Vasarelli's opened in December 2009 after an extensive restoration of our historical building on the main street of McLaren Vale.
The cellar door and restaurant are a family owned business owned by Maria and Michael Vasarelli, along with their parents, Pat and Vicky Vasarelli.
Set in the heart of McLaren Vale, the Vasarelli's have brought to the public a combination of award winning wines and Italian's love for cooking. With recipes passed down from generations, our cuisine ranges from antipasto platters and classic pasta dishes to all organic meats and the freshest seafood. At the very central of our cooking is the insistence that food be fresh & that our chefs are able to work to their own taste, opening the door to infinite variety.
Message from Michael and Maria Vasarelli - Directors
"Italian cuisine to this day is one of the most beloved of the worlds's great cuisines and the question is what lies at the heart of our cooking that seperates it from other cuisines? Cooking is synonymous with good food, good wine and good company. Each meal is a celebration, for us Italians coming together at the table is a way of life, it permits us to connect to our traditions and here as Vasarell's we like to share our lifestyle with you."
Pat & Vicki Vasarelli: "When we arrived in Australia in the 1960's we brought with us our custom of sharing food and wines with friends. We found the Mclaren Vale region prefect for growing grapes with plentiful produce so we could continue to make the traditional food we loved to make back home"
"We hope you will enjoy drinking our award winning wines and share our passion and love for authentic Italian food at Vasarelli's."
Vasarelli's – an overview of our family history in Australia:
1948 – Pasquale (Pat) Vasarelli was born in San Gregorio, Abruzze 28th Of March
1955 – Vittoria (Vicky) Petrucci was born in Castellino, Molise 25th of February
1966 – Vicky moved to North Fitzroy from Italy with Mother Maria Petrucci and two brothers Guiseppe (Joe) Petrucci & Giovanni (John) Petrucci to join their Husband & Father Michele (Michael) Petrucci, who moved from Italy in 1960
1967 – Vicky attended St Bridgette girls school for just under 2 years
1968 - Pat moved to Melbourne to stay with older sister Ivanna Vasarelli, and started working as a genuine jack of all trades
1971 – Joe Petrucci started to work with Pat in construction and would pick him up every morning
1972 – Pat laid the tiles at the Petrucci household, and met future wife Vicky
1973 – Went on first date to watch the godfather at the drive in with Vicky’s parents in the back seat
1973 – December 15th Pat and Vicky were married and had the reception at the Preston town hall with a bridal party of 14 people and 500 guests.
1974 – Moved to West Preston and their first son was born December 4th Agostino Vasarelli.
1976 – Maria Vasarelli was born September 18th
1976 – Pat and Vicky and along with her father, Michael came to look at the McLaren Vale property in October, and purchased the property shortly after. Property was to be split 4 ways, one each for Michael’s kids, and the last piece of land for himself. But in late October Michael Petrucci had an accident, he was working on his roof, and he fell. Hours later he passed away, he was 50. It was a massive blow to the family.
1976 – December, the family kept true to Michael’s dream and moved to McLaren Vale and split the property 3 ways. They moved into a 200 year old cottage with a 2 bed room and outside bathroom. There were 11 people living there. Including their mother and grandmother
1979 – Pat started building their home (that they still live in to this day)
1981 – Pat and Vicky moved into their home, along with 40 acres of land. Joe and John had the other 80 acres between them.
1982 – Planted Shiraz, Cabernet Sauvignon, Cabernet Franc and Merlot
1984 – Planted Semillon and Chardonnay
1987 – Michele (Michael) Vasarelli was born January 10th
1988 – Vasarelli home was complete.
1992 – Vicky accompanied her Mother, Maria to the McLaren Vale bank, to receive her pension. Next door was an auction that was about to commence, and Maria suggested to watch the auction. Once the auction commenced, Maria whispered to Vicky to try and purchase the house. Without any knowledge of the property itself, Vicky won the auction, It was this house that later became the Family restaurant.
1993 – August Vicky’s mother Maria Petrucci passed away , she was 63 then a few months later Vicky’s Grandmother Vittoria Polombo passed away, she was 88
1994 – Bought 40 acre property on Seaview road in McLaren Vale. Removed the fruit trees and planted Shiraz and Cabernet Sauvignon. It is the Seaview property where the Vasarelli’s have won most of their awards and gold’s.
1995 – Pat and Vicky joined Cellarmaster on a 15 year contract.
1996 – Vasarelli’s won their first gold with the 1996 Cabernet Franc at the Melbourne wine show. Also later that year they won a trophy at the Brisbane wine show with the 1996 Chardonnay
1997 – Won a trophy at the McLaren Vale Wine show with the 1996 Shiraz. Also a blue gold at the Brisbane wine show for the Cabernet Franc
1998 – Gold at the Cowra wine show for the 1998 Merlot
1998 - Purchased a 44 acre property at Finniss in Clayton. This was named ‘Finniss I’. Cabernet Sauvignon, Shiraz and Merlot was planted later that year.
1999 – Purchased ‘”Finniss II”. 45 acres and planted Tempranillo, Sangiovese, Cabernet Sauvigon and Shiraz later that year.
1999 – Gold at the Tasmania Wine show for the 1999 Rose. Also won gold for the 1999 Pasquale Selection at the McLaren Vale wine show
2000 – Was the vintage that the amarone was made at the vasarelli household. Later that year the 1998 Cabernet/Merlot won gold at the International Singapore wine show
2001 – Vasarelli’s first double gold at the San Fransisco Wine Show for the Pasquale Selection 2001
2002 – Bought “Finniss III”. 90 acres
2002 – Amarone was released, and later that year 2002 Rose won gold at the Tasmanian wine show
2003 – Amarone won 1st prize and gold at the Australian Packaging Awards. Also that year the Pasquale 2003 won gold at the Adelaide wine show, and Chardonnay 2001 won gold at the Hong Kong International wine show.
2005 – Shiraz 2003 won gold at the London International Wine show along with gold at the Melbourne wine show for the 2002 Pasquale Selection.
2005 – Finniss III was planted. Pinot Grigio, Le Greine, Vermentino, Shiraz and Sauvignon Blanc
2006 – Youngest son, Michael came into the family business. Maria joined shortly after.
2008 – Gold at the New Zealand wine show for the 2006 Cabernet Sauvignon, and won gold at the Cowra wine show for the 2007 Currency Creek Shiraz.
2008 – The idea of the restaurant cellar door was put to plans by Maria and Michael to continue the family legacy. Later that year Pat, Michael and family vigneron, Brian Gray, started to work on the 100 year old house.
2009 – Restaurant completed. Opened December 23rd
2010 – Contract with cellarmaster was renewed
The Vasarelli Family Vineyards
The Vasarelli Family have been tending to vineyards in both the McLaren Vale & Currency Creek regions for over 3 decades. Our old vines are lovingly tended to all year round and the quality fruit they yield is the foundation of both our family tradition and of course our diverse range of wines that are available.
The first of our red varieties were planted in 1982. Shiraz, Cabernet Sauvignon, Cabernet Franc & Merlot were the first to begin their growth in the magnificent McLaren Vale earth. The workload was shared among the 11 family members that were living in the then 200 year old cottage, giving true meaning to family owned vineyards.
Once the reds had grown solid for 2 years, Semillon & Chardonnay were added to the mix in 1984. At the same time, work continued on the new house which had been under construction since 1979. It seems that Pat may have considered that a nice white wine would be a better way to quench his thirst after a hard day on the tools.
Another 4 years later, the family home was complete and the new vineyards had flourished. The youthful vines were hand picked by the family and yielded quality fruits for the making of our first wines. The quality of the wine had it in reasonable demand and it wasn't long until the need for larger production became obvious.
In order to satisfy the additional supply of red wine, a 40 acre fruit tree orchard on Seaview Road in McLaren Vale was purchased in 1994 . The fruit trees were immediately removed to make room for more vineyards. Shiraz & Cabernet Sauvignon were planted there which literally sowed the seed for our gold medal success stories that were to follow some years later.
Another 4 years later & after success at the Melbourne, Brisbane & McLaren Vale Wine Shows, our first property at Finniss in Clayton was purchased. Dubbed 'Finnis 1', it was graced with Cabernet Sauvignon, Shiraz & Merlot.
Shortly after in 1999, 'Finnis II' was acquired adding another 45 acres to the total. Here we planted Tempranillo, Sangiovese, along with more Cabernet Sauvignon & Shiraz later that year.
Our largest vineyard expansion began in 2002 with the acquisition of 90 acres at 'Finniss III' bringing our total acreage to 259. Vines were not planted here until 2005 at which point we added Pinot Grigio, Le Greine, Vermentino, along with some more Shiraz & Sauvignon Blanc. The addition of 3 more varieties gave us the capacity to produce a vast array of wines from fruits produced in 2 different areas of South Australia.
As with all wines, the proof is in the tasting. Our Cellar Door Restaurant is open for tastings throughout our trading hours and we have good stock of most varieties on site if you decide to make a purchase.