Former Penfolds winemaker releases Mediterranean-style range Posted by: Alana House February 05, 2019 The charming, rustic decor of Pasta Emilia was the perfect setting for the launch of Altero wines last night. Guest of honour was the talented alchemist behind the label, former Penfolds winemaker Mike Farmilo (pictured above). Farmilo, who has more than 40 years’ industry experience and has twice been awarded the prestigious Jimmy Watson Trophy, was a wonderful host, proudly presenting the four Italian and Spanish varietals that have been grown and made in South Australia’s Fleurieu Peninsula. They include Sangiovese, Montepulciano, Tempranillo and Nero d’Avola. Drinks Bulletin was fascinated to discuss the range with the down-to-earth winemaker. “The Fleurieu Peninsula is surrounded by water, with the Southern Ocean on one side and the Gulf St Vincent on the other, so it’s the Australian region with the closest climate to the Mediterranean,” he explained. Farmilo believes the Fleurieu has the best conditions to grow the finest alternative varietals in South Australia. “These wines show the character and style of their home countries,' he said. "They have bright fruit characters with minimal oak, and are made to be enjoyed fresh.” Set in Sydney's Surry Hills, Pasta Emilia is a traditional and organic Italian restaurant featuring a menu of pastas, roast meat and fish. According to Christine Ricketts, Cellar Director for wine retailer Cellarmasters, the Altero wines are the perfect pairings for food. “These are elegant wines with a lovely balance and layered structured," she said. "Although they have fruit flavours, these wines have more savoury notes, like traditional Italian and European wines." The wines are available exclusively through Cellarmasters for $14.99 per bottle (in case).