Our Story

- Established in 1997 -
In the heart of Murrumbateman cool climate wine country, Barton Estate is a small family owned producer of handmade premium Canberra District wines from estate grown fruit .

Our wines reflect the unique place we grow the grapes, the passion we have for vines and wines and the science we bring to the artisan products we proudly make.

Meet the Team

Bob Furbank and Julie Chitty

Bob is the son of a Wollongong steelworker, and Julie is the daughter of a West Australian wheat farmer. We met through our careers in plant biology research at CSIRO where we found we shared a number of scientific passions but importantly discovered our mutual interest in all things wine. We could have remained in Canberra and spent all our money on building a very large Cellar, stocking it with all sorts of wine, but where would be the challenge in that??…. so in the great tradition of a number of other CSIRO scientists we began our adventure together into Viticulture.

Riley and Georgia

The possible succession plan is in the form of the kids, Riley (16) and Georgia (12), and wines have been named for them to encourage, coerce or bribe their interest in the business! While they are happy to help out (at 190cm Riley is a perfect height for lifting wires in the vineyard, and Georgia is in her element assisting in the catering department for festival weekends, and childminding at Cellar Door) at this stage Riley would much prefer to be on the basketball court practicing and dreaming of a place on an NBA team, and Georgia, careering about on her horse with a flag or a sword!


Last but absolutely not least is our “meet and greet manager” at Cellar Door- spotty dog Marty.

The Vineyard

20 acres of vines are nestled among remnant Yellow Box and Blakely’s red gum woodland in the historic Jeir Valley on carefully selected sunny north facing slopes where frost risk is minimal. The vineyard site is widely regarded as some of the best viticultural land in the district and we firmly believe this is how we produce the highest quality fruit.

Grape varieties were chosen to take advantage of this unique environment- among the usual suspects are Chardonnay, Sauvignon blanc, a small amount of lesser known Viognier, and of course the Queen -Riesling, as well as the traditional local hero, Shiraz. The vineyard is also our ultimate experiment- we were one of the first in the district to plant our favourite Italian variety, Sangiovese and we have plantings of all five of the varieties traditionally producing Bordeaux blends:  Cabernet Sauvignon, Cabernet Franc, Merlot, Malbec and Petit Verdot, the latter two varieties being unique to us in the Canberra district. People told us we were mad to plant Petit Verdot  – undeterred, we have carried on to produce some fabulous vintages of this intriguing variety.

The Label

Our logo mystifies many: what is it? Our 220 acre property was formerly part of the historic Jeir Station and is also home to the 16 stand, 100+ year old Jeir woolshed, one of the largest and oldest in the Southern Tablelands. The “icon” is a ventilated dome which crowns the roof of the shed and symbolises our commitment to reaching the pinnacle of cool climate wine production.

A lovely friendly country welcome where the variety of wines is fantastic. Amongst my favourites are the Georgia Shiraz as well as the Sparkling Glen Malbec, closely followed by the Synergy Cabernets Merlot. Delightful wines at a competitive price…..go out and enjoy!

Jack H

We particularly love the sparkling Blanc de Blanc and Bordeaux blend, Synergy – but buy different wines every time we visit. They also have a few varieties which are great to show off to people looking for something different, such as the Petit Verdot and Sparkling Malbec. Bob and Julie are very knowledgeable winemakers and very friendly and engaging. Do yourself a favour!

Jeanene KE

We bloody LOVE your wines Julie! …..Every time we treat family and friends to one of your wines, they rave about them. Thanks so much for your beautiful product!!!

Lynne F.