In 1992, the Burch Family Wines group launched Madfish and celebrated with the release of their Premium White. It takes its name from Madfish Bay, where, according to local folklore, two tides meet and swarms of fish try desperately to escape the feeding dolphins, breaking the usually calm nature of the bay. The following years saw Madfish release its Premium Red, ensuring international brand recognition. At the same time, the brand adopted a new label, designed by local Aboriginal artist Maxine Fumagalli, depicting a water turtle, a symbol of perseverance and tolerance. In the period of 1997-2004, six new varietals were released, including Cabernet Sauvignon, Pinot Noir, Shiraz, Riesling and Chardonnay. Janice McDonald, Senior Winemaker at Burch Family Wines, initially had a scientific interest in wine, which saw her work at Vasse Felix in Margaret River. Janice then began to take on brewing, and then turned back to wine when Devil’s Lair was opened by Phil Sexton in Margaret River. Janice established the independent wine label, Stella Bella in 2001, she moved to Howard Park where she received multiple awards for a variety of wines.
Madfish sources its grapes from vineyards in the Margaret River and Great Southern regions, where all of its wines sit at budget level. The ‘Moscato’ is made from a strain of the grape variety Muscat Blanc à Petits Grains with pink berries, which gives the moscato a delightful pink hue and aromas of raspberry and pomegranate. The ‘Riesling’ has ‘a beautiful purity and precision’, with lemon aromas and a crisp, clean palate. In 2005, Madfish released its first sparkling, ‘Vera’s Cuvée Sparkling White NV’, made from Pinot Noir (fermented without the red pigment from the grape skins), which has a fresh, light nose and zesty citrus acidity.
For more information on Madfish and their wines, check out their website.