Ok, ok look you might not be able to tell but I am VERY excited to introduce the gurus in organic wines - Tamburlaine Wines! Most of you who follow our journey will know our deep love of wine so I'm sure you can understand how excited I was putting this blog together. So sit back, pour yourself a glass (of organic wine of course) and enjoy the read.
Please tell us a little about who you are and most importantly what you do.
Tamburlaine was established in 1966. In 1985 the Hunter winery was purchased by a small group of friends and relatives led by Managing Director and Chief Winemaker, Mark Davidson. Mark has built his long-term winemaking philosophy around Contemporary Organic practices in the vineyard and the winery. After challenging years of research and development, we have become one of Australia’s largest producers of organic wines with vineyards in the Hunter Valley and Orange region. Named after Christopher Marlowe's famous play and character ‘Tamburlaine the Great’, we work to lead the way with our Contemporary Organics vision, successfully producing award-winning organic, vegan-friendly, low sulphur and no added sulphur wines.
I know most people would be very aware of the term ‘organic’ these days but could you explain what organic actually means?
Organic farming is key to soil health. Our vineyards are not degraded through the constant application of non-biodegradable inputs, retaining natural health and providing longer-term sustainability.
To become certified organic, we had to go through a three-year conversion period. Then we received certified organic status and we have since extended the certification to all our farms in Orange and the Hunter Valley.
How do you implement these organic processes into your vineyard and wines?
To carry the ‘Australian Certified Organic’ bud logo requires rigorous annual audits to ensure the absence of pesticides, herbicides, fungicides and synthetic fertilisers in the production of our wines. We compost our winery outputs (grapes and stems) and spread them in our vineyards to help increase organic matter. This is critical for all farming, but is the focus of organic farmers. We also recycle the water used in our winery using aerobic bacteria. This water is then re-used in our vineyards through our drip irrigation system.
Were you always an organic winery or was this something that you’ve transitioned too over the years?
Tamburlaine Organic Wines's journey to 'Contemporary Organics' begun in the late '90s and still continues today. We believe in continuously improving our practices in our vineyards and wineries. Not because it is fashionable to be Organic, Carbon Zero or Eco-Friendly, but for one simple reason: It makes sense. It has involved many years of research and development and has presented us with many challenges along the way. However, we came out stronger than ever and now enjoy an enviable position as one of Australia’s leading organic producers. When we started down the organic path, there were no blueprints and there were challenges from site to site and season to season. The transformation in our Hunter and Orange Region vineyards in NSW as we have implemented new contemporary organic thinking is incredible. The health of the soils and the vines themselves is very evident, consistently yielding fruit of the highest quality.
Do you think there is a big calling for other farming industries to transition to this style of farming to help improve our impact on the environment?
The latest viticultural research now clearly points to biological soil health as the key determinant of superior “terroir” or the essential site-specific wine quality. The integration of biodynamic methods into our organic management has been shown to accelerate biological soil activity.
Lastly, Why is it important that people look at making organic choices when purchasing wine and how can they be sure they’re getting certified organic wines?
The only way to be certain a product is truly organic is if it is certified by an independent body like Australian Certified Organic. Unfortunately, the term ‘organic’ is not currently regulated under Australian law, meaning that anyone growing produce or making a product can claim organic as long as they’re using natural methods or using at least one natural ingredient. Most importantly consumers should be doing their own research and ensuring they know where they can continue to source Organically certified and In Conversion wines.
Tamburlaine wines can be found in independent bottle shops, cafes and restaurants across Australia, you can also visit us at both our Hunter and Orange Cellar Doors, phone us directly on 0249 984 222
or jump on our website at www.tamburlaine.com.au