These turbulent times recently got just that little bit sadder with the news that the Zema family patriarch, Demetrio, passed away very recently, at the age of 87. 

Zema Estate is located in Coonawarra, making a fine array of reds, although it always seems to me that it never quite gets the accolades it deserves. Not sure why. 

I only met Demetrio a couple of times, and that was a while back, but he struck me as a lovely, hospitable man who tolerated no nonsense. I remember someone asking for a spitbucket near the vines, only to receive a withering response, followed by a big smile. 

The Zema family strike me as the quintessential blend of Italian immigrants and good Aussies. Any visit to their winery was always accompanied with seemingly endless plates of fabulous food. And naturally, the wine to wash it down. Followed by a discussion about the footy (if I recall, son Nick had some rather dubious allegiances).