Welcome to Tahbilk Winery
As the gold rush ended, two adventurers dreamed of creating liquid gold from the vine on the Goulburn River. This site, known as ‘tabilk tabilk’ by the Daungwurrung people, was already part of Victorian history: Major Mitchell’s Line through Tahbilk became the first overland stock route and mail run between Sydney and the fledging Melbourne.
Despite a mysterious shareholder death, the company formed in 1860 with new funds from the enterprising Bear brothers and advertisements for one million cuttings. The first vintage was in 1861, and within 20 years Tahbilk was the largest, most modern and successful winery in the colony, exporting to Europe, winning international awards and boasting the iconic tower and huge new underground cellar.
In 1890 the owner J.P. Bear died, phylloxera arrived, followed by war, depressions, changing wine tastes and poor management, leading to inevitable decline. Reginald Purbrick purchased a run-down Tahbilk as an investment in 1925, but seven years later his son Eric set about reviving the winery’s reputation, introducing innovative varietal bottle labelling, re-establishing exports and creating the forerunner of the Wine Club.
Unique wine is still made from Shiraz planted in 1860, while the vineyard has the world’s largest planting of Marsanne. These heritage wines, plus eco-tourism, carbon neutral status and the First Families of Wine export drive continue to ensure that Tahbilk remains one of Australia’s and the world’s top family-owned wineries.
John Purbrick – Chairman