Passion for his vineyard, an inherent love of the environment, and a desire to produce exquisite wines year after year… these are the driving forces behind Domenic Mondillo.
Born in Rhode Island in the United States, Domenic is the grandson of Italian immigrants. His Italian heritage is steeped in many generations of cooking great food and making superb wine. Enjoying strong family traditions and values, his Italian Grandfather taught him the secrets of making fine wine in the cellar amongst the home-made preserves, prosciutto and Italian cheeses. Domenic learned the art of drinking wine at his grandfather’s table fuelling his taste at an early age for combining, and pairing wine and food.
With a degree in Culinary Arts from Johnson & Wales University in Rhode Island USA, Domenic moved to New Zealand in 1981 and made his culinary mark in Queenstown as the owner and executive chef of two multi award-winning restaurants, before being enticed full time into the world of wine in 1992.
Achieving Viticulture and Oenology qualifications Domenic has been instrumental in designing and developing vineyards throughout Central Otago, combined with over 25 winemaking vintages in Oregon, USA.
Domenic, and his New Zealand wife Ally, established their own vineyard at Bendigo in 2001, with the desire to have a range of Pinot Noir and Riesling wines that are best showcased when paired with fabulous cuisine, and of course, great company.
Queenstown is home to Domenic and Ally; skiing, golf, fly fishing, hiking, the region is “like heaven on earth. Here we have it all – spectacular views, fresh water, native forests, mountains and birdlife – and of course unrivalled winegrowing country.”