Mr David Pettavel was born in Boudry, Switzerland and emigrated to Australia in 1842 aboard the barque Platina. Upon landing at Port Phillip, Pettavel continued directly to the hills of Geelong. He set about planting the regions first vineyard. The ancient Australian soils, protected by their very remoteness from the ravages of disease, proved fertile and suitable for young grape vines.
Pettavel and the wine produced from their vineyards was such a success that plans for further vineyard development were made. The shortage of skilled labour became a major constraint to expansion. Pettavel returned to Switzerland to convince family and friends to join him to assist in the expansion of vineyards and wine production in Geelong. They sailed on the Evening Star in 1856. During the 19th century Geelong became the largest wine grape growing region in Victoria and one of the largest in Australia.
The rapid expansion and development of the wine industry in Geelong halted abruptly in the late 1870’s with the passing of Mr David Pettavel and other driving pioneers. In addition, the arrival of phylloxera and its devastating effects on the vineyards. The gold rush proved a temptation for many vigneron’s and labour shortages prevented vineyards from being replanted.
An English cottage was set up during this year. The enduring structure with period elegance provides the opportunity to see the lifestyle back then. The beautiful glass motif and fireplaces represent the period statement of the time.
The first vineyard was set up at a time when Geelong was going through a renaissance for vine growing and wine making. The natural soil feature and cool climate has always been sought after by wine growers who endeavour to make the best wine possible.
The French vineyard is a reproduction of how the French manually craft the grapes that can make great wine. On the sunny slope of the property and in front of the English cottage, the French Vineyards stands out proudly in nurturing the delicious grapes for our premium wines.
The state of the art winery Pettavel was constructed in 2001. In 2002 processing of wines under the Pettavel brand began. This was also the 160 year history of Pettavel who pioneered the Geelong wine region in 1842.
Pettavel Wine is an iconic brand in the Geelong region. In April 2004, the Prime Minister came to visit Geelong and was impressed by the Pettavel Brand. He held a grand banquet in Pettavel, treating guests to our famous Shiraz, Pinot Noir, Sauvignon Blanc and Riesling. Local people were so proud of Pettavel wines that eight weeks after the visit the government committed $186 million to the local economy. This money was to support local projects in response to proposals presented in the meeting. It was commented that it must be the charm of the Pettavel wines that made this possible.
To improve the irrigation system and water quality an advanced desalination plant was built to ensure grape quality and production tonnage. Such an investment was never before attempted in Australia and has never been attempted by other vineyards due to the investment required. This investment however means that no matter what the climate is during the year the vineyards are always full
Pettavel Group aquires Meroo of Yarra Glen Vineyard that was one of largest private vienyard in the area. Merro is just north of the township and used to be part of Gulf Station–first farm of Victoriain 1838.
Pettavel Wine was selected for the Premiere party in Melbourne in July 2013. Around 300 outstanding people including Prime Minister Kevin Rudd and Bob Hawke were in the party. Outstanding Melbourne business people were awarded for their contribution to local economic development.
Pettavel took over Staughtonvale Estate in Anakie. The property is next to the famous Fairy Park, a tourism icon on the Western side of Melbourne. The Estate not only produces excellent grapes, but it also is a pioneer of winery tourism business offering full services including accommodation in Victoria.
On 8th April 2016, Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull, with 1000 business elites, celebrated the 20 years anniversary of the John Howard political life. Pettavel wines were used and Pettavel gift packs were presented to both Prime Ministers on the event.
On the 7th June 2017, the application of Development of the Yarra Valley Winery & Restaurant made by Pettavel was approved by the local government. The Prime Minister personally signed on the design of the project with his congratulations for the Yarra Valley icon.
On 1st August, the Halliday Wine Companion Awards was held and Pettavel as the five-star winery has achieved another landmark as all wines from three Pettavel vineyards and received great ratings. In October, Pettavel wines were also booked for a 400 people event held by Prime Minister Scott Morrison.