James and Annabelle Tilbrook established Tilbrook Estate in 1999, after an extensive search of Australian cool climate regions led them to Lenswood – one of the coolest wine grape growing areas in the Adelaide Hills and Australia.
Our philosophy was simple:
We were one of only a few Adelaide Hills wineries that did everything from growing the grapes, to making the wine to bottling it ourselves. Our winery and cellar door were originally located in the old Onkaparinga Woollen Mill, in the nearby town of Lobethal.
We relocated both the winery and cellar door in 2018 to our vineyard, while we began to realise our dream of building an environmentally friendly cellar door.Book now
Everything changed for us though in December 2019, when the Cudlee Creek bushfire swept through our property destroying 21 years of hard work in an afternoon. The winery, our wine stock, 90% of the vineyard, all of the farm, the sheds and our beautiful dream of an eco-haven were lost.
The task of rebuilding and the road to recovery was beyond overwhelming at times. But we have been determined to rebuild and replant and see our dream of an environmentally friendly cellar door come to life. We are incredibly grateful to the many people who have helped us along the way and supported us through this difficult time.
We have nearly completed the build of our environmentally friendly cellar door that will be zero net carbon and powered by the sun. (Just like our recovering/new vines!) So come and visit us, taste great wines and share this exciting new chapter with us.
We are currently open Saturdays, Sundays and most Public Holidays 11:30am – 5:00pm (closed Good Friday & Christmas Eve, Christmas Day and Boxing Day) for tastings and platters. Occasionally you might find our golden retriever wine dog, Lucy, is there to greet you as well as the winemaker!
James is from an old Suffolk farming family in England. He went to Ag College in Shropshire and then after a student exchange to Australia in 1986, he returned to work for the wine merchant, Oddbins, spending his summer holidays cycling around the wine regions of France. In 1996 he organised a working holiday to Australia and just before leaving met Annabelle. He worked a vintage in the Barossa Valley and then Oregon. In 1998 they married and he emigrated to Australia to pursue his dream of making great wine. He worked a vintage at Pipers Brook Vineyard in Tasmania, and then post vintage at Mountadam in South Australia, before deciding to strike out on his own and establish his own vineyard.
James is known for being passionate about winemaking, the environment and sustainable buildings/ renewable energy. You never quite know whether you will be entertained by his stories, get to try a wine from his cellar, be given a tour of the vineyard or winery, or learn about the amazing new cellar door.Book now