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Tahbilk

Tahbilk was established in 1850, in the wake of a local gold rush, in the Nagambie Lakes region of central of Victoria, about 120 kilometres north of Melbourne. This estate is on the Goulburn River, within the traditional lands of the Taungurung people and ‘tabilk tabilk’ means “place of many water holes”. This is a unique environment where the intricate internal billabong systems create a singular meso-climate, with near-perfect conditions for the cultivation of vines. From 1877 to 1886, the French winemaker Francois Couelslant made the wines at Tahbilk and established a high reputation for the estate. In 1878 the Argus newspaper reported that Tahbilk had received a wine order from Queen Victoria. Couelslant is also credited with building Tahbilk's famous Winery Tower - the Tahbilk Couelslant sparkling wine is named in his honour. Tahbilk was acquired by Reginald Purbrick in 1925, who bought the site unseen after he had been given a glass of Chateau Tahbilk (the winery was known as Chateau Tahbilk until 2000) brandy accompanied by the words “This might interest you, Purbrick”! Reg's son Eric returned to Tahbilk in 1932 during the Australian Depression and revitalised a neglected winery. His son John rebuilt the marketing arm of the business and encouraged his son Alister to become the first qualified winemaker in the family. It is Alister's daughter, fifth generation Hayley Purbrick, who is now at the helm carrying on the family legacy and taking Tahbilk into the 21st century. They are one of Australia's oldest family owned wineries; a founding member of Australia's First Families of Wine, one of 10 families who belong to this initiative launched in 2009 which celebrates the county's leading multi-generational winemakers. Tahbilk are passionate about the environment. They are one of only eight wineries globally, and the sole winery in Australia, to be accredited carboNZero at a product and organisation level. Over 200 hectares are under vine on red sandy loam soils which are unusual in Victoria. They contain high levels of ferric-oxide which imbues the wines with a unique minerality. The pride of the Purbrick family is the ½ hectare of Shiraz that was planted in 1860. This gnarly old pre-phylloxera vineyard boasts some of the oldest Shiraz vines in the world and still produces wine crafted in the same way as in the 1800's in very limited quantities – the wonderfully complex and rare 1860 Vine Shiraz in one of Australia's most iconic wines, and one of the most collectable wines in the world. Tahbilk also have the world's largest and oldest single holding of Marsanne, planted in 1927, and produces wonderfully textural and mineral wines. Tahbilk's Viognier vines were planted in 1990 and, with their inaugural release of Viognier in 1996, they were nominated by Australian Vignerons magazine as producing one of the Benchmark Six Australian releases. The ESP Cabernet Sauvignon and Shiraz wines (the initials stand for Eric Stevens Purbeck - Eric's mother's maiden name was Stevens and in 1948 he created a “Special Bin” wine from the most outstanding casks from a particular vintage) are produced from the very best vats of the vintage from Shiraz fruit primarily planted in 1933 and Cabernet Sauvignon in 1949. Tahbilk are considered traditional red winemakers: by judiciously ageing their premium wines, favouring large 100 year old French oak barrels, the flavour of the fruit is emphasised and not overwhelmed by oak flavours. Tahbilk craft iconic wines of exceptional quality and character, vital whites and fruit-driven multilayered reds - history in every bottle!