Nestled between Waikerie and Morgan, in South Australia’s Riverland, sits a beautiful cellar door right on the edge of the Murray River. It’s only been open for a few years, but Caudo Vineyard has cemented itself as one of the most popular and progressive wine businesses in the region. The winery’s philosophy of ‘wine inspired by a lifestyle’ has been driven by Zac Caudo who now manages the family business in between water skiing, wakeboarding and fishing. Emilie Reynolds reports.
Although Zac Caudo has only been working in the wine industry for seven years, he has been surrounded by it for most of his life. His parents Joe and Christine Caudo purchased a property on the Murray River in the mid-1980s when the family still lived in Perth.
“My parents planted a vineyard where we had water skiing holidays,” Caudo said. “The lifestyle I enjoyed on the Murray River led me to this next step in my career.”
In 2009, Caudo moved to the area and took the reins of the company as manager. From there, he transformed the business from a bulk supplier of wine grapes to producer of its own Caudo brand of award-winning wines and a tourism destination for thousands of visitors.
“We decided to change from contract grapes to bulk wines because in contract grapes you are at the mercy of big wineries, whereas with bulk wine you instantly open yourself to export trade and consumers,” he said.