Whistling Eagle Vineyard


Whistling Eagle Vineyard produces outstanding wines that admirably reflect the balance between viticulture and the environment. The ancient Cambrian Earth in this region is perfect for creating extraordinary wines. The Eagles Blood Shiraz is the ultimate expression of transition from Cambrian Earth to wine that displays spectacular colour, depth of flavour and balance. Since winemaker Ian Rathjen‘s limited first vintage of shiraz in 1997, Whistling Eagle Vineyard has earned a reputation for fruit grown to textbook perfection, with flavour profile and composition beautifully balanced to create the ultimate wine experience. Each wine is created to reflect the region, the terroir and the environment.

Location Description

Situated in the northern part of the Heathcote wine-growing region.


Fax: 61 3 5432 9326


  • Outstanding wines that admirably reflect the balance between viticulture and the environment.

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“I believe our uncompromising commitment and dedication to quality at all stages of the winemaking process has enabled Whistling Eagle to create wines that are supple, generous and distinctive.” – Ian Rathjen Winemaker


Ian’s Great Grandfather, Henning Rathjen was born on the 1st of April 1826 in German region of Schleswig Holstein.

Henning was lured to Victoria by the gold rush in the 1850’s, but with only moderate success at finding gold he decided to turn his hand back to farming which he understood.

In the late 1850’s the land around Colbinabbin, north of Heathcote, was opened for selection and Henning along with two mates made the trip by horse and dray to Colbinabbin. After the long journey following a rugged bush track the party arrived on the west side of the Colbinabbin range.

The next day Henning awoke early and scrambled to the top of the range. There he was amazed by the beautiful panorama the opened before him, and when he returned to the camp Henning exclaimed, “We have struck Paradise!”

These early settlers worked up to 16 hours a day cultivating the rich and ancient soils of Colbinabbin. In the 1860’s Henning Rathjen planted the first Vineyard in the Colbinabbin district.

The Red and white Hermitage vines thrived in the rich red soils of Colbinabbin and his wines won accolades at the local wine shows. The original vines no longer exist, however the structure of the original wine cellar still remains today.

Ian is the fourth generation of Rathjens, to till the rich, fertile soils of the Colbinabbin district. Ian began his forte into winemaking with the first vintage of Shiraz in 1997. The batch size was a mere 10 bottles and since then has grown substantially. The first commercial vintage of Eagles Blood Shiraz was produced in 1999.

Henning Rathjen’s vision in the 1850’s continues today the family is devoted to its preservation through the creation of fine wines and maintaining natural harmony with the land. Meet the Rathjens

Estate Vineyards / AVA

Whistling Eagle vineyard is situated on the ancient Cambrian soil and has an east-DSC05735facing slope. These soils originate a few kilometres south of the Heathcote township and run in two parallel strips, which follow the Mount William Fault line. Whilst the strip of Cambrian soil is relatively narrow, it extends north of Heathcote for over 35 kilometres. It is the very special relationship between the soil and climate, which gives Whistling Eagle its unique qualities and the prefect reflection of the terroir.

Ian and Lynn Rathjen are meticulous viticulturalists who understand the terroir of the district and realise that to produce extraordinary wines, yields must be kept low and the vines must be in balance with their environment.

Now a respected and innovative winemaker, Ian Rathjen is dedicated to the creation of OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAextraordinary Shiraz. Although modest in his manner, his approach to winemaking is uncompromising. The fruit is grown to textbook perfection, with flavour profile and composition beautifully balanced to deliver the ultimate Shiraz experience.

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RMB 2769 Heathcote – Rochester Road
Colbinabbin, Victoria 3559

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