This winery is a bit of a hike out of Busselton, twenty kilometres due south into an elevated area in the Whicher Range that is the same latitude as Vasse Felix with identical soil and terroir. The vineyard (12 acres) was acquired in 2003 and planted in 2004 and 2005. The vines are 50% Sauvignon Blanc and the remainder mainly Cabernet Sauvignon together with some Petit Verdot, Malbec and Viognier. Grapes for their Chardonnay, Riesling and Shiraz are sourced from vineyards in the Margaret River and the Great Southern of Western Australia. Their Shiraz is made from fruit sourced from Frankland River region. Neil manages the vineyard and Cathy is the winemaker, but both make the wine together each vintage.
When we arrived we met Neil on his tractor taking a load of pressed grape skins from the winery up to the compost area on the farm, and then Polly their very friendly four year old Kelpie, before Cathy arrived straight from the basket press where she had been pressing three tonnes of Malbec (her red-stained hands were evidence of what we had interrupted). After a short warm welcome and introduction to the cellar door, we were invited to take a tour of their ‘Wine Sensory Garden’, the only one in Australia. It was amazing, with all the herbs and plants associated with the various grape varietals grown on the vineyard available to smell and taste. If you ever fancied yourself as a wine critic, a few hours here would give you all the information you could ever need to describe wines in terms of their association with aromas and flavours.