The Napoleone family planted orchards in the Yarra Valley in the 1940s and vineyards in 1987. In 1999 they built a winery and in 2001 released their first wines under the Punt Road label.
Owning 250-hectares of orchards no doubt helped the Napoleone family to produce apple and pear cider from 2008. Then in August this year, Joe and Michael Napoleone became brewers, too, following completion of the Napoleone Brewery and Ciderhouse at Coldstream.
In the facility (now open to the public) Behn Payten’s ciders have been joined by Ben Waymouth’s first two beers: Breakneck Porter and American Pale Ale.
In just a couple of decades the Napoleone enterprise moved decisively from primary production to vertically integrated manufacturing and sales, with a significant stake in Yarra Valley tourism.
Copyright © Chris Shanahan 2014
First published 1 October 2014 in the Canberra Times