Western Australia’s Margaret River has rightfully earned the reputation as one of Australia and the world’s premier wine producing regions. There is a dynamic wine industry in Margaret River and the area is respected for encouraging innovation and progressive attitudes in wine making.
There are a number of things to know about the Margaret River location and style of wine production that are not only interesting but will enhance your experience of tasting and enjoying wines from this area.
- The Margaret River region is located south of Perth and it takes approximately three hours to travel from Perth to the region by road. Like the Great Ocean Road (tours are a great way to experience the Great Ocean Road area), this region enjoys ever-growing popularity as one of Australia’s most wonderful destinations because it offers amazing wine, high quality restaurants, a range of accommodation options and many varied tourist activities.
- The natural environment of the Margaret River region is conducive to grape growing and wine production. Characterised by a Mediterranean-style maritime climate, vineyards are generally not subjected to summer and winter temperatures of extremes and the ideal levels of humidity are present for grape growing. High quality fruit with an intense flavour is produced because of the advanced climate, soil and viticulture practices used in the region.
- More than 5000 hectares of the Margaret River region are covered by grape vines and in excess of 120 wine producers are located in the area. This region is of such contemporary importance that, although it contributes approximately three per cent of Australia’s wine grapes, wines from this area account for more than 20 per cent of the premium wine market.
- In the last two decades, the area has experienced considerable growth and development. It is understood that plantings have increased by more than 10 times their previous number and the number of wine producers in the area has grown by more than sixfold. Between the approximate 120 wine producers in the area, more than 35,000 tonnes of grapes are crushed.
- The area was first respected for producing excellent examples of the Cabernet Sauvignon varietal, but Margaret River has now grown in acclaim for the white wines produced, particularly Chardonnay, Semillon and Sauvignon Blanc blends.
- Conditions in the Margaret River region are suitable for the production of all classic varietal wines.
Margaret River Chardonnays are often considered to be of a quality that is not seen anywhere else in the world. Essentially, Margaret River Chardonnay is often described as being more complex, concentrated, viscous and tangy, without being heavy. The richness of the local fruits is harnessed by winemakers and present in many of the region’s wines.
Sauvignon Blanc and Semillon
Sometimes these varietals are used individually and other times they are produced as blends. In the Margaret River region, the two varietals are combined together in interesting and effective ways. Margaret River Semillon tends to have a pleasant ‘herbal grassy cut’, which blends into Sauvignon Blanc.
Cabernet Sauvignon is the varietal of wine on which the reputation and respect of the Margaret River region was founded. Almost all wineries in the area produce a Cabernet Sauvignon, but Merlot is increasingly blended with this wine. It is common for these wines to be made from ripe grapes that have a sweet core and with tannins that are gravelly or slightly earthy.
Australia offers so many incredible opportunities and possibilities for travellers, particularly those who enjoy fine food and wine. By taking a Melbourne tour, you will have some insight into the incredible quality of the fare on offer in Australia, but to truly appreciate the wines that are distinctive and produced in the region, tasting wines at Western Australia’s Margaret River is highly recommended.