Andrew Murray and Conge Cassetta began making wine together in 2004 when they started Blewitt Valley Wines PTY. Ltd
…..but that was not the beginning of the story since Andres’s step grandfather, Luciano Brunato and Congee’s grandfather Congee Cassetta Snr both left Italy in the 1920’s and settled in Blewitt Springs.
Both purchased un-cleared land and working with their own sweat and hard labour cleared the land and planted the vines.
At that time they became one of the few pioneers to create all dry grown vineyards in Blewitt Springs.
Times were good but with hard work they were able to bring their families from Italy.
Egido (Gid) Brunato, Andrew’s step father arrived in 1929 and Conge’s father Mike and the young Conge himself arrived in the early 1950’s to work in the family vineyards.
Gid also became the vineyard manager of the famous Ryecroft vineyards and winery from 1961 where Andrew spent much of his childhood.
Conge and Andrew grew up on vineyards and learnt the craft of vingneron from their father and stepfather. They learnt the hard way by doing the work firstly as children, teenagers and young men. They learnt the love of the earth, an understanding of how to manage it to grow healthy vines that produced only the best fruit.
As adults Conge left the family estate and Andrew left Ryecroft to forge their own lives.
Conge worked at the Maglieri winery under the guidance of his cousin Steve Maglieri and winemaker Wayne Thomas.
Andrew worked two vintages with Jim Ingoldby (The previous owner of Ryecroft) at Ingoldby wines and then one vintage with Greg Trott from Wirra Wirra.
After a number of years Conge returned home to take over the running of Casetta Estate vineyards. His hard work and understanding of viticulture created a premium 60 acre vineyard in the much sort after micro climate of Blewitt Springs within McLaren Vale.
Casetta Estate vineyards produces Shiraz form 70 year old vines, Cabernet from 50 year old vines, Merlot from 40 year old vines, Grenache from 60 year old vines as well as Chardonnay, Chenin Blac and Pinot Noir. These wines are supplied fruit to
Australia’s largest wine company Fosters wines as well as Clarendon Hills winery, Geoff Merrill wines and Cariole All Premium Wine producers.
Conge’s fruit has also been hand selected for wines made for Blewitt Valley wines.
Andrew went on to work for Tatachilla winery (Southern Vales) as National sales and Marketing Director for three years, then owned and operated a wholesale wine import export company representing 13 premium Australian wine producers.
The love of the land and wine making drew him back to Ryecroft, now known as Rosemont. After a vintage there wine was back in his blood.
Over a beer at a local game of Australian rules football in 2004 it was agreed, based on a long and strong friendship of over 30 years that Conge and Andrew would make wine together.
Based on the principles from their forefathers of an understanding of the land, passion for the vine, the love of the best wine and hard work the wines that have been created bring excellence to the wine and viticulture industries.
The Andrew S Murray, Murray of McLaren Vale, Murray and Haddo House Labels have been created to market the premium wines produced by Blewitt Valley Wines PTY Ltd.
The company is also involved in supplying a wider range of wines for the domestic and international market including the national retailer Dan Murphy’s and exports to China, Hong Kong, Macau, Taiwan, Phillipines and the USA.
In March 2006 Conge sold his share of the company. The change of ownership has provided a stronger platform for success and growth.
Blewitt Valley Wines continues to source fruit from the Blewitt Springs region whilst also expanding into the wider area of the McLaren Vale wine region.