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Wine News

Stay up to date with all the latest news, tips and events that are happening around RiverBank Estate! 


RiverBank Estate
21 December 2017 | RiverBank Estate

Swan Valley winery RiverBank Estate defies nature to win gold

Published on  Saturday, 2 December 2017 in The West Australian

RiverBank was bought by the Lembo family as a “last-minute purchase” in January.

Eric Lembo, an investor who holds an equal share in the business with parents Anthony and Pina, said they saw great potential in the 10.9ha vineyard with almost 30-year-old vines producing low-yielding fruit, carrying more than 15 varieties.

Although flooding two weeks after they took ownership wiped out 60 per cent of their harvest-ready crop, the family refused to be defeated and acquired grapes from across WA. They appointed Digby Leddin, who was senior winemaker for the Lamont family, and launched three ranges, the entry-level On the Run, mid-range Rebellious and premium Eric Anthony range.

RiverBank has this year collected 24 awards for its new wines, the biggest achievement being the Top Gold and Trophy at the Geographe Wine Show for its 2017 Vermentino.

Mr Lembo said the family planned to develop wholesale and export markets and had won a contract in Azerbaijan.

“Meanwhile, a major renovation to the restaurant has contributed to a major increase in patronage, and wedding and event functions,” he said.

RiverBank also won the 2017 Catering Institute of Australia Gold Plate Award for a Restaurant Within a Winery.

“The fact we all got along helped the decision to purchase RiverBank. We worked so well together at Caversham House that we decided to continue in business together.”

Mr Lembo said his family purchased Caversham House in 1998, His father, a mathematics high school teacher and mother, a cake decorator running Avanti Cakes, were initially the major shareholders. Eric was the general manager and his parents helped run the business on top of working their full-time jobs.

In 2000, after Eric profited from a successful property development venture, he reinvested the funds back into Caversham House, becoming an equal partner with his parents at just 24 years old.

“We all worked seven days a week to build the business up to what it is today,” he said.

“The fact we all got along helped the decision to purchase RiverBank. We worked so well together at Caversham House that we decided to continue in business together.”

Caversham House this year won the Gold Plate for Venue Caterer 2017, marking the third consecutive year of winning the category.

The win means Caversham House was awarded the prestigious 2017 Prix D’Honneur and the family has been inducted into the Gold Plate Hall of Fame.


RiverBank Estate
29 November 2017 | RiverBank Estate

Eric Lembo breaks into the International market

Eric Lembo, the Director of RiverBank Estate made news this week by making a deal to sell his wine to the International market. This is a huge accomplishment for RiverBank Estate! 

Published on November 23, 2017 in The West Australian in the West Business Insider.

Selling wine to Azerbaijan is a bit like selling ice to Eskimos, given the country is sometimes referred to as the cradle of wine. Its wine industry dates back to the second millennium BC, making it the second oldest wine-producing region in the world. 

But Eric Lembo, owner of the Swan Valley's award-winning Riverbank Estate, pulled off the seemingly impossible feat during the trade mission to Baku. 
Lembo struck a handshake deal for his wine to be sold in local restaurants through a major hospitality supplier. 
Although he declines to name the supplier, the deal is announced to much fanfare on the final night of the trade mission. 
Amazingly, Lembo did not have any samples of his wine during the trade mission but managed to strike the deal based on the rapport he built with locals and his label's stack of trophies and medals. 
Lembo believes that personal rapport is important in business in Azerbaijan, much like China's guanxi system - in which building a solid personal relationship is vital before financial transactions can take place. 
"A lot of business here appears to be based on trust," he says.