Mary Byrnes following her life long interest in wine bought a stone fruit orchard and table grape vineyard at Ballandean, Granite Belt, Queensland in 1990. Her pursuit of her wine interests were put on hold for 30 years while she raised her six children and pursued her professional career as a computer programmer/analyst.
In 1995 in her late forties she commenced part-time university studies at Charles Sturt University in Wagga Wagga and in April 2001 graduated with a Bachelor of Applied Science (Wine Science) and was elected a Professional Member of the Australian Society of Viticulture and Oenology Inc in June of the same year. While the study was being undertaken, field work was also happening. Soil tests were commissioned, climate records studied and most importantly local knowledge of the area was acquired. The existing property "Tajoura" saw the uneconomic stone fruit and table grapes removed, property fenced, and dams built.