Ian and Lynn Rathjen are fourth generation Colbinabbin farmers whose family have been cultivating the rich Cambrian earth since the late 1850's.
In 1997, with some fruit left over from contract, Ian decided to try his hand at winemaking. Buoyed by positive feedback from his 11 bottle yield, in 1999 he increased production to 70 dozen to share with friends and family.
In 2001, a knowledgeable wine retailer tasted the Shiraz and encouraged Ian and Lynn to enter the retail market. Before the labels were even printed Max Allen dropped by and included Whistling Eagle Vineyard in a Gourmet Traveller WINE article. Suddenly, Ian's hobby was getting serious and it was time to enlist some help.
In 2002, nephew Guy Rathjen began part-time in the vineyard while completing his oenology studies. In 2003 demand saw production of the Eagles Blood Shiraz increase to 300 dozen and American exports began.
It was time to move out of the machinery shed and in 2004 the cellar and winery were built. Production was doubled in 2005 following positive reviews both domestically and in America.
Daughter Trish Rathjen returned home from her studies in 2007 to become an integral part of the family business.
In 2008 the Rathjen's dedication to meticulous viticultural practices was recognised through The Royal Agricultural Society of Victoria & Weekly Times, Farm Business Awards 2008, Horticulture Producer of the Year Award.
Ten years to come
In the next ten years at Whistling Eagle we aim to continue producing distinctive wines reflective of their complex affinity with vineyard health and management. We will maintain our practices of minimal intervention and sustainability and continue as a tight knit family operation where tradition and knowledge are passed from generation to generation.
To Celebrate this landmark we are proud to annouce the limited release of Aquilus Shiraz - our very first special release.
2008 Whistling Eagle AQUILUS Shiraz
This rich bodied wine presents powerful aromas of nutmeg, mint and dark chocolate; that flow through to the palate. Lashings of earthy bramble fruit and velvet tannins round this wine off. This wine is presented in a neat single bottle wooden box and are individually numbered.