Johnny and Dino Cogno, better known as the Cogno brothers, established their vineyard and winery out at Cobbitty near Camden in 1964. Flash forward some 50 years and the brothers still man the tasting area with son Joseph assuming the roll as chief wine maker. The familie's reputation for making good value traditional Italian wines and liquors is as strong as ever.
Those who know the Cogno way return time and time again to pick up a case or two of their favourite drop. Buses on day trips call in for tasting tours.
You won't find any fancy 'fine' wines here. There's hardly anything over $10.00. This is all about the simple pleasures of life. While tasting some of the huge range of wines and liqueurs on offer here, it's easy to imagine yourself travelling through some Italian village surrounded by vineyards growing on the hillsides. You pass a house with some wine barrels out the front, a few bottles and some glasses. You try out your basic Italian with the wine maker and take a swig of the local marsala and a red or two. Life is beautiful.
The Cogno Brothers most famous drop is their legendary Lambrusco. It's a classic spritzy light red, an excellent accompaniment to a pizza or a pasta salad on a warm summer's day. Actually it's a great drink with anything on a summer's day. At $4.50 a bottle, it's best bought by the case. If you've come out all the way to Cobbitty, you might as well fill up and make it worth your while.
A favourite drop of mine is Barbera, a typical Italian style red wine. Barbera originates from the Cogno's native Piedmont region in northern Italy. It's Italy in a bottle and reminds me of many a wine I've drunk while traipsing around the Italian countryside. It makes a great change from the same old merlot/cab sav/shiraz that dominates the red wine corner of your local liquor shop.
Cobbitty wines do have chardonnay, shiraz and cabinet sauvignon blends but the Cogno's strength is their traditional Italian wine making. You can also buy white and red ports, vermouth, coffee marsala, ozato, muscat, sherry and much, much more. The range is amazingly extensive.