We believe in creating a community, sharing our experience and spreading Contemporary Organic practices for the benefit of all.
At Tamburlaine Organic Wines, we strive to create the best future possible. We believe that working in harmony with our environment is key to growing a flourishing future. Not only for ourselves, but also for our vineyards and the people we care for.
Clayton Kiely has been looking after the vines at our Borenore property in Orange, NSW since 1999. Winner of Young Vigneron of the Year in that same year, Clayton began working to transform a hill grazed by sheep into a thriving world-class vineyard. In 2012 Clayton assumed management of the vineyard for Tamburlaine Organic Wines.
Clayton's expertise in sustainable farming practices allows him to grow grapes of exceptional quality and "terroir" which continue to produce award-winning wines. He has been a key part of Tamburlaine's transition to “contemporary organics” in Orange, to the extent that this relatively new premium wine region can now lay claim to being Australia's certified organic winemaking capital.
As Clayton says, "organic vineyard management means being proactive, not reactive. There is a lot of talk about the wines and the awards they win, but everything starts with the grapes".
Clayton's research and development work in conjunction with the NSW Department of Primary Industries ensures the vineyard incorporates cutting-edge technologies. When Clayton isn’t on a tractor looking after the 90ha vineyard, he is ensuring the grapes comply with Australian organic regulations and those of the European Union, America and China.
Expressing his passion through newspaper articles, blog pages, television spots and documentaries, Clayton is just as happy sharing his knowledge with consumers. Previously he has appeared on Gardening Australia and in the grassroots documentary, Restoring Earth. His “no worries” attitude and enthusiasm to share his knowledge not only make him an outstanding vineyard manager but also a real industry leader.
Clayton is also an active part of the Orange community, as Deputy Captain of the Borenore Rural Fire Brigade, Coach of the local under-nines soccer team and a member of the Orange Region Vignerons committee. He was the runner-up Organic Farmer of the Year at last year’s Australian Organic Annual Awards for Excellence, so it comes as no surprise this organic industry professional has been named amongst the finalists for Farmer of the Year again this year.
“It’s humbling to be nominated for a job you love," says Clayton.
It was a long, dry winter with no severe weather events during the growing season, except a light hail storm that missed us here at Tamburlaine. Bud-burst came in the early days of Spring with the whites leading the way.
Dry weather prevailed this season which meant we had very little threat of disease and our red grapevines started flowering late October.
We had many visitors in our vineyard, from the helpful ladybug to the not-so-helpful rainbow lorikeets who took a liking to the riper berries.
The steady, warm summer days gifted us some light showers which helped accelerate ripeness about a week ahead of last year’s schedule.
Our first pick of the year was on the 16th of January. The next day members from the whole company joined for hand picking as we brought in some premium Chardonnay and Verdelho.
The remaining red blocks were picked, with three picks of Shiraz, one pick of Cabernet Sauvignon and one pick of Chambourcin.
The reds are looking exceptional, we left the grapes on the vines a little longer to intensify flavours. These wines will be “put to bed” soon for their maturation.
Overall the 2018 vintage is one of exceptional quality. Following the amazing 2017 vintage, Senior Winemaker, Aaron Mercer says we can expect a richer Semillon, and finer Chardonnay and Verdelho.
Stay tuned for the next update from Orange!
– The Tamburlaine Cru
‘Biodynamic’ is a term first used by Austrian philosopher Rudolph Steiner in the early 1900s. It described a holistic approach to agriculture, involving the management of farms as total systems, less reliant on external inputs.
Any biodynamic farm must first comply with organic rules. Where biodynamic principles and prescribed homoeopathic preparations are part of the farming program, then the term biodynamic is used. Tamburlaine utilises some biodynamic practices and preparations in our organic vineyard programs.
1. Sustainable farming
Organic farms are as productive and always more sustainable than non-organic. Many agrichemical sprays leave residues in the plants/ fruit as well as in the surrounding environment and groundwater.
2. Biological soil health
Biological soil health is at the heart of sustainable productive farms. The absence of harmful agrichemical sprays increases healthy soil microbe activity, optimising plant health.
3. Beneficial insect, fungi and bacteria protection
With organic farming methods, the beneficial fungi and bacteria are protected (the ‘good bugs’), rather than killed off with pesticides and herbicides. This means that plants are naturally more resilient to fungal disease and insect attack (‘bad bugs’).
4. Consumer benefits / low SO2
Organic eliminates agrichemical residues in wine, meaning we don’t consume them. Organic certification on labels is your only guarantee of this. Read on to find out more about the use of sulphate preservative in wine.
5. No GMOs
Genetically-modified plants and farming inputs are prohibited in certified wine production. The jury is out on the harmful side effects of GMO corn, canola and soy, where high residual herbicide levels are more and more finding their way into our food. BEWARE!