Rob Diletti, Winemaker
Rob Diletti is the winemaking son of Castle Rock Estate founders Angelo and Wendy Diletti. During his formative years Rob worked in the family’s vineyard, developing a keen interest in grape-growing.
After graduating from Charles Sturt University with a Wine Science degree, Rob gained valuable winemaking experience at Mountadam Wines, Grosset Wines, Plantagenet Wines, Jean Grenier in Alsace, and Alkoomi Wines prior to returning home to Castle Rock Estate.
In 2001 he co-designed the Castle Rock Estate winery, a 200-tonne winery set within the family’s vineyards. Soon after taking over the winemaking, Rob was recognised for the quality of the wines he made.
Every vineyard produces unique fruit. The longer you work with the fruit from a particular vineyard, the deeper your understanding of that uniqueness is. As a winemaker, you can then adjust your winemaking each vintage to continually lift the overall quality of the wines.
These accolades include the Tony Smith Scholarship, Young Achiever of the Year (Wine industry Association of Western Australia), Young Winemaker of the Year (Wine Selectors) and was named the inaugural Winemaker of the Year in James Halliday’s Wine Companion in 2015.
Throughout his career, Rob has been heavily involved in wine show judging all around the nation. He has been a regular judge at the Perth Royal Wine Show (as a Panel Leader) as well as the Wine Show of WA, Margaret River Wine Show, Sydney Royal Wine Show and numerous others. His passion for wine judging and furthering the quality of Australian wine also saw him accepted as one of 12 scholars for the prestigious Len Evans Tutorial in 2005.
It is Rob’s dedication and attention to detail that has ensured the ongoing high quality of wines being made at Castle Rock Estate with Riesling, Chardonnay and Pinot Noir being the most recognised varieties. The overall consistent quality of his wines has seen him receive regular trophies for best producer under 250 tonnes at the Wine Show of WA. This has led to several like-minded grape growers approaching Rob to make their wines as a contract winemaker. These wines have also received acclaim and stand alongside Castle Rock Estate as some of the region’s best wines.
Wendy & Angelo Diletti, Founders
Both Angelo and Wendy grew up with a background of agriculture, with Angelo growing up working with his parents on their market garden in Osborne Park, and Wendy growing up on her family’s wheat and sheep farm in Corow.
They both found themselves working in the health profession; Angelo as a Nurse and Wendy as an occupational therapist. They met while both working in Perth.
A promotion for Angelo in 1980 to Director of Nursing at Albany Hospital saw the young family move to the Great Southern, where soon after they were drawn back to working on the land. With a keen interest in wine, the idea of planting a vineyard appealed to them both.
They explored land at Denmark, Mt Barker and the Porongurup, with Angelo conducting vigorous soil and water tests on any property that appeared suitable. When the Castle Rock Estate property came up for sale, and the water and soil tests proved promising, the family took the plunge. The spectacular views were a bonus. Today, both Wendy and Angelo continue their involvement in the business, found in the cellar door and winery most days.
Sam Palmer, Assistant Winemaker
Sam started out at Voyager Estate in Margret River, before finishing his degree in Oenology and Viticulture at Curtin University and moving to Frankland River to work at Alkoomi Wines.
The Great Southern has the capability to produce a diverse range of wines and styles. Driving this are all the unique sites located within the region, each expressing their own fruit signature. Castle Rock Estate is one such site, and our job here is to showcase what our fruit has to say about where we are.
It was this time working in the Great Southern that exposed Sam to the region and seeded his passion for its wines.
Following a vintage in Southern Rhone and then a year in the Clare Valley at Pikes Wines, Sam moved back to the Great Southern to join Castle Rock Estate ahead of the 2020 vintage as Assistant Winemaker and has quickly become an integral part of our winemaking team.