Great Southern Wineries in Western Australia
Great Southern Wineries in Western Australia fall into 5 regions
- Frankland River
- Mount Barker
Wine growing is a relatively young industry in this area with the first vines planted during the 1970’s after some years of trial plantings. Rapid growth has seen the area develop and there are now over 100 wineries.
While Margaret River is Western Australia’s most well know wine area which came into being also in the 1970’s….. the Great Southern Wineries Region has some excellent wineries producing award winning wines. It is worth taking an independent tour or if you prefer – an organized tour to combine wine tasting, and enjoying the scenery and attractions. There are some wonderful walks and the coast is just stunning so you can have a holiday with plenty of variety
Wine Tasting at Great Southern Wineries With harvest time early March to mid April I will comment that if you are visiting after harvesting or over winter you are likely to find many wineries shut to the public.... which can be disappointing.
The summer months will be the best time to ensure all the wineries are open for tasting.....we found even in late March some had closed their doors.... probably because of the busy harvest time, but they did not always take down their "Open" signs! I suggest ringing to ensure you are not taking a trip down a long dusty road for nothing!
Overview of the 5 Regions Wines
Albany first started growing Pinot Noir and Chardonnay in 1974 and these are the main varieties that do well here.
Denmark also has good chardonnay and Pinot Noir but also grows other red varieties including Cabernet Franc, Cabernet Sauvignon and Shiraz and Sauvignon Blanc and Semillon white grapes.
With no sea to influence the wine growing, Frankland River produces some very good Riesling and rich, dark Cabernet Sauvignon.
Mt Barker grows a wide variety of grapes with some especially good award winning Shiraz, Pinot Noir and Riesling.
Porongurup has probably the widest variety of grapes wide variety of grapes grown in Great Southern Wineries. They have a annual wine festival in March.
Great Southern Wineries I Can Recommend The Lake House – Just 5 minutes from Denmark on Turner Rd this was a very pleasant winery with lovely gardens overlooking a lake – thus it’s name. With several award winning wines they produce not only a range of handcrafted wines, but have an excellent restaurant with a menu that features fresh local and organic produce and many dishes using wines as flavourings.
Howard Park Winery - Scotsdale Rd, Denmark - in the foot hills of the Porongurup range features many award winning wines. This architectural modern winery features glass, concrete, stainless steel and timber incorporated into it’s design creating a very modern , open design overlooking the local native forest. Peaceful and relaxing you can enjoy the natural surrounds while tasting a selection of Howard Park award winning wines including several different shiraz wines.
Somerset Hill -McLeod Rd, Denmark – Set well back from the road the winery was almost unseen. It was beautifully done with décor resembling an old winery. Barrels, The wine behind black wrought iron gates, waste hugh wine wracks all create a real old cellar ambiance making it well worth a visiting for the décor alone. Their range includes – Chardonnay, Semillon, Sauvignon Blanc, Merlot and Pinot Noir
Ducketts Mill Wines - This is not just wines but a whole foodie experience with a cheese tasting, a wonderful selection of fudges flavoured with local flavours such as lemon myrtle which was delicious, and home made ice cream.
They seem to specialize in reisling, and merlots, cabernet blends, with a rose to sample too.
Old Kent River Winery - South Coast Hwy Kent River via, Denmark – Not only do they specialize in Pinot Noir,Chardonnay and more recently added Sauvignon Blanc and Shiraz….they also breed their own marron – a small crayfish special to the area which you can buy either for lunch or for take away live or cooked.
With tables made out of huge slabs of wood we enjoyed their lamb kebabs sitting outside overlooking their marron filled lake.
Bartholomew’s Meadery – Mead is not common these days so we had to venture down a dusty road to this fascinating rustic place to sample some meads. Honey wines, honey liquer, honey ice cream.....delicious! Other bee products such as propolis, beeswax, bee pollen…..the bees have it at this meadery.
Plantagenet Wines – Mt Barker – featuring Shiraz, Cabernet Sauvignon and Riesling this mudbrick winery set in native gardens has wine tastings at the cellar door.
Castle Hill Winery - Porongurup mountain range near Denmark – Their wines were originally created and bottled at Alkoomi but are now all done on site.They have three reds – Cabernet Merlot, Pinot Noir and Shiraz, with a wider range in whites – including a reisling and a Muscat.
MORE AUSTRALIA LINKS
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