or the history of TAHBILK’S white wine bottle in particular
Australian wines are one of the most important export products of this country. Australia exports approximately 50 mln wine crates all over the world. Australian wines can be found in specialist shops, supermarkets, quality restaurants, family picnisc and in al sorts of parties. Why? Australian wines simialrly to the citizens of this country are friendly, easily accessible and most of all are affordable. The factor price/quality is excellent. One can say that Australian wines represent Australian spirit and their richness reflects specifics andvariety of this exciting nation. The natural condition of this country like variety of soils and climatic chracteristics support production of the whole range of wines with clearly defined regional character.
Reflecting on Australia as a part of the New World one may instinctively place local wine industry in the same class with Californian, Chilean and South African wines. The first days of our holidays in Australia did reveal that the above statement maybe a simplification. It is noticeable that next to large international wine making corporations there is plenty of room for smaller and tiny family run wineries. Interestingly the turmoil, rush and fierce competition so characteristic in California are not seen here. The life progresses here quietly, sometimes one could say lazily. Australian adventure with wine began in the middle of XIX century. Victoria took a lead during the first pioneer years. South Australia followed. Australian wine industry developed heavily mainly because of demands of British Empire markets. In years 1928 -1938 Australia exported more wine to Great Brittain than France. Australian wine industry caught so called second breath in the middle of last century when Australia became one of the main players on the world markets.
In contrast to other Australian States where the wine regions are located along the coast line or in the mountainous regions most Victorian terrains are suitable for growing quality grapes. Victorian wine industry experienced reneissance in the last thirty or so years. There is around 400 wineries in 17 wine regions offering wide variety of wines. Central Victorian wine region is one of them. The Goulbourn Valley wine region forms part of central Victorian region (valley of Goulborn river flowing among others through town Seymour, where we stayed) . The region Nagambie Lakes in the approxiimate distance of 40 km Seymour is the part of Goulbourn Valley
Considering that our base was located in Seymour we began our program of Australian tour visiting the neighbouring Nagambie the main city of the Nagambie Lakes wine region.
After a short stroll along the Nagambie Lake (photo on the left) we travelled towards the upstream part of Goulbourn River (photo on the right) in order to visit exemplary Australian winery (please see wine bottle symbols on the map)
One of the first wineries we visited was TAHBILK established in 1860. It is one of most beautiful wineries in Australia. Interestingly this winery still operates using historical wine making facilities .
CHATEAU TAHBILK makes rather impression of the museum object than functioning wine making facility. It is however not the case. Please click on website for confirmation http://www.tahbilk.com.au/about/history/
We could experience this first hand visiting all corners of this winery. This of course included visiting cellars storing all sorts of vintage wines (no entry aspplied to only few cellars).
The old winery shop performs promotional activities (wine tasting and selling) as well as is a sort of the winery „wine making history chamber” http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=orQ8XtLB5Mg&feature=player_embedded
After tasting few samples we selected TAHBILK 2006 (see wrapped bottle kept by Marcin ) And after short walk we took of to visit another winery.
We travelled around between wineries upstream the Goulbourn river to reach the second place marked on the map with the Bottle symbol .
The lookout tower, a characteristic accent of the MITCHELTON winery was seen from the distance. It allowed us to reach the destination without referring to the map in the last kilometer or so.
Obviously we climbed the tower. Interestingly, except of nice views we also found there the distance signs to various places in Australia (here: towards west – place of living of our university friend 1967 -1972 ) .
Another look to the west, this time closer to “our feet” allowed to view, already known Goulbourn river, with its historical location of old river crossing, commemorated by the specially erected signs.
Looking in the east and north directions from the tower one can see grapes growing terrain of the reputable Mitchelton winery www.mitchelton.com.au It was in 1967 when the businessman Ross Shelmerdine appointed Colin Preece, the local wine expert, to find out place to grow high quality grapes. Preece selected former grazing paddock known as „Blackwood Park”. This place located in the Nagambie in the middle of Victoria had excellent climate and soil as well as was located in the direct vicinity of the river.
Mitchelton like any other winery has winery shop open to public with the widely range wine offer (tasting and selling)
This time we have tasted wine however did not decide to buy any wine (it is only a very early stage of our Australian adventure) .
Purchased TAHBILK’S wine bottle after three weeks long trial in Seymour (unopened) and „half of the world trip” in Marcin’s luggage ended up on the table in Kielce. It was great addition to our reflection evening on Australian trip.
The maps and texts from www.wineaustralia.com and photos taken by Australian trip participants were used to compile the presentation Translated by: Jerzy Paszkudzki (February 2010) The idea of the trip and logistics: Lucy Richardson (November 2009) Presentation made by: Leonard Dwornik (February 2010)