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  • Your Hunter Valley Magazine

Organic Wines - A Trail Blazed

Crafting organic wines is nothing new to Mark Davidson, Managing Director and Head of Grape and Wine Production at Tamburlaine Organic Wines.


After all, he's been doing precisely that for too many years to count (without giving away his age!). Mark's commitment to and passion for sustainability has led to Tamburlaine becoming Australia's largest producer of award-winning organic wines.

Mark is understandably proud to have vineyards in the Hunter Valley and Orange, both certified organic under the Southern Cross Certification. For Mark, sustainability and organics are not a gimmick - they simply make sense.

Mark sees organics as "the embodiment of terroir in its sustainability and connection to the soil."

"Historically, before the development and use of agricultural chemicals, all winemaking was, in effect, organic. Tamburlaine is now producing a Petillant Naturel range, returning to the roots of true, oldfashioned, organic winemaking."

In 1985, when Mark and a small group of friends and family purchased Tamburlaine, few winemakers advocated organics, and they were considered 'odd bods' or 'hippies'. As a result, they didn't have access to the technology or substitutes available to organic farmers today.

When Tamburlaine started its journey toward organic practices, it did so cautiously and quietly because Mark didn't want the brand to be negatively affected. He was told that it was impossible to do and that there was no prestige in the practice within Australia (unlike in Europe, where some of the world's most prestigious and expensive wines are unashamedly organic). Through a lengthy research and development process, Tamburlaine gradually moved into certified organic status.

Nowadays, Tamburlaine's production has grown to be five times what it was in the 90s, and the market for their wines has also evolved, with consumers now wanting to know the provenance of their food and wine and details of the supply chain from which it comes. There is a growing demand for ethical, organic, and sustainable products that consumers can trust.

As a result, Tamburlaine is committed to using naturally derived products in the vineyard and winery, composting winery waste (grape stems etc.) which they spread on the vineyards to increase organic matter, reducing energy use thanks to solar panels on the warehouse roof, as well as recycling water.

A recent initiative at Tamburlaine enables customers who visit the cellar door to offset the carbon emissions from their orders by selecting to contribute 5c per bottle with any purchase. This contribution will be invested in accredited carbon abatement projects, further contributing to Tamburlaine's sustainable legacy.

"We want to affiliate our brand with community groups, people and causes that add positivity to the world. We want to work with people who are motivated toward positive action, and we actively seek them out to support them and affiliate our brand, " said Mark.

"Looking to the future, I see many opportunities to find new audiences and innovate like this."

Mark's passion for the health and well-being of the environment and his fellow humans is a driving force behind the successful organic wineries, which he hopes to leave in the best possible condition for future generations. It's an award-winning wine and a positive experience for all.

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