Iconic historic winery
“The rebirth of Château Tanunda is one of the most remarkable stories of the Australian wine industry.” Huon Hooke
“Clean, pure, unpretentious and exquisitely made, these are must-buys for a true taste of the Barossa” The Wine Advocate
“An outstanding winery regularly producing wines of exemplary quality and typicity.” Halliday
This majestic bluestone winery and vineyard property is a living testament to the colourful history and pioneering spirit attached to Australia’s pre-eminent wine region. Now, thanks to the passion and dedication of its owners, the Geber family, this icon Barossa estate is celebrated amongst the top wineries in Australia as it celebrates 130 years of winemaking in 2020.
Established in 1890, Château Tanunda is:
- Home to some of the earliest plantings of vines in the Barossa Valley, dating back to 1845
- Australia’s largest (37,674 square feet) and oldest wine Château
- A designated monument in Australia’s Register of State Heritage Places
- The only Australian Château to be recognized as such in the European union
- Rated in the top 20 wineries of Australia (Huon Hooke – 2019)
Owner John Geber and his family are proud to have Château Tanunda stand once again as a regional hero winery in the Barossa since taking ownership in 1998. With the ‘Old Vines Series’ and ‘The Everest’ Wines, Château Tanunda received regular international recognition by renowned wine critics and wine shows for producing some of the best wines in the world. The iconic 150 Year Old Vines 1858 Field Blend, 100 Year Old Vines Shiraz as well as The Everest Grenache and The Everest Shiraz are treasured by wine critics, wine lovers and wine collectors alike.
130 Years of Winemaking
Château Tanunda’s origins go back to the 1860s and the decimation of Europe’s vineyards by the phylloxera plague. Sensing opportunity in Europe’s pain, the three founders of Château Tanunda set about building a Bavarian-style Château dedicated to the production of fine quality wines. This grand vision would become for a while the largest winemaking facility 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 transported on company-owned ships to a wine-starved Europe.
Château Tanunda’s success was the Barossa’s success. 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 enologist; 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 and bought it a day later, 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 his investment? Fast-forward two decades and millions of dollars later, and today Château Tanunda boasts a world-class winemaking facility, 220 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. Further gems include a long-standing contract with over 30 growers who give us access to further precious Barossa vineyards, many tended and passed down through their families over generations.
For the past two decades, owner John Geber and his family have put their heart, soul and business expertise into breathing new life into this historic icon of Australian winemaking. In 2016, John’s daughter Michelle took up the role of Managing Director, ensuring the family legacy continues into the next generation.
In 2020, the Château celebrates its 130th anniversary proudly ranked amongst the top 20 wineries in Australia (Huon Hooke), a Red Five Star Winery (Halliday) and amongst the top Chateau in the world (Berlin Wine Trophy Best Australian Producer 2011-2019).