Carlei Estate Winery Victoria

Responsible Viticulture

Sergio Carlei's wine journey begun as a hobby. Inspired by his own "Nonno" growing up, Sergio began to experiment with wine-making in his garage while running his successful chiropractic clinic in Beaumaris.

Sergio graduated as a Chemist from Melbourne University in 1983 and begun his career as a chemist for the petrochemical industry. While working in the petrochemical industry, Sergio was stunned by research from a professional journal that the average life expectancy of an individual in his industry was 41 years old, usually dying of cancer. From that revelation, he decided to change his career path to pursue a career in the health sciences and Sergio graduated as a Doctor of Chiropractic in 1988.  Whilst practising, he simultaneously studied for a professional degree in oenology, graduating with his wine making degree in 1996.

In 1996, Sergio was also diagnosed with Chronic Myeloid Leukemia, being told he would only possibly live for only another 2 years. A bone marrow transplant was a potential option for treatment, however, even after a transplant the rate of living a 'normal life' was only 30% and this included a high possibility of major organ failure.

Accordingly, Sergio rejected the transplant, and set his new life direction on helping his body heal himself. Sergio mapped out this 'return to health' plan, and changed his whole lifestyle - eating raw foods and acquiring the property in Upper Beaconsfield, now planted with vines. Two years later, Sergio's cancer was in remission, and the experience has led to his wine making philosophy that he practices today.


Carlei Estate wines paved the way for biodynamic winemaking practices in Australia in the late nineties. Today, Sergio's achievements include being the first and only winemaker for 4 of the top 10 best new wineries in the 2007 Wine Companion by Australia's leading and most notable wine critic, James Halliday. In the companions that follow, all the wineries Sergio has consulted and produced wines for have all been accredited with the highest rating achievable (5 RED Stars), placing them all in the top 6% of Australian wineries. 

Sergio's wines have been highly received by many critics, both in Australia and abroad.​

Sergio's long-time friend, Greg Robinson, has been a great supporter of Serg on his winemaking journey, with the pair sharing a rich history of wine appreciation both locally and internationally. Greg's son, Toby now works along Sergio's son, Chris, at Braci Osteria + Pizzeria in North Willoughby.


The Carlei Wine Cellar Door experience is available at Braci. Head to the wine tasting enquiry form to book in your wine tasting for $25pp. Cellar door pricing is available for takeaway sales at the bar Wednesday - Sunday.