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Wednesday 1 December 2021

It's official: Calabria is a Riverina wine legend


Bill Calabria AM is one of the nicest men in the wine industry. 

Second-generation winemaker has been recognised as the 2021 Riverina Legend at this year’s Riverina Wine Show following his namesake winery’s sweeping of the competition with a total of six trophies and the award for Most Successful Exhibitor for the third consecutive year.


Calabria, who once fought as a professional boxer, has been a notable figure in the Riverina since first working for the family’s winery (formerly known as Westend) at the age of 14. 

He has long held that the region can produce outstanding, premium wines, in addition to creating notable value drops. 


In 2013, he as made a Member of the Order of Australia for his significant service to the industry. 


NSW Wine Industry Association president Mark Bourne said: “This deserved recognition of Bill’s accomplishments are borne from his passion, innovation and commitment to the Riverina, New South Wales and Australian wine industry over many years. 

We look forward to the exciting future for Bill and the entire Calabria family as they continue to play a significant role in the prosperity and growth of the Riverina for generations to come.” 


Regular readers will know I am not a huge fan of wine shows but these were exceptional results. 

“What an honour to be the recipient of the Riverina Legend award,“ Calabria said. 

I am grateful to my distinguished peers and Riverina neighbours for continuing to support our family, even through the most challenging times in our 76-year history. 


“I have always believed the Riverina to be incredibly underrated, both locally and globally, but through our consistency of quality wines from year to year, the region continues to be the heart of the NSW wine industry. 

One thing that stands out is the incredible sense of community and camaraderie found in the region and I send my sincere thanks to everyone who has contributed to the ongoing success of our family winery over the past seven decades.”


The Riverina Legend award first launched in 2019 as part of the Riverina Wine Show. Bill Calabria joins Les Worland (2019) and Jim and Keith McWilliam (2020).

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