In the early 1980s, Ian and Roslyn Forbes decided to convert their farm in the Murray Darling region to vineyards and set a new course for their family. After a decade of growing and supplying grapes for wineries in the area, the family launched Zilzie Wines in 1999 and the certified organic vineyard and winery is now operated by Ian and Roslyn’s sons, Steven and Andrew.
With 1700 acres under vines, Zilzie wines has one of the largest vineyards in the district and the region’s Mediterranean climate with dry summers, mild winters and low humidity enables them to produce a diverse range of premium Zilzie wines including Prosecco, Sauvignon Blanc, Chardonnay, Pinot Grigio, Viognier, Shiraz, Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Sangiovese, Muscat Gordo Blanco, Petit Verdot, Colombard and Semillon. Harvest kicks-off in mid-January and finishes in late April, with Steven and Andrew also hand-selecting premium parcels of fruit from other prominent Australian wine regions including the Barossa, McLaren Vale, Coonawarra, Yarra Valley, Clare Valley and Adelaide Hills.
The brothers are also committed to protecting the natural resources of the land and minimising impact on the property which has led to the move toward renewable energy resources. They have one of the largest single solar site systems in the Australian wine industry and also have a focus on water and waste water conservation, education, and sustainable wine growing practices.