With more than 300 wines on the list and numerous awards, the Cellar at Bells is...
I was born in Wangaratta; surrounded by North Eastern Victorian Wine Country. My father was the licensee for a bottle shop and one of my first jobs was working under age in that store. So at the tender age of fifteen my cellar started; there is a few of those 1960’s vintages still in there. We sold and drank Gold Medal winning Muscat and Tokay in flagons. Sales of Brown Brothers of Milawa slowed due to a significant price rise at the time, moving from $0.60c to $0.90c a bottle. During this period I also helped a mate’s Dad maintain a rural property for a Mr. Alan Watson. In season we would steal grapes from the adjoining property, Bailey Brothers of Glenrowan. I met Alan years later at his wine bar in Carlton where it turned out he was the son of Jimmy Watson. And of course today, I prefer the fruit from Bailey’s 1904 block fully fermented. After a very educational but academically disastrous stint at La Trobe University I had to escape the wrath of my father. I found myself picking tobacco in the King Valley for an Italian family; Fred Pizzini ran the family owned hotel in Whitfield. I saw a lot of Fred in those days; we still catch up and vaguely recall drinking his Father’s homemade grappa. Eventually I started working at Brown Brothers Cellar Door under the tutorage of Tom Seabrook. Tom came from a Wine Merchant family and his generosity of knowledge was inspirational. My time there lead to a role in sales and marketing for Brown Brothers opening markets in NSW and Queensland. Whilst Sydney based, trips to the Hunter Valley started my fascination with aged Semillon and Shiraz. My father’s attitude towards me improved but he really started to like my Wangaratta based cellar. And so my cellar’s journey began, Sydney, Brisbane, Darwin, Sydney, Hunter Valley and now Killcare. As did my wine travels start, with memorable visits to Rothschild, Palmer, Latour, Petrus, Yquem, Taittenger and more. The wine industry has afforded me a lot of fun and cellar acquisitions. The most recent of which reflect new influences in my life brought about through a partnership with Stefano Manfredi. It was Len Evans who said that he never drank great wine by himself and that the real joy of great wine was in the sharing. Like all good cellars mine remains a work in progress and so there is plenty there and I hope you enjoy the sharing
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Manfredi at Bells Wine List - Sample (368 KB)