Margaret River’s Winemaking Spirit Alive

Pioneering winemaking spirit is high in the Margaret River region of south west WA, which seems pretty much capable of converting just about any grape variety to gold. Even though vines were first planted here in the mid-nineteenth century by the early settlers, winemaking and grape growing are relatively recent and uncommon pursuits, driven by a few zealous persons’ vision and the relentless hard work of others.

In his article “Australia’s Wild West”, Joe Czerwinski talks about the history and current state of winemaking in Margaret River. He writes, “The first visionary to arrive was Harold Olmo, a professor at the University of California at Davis. As part of a program to diversify the state’s economy, he was invited by the government of Western Australia to prospect for sites that could support viticulture.”

Mr. Harold’s report, which was published in 1956, recognised Margaret River as one of the regions suitable for the production of European-style table wines.

Next up was renowned WA agronomist John Gladstones, who carried out a comprehensive climatic study that identified the similarities between Bordeaux and Margaret River with regard to heat distribution and summation. His work, published in 1965, marked the birth of winemaking in this part of the world.

Today, Margaret River is known as WA’s leading wine producing region, stretching around 60 miles from Cape Naturaliste to Cape Leeuwin. It has been less than 50 years since the vines were first planted here, but excellent growing conditions have allowed the region to become known around the world for its high quality wines. Wines produced by local wineries are admired by wine enthusiasts across the globe, and are the best ambassadors of the south west WA.

Margaret River grows a large range of grapes including Shiraz, Rhine Riesling, Chardonnay, Semillion, Traminer, Verdelho, Cabernet Sauvignon and Sauvignon Blanc. There are more than 5,500 hectares under wine and with more than 150 wine producers in the region, wine enthusiasts will always find themselves spoilt for choice. Many cellar doors boast award winning restaurants, inspiring architecture, magnificent vistas, market gardens, boutique giftware and art galleries. It is no surprise that wine tourism is a popular activity in Margaret River that draws thousands of interstate and foreign tourists each year.

To find out everything you need to know about this delightful region, please check out the Margaret River Guide

About Benji

I am married and live on a farm near Margaret River with my wife, daughter and son. I set up The Margaret River Guide to assist people coming to Margaret River Western Australia to easily find what they are looking for. I also wanted to allow people to find activities they did not know about and to be able to openly comment on/ review businesses.

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