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Australian Wine Region – Western Australia
ANCIENT EARTH, TALL SKIES & PRISTINE WATERS
One of the most geographically isolated and pure wine regions in the world, Western Australia (WA) is the largest state in Australia by land mass and is home to 9 specific wine regions concentrated in the South West corner. The sub-regions of WA include: Swan District, Perth Hills, Peel, Geographe, Blackwood Valley, Pemberton, Manjimup, Great Southern and the most famous of them all – Margaret River.
Winemaking in the Western Australia dates back to the English settlers in the 1840’s. However the region was not widely recognised for its winemaking ability until the Margaret River was planted in vines in 1967 and asserted itself as a premium winemaking region in Australia.
There are more than 150 wineries and 287 grape growers with more than 5000 hectares planted in the Margaret. The region is world renowned for producing powerful, yet elegant wines. The varieties that Margaret River is best known for is their Chardonnay, Cabernet Sauvignon, Shiraz, Riesling and Semillon / Sauvignon Blanc blends.
The Margaret River’s location in the south western corner of Australia is the reason for it’s Mediterranean style climate. The sea breeze and warm days are ideal for wine production, providing optimal growing conditions that are not affected by extreme summer or freezing winter temperatures. The humidity throughout the growing period is regulated by the cool sea breeze of the Indian Ocean which allows the fruit to develop intense flavours with good acidity to produce premium wines.
One of the oldest and warmest wine growing regions in Australia with temperatures often getting as high as 35º celsius, Swan Valley is shaped by hot, dry summers. The Swan has a strong tradition of producing liqueur style wines from Muscat, Verdelho and Pedro Ximenes. The cooling breeze from the famous Fremantle Doctor allows the region to produce white wines including the Chenin Blanc and Verdelhos of the region that are simple, fresh and crisp young wines that age impeccably with toasty flavours.
THE GREAT SOUTHERN REGION
Stretching from the rugged cliffs of the southern sub-regions Albany and Denmark to 100km north to Frankland, The Great Southern region is the largest wine region in continental Australia and produces the 2nd largest volume of wine in WA. The coastal Mediterranean climate is best suited to premium cool climate wines. The smaller family vineyards of Great Southern produce excellent examples of cool climate Riesling, Pinot Noir, Cabernet Sauvignon, Chardonnay and Shiraz.
WINE TOURISM IN WESTERN AUSTRALIA
Tourists gravitate to Western Australia to experience the many bounties the most isolated region in the world has to offer including: fine wines and wild foods, epic coastlines, natural landscapes and unique native plants and animals. Wine tourists can enjoy all WA has to offer during their visit, but one of the must sees is the largest collection of wild flowers on earth. From June more than 12,000 species of wild flowers paint the southern landscape with the magic and vibrant colours of the flowers. Over 60% of the wild flowers are only found here, making Western Australia a must see for wine and nature lovers.