A decade ago, winemaker Marc Scalzo and his wife Lisa bottled their first release of piano piano wines. In Italian, 'piano piano' means 'slowly, slowly', or, in other words, 'It will come with time'. It is how Marc and his family feel about making wine. 'Slowly, slowly . . .' it is what Marc's father, Mario, taught him about good wine . . . it takes time – to learn, to make, and to enjoy. For many years Mario managed a local bottle shop specialising in local wines, bottled from the vines of the King Valley and surrounding districts.
Marc's first release was a Merlot Cabernet from Brangie vineyard overlooking Hurdle Creek in the King Valley. Then came 'Mario's Blend', a thank you to his Father. This blend brings together the red grape varieties, Touriga Nacional and Tempranillo, also from the Brangie Vineyard. With time, Marc has been able to combine his formal training (Charles Sturt University) with years of practical experience – most notably, as a winemaker at Brown Brothers; and vintage skills from Giaconda, Seresin Estate (NZ), Delegat’s (NZ) and John Gehrig Wines. He has made many wines including Chardonnay, Cabernet Sauvignon, Tempranillo, Pinot Grigio and the fortified wines that are famous to the region. Marc Scalzo is also the Senior Winemaker at Rutherglen Estates.
In 2003, Marc and his wife Lisa purchased a property at Beechworth, an area famous for its granitic soils and fine cool climate wines. They have since planted Chardonnay and Shiraz. In 2004, they proudly released 'Oliver’s Blend' after their eldest son. Good things come with time, and in 2006 their daughter was born. They bottled their Beechworth Chardonnay, and named it 'Sophie’s Block' after her. Their youngest son Henry was born in 2008, the year the Shiraz block was planted and hence the Shiraz has been named, Henry’s Block.