The Murphys eventually moved to Trentham Cliffs in 1960 and re-developed one of the local properties which was once part of a large sheep station. Jack and Moya Murphy established their farm, which included plantings such as citrus, vegetables and grapes for fortified wines, and then later re-planted to specialize in varietal grapes. The vines flourished in the rich red loam over limestone soils, nurtured by water from the Murray River. The first vintage was produced in 1984, using only 6 tonnes of grapes.
Jack Murphy instilled his knowledge of viticulture to his sons Anthony and Patrick, who established the Trentham Estate in 1988. Today the Estate is a well recognised establishment, growing and producing highly commended wines. The Estate employs a further fifteen dedicated and skilled full time staff for the vineyard, winemaking, marketing, restaurant and administration. The Murphy Vineyards now comprises 60 ha under vine of various age, with the oldest being planted in 1952, and the winemaking facility has expanded from its first crush, to some 2,000 tonnes of premium varietal fruit.
Trentham Estate has continued to produce more vintages of high quality, proving the Estate’s label an award winner. The Estate is continually striving to achieve the best possible fruit, involving use of many different varieties with many different clones. Pat and Anthony Murphy enjoy many decades of collective experience in viticulture, and this shows in the long list of award winning wines. Known for their full flavour, structure and varietal character, it certainly proves that good wines are made in the vineyard.
Vineyard manager Pat completed Senior at St Patrick' s College and with a long history of farming in his veins, continued his education at Yanco Agricultural College. Upon completion, Patrick received a certificate in Farm Management, and he returned to apply his knowledge of viticulture to the vines of Murphy Vineyards.
Anthony is the chief winemaker and Managing Director, and oversees all wine production. Anthony graduated from Roseworthy College with a Bachelor of Applied Science in Oenology and began winemaking at Mildara Blass. Anthony is passionate about many alternative grape varieties, such as Viognier, Petit Verdot and Taminga, and enjoys experimenting each vintage with a new style.
Anthony and Pat truly believe that good wines are made in the vineyard, and are continually striving to source the best quality fruit they can. Harvest generally begins at the end of January / beginning of February, and runs until April. Grapes for sparkling wines as usually harvested first, with the Taminga picked as late as May. Most varieties are harvested in the cool of the night, and then immediately transferred to the winery for crushing.
The winemaking philosophy at Trentham Estate has always been to produce high-quality varietal wines at an affordable price, with an emphasis on full fruit flavour and palatability. The grapes are picked and crushed at optimum ripeness to produce the perfect flavour, whilst various winemaking styles are employed to create the award-winning wines.
Trentham' s winery has been operating since 1988, where it has grown from the initial 30 tonne crush, to a minimal but state-of-the-art facility handling 1200 tonnes of premium fruit each vintage. It allows the flexibility to perform different winemaking styles, resulting in the diverse and always consistent wines. Trentham Estate are blessed in that the winemaking team has been working together for many years, allowing the production of consistently good wines. The latest alternative wines include the La Famiglia range of Pinot Grigio, Moscato and Nebbiolo, which has been hugely successful.