Pioneer Australian winemaker Deen De Bortoli has died suddenly of a heart atteck at his home near Griffith in New South Wales.

Chairman of De Bortoli Wines he built the company into Australia's second largest family owned winerry.

Involved in winemaking for half a century, he created De Bortoli's best known wine, Noble One, a botrytis, sauternes-style which changed perceptions of the potential of the Riverina and other regions along the River Murray in south eastern Australia.