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to me organic farming is common sense farming, in normal farming there is collateral damage, to the environment and to our physical health - there is a slow accumulation of toxins in the liver and our metabolism, and that is not the case in organic farming" 

Mark Davidson, multi award winning winemaker, talks to Ed Andrew on the Human Impact podcast about converting from systemic chemical farming to organic, biodynamic methods and is a pioneer in contemporary organic wine making. Mark is an observational scientist pushing the boundaries of winemaking and using an onsite research & development lab which has allowed him to produce vegan, plant based, only wines and also a new range of preservative free wines, increasing the quality of wine, improving the local ecology and allowing people to drink wine naturally and in its natural state. 

In 1985 Tamburlaine was purchased by a small group of friends and relatives led by Managing Director and Chief Winemaker, Mark Davidson. Mark has built his long-term winemaking philosophy based on contemporary organic practices, both in the vineyard and the winery.  After challenging years of research and development, the company enjoys now an enviable position as Australia’s largest producer of organic wines, producing 2 million litres of wine a year.

The English playwright Christopher Marlowe wrote the play ‘Tamburlaine the Great’, a play about a 14th-century ruler, Timur, renowned for being one of the most fearless and inspirational leaders of his time. As with this warrior prince, our Contemporary Organics vision is the driving force behind our success in producing award-winning organic, vegan and low sulphur or no added sulphur wines.

Talking points:

  • why he became a winemaker and bought Tamburlaine in 1985 and its location “I have designed it to be an oasis in farming country” (7)


  • the time it takes from harvest to table (9)


  • their production of 2 million litres of organic wine per year which is 0.1% of Australian grape production, discussing the organic rate of conversion in Europe is romping ahead in France, Spain, Germany and Austria, now equates to 20-30% of all production, 10 years ago less than 5% (11)


  • the move to organic farming is consumer driven - an educated consumer base, food consequences and downstream environment consequences of modern chemical farming (12)


  • discussing China's interest in organics - "an endorsement like organic from a relative clean country would see it being a very desirable thing compared to their own supply food chain" (15)


  • the challenges of importing wine into China (19)


  • discussing organic and biodynamic farming - only using biodegradable and naturally derived inputs - no GM, no systemic chemicals - "to me it is common sense farming, in normal farming there is collateral damage and not the case in organic farming" (21)


  • a slow movement to sensible natural production of food, discussing farmers markets (25)


  • explaining biodynamic framing and Rudolf Steiner, organic and homeopathic inputs methodology promoted by Rudolf Steiner, "it cannot hurt and they are perfectly natural and there is good modern scientific evidence for it" 


  • discussing systemic chemical farming and its consequences "there are residuals of toxins in food and wine, it is the cumulative effect and you accumulate them in your organs and metabolism. "I am an observational scientist like Steiner was - it did not work repeatedly it shows how specious the basis was, so I started to eliminate things, stopped wasting of money on ineffective products and toxins -(32)


  • discussing the latest technology in farming, removing mould with heating, "I am looking forward to the day that I have solar powered automated robot sheep" (36) 


  • hydroponics, on their early failure, using fish waste as an organic multi nutritional fertiliser, (40)


  • the silent problem - on the environment there would be continuous excess of chemical nutrients and pesticides and fungicides and getting into the aquifers and pollute the underground water (41)


  • explaining the introduction of vegan wine, replacing animal protein with pea protein, common assumptions about organic wine and how using vegetable protein now is a leap forward and no need to use animal protein (47)


  • "our intention is to grow through process of manufacturing and having it as natural and natural tasting as possible at then, that has to be best" (53)


  • removal of sulphur from wine making process - 5 years of making sulphur free wine, reds keep better than whites, keep it cool and stable always below 20c and it will keep it for years, may lose aromatics and some colour but palate flavours are still there (54)


  • discussing the future - "we will get there and sulphur will not be present in wines, in the future the potential to take away the sulphur, there is certainly room to go that way, just because winemakers have added sulphur since Roman times that is not a good reason to keep it" (59)


  • tips on wine storage wine and the modern stelvin caps


  • discussing modern screw caps 'stelvin' specialist cap for wine and mouldy corks, 65


  • the genesis of Tamburlaine and where to find them and how to get their wine overseas (67)

To contact Mark and Tamburlaine please click on these links:

Tamburlaine logo.jpeg
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