Yarra Valley, Australia
Marc and Eva Besen established TarraWarra Estate in 1983. Their goal was to produce fine Australian Pinot Noir and Chardonnay in the style of the great Burgundies.
The site of TarraWarra Estate at the eastern end of the Yarra Valley near the town of Healesville provides an excellent location for Pinot Noir and Chardonnay. Its northern aspect and relatively sheltered location make it a warmer site than other parts of the valley, allowing earlier ripening, and therefore minimising disease risk.
The Estate has continued to focus on the two varieties, allowing pursuit of quality through accumulated experience of our unique site. Our winery is dedicated to gentle and efficient processing, while mindful of traditional techniques. TarraWarra has always concentrated more on the structure of its wines, than the fruit flavours alone. Our wines are made to combine all the subtle flavours of the Estate grown fruit with the textures from fermentation in French oak and extended maturation in barrel. TarraWarra releases its wines between 2 to 3 years of age, but each vintage is produced to benefit from further cellaring for 5 years or more.
The 400-hectare property is home to only 12 hectares of Chardonnay and 17 hectares of Pinot Noir. The team at TarraWarra Estate is dedicated to maximising the quality of the wines. The vineyard is managed to produce fruit at about two-three tonnes per acre, giving depth, concentration and finesse. Winemaking is continually evolving, taking into account seasonal conditions, fruit flavours, balance and oak characters.
Since its first vintage in 1986, TarraWarra has won widespread acclaim in Australia, Europe and North America, as a producer of premium Chardonnay and Pinot Noir of great character, complexity and depth of flavour. Recognition has come in various forms, from international trophies to inclusion in lists of benchmark wines from around the world.
For the first time we have bottled some of our 2002 TarraWarra Estate Pinot Noir and Chardonnay under a screw cap closure.
Daniel Besen, Marc's son, became director of TarraWarra in 1996, and has overseen the expansion of the company. Michael Matthews leads the TarraWarra team as the General Manager. Clare Halloran is responsible for winemaking and Michael Brocksopp looks after our 70 hectares of vineyard.
Clare Halloran - Winemaker
Clare has been at TarraWarra Estate since 1996 when she started as assistant winemaker. Prior to this she had studied Physical education, and spent 10 years in hospitality which sparked an interest in wine. A career change led to South Australia and winemaking studies at Adelaide University, before working at T'Gallant on the Mornington Peninsula. Time in a small, but successful winery such as this taught a lot about improvisation and flexibility that are valuable winemaking tools.
During her time at TarraWarra Clare has worked in the United States at Domain Drouhin, as well as spending time in France. She has also made two contributions to the legion of TarraWarra Babies (Joseph, 1999; Rose, 2002). Clare was also one of the organisers of the Inaugural Victorian Pinot Noir workshop in 2002, an event to help producers improve quality through experience exchange.
The focus while here has been to improve the character and direction of the wines from the vineyard to the bottle, with each step along the way being fine-tuned to improve the quality. Each season brings new conditions, so over time a valuable understanding of TarraWarra microclimates is accumulating.
Each wine has been under the microscope to make a true, varietal, cool-climate wine that reflects its origin of both time and place. Most importantly, the wines are made to be enjoyed.
The site of the TarraWarra Estate at the eastern end of the Yarra Valley near the town of Healesville provides an excellent position for Pinot Noir and Chardonnay. Its northern aspect and relatively sheltered location make it somewhat warmer than its nearby neighbours and allows the grapes to ripen earlier. The Estate comprises 12 hectares of Chardonnay and 17 hectares of Pinot Noir. This includes 1 hectare of newly planted Chardonnay with a southerly aspect named “south park” by our vineyard crew.
The vineyard soils of TarraWarra Estate consists of grey/brown clay loam, typically low in pH, phosphorus and potassium. Topsoil is 20-30 cm deep, over acidic clay subsoil. Vineyard aspect ranges from North East through to North West.
See TarraWarra wines we sell