By Dongyun Kwon
TarraWarra Estate founder Marc Besen passed away aged 99 on Tuesday 7 November.
TarraWarra Estate general manager Samantha Isherwood said Mr Besen was a very warm and generous man who had a passion for art, vineyard, nature and his experience.
The billionaire came to Australia from Romania in 1947.
After succeeding in his business of a corsetry store Sussan, he and his wife Eva eventually decided to purchase a property in Yarra Valley in 1979.
Mr Besen wanted to build a unique and beautiful place for Australians because he was so grateful to Australia for welcoming him when he first arrived.
Marc and Eva Besen planted their first pinot and chardonnay vineyards in 1983.
The TarraWarra Estate grew up fast and ended up having a museum of art, a cellar door and a restaurant.
Ms Isherwood said both Besens did not take it as a business but as their home and built a house on top of the hill in 1985.
“Mr Besen truly loved Yarra Valley and the community and always wanted TarraWarra to be a place of welcome for all visitors. He came to Yarra Valley every week for over 14 years,” she said.
“His love for wine was genuine and he was persuaded to plant his own vines by Dr John Milton who was developing Mount Mary at the time.
“He loved either a glass of champagne or a glass of TarraWarra rose every day.”