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The Chrismont story starts in Italy in the 1920s where Arnie's father Arnold (right) grew up in the small town of Noarna in the Trentino region near the Austrian border. One of ten children, Arnold grew up on a farm that had grape vines and a small orchard. His father was a share farmer and they lived as caretakers in the majestic Castel Noarna, rebuilt in the 11th century from its own ruins after a probable previous life as a fortification during the Roman era. The castle sat amid the steep Trentino terrain, dominating Noarna and the surrounding area of Vallagarina.
Arnold set sail for Australia in 1952 and settled in the North East Victoria town of Myrtleford, helping a migrant Italian family on their tobacco farm. It didn’t take long before a number of Arnold's brothers settled in Australia, too. The four decided to join forces to start a tobacco growing business with Arnold in charge. From a small share-farming plantation, Arnold grew it into the largest tobacco growing enterprise in the Southern Hemisphere within eight years; the height of the business came in the mid-1960s. When the Australian Government introduced a quota system to the tobacco industry severely constraining tobacco production, the brothers were rendered bankrupt overnight.
Following discussions with John and Peter Brown in 1979, Arnold and Arnie received a ten-year contract to supply grapes to Brown Brothers of Milawa, thus embarking on a journey full of the trademark Chrismont passion and drive.