Shiraz Tahbilk is traditionally vinified, fermentation took place in original open vats over 155 years old, with 18 months’ maturation in similarly-aged large French oak prior to bottling. To produce Shiraz Tahbilk smaller predominantly French oak barrels were also used, with the wine from these blended back during the final filtering and bottling.
Tahbilk’s vineyards are grouped along the banks of the Goulburn River and an anabranch of it which flows through the estate. The vines are grown at around 134 metres elevation of gently undulating and flat terrain. The soils are sandy loam with ferric oxide content, which vary from very fine sand near the anabranch to denser loams on the plains. Tahbilk has Shiraz vineyards dating back from the 1860s to the 1990s. The oldest surviving block is the ‘1860 block’; planted on its own roots in sandy soils, which has made it impossible for phylloxera to colonise the vine roots. The vines are planted on single wire trellises, with a mixture of head and cordon training; all are cane pruned. Tahbilk’s vines are sustainably cultivated; composting and mulching takes place which improves soil health by promoting earthworm activity. Mulching helps to control weeds and conserves water, reducing vine stress. The old vines are hand-picked while younger vines are machine harvested.
Established in 1860, Tahbilk is an historic family-owned winery, renowned for their rare aged Marsanne. The estate has the world’s largest single holding of the varietal and produces Marsanne from vines established in 1927, which are among the oldest in the world. Tahbilk is known as ‘tabilk tabilk’ in the language of the Daungwurrung clans, which translates as the ‘place of many waterholes’. It perfectly describes this premium viticultural landscape, which is located in the Nagambie Lakes region of Central Victoria. The estate comprises 1,214 hectares, including a seven mile frontage to the Goulburn River. Environmental sustainability is paramount at the winery and in 2013 they became carbon neutral. In 2016, Tahbilk was awarded ‘Winery of the Year’ by James Halliday.