This is our Story
Anton Therkildsen came to the Rutherglen area in 1997 for short term vintage job at Campbell’s winery. Vintage led to a full time role and Anton stayed working with the Campbell family until 2001. During this time he fell in love with North East Victoria, enjoying the experiences that being based between the river and the snow allowed. He also kept an eye out for a property that would match his ideals for wine making and grape growing and at Christmas 1999 he had bought 60 acres in Wahgunyah, deciding that this area was for him.
Development of the property started in earnest in 2001 with the purchase of the first Shiraz vines, which coincided with the birth of their first child Caleb. 2003 saw the introduction of Durif to the Valhalla vineyard and daughter Ella to the world. The vineyard has continued to expand since 2001 to the current position of 4 acres of Shiraz and 2.2 acres of Durif.
The culmination of all the hard work paid off in 2005, which saw Valhalla’s first milestone vintage. This and the 2006 vintage were made by Anton using the facilities at Cofield’s Wines in Rutherglen, with the fruit being sourced from Valhalla’s own vineyard and from select vineyards around the Rutherglen region. 2007 was another milestone in the short history of Valhalla that saw all fruit being processed on site in the new straw bale winery, and the opening of the Cellar Door in September.
Since then, the Valhalla range has expanded to a total of 9 wines with Cellar Door now open Saturday & Sunday from 10.00am to 4.00pm and other times by appontment. We offer a wide range of wines focusing on varieties originating in the Rhone valley in France including Viognier, Marsanne, Grenache, Shiraz and Durif. These grape varieties are a perfect match for Rutherglen’s climate and soils and have become the heroes at Valhalla Wines, making savoury wines that truly depict the local ‘terroir’.
We’ve all come a long way in a short time and it’s certainly been an interesting ride thus far!
The Viking Connection
Why Valhalla Wines and what’s the connection with the Vikings?
Owner & Winemaker, Anton Therkildsen celebratres his Danish heritage and was keen to maintain his genetic links back to the Vikings of old and to draw on Norse mythology to develop the Valhalla brand.
Valhalla was a majestic hall located in Asgaard which was ruled over by the god Odin. It is where Viking warriors went when they died valiantly in battle to sit at the side of the gods, where they would feast with Odin. It is said that there was a magic cauldron in Valhalla that was always full of tasty food, where wine was plentiful and where the warriors would feast and drink. Once replenished, these chosen warriors would recover fully to join battle again.
Now maybe this concept has been lost in antiquity but Anton still feels a strong connection with the Viking ethos and Valhalla Wines’ ability to invoke the spirit of his forebears. As for the present, Valhalla’s wines may not have the full restorative powers sought by the Vikings of old but I’m sure Odin would have some tucked away in his cellar if he was around today!