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Tellurian Wines sharing red wine, white wine and sunshine

Featured: Tellurian Wines

Tellurian Wines
Heathcote, Victoria
Certified Organic Vineyard
Family Owned: Ian & Danny Hopkins
Chief Winemaker: Tobias Ansted

Tellurian are a family owned, certified organic vineyard, winery intent on crafting delicious 100% Heathcote wines that reflect their love for these ancient Australian lands.

Tellurian Quick Facts with Principal, Danny Hopkins 
  • The winery is certified organic 
  • First in the Heathcote region with certification 
  • The idea for Tellurian was conceived over a boozy lunch (Ian) in 2002 
  • Tobias Ansted was originally intended as a contract winemaker at Balgownie - one vintage in, Tobias decided to jump from Balgownie to Tellurian
  • Rhone focussed with plantings including (Reds) shiraz, grenache, mourvedre, carignan, (Whites) marsanne, roussanne, viognier, grenache gris 
  • Tellurian Viognier featured on British Airways first class flights for 2 years. 
  • New 40 seater cellar door opened in June 2020 (mid pandemic, pre super lockdown in Victoria) 
  • Previously exported to China! 
  • “Best Shiraz” trophy - back to back at Heathcote Wine Show 2019 / 2020.

Their Story

Tellurian was born from their founder Ian Hopkins passion for Heathcote shiraz. Offered the opportunity to partner in establishing a new vineyard on the Mount Camel range in 2002, Ian’s caution was overcome by the idea of crafting something fine and beautiful from Heathcote’s 550 million-year-old Cambrian soils.

Bringing together their team, winemaker Tobias Ansted, viticulturist Tim Brown and co-principal Daniel Hopkins, Ian’s never-say-die attitude saw the first vintage of Tellurian shiraz bottled in 2008. Within four years we had completed building of an Australian shed-style winery and cellar door overlooking 32 ha of vineyards.

Shiraz was their first planting, but over time they have added Rhone varieties, grenache, mouverdre, carignan, grenache gris, marsanne, roussane and viognier and Italian wines; nero d’avola and fiano which are perfectly suited to their continental climate.

Ancient Soils

Heathcote’s Cambrian soils formed over 500 million-years are ideal for viticulture. Deep, rich, decomposed greenstone rock with soil depths up to 2m allow vine roots to reach deep into the sub soil where moisture is more consistent, protecting the plants against extremes of drought and temperature. Tellurian's move to organic farming (certified since 2018) allows their wines to naturally reflect the influence of these incredible soils in every wine they make.

Organically Certified

The inspiration for Tellurian to move to organics was sparked by a trip to northern Rhone in 2014, when Ian and viticulturist Tim Brown toured the region to research close planting and saw that a few of the best high-density growers in St Joseph and Hermitage were also applying organic principals. This confirmed the notion that high density planting combined with organic farming had the potential to create a very special expression of the Heathcote terroir. Within a year the application for organic certification was also submitted and the transition to organics commenced.

In addition to cutting out all use of all synthetic fungicides and herbicides, one of the key changes in viticulture was the use of an under vine cultivator for weed management. Cutting through the roots of weeds with minimal disturbance of organic matter allowed weeds to decompose into the soil enriching microbiome activity and promoting healthier soils. It also allows better moisture penetration into the subsoil. The first vintage to be labelled with organic certification was the wines made in the 2019 vintage.

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