The name Solitude Estate comes from the vast grazing run that covered some of the remote expanses of the upper Yarra Valley in the mid-1800s.
Our family owned and run vineyard is situated on a series of ridges and slopes at Yellingbo, on one of the last remaining tracts of the original Solitude.
Our aim is to work closely with nature, and to produce premium wines in small batches with minimal intervention to preserve their natural character. Limited quantities – under the Solitude and Tibooburra banners – are available via the Buy Wines page on this website.
Behind the wine
Greg Kerr is Solitude Estate’s production manager and also has a hand in viticulture.
He established the vineyard in 1996 and has been at the helm every step of the way.
His approach is to strike a balance between nature and practical farming, to remain in tune with the seasons and to keep absorbing new information.
“Not a day goes by without learning something new here, which in turn refines our management of the vineyard, and ultimately translates to superior wines.”
Some of the best aspects of his job include visits from various wild animals and birds, the smell of yeast when grapes begin fermentation and the excitement of each new picking day. And, of course, those glorious, sunny autumn afternoons that coincide with harvest.
The discovery of a rare 1854 County of Evelyn surveyor’s map gave credence to stories about the district’s first pastoralists, and vast tracts of a grazing station in the upper Yarra Valley where cattle and sheep were free to roam for miles.
Overlay that map with present day maps of Yellingbo and Hoddles Creek, and there is no doubt that Solitude Estate (originally Tibooburra Vineyard) is an intrinsic part of the original Solitude run.
McCrae Creek, which runs south to north through the estate, is marked in pencil on the old map along the central corridor of the run.
In 1967, the Kerr family first purchased some land in the area, about 60 kms east of Melbourne, and named their property Tibooburra. Before long Vivienne Kerr had established an Angus cattle stud that grew to be one of the best in southern Australia.
In the 1996 the first vine plantings took place at the southern end of the property on ridges overlooking the Warburton Ranges to the north-east, and the Dandenongs to the west.
Solitude Estate now comprises about 80 acres under vine, planted mostly to Chardonnay, Pinot Noir and Shiraz, and is regarded as one of the finest viticultural sites in Victoria.
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