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Margaret River

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Located on the most south-westerly point of Australia, three hours drive south of Perth, the Margaret River region sprang to life during the 1960s & 1970s as result of Professor Harold Olmo and Dr John Gladstone research into the region’s viticultural potential. Consequently Vasse Felix was planted in 1967, Moss Wood in 1970 & Cullen in 1971. Since then the plantings have grown exponentially while the number of wineries has increased sixfold. This explosion of wineries has perhaps been to the detriment of the wine quality.

Bounded to the west by the Indian Ocean the Cape Naturaliste to Cape Leeuwin 90km promontory the region enjoys a benign if damp maritime climate in which the vines rarely shut down, causing disrupted flowering (exacerbated by strong westerly sea winds). Over the growing season it’s 16% hotter than in Coonawarra and 7% than the Medoc.

The Cape ridge is made up of lateritic clay topsoils over weathered granite and gneiss, giving fruit with a relatively high pH. Cabernet Sauvignon is the most fancied variety, producing a lush early drinking style, followed by Shiraz, Chardonnay and Semillon.

Recommended Producers

Cullen, Pierro, Moss Wood, Cape Mentelle & Voyager Estate are all good producers.