Château Tanunda, birthplace of the Barossa, was established in 1890 and is the site of some of the Valley’s first vines planted as well as its first winery.
The majestic bluestone winery and vineyards is a living testament to the colourful history and pioneering spirit of Australia’s most famous wine region.
Now, thanks to the passion and dedication of the Geber family, this iconic Barossa estate is celebrated amongst the top wineries in Australia, as it recognises 130 years of fine winemaking in 2020.
With the ‘Old Vines Expressions’ and ‘The Everest’ Wines, Château Tanunda receives regular international recognition by renowned wine critics and wine shows for producing some of the best wines in the world. The signature 150 Year Old Vines 1858 Field Blend, 100 Year Old Vines Shiraz as well as The Everest Old Vine Grenache and The Everest Shiraz are treasured by wine critics, wine lovers and wine collectors alike.
Château Tanunda’s origins go back to the decimation of Europe’s vineyards by the phylloxera plague. Sensing opportunity, the founder's grand vision was to build a Château dedicated to crafting fine quality wines. Château Tanunda would become for a while the largest winery in the Southern Hemisphere. European immigrants had been planting vines in the Barossa since the 1840s, so the region was a natural choice. The resulting wines, made from grapes produced by 560 local growers (paid a pound per gallon – a substantial sum at the time), were shipped to a wine starved Europe.
For years it was the heart of Barossa winemaking. A veritable “Ivy League” of Australian winemakers worked or studied at the facility, including Prof. Soebels, Australia’s first qualified oenologist; Bill Seppelt; Grant Burge; Geoff Merrill and others. In 1994, in recognition of its rich history, Château Tanunda was placed on the Register of State Heritage Places – but by then its glory days were a memory. Abandoned by its then-owner, Australian wine giant Southcorp, the property was a shell of its former grandeur.
When John Geber chanced upon it in 1998, he embraced the challenge of restoring this magnificent property to its iconic status. Besides a wealth of history and a dilapidated 37,674-foot structure filled with roosting pigeons, what did Mr Geber get for this pursuit? Fast-forward two decades and millions of dollars later, and today Château Tanunda boasts a world-class winemaking facility, 350 acres of vines, a croquet lawn, a cricket oval that has hosted over 40 former international cricketers, and spectacular hospitality spaces that play host to over 100,000 visitors every year.
With over 350 acres of vineyards situated in Tanunda, Bethany, Vine Vale and Eden Valley, Château Tanunda has an enviable array of high-quality fruit to choose from to craft wines of distinction. It is this diversity of ‘terroirs’ which enables the team to create their classic and refined house style.
Their wines come from some of the oldest vines in the Barossa, and the world. This includes the 1858 Field Blend, possibly the oldest planting of Grenache, Malbec and Mourvedre in the world, as well as some of the oldest Semillon vines planted in 1850, as well as Shiraz, Grenache and Mourvedre vines planted on their own roots well over 100 years ago, and Riesling vines over 90 years in age.
The essence of these old vines is captured in the Chateau Tanunda Old Vine Expressions collection, which showcases the best of the Barossa from a selection of 50, 100 and 150 year old vines.