Wantirna Estate Vineyard is not far from the centre of Melbourne, in the south-eastern area of Australia.
Planted in 1963 Wantirna Estate was the first of the new generation vineyards, the Yarra Valley having been an important grape growing area in the 1800s. The impetus for the vineyard began back in 1956 when Reg Egan married Bertina Curcio whose mother was English but whose father was Italian. Wine and food were important in the Curcio household and so started a fascination with the history of wine in Victoria. Before long they had their minds on a vineyard somewhere in the Yarra Valley.
The early vine plantings included all sorts of varieties, many largely unknown, for those early Australian wine growing days. Varieties such as crouchon, pedro ximenez, barbera and dolcetto. But it was the classical varieties that eventually won the day and in the 1970’s the vineyard was consolidated to focus on chardonnay, pinot noir, cabernet sauvignon, cabernet franc, merlot and petit verdot. Much of the existing cabernet sauvignon and merlot vines were part of the original 1963 plantings.