The Great Southern wine region of WA is made up of 5 subregions; Porongurups, Mount Barker, Albany, Denmark and Frankland River. There are roughly 50 wineries across the region and you really need to get to know them all. However today on the blog I’m going to introduce you to 8 Great Southern wineries whose wines I tried recently at an event and would recommend you hunt out today.
A big thanks to Joanne Bradbury for inviting Mr. Spittoon and myself along to the Taste Great Southern Wine Market at Petition in Perth city recently. It was a beautiful venue to spend an afternoon tasting through the Great Southern.
There were some of my old favourites at the event and also some new Great Southern wineries I hadn’t yet came across. Which was rather exciting. Every stall had a gem or two that sweet talked my palate. I went away with a spoilt palate, rosy cheeks and just a few too many order forms.
La Violetta Wines
I actually tried some of the La Violetta Wines at Unwined WA 2015. It was great to meet the man behind the wines on this occasion, Andrew Hoadley. Quite a character he is and it was rather entertaining hearing about the wines and how they got their names. I’m also a fan of his desire to push boundaries and experiment. For instance ‘Das Sakrileg’ is German for sacrilege (plus it ties into the German movie title for The Da Vinci Code). It is a Riesling with ‘perhaps a bucket of Gewürztraminer in the mix’ and it’s treated a little differently to your average Riesling, read more about its unique characteristics here.
Wine Picks: To be honest, I enjoyed them all as they all evoked a certain amount of intrigue on the palate.
Another newbie for me from the Frankland River. What I found really captivating was hearing about the Grenache, Tempranillo and Mourvèdre which are grown on ‘bush vines’. Bush vines are low yielding and non trellised vines. They are trained and pruned to resemble a bush – I now really want to go and see the vineyard! Swinney had a great mix of red and white were on offer.
Wine Picks: 2013 ‘Ingénue’ Tirra Lirra Tempranillo, Cabernet Sauvignon & Grenache blend, 2014 ‘Ingénue’ Riesling and the 2015 ‘Tirra Lirra’ Riesling, Pinot Gris & Gewürztraminer blend.
We actually visited Boston Brewery when we were down in Denmark last year however we didn’t have enough time at the Willoughby cellar door to really get to know the wines. Firstly the lady on the stall, who I didn’t quite catch her name was super friendly and informative about the wines, we had some good chats. They had the Kalgan River and Ironrock ranges to try with the latter being hand harvested and made from the very best grapes.
Wine picks: Hands down the Ironrock 2014 Chardonnay was my favourite. Actually all the Ironrock wines were pretty special.
These guys had so many wines on offer that I didn’t really know where to start! I’ve tried the Cherubino wines on various occasions and they never fail to impress. The focus of the range is on single vineyard and sub-regional wines, the Great Southern range has a particular focus on the subregions of Porongurup and Frankland River. The wines strive to show the personalities of the grapes and the uniqueness of each vineyard.
Wine Picks: It was the reds that particularly wowed me on this day. Specifically the Frankland River Cabernet Sauvignon – absolutely stunning!
3 Drops Wines
From the Riesling to the Chardonnay to the Pinot Noir and Cabernet, 3 Drops are making some good stuff! Plus their olive oil is seriously good which is why you can never go past the 3 Drops stall at an event like this.
Wine Picks: I’m a big fan of the range so struggling to pick a favourite I asked Mr. Spittoon what was his – the Cabernet Sauvignon.
Castelli Estate Wines
Again I’m no stranger to Castelli. I drink their wines regularly, especially the Checkmate bubbles at Decanter on work lunches and we visited the estate on our trip last year. At this tasting I particularly enjoyed learning more about the Empirica small batch wines.
Wine Picks: The vibrant 2014 Empirica Tempranillo was a stand out for me and made me crave tapas immediately! Plus the Castelli bubbles and Chardonnay were a great start to the day being the first wines we tried.
Howard Park Wines
Howard Park reminds me of my time working in Le Clos in Dubai as that’s where I first came across these guys. It was one of the handful of WA labels we stocked.
Wine Picks: The 2013 Flint Rock Shiraz went down an absolute treat for both Mr. Spittoon and myself.
Castle Rock Estate
I came across these guys at Raising Riesling last year so I already knew the Riesling wouldn’t disappoint. They’re located in the Porongurups and winemaker Robert was at this event pouring the wines. He provided some great insights on the wines and region.
Wine Picks: For me the 2014 Pinot Noir was a knockout, this is definitely my kind of Pinot!
So there you have it folks, 8 new Great Southern wineries to add to your wine bucket list today or perhaps just some to get reacquainted with.