bordeaux style wines from the late 1960s.

However, the Meleri and Credaro families upheld the European winemaking traditions, planting vines for commercial production in 1915 with a five-acre plot of Fragola.

In the 1920s, Fragola – also known as Isabella – was sold in flagons for two shillings at the farm gate and local dance halls.

‘My great grandfather, Cesare, migrated to Australia from northern Italy and purchased 167-acres of dense, virgin bush in the northern district of Margaret River. Cesare helped make wine and harvest the grapes at the neighbouring vineyard owned by the Meleri family,’ said Credaro Vigneron and Marketing Manager, Matthew Credaro.

‘Commercial production evolved from there with the sale of Fragola to the local community, where it was fondly dubbed ‘red dynamite’.’

Cuttings from the original vineyard were later planted by Cesare’s son Albert, at the family’s Woolston Vineyard, where Fragola continues to be made in the family tradition.

The estate has since expanded to 140-hectares across seven vineyard sites within the district.

‘This story reflects our history as part of the foundations of the Margaret River region and acknowledges the importance of family members working together to create a future for the next generation.’

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