About the Conte Family and Estate
Wine in our veins and roots
The surname of Conte and its Coat of Arms emerged in ancient Rome, where wine was drunk at every meal, whether rich or poor. Since the 1950's the Conte family of McLaren Vale continue this tradition by nurturing vineyards and making wine to enjoy with food.
The Conte Family 1910 – 1960
Born in Italy, Antonino (Tony) Conte lived in America with his family at the ‘Ranch’ in Ossining, New York (home of the infamous Sing Sing prison), between 1914 -1925 where he did most of his schooling. He moved back to Italy again where he met and later married Giulia (Julia).
With 4 children they immigrated in 1953 to McLaren Vale, South Australia, from a little mountain top town of Sassinoro, three hours drive south of Rome. Noble in name and spirit, they brought with them the knowledge handed down from generations of vineyard and wine tradition and the commitment to hard work and family life.
Tony quicky became a well liked and respected member of the McLaren Vale community. He befriended both Australian and Italians and people enjoyed his humble nature and intelligent conversation. There is no doubt that Tony will also be remembered for his charismatic New York - Italian accent and for his keen interest in Australian, American, Italian & English politics.
The Conte Family 1960 onwards
By 1965, the family owned 3 properties in McLaren Vale totaling 280 acres, 140 acres were vineyards. They planted more and more vines on their land and by the early 1990’s almost all of it was vineyards. This made them the largest migrant family vineyard owners in McLaren Vale for about 20 years, from 1965 to approximately 1985.
Steve Conte purchased one of his father’s vineyards at age 21. He later met Maria in South Australia through family friends, they fell in love and were married one year later, Steve was age 28, and Maria just 17.
The Conte family have devoted their lives to nurturing vineyards and making wine in McLaren Vale for over 40 years. They have a genuine love for their home town, their vineyards and their close family lifestyle.