Halliday Magazine


At Tahbilk, mouth-watering marsanne is five generations in the making.

“LIKE ANYTHING that ages, marsanne rewards those who offer them time. No two vintages age the same,” says Jo Nash, general manager at Tahbilk winery in the Nagambie Lakes region of Victoria.

Here, marsanne vines dating back to 1927 are both the largest and oldest plantings in the world. Tahbilk’s history with marsanne, a rare white wine grape originating from the northern Rhône, goes back to the 1860s.

In addition to mastering the art of harvesting and fermentation over five generations of family ownership, it is the purity of the fruit that gives Tahbilk marsanne its versatility. The vineyards are situated near the Goulburn River tributary, which keeps the grapes cool. And while most of the estate’s historic buildings are still in use, Tahbilk is today a leader in sustainable wine production.

“The beauty of marsanne is its versatility and the drinking experience can be strikingly different due to the winemaking style or the age of the wine,” Jo says.

The wines are fresh and crisp in their youth, developing complexity and intensity over time. Marsanne is also imminently food-friendly – pair young wines with rich chicken and seafood dishes, and older marsanne with crisp lemon fish or a cheese platter.

To highlight these unique characteristics, the Purbrick family, who have owned the winery and its vines since 1925, set aside small quantities of estate marsanne each year for the museum release program. Visit the Tahbilk cellar door (just a 90-minute drive from Melbourne) for a tour of the estate, followed by a marsanne tasting to learn more about the history of this amazing wine, or pick up a range of vintages online.






Hardie Grant