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Our story

BlackJack Wines is named for an American sailor who jumped ship during the Gold Rush era of the 1850s. In search of his fortune, BlackJack found his way to the Castlemaine Goldfields and into the history of this region, with a road adjacent to BlackJack vineyard still bearing his name.

Similarly Ian McKenzie and Ken Pollock, in pursuit of their dreams, first planted vines on an old apple orchard in 1988, gradually increasing the plot to include Shiraz, Cabernet Sauvignon and a small area of Merlot.

Plantings increased in 1988 with the creation of a unique site of Shiraz, now known as Block 6. Situated on Castlemaine sandstone gravel rather than the old granitic soils of the other vines and with different clonal material, the wine from Block 6 shows qualities closer to the French Rhône style

With a Star Cellar Door award from Australia’s Gourmet Traveller Magazine in 2020, Blackjack Vineyards offers a friendly welcome, a chance to taste some delicious reds and to chat about winemaking in the historic region of Central Victoria.

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