Tumbarumba Wines Escape

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Our Story

Garry and Kay Wilson purchased the ‘Caringa’property in the Mannus Valley in 1989, and set out to produce superfine wool on the high rainfall, highly improved pastures.

‘Caringa’was Kay’s grandfather’s property settled in the early 1900’s and for almost 80 years the property produced milk, until the dairy closed in the 60’s and then turned to prime lambs and fat cattle.

In the 1990 Garry and Kay attended the Goulburn special superfine wool sales, where they were so impressed with the quality and display of wool from the Ledgerton Superfine Merino stud at Yass that they negotiated the purchase of 170 quality ewes and three rams. Garry and Kay purchased a similar number of sheep for the next three years, and gradually built up to 4000 pure Ledgerton blood sheep. All wool produced at ‘Caringa’ was sold under the brand G&K Wilson Caringa Tumbarumba. Within three years of the initial purchase of sheep ’Caringa ’wool was right up there with the best of the best, and topped the wool sales both in Goulburn and Sydney on several occasions.

Garry and Kay always looked for every possible way to present the very best product possible to the buyers who represented leading Italian fashion houses, with iconic International brands. One particular buyer who regularly purchased part of the ‘Caringa’ clip always referred to Garry and Kay as the serious wool growers from Tumba-bloody-rumba.

For several years Garry and Kay maintained and further improved their wool, but another challenge presented itself, the lure of growing the finest bale of wool ever produced in the world, was too great to ignore.

From 1997 to 1999 Garry and Kay researched their next project addressing issues such as, genetics, and special diets from their superfine sheep, suitable housing, wool preparation, protective rugs and all important marketing.

After two years preparation, an indoor/outdoor housing complex was designed and built with the first wool clip starting on Australia day 2000. Garry and Kay offered the Walker family from Ledgerton merino stud a percentage of places in the new venture. The first wool clip twelve months later equalled the world record finest bale at 12.9 microns from just 470 sheep.
“Highlander Ultrafine Tumbarumba” was born and sold their record bale to an exclusive high-end fashion company Loro Piana of Italy. Loro Piana purchased every precious kilo Highlander produced over the next 10 years. Highlander broke their own world record finest bale of wool on five separate occasions. Garry and Kay travelled to Italy on several occasions for gala presentations of the Loro Piana World Wool Record Cup Challenge Cup, and they discovered the Italian passion for food and wine from different regions.

In 2008 a 8 Hectare vineyard was established on part of “Caringa” followed by a new home and cellar door, all landscaped and tucked into the vineyard capturing many of the aspects of Italian Architecture.

In 2010 “Highlander Ultrafine”was sold and the couple launched into producing premium quality cool climate wine and making it available to the public in a setting which resembles many parts of Tuscany.

Tumbarumba Wines Escape engages “Eden Road” Murrumbateman to make the white wines, Chardonnay, Pinot Griggio, and Tumbarumba Wines escape’s own Grigonnay, all available from mid October 2012.

Red wines, Shiraz and Pinot Noir available early March 2013.Sparkling Grigonnay will be available towards the end of 2013.

Garry and Kay’s commitment to quality under the Highlander Ultrafine Tumbarumba brand saw them completely dominate the world ultrafine fibre market for ten years, and now that drive and passion is to produced world class wine.