Enoteca Sileno is officially closing, with the store’s final day of trade being Saturday June 1.

The specialty Italian food and wine business in Carlton was founded by Luigi “Gino” Di Santo 70 years ago. Di Santo’s daughter Rosemary Portelli and her husband John Portelli took over 40 years ago and have been operating the store ever since.

As both Portellis approach their respective 70th birthdays, they feel it’s time to retire. “We have been on this epic culinary adventure,” the couple said in a joint statement. “What started from humble origins has grown to a true nationwide gastronomic passion, and we have loved showcasing some incredible artisans of the Italian food scene here in Australia.”

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After June 1, products will be available via the Enoteca online store until stock runs out.

Enoteca Sileno is known for importing Italian wines and spirits and for its strong relationships with Italian suppliers (some of whom, the team says, will only sell to the Portellis). It’s also revered for its selection of dry goods, imported olive oils, balsamic vinegars and vincotto.

The store has also been a go-to for Melburnians during Christmas and Easter for panforte, hard-to-find Italian chocolates, and delicately hand-wrapped panettone with fillings such as gianduia cream (a hazelnut chocolate cream from Piedmont), pear and fig.

Di Santo began importing goods and hospitality machinery (including gelati makers and espresso machines) from Italy to Australia in the 1950s, though he didn’t open Enoteca Sileno as a retail store until 1982. The first location was on Amess Street in Carlton North, moving to its current and final home on Lygon Street in 2004.

Although the retail store is closing and the Portellis are preparing for retirement, they’re not quite ready to say goodbye to working life just yet. They plan to continue working with their son Daniel Portelli to import and distribute certain products, and to focus their attention on their wine storage business, Vintage View.