Vigneron and manager, Daniel Tokar, explains the history of his family’s estate.Tokar Estate was born in 1995. My Dad, Leon Tokar, stumbled across the location by chance and brought my Mum, Rita, to view the property. They clambered over a barbed wire fence and walked to the point where the winery and restaurant now stand. They took in the incredible view, and by that night it was theirs. Leon and Rita originally dreamed of a weekender and hobby farm. But the winemaking potential of the site, sandwiched between some of the Yarra Valley’s most famous vineyards, was too good to ignore. The Tokar family have never shied away from a challenge, and by 1999 we had 30 acres under vine.
"Our family laboured to transform land that was covered in thistles, tussock grass and snakes into a high quality vineyard. Leon and Rita learnt from the established vignerons who were their neighbours, but they soon developed a reputation as trailblazers in the Yarra Valley. In addition to planting traditional varieties (Pinot Noir, Cabernet Sauvignon, Shiraz, Chardonnay) they were the first in the valley to plant the Spanish varietal Tempranillo. Over the years, the Tokars have proven to detractors that taking risks can pay off, and Tempranillo is now one of our signature wines. Our wines have achieved commercial success, but our estate is still a family farm. The Tokars, alongside our winemaker and vineyard manager, Martin Siebert, still lovingly tend the vineyard."