Sydney Times


LA CANTINA Preservative Free Dry Red & Italian varietals NOW AVAILABLE at DAN MURPHY

Written by Aksel Ritenis

La Cantina Preservative Free DRY RED and Italian varietals now available  at Dan Murphy 

Preservative Free Italian varietals from King Valley at Dan Murphy

Who hasn’t suffered a “cracking great headache” after consuming too much wine  at a soiree or dinner party with friends and family,.. or at a christmas party over the course of the “silly season?” ,..and of course many astute observers put this down to the excessive amounts of C200 or Anti Oxidant that new world  winemakers are inclined to use to preserve their wines and stop them from oxidising.. Now before you accuse me of being unfair,..consider the myriad tales and  anecdotal evidence from  Aussies drinking copious amounts of  Albarino or  Tempranillo in Spain or Chablis or Cabernet in France without suffering any malaise in the form of hangover symptoms or headache the next day ? 

Is this perhaps due to other factors,.. because on holidays you are fit and well and in exuberant form?,.. or is it really related to the winemaking practices with many authorities suggesting that European Winemakers are inclined to use less Anti- oxidant in their wines and this results in a wine that doesn’t induce a headache?

Of course the medical reasons for the headache are quite simple,..Many wine consumers are sensitive to Anti-Oxidant and Preservatives and experience some sort of allergic reaction,..or a constriction of the nasal passages and sinuses or both,.and also a frontal  headache. Consequently there are many people would still like to enjoy a glass of wine without experiencing these unpleasant side effects.and of course there are also many people who are allergic to Sodium Glutamate or MSG which is used excessively in Asian cooking,..and in combination with the Anti oxidant can cause an even bigger headache.I

As a Wine merchant I often had requests from people suffering this malaise so it is a good thing that Dan Murphy is conscious of this problem and seems to be addressing it by introducing this range of Preservative Free wines from La Cantina.. Whilst they don’t have a specific section for Preservative Free wines they do have a limited range  interspersed around the various  sections.

So what is a Preservative Free Wine?

Certain  wines that are described as preservative-free as they have no added sulphur dioxide (so2). This is sometimes labelled as preservative C220, or just plain sulphites.

“It’s almost impossible for a wine to be 100% sulphite-free as trace amounts are produced during fermentation, but some winemakers argue that adding more stops a wine from developing new and interesting flavours. Others believe that, because of their antimicrobial properties, adding sulphites is necessary to defend a wine against bad bacteria and keep it stable for longer.”

Despite popular opinion, unless you are allergic to or intolerant of sulphites, consuming them in wine won’t generally cause you any harm, but they are blamed for  headaches!

“Winemakers who don’t add preservatives  tend to focus less on making sure shiraz tastes like shiraz, and more on letting the fruit and the vineyard tell a story-these wines are generally vibrant, a little wild and jam-packed with flavour.”

In New South Wales we have several different preservative free wines including Botobolar Preservative Free Shiraz  from Mudgee and Thistle Hill Preservative Free Shiraz ,..

But never in my wildest imagination would I have know that there are now some great Italian varietals  mad by La Cantina that also come as Preservative free wines and they are from King Valley which is well known as the epicentre of Italian varietals in Australia!


From my personal  exprience to wit  my recent  Tasting in situ in the stunning King Valley,…I can tell you that La Cantina ,..does some great Preservative Free wines starting with a really good Pinot Grigio,.. and right through to their famous Dry Red blend and the Italian varietals that you will find below.

Nestled in the heart of the King Valley, North East Victoria, is the Corsini family’s vineyard and winery. They use traditional methods passed down through the generations.
All of their wines are made with no preservatives added, retaining the full characteristics of each grape variety.
The first blocks of La Cantina’s  vineyard were planted in the early 1980s, with blocks of Shiraz, Cabernet Sauvignon, Riesling, Chardonnay and Dolcetto. This was largely instigated by Brown Brothers of Milawa , to whom they were  contracted at the time.
In 1997 Gino and Carmel Corsini decided to release their own label after the popularity of their homemade wine grew amongst family and friends.This led to building and opening the Tuscan style stone cellar door of La Cantina King Valley.This was then followed by plantings of Pinot Grigio, Sangiovese, Nebbiolo, Tempranillo, Barbera, and more recently Saperavi,(the ancient Georgian variety)  with the vineyard being very well suited to these alternative European varieties.
Today three generations of the Corsini family run the vineyard and winery. The Family  are proud of the fact that all fruit is estate grown, with the wine being made and bottled on site, just behind their cellar door. 
Range of WINES

Their wines are beautiful, different to many modern styles but delicious! The Corsini family has a passion for making traditional, no added preservative and vegan-friendly wines.

La Cantina King Valley is a small family owned winery situated 42kms south of Wangaratta in the King Valley. Here, the Corsini Family, make wines using methods passed down through the generations. Our wines are made using estate grown fruit following traditional Tuscan processes retaining the full characteristics of each grape variety. All of their  wines have no preservatives added and are vegan friendly.

This method brings out the full characteristics of each wine, so you can enjoy the fresh, fragrant flavours of the King Valley. Their most popular wines is the  preservative free Dry Red. It is reputed to be one of the  the best preservative or organic wines around and they have  a good  assortment of both whites and reds, again preservative free. Apparently there is a  laborious  process the wines go  through to prevent oxygen from contaminating the wine through all the steps of the process and  their commitment to creating an old world wine making tradition and keeping it in the family is impressive!

Nice wines, with the practice of no added preservatives and not filtered, makes it very nice to drink for all! Highly recommend this beautiful Cellar Door visit! And their offerings are quite a wide variety, and well priced.

Wine Writer and Publisher Axel Ritenis with Peter Corsini in November 2021

The setting of his cellar is unique and stunning with a touch of Tuscany. By far La Cantina is the best winery in the King Valley. I will be ordering from Gino again very soon.


A crisp, well balanced wine, ideally paired with seafood or simply enjoyed by itself.

This pale straw coloured Pinot Grigio shows distinct characteristics. It’s slightly sweet on the palate with very soft acids.

A dry, pale-yellow Riesling balanced by a crisp natural acidity.


An unoaked vibrant and fresh Chardonnay, with good crisp acidity.


Vibrant peach colour with aromas of summer berries and roses.



First released in 2000, our Dry Red has become one of the most well-known and loved preservative free red wines across Australia.


A deep red, light-medium body wine supported by soft tannins.


Subtle characteristics of earth, leather and spice, supported by firm tannins.


A deep red colour, with a medium to full body and notes of dark fruits and spice.


Displays notes of cherries and red berries, supported by a good natural acidity.


Brilliant fruit flavours for this light to medium bodied wine, with a fresh smooth finish on the palate.You will love this wine its bold and no artificial additives to give to ultimate pleasure drinking wine and its troublesome free:)from nasties as I often get migraines when they add preservatives in other wines


La Cantina


54 Honey’s Lane, King Valley 3678



03 57293615

Business Hours

Open Daily 10am – 5pm

Closed Good Friday, Christmas Day and Boxing Day.


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About the author

Aksel Ritenis

Publisher and Custodian of the Sydney Times

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