I enjoy a good glass of wine and as I have got older I have found myself agreeing with British wine critic Michael Broadbent who once said “Drinking good wine with good food in good company is one of life’s most civilized pleasures.”
Victoria produces some remarkable wines and has some fantastic vineyards and with this in mind I set off to meet some of our smaller wine producers. First stop, Tarzali Wines……….
Photo courtesy of: The Windmill paddock blog
Recently I had the pleasure of speaking to Elisha Ross from Tarzali Wines at Warrenbayne, nestled in the Northern part of the Strathbogie Ranges wine region.
The Strathbogie Ranges are known for their exposed granite boulders, rolling hills and bushland. Tarzali Vineyard lies in this beautiful setting, and dotted throughout the property are majestic River Red Gums which grow along the waterway that meanders through the property. Wildlife is plentiful on the property with waterbirds, wedgetailed eagles, kangaroos, wombats and echidnas all calling Tarzali home.
Life is busy at the vineyard at the moment with pruning in full swing, so I am grateful that Elisha was able to spare a few minutes to chat with Out and About in Victoria.
Speaking with Elisha she tells me that Tarzali Vineyard was established in 2003 by her husband’s parents, David and Pauline Ross, when the first Riesling vines were planted. Initially they planted six and a half acres of Riesling vines, and in 2005 they produced their very first Riesling with winemaker John Ellis from Hanging Rock Winery. This was an exciting time for the family with the Riesling released under the label ‘Hanging Rock Tarzali Riesling’. This label continues to be in production today, 12 years after that first release.
Elisha is married to David and Pauline’s eldest son Cameron, and they joined the wine venture back in 2009. Elisha tells me about how when she and Cameron first met, their first dates were often at the farm, where she would get her hands dirty helping Cameron with odd jobs around the vineyard including a little bit of fencing.
Laughing, Elisha tells me that while she can’t lay claim to doing all the hard work around the vineyard such as managing pests, fencing, slashing, pruning and watering, she did have a hand in planting the Sauvignon Blanc, Tempranillo and Sangiovese plots which have produced award winning wines. In addition to this, Elisha tells me that in 2014 and 2015 they grafted over a small portion of their Riesling vines to include Shiraz in the vineyard.
Not long after Elisha and Cameron joined the winemaking venture, Tarzali Wines launched their own label ‘Tarzali Riesling’ in 2010. Elisha proudly explains that not only was this an exciting time for the family, this wine went on to win a Gold medal at the Rutherglen wine show and a Silver medal at the International Riesling Challenge in Canberra in that same year.
This may have been the first award winning wine that Tarzali Wines produced, but it was certainly not the last.
Since that time their wines have received the following Awards & Reviews:
- Bronze Medal for the 2016 Tempranillo and Sangiovese at the 2017 Dookie Wine Show
- Silver Medal for Hanging Rock ‘ Tarzali Riesling’ 2015 at the Hobart International Wine Show
- Highest placed Bronze medal winner for 2014 Sangiovese at Dookie Wine Show 2015
- Highest placed Bronze medal winner for 2013 Tempranillo at Dookie Wine Show 2014
- Highest place Silver medal winner for 2013 Sangiovese at Dookie Wine Show 2014
- Ray Jordon’s Top 100 Australian Wines 2010 Tarzali Riesling Dec 2012
- Silver medal- 2010 Tarzali Riesling (Ballarat Wine Show) Sept 2011
Asked to describe Tarzali Wines, Elisha says that as a small family business they work very hard throughout the year to bring quality wines to their customers that can be enjoyed all year round. Pertinent to this is their relationship with winemaker Rob Ellis of Hanging Rock Winery who works closely with the Ross family to produce quality wines.
Tarzali Wines signature wine is the Tarzali Riesling; however they do produce boutique wines in both red and white varieties.
Photo courtesy Tarzali wines
Where to buy?
Although Tarzali Wines does not have a cellar door, their wine is available to buy at Cellarbrations in Benalla.
Alternatively you can purchase Tarzali wines via the website, Facebook page, via phone or by the dozen or half-dozen at the farm. As the weather warms up keep an eye out for them at the local markets throughout the region – I’m sure they would love to meet you and tell you more about their wine and vineyard.
Tarzali Vineyard is at 679 Whites Road, Warrenbayne Vic 3670
David & Pauline can be contacted on (03) 5763 2317
Cameron & Elisha can be contacted on 0400 422 398
Facebook: Tarzali Vineyard
Elisha can be found talking about country life, family, gardening and of course wine, at her blog The Windmill Paddock: http://thewindmillpaddock.blogspot.com.au/