Galafrey is a family-run winery in the Great Southern’s Mt Barker sub-region. One thing that really sets this vineyard apart from the rest is the fact it’s ‘dry grown’.
‘Dry Farming’ doesn’t involve water irrigation at all – basically it means the farm/vineyard relies solely on the natural annual rainfall. In many wine regions around the world, especially old-world wine regions it’s actually illegal to irrigate vineyards. The two main reasons to ‘dry grow’ is; water conservation and grape quality. The grapes are more intensely flavoured when dry grown, however in order to successfully manage a dry grown vineyard it takes a lot more hands-on work.
I’ve bumped into Kim and Nigel – the married couple behind Galafrey at a number of Perth events like Raising Riesling and Cellar Door in the City – I couldn’t wait to visit their cellar door on my recent trip to the Great Southern wine region. I’ve tried a number of their wines over the last few years so I was eager to see where all the action happens.
Kim Tyrer is the wonderfully talented winemaker behind the brand. It was her father, Ian, who established the vineyard in 1977 however he sadly passed away in 2003. His legacy has lived on thanks to wife Linda and daughter Kim keeping it alive. Linda and Kim are also joined by Kim’s husband, Nigel who helps run the show. Not to mention Kim & Nigel’s mini potential winemakers in the making – Jack and Ava who may someday also help out with the family business.
And of course there are the 4 wine dogs on the property!
The Cellar Door
The Galafrey cellar door is located a mere 12 minutes out of Mt Barker town. On our recent trip, we had travelled down that morning from Perth – we stopped into Gilberts Wines on Albany Highway first, and Galafrey was next on the itinerary.
Galafrey have such a gorgeous location! As you drive up to the cellar door passing all the vines you’ll reach the carpark which has absolutely stunning views of the surrounding bushland. Virtually as soon as we emerged from the car we were greeted by the two bordercollie Galafrey wine dogs who happily escorted us up to the cellar door (now that’s good customer service!).
Kim’s artsy background is definitely on show at the property – I loved the wooden wine bottle outside the cellar door as shown below. And the painted wine bottles looked absolutely awesome!
The cellar door has a lovely wide verandah around it, which let’s you soak up all those wonderful views. I now understand why their annual long-table lunches are so popular – who wouldn’t want to spend an afternoon with good wine and food in such a splendid location!
I love when you walk into a cellar door and it has that winery smell – it’s such a welcoming scent for a wine lover. Naturally we indulged in a tasting at the cellar door, trying through the range as we enjoyed the company of the Galafrey wine dogs.
The Vineyard & Winery
On our visit we were lucky enough to see some of the behind the scenes action. Kim took us for a lovely walk through the vines – at this stage some of the red fruit was still on the vines, waiting to be picked a few days later.
After our stroll through the vineyard we had a wee look around the winery and had a chance to try some of the 2017 Pinot Noir juice which was still undergoing fermentation alongside seeing and tasting a very interesting small batch of white grapes which I am eager to hear what will come of it. Having worked in a winery as my after school job over 15 years ago, I really love seeing what goes on behind the scenes – it brings back fond memories for me!
If you’re ever in the Mt Barker area, I highly suggest stopping into Galafrey for a visit and tasting. You’ll be greeted welcomingly by the team and I have no doubt that you’ll end up walking out with a bottle or 12!
As previously mentioned, I am a big fan of the Galafrey wines. On the property they grow Chardonnay, Riesling, Müller-Thurgau, Cabernet Sauvignon, Shiraz, Cabernet Franc, Pinot Noir and Merlot. The Müller-Thurgau is definitely a must try as it’s definitely not a grape variety you’ll typically find at a WA winery! Müller-Thurgau is a white grape varietal that is typically grown in Germany and Switzerland. What I like about it, is that it’s a very food friendly wine – particularly one that goes well with spicy dishes. Seeing as I am a bit of a chilli addict, it’s the perfect wine for so many of my home cooked dishes.
Stay tuned for tasting notes from the wines we bought on this particular visit!
Quick Facts about Galafrey Wines:
Address: 432 Quangellup Rd, Mount Barker WA 6324
Phone: (08) 9851 2022
Opening times: 10am – 5pm 7 days a week (please double-check for public holidays)
Wine Styles/Grape Varieties: Chardonnay, Riesling, Muller-Thurgau, Cabernet Sauvignon, Shiraz, Cabernet Franc, Pinot Noir and Merlot
Wine tasting cost: Free