Malbec in May with St Ignatius
In 1992 Silvia and Enrique Diaz bought an empty block of land near Avoca, eager to capitalise on the unique Pyrenees climate.
More than a quarter of a century later, their son Tom Diaz is carrying on the dream, as the St Ignatius winery vigneron.
His brothers Nick and Alex are also part of the business.
“The winery began as a figment of my parents’ imagination,” Tom explains.
“In the subsequent years, it has evolved into a unique family business.
“We now operate as a fully autonomous and independent business – handcrafting super premium wines for our valued customers.
“Year after year, my brothers and I were integrated into the business, each maturing their own interests in viticulture, winemaking and business development.”
The Diaz family has always sought to be innovators and entrepreneurs, having brought unique varieties from Argentina such as Malbec and Torrontes to the region.
“These complement our existing range of Chardonnay, Shiraz and Cabernet Sauvignon, each of which is characterised by the distinctive Pyrenees terroir,” says Tom.
Tom suggests Grape Escape punters should take home a bottle of the St Ignatius award-winning Reserve Malbec, an interesting drop to continue the wine conversations going with the family and friends at home.
Being in the wine industry for so many years, the Diaz family has experienced its fair share of challenges.
The vineyard survived the Millennium Drought, a weather event many winemakers and farmers across the region would remember in sadness.
“Though with every challenge we continue to build resolve, which allows us to value the special moments even more,” says Tom.
He says it is the miracle of wine that drives him each day.
“There is nothing more special than growing your own fruit, making your own wine and then sharing it with others to enjoy,” he says.
“As well as the never-ending opportunities to learn new things, spend time with family and mature as a person.
“The moments that make this business special are the everyday interactions with customers.
“The greatest feeling in this industry is truly when a customer appreciates all the hard work that goes into a bottle of wine and distinguishes your product for its quality.”
St Ignatius has been exhibiting at the Grampians Grape Escape for six years, something Tom says the family loves doing each year, not only to share their wine, but also enjoy sharing in the wealth of producers themselves.
“The appeal of the Grampians Grape Escape is the opportunity to spend a weekend away with friends surrounded by good food and wine,” says Tom.
“People love making the trip to the Grampians because every time they discover something different and learn about our local producers.”
For Tom, he is looking forward to enjoying some Spanish flavour from the Melbourne Paella Company, perfect fuel for a busy weekend exhibiting.
“We can’t wait to see everything in the Grampians again in 2018 and we look forward to sharing the story of our winery with you in May,” says Tom.