Tintilla Estate is for everyone with a love of food, wine and family.
One of the Hunter Valley’s best kept secrets this thoughtful family run vineyard and olive grove is a leader in the burgeoning cellar door wine and food experience.
Tintilla exquisitely reflects the traditions of the old world with the tastes and flexibility of the new. The Dionysian dancer on our labels draws on the Greek wine tradition of women, followers of the god of wine, joined in communion of drinking the wine of the Gods with dancing. Tintilla is an Old World term for red wine used by Samuel Pepys interchangeably with claret for the red wine of Bordeaux.
Olives are an important element of this grand estate with five varieties grown amongst the vineyard. Interestingly the olives were planted in 1994 before the vines and whilst award winning wines flow from the 25 hectare estate Tintilla’s essence is that of about a vineyard which has managed to find that perfect blend of food, wine and family.
Prof. Robert Lusby, a vascular surgeon based at Concord Hospital in Sydney, mixes his medicine with his wine as he leads his family and Tintilla into its future of magnificent winemaking. “Our travels in the USA and Europe have shown us that internationally the Europeans especially the Tuscans and Burgundians showed the way with integrating family, wine and food. We have sought to take this international experience and knowledge and do as well in the Hunter valley,” says Robert Lusby.
“At Tintilla, we believe that by selecting a region with a strong history where the public understands the regional traditions and by working as owner vignerons producing small amounts of hand made wines and foods and using personal sales we have built a relationship with our visitors that brings them back year after year”
From ancient times olives and vines were planted together, enjoying the same growing conditions, and providing essential ingredients for daily living. It is only fitting then that Tintilla boasts a tantalising range of olives, olive oils, tapenade, verjus and vinegars.
A selection of olive trees were planted in stages across the estate with the first planting in 1994, of Spanish varieties Manzanillo and Sevillano producing excellent quality fruit. Frontoio a small berried Tuscan variety with its nutty flavour is favourite while later plantings include Mission, Verdale and an Egyptian variety UC13a6, all of which are cured using various methods and pickled using garlic, lemon, oregano and secret Tintilla family recipes to enhance their taste. Tapenade based on a family recipe and softened with a little merlot is also produced.
In times of plenty Tintilla “green harvest” or crop thin their Sangiovese to balance the vines and intensify the remaining crop. The early picked fruit is rich in acidity and freshness and makes a Verjus, an ideal substitute for vinegar. The addition of verjus balances salads to be served with white wines where vinegar would strike a jarring note.
Nothing is wasted at Tintilla, unused tasting wines and the juice from pressings are used in the production of a Caramelised Vinegars and a Vincotto respectively. The magnificent Red Wine Vinegar is aged in oak and then exposed to the variations in climate for over five years to concentrate the full, intense flavours before release.