Ciavarella Oxley Estate: a small winery at Oxley in Victoria's King Valley wine region, 1km off the "Snow Road", a scenic route to many attractions and gateway to the King Valley and Milawa Gourmet Region.Establishing vineyards in 1978, Cyril and Jan Ciavarella began making wines in 1992, after initially selling grapes to others. Ciavarella Oxley Estate has a reputation for quality and varietal flavour. Wines are "hand-made" in small volumes by Cyril, Jan and Tony Ciavarella. They take a very hands-on approach, working to no fixed timetable. The philosophy is simple: make wines that people will love!
Wines include: chenin blanc, sauvignon blanc, viognier, chardonnay, cabernet sauvignon, shiraz, durif, Dolcino (a sweet red), Late Harvest Semillon Aucerot and a fortified white.
Awards and critiques
The small volumes made often exclude wine-show entry. Wines entered consistently win medals and receive high praise from critics. High achievers:
* Chardonnay (13 vintages): 3 gold, 1 silver, 8 bronze; 4 stars Winestate; 4 cups James Halliday; a hat-trick of 'best chardonnay in show', Dookie Wine Show 2007-2009;
* Durif (5 vintages): 4 cups James Halliday; 3 stars and 4 stars Ric Einstein
* Shiraz and Shiraz Viognier (5 vintages): 1 gold, 1 silver, 1 bronze; 3 and 4 1/2 stars Winestate; 3 stars Ric Einstein; 3 cups James Halliday;
* Late Harvest Semillon Aucerot (2 vintages): 2 bronze; 4 stars Winestate;Cabernet Sauvignon (11 vintages): 2 bronze; 4 1/2 stars Winestate; 3 stars Ric Einstein; 4 cups James Halliday.
Aucerot - mystery
As custodians of the variety aucerot, Ciavarellas use it in dessert and fortified wines. Cuttings collected from Europe by Varley Bailey in the early 1900s were planted at Glenrowan. Cyril obtained cuttings before their removal in the 1980s. The name aucerot is not used in Europe; exact heritage is unknown. The planting is thought the only one in Australia.