I had made the decision quite early on that while I was in Western Australia’s Great Southern wine region, as a part of Taste Great Southern, that I would try and explore as much as possible and I managed to slip in a few wineries while I was there.
Harewood Estate was my first Denmark winery on my week-long break.
I had planned to visit 3 wineries that day, and I knew that I only had a few hours to get them all in, including navigating Scotsdale Road; Denmarks famous winery road.
The drive to the cellar door off Scotsdale Road was incredibly picturesque. Think rolling hills, towering Karri trees and vines for days.
A Little About The Estate And Its Owners
Harewood Estate was first established in 1988, but it wouldn’t be until 2003 that James Kellie and his family would own the property.
In the lead up to ownership, James landed his dream winemaking job with Howard Park in the Great Southern and after making wine on contract for Harewood Estate from 1998, James and his family purchased the estate. At this stage, only Chardonnay and Pinot Noir were planted.
In the beginning, the family built a 300-tonne winery, but they were serious about making a commitment to developing sub-regional wines that showcased the vast variety of the Great Southern, with the winery growing to produce 500 tonnes.
The family-owned the estate until 2010 when James and wife Careena bought out their family members to have 100% ownership and in 2011 planted Riesling.
They also own Apricus Hill, located not too far down the road from the Harewood Estate cellar door. The Travelling Corkscrew visited the Apricus Hill cellar door back in 2015 and is also on Denmarks famous Scotsdale Road. If you don’t get a chance to get to Apricus Hill, you can try a number of their wines at Harewood Estate.
In addition to his time spent working on the vineyard, James also spends his time with the next era of winemakers at the Western Australia College of Agriculture in Denmark.
The Cellar Door Experience
From the outside, the cellar door comes across as very homely, almost reminiscent of an English cottage garden, and once you make your way up onto the verandah, you feel very welcomed.
Once inside, you will notice that the cellar door has been set up to allow for several people to stand at the tasting area. The tasting space is perfect for a few or a couple of car fulls.
The cellar door also has plenty of options to sit down and savour a tipple of Harewood Estate wine. You can even enjoy the view from the verandah.
I can imagine during school holidays and long weekends that this area could become very well used.
And if you find that all of the seats are taken, just pop back inside, grab yourself a picnic blanket and a sneaky glass of wine while you’re at it. There is plenty of room on the grassed area out the front of the cellar door.
But What About The Wine?
If you’re looking for a way to experience all that the Great Southern has the offer, then Harewood Estate is a great place to start.
Harewood Estate showcases a diverse range of wines that they have made from all over the Great Southern Wine Region.
Denmark – Harewood Estate describes Denmark as ‘A pristine place, long cool summer days and ‘mean’ gravelly soils that slowly ripen the grapes to produce wines of intense flavours.’
- Pinot Noir
- Sauvignon Blanc
Frankland River – The climate in Frankland River is very Mediterranean; dry and sunny, resulting in wines of hefty weight and complexity. The river valley has a crucial role, funnelling cool and humid air north from the ocean moderating the afternoon heat to provide a long, slow ripening period for grapes.
- Pinot Gris
- Cabernet Sauvignon
Mount Barker – Largely dry, open grazing country with scattered vineyards. Gravelly soil conditions that can be likened to Bordeaux, in France.
- Cabernet Sauvignon
Porongurups – Great stands of towering Eucalypt forest and a massive series of rounded granite knobs give way to sweeping views out over the Porongurup Ranges. The elevated vineyard produces crisp, cool-climate wines on granite soils.
- Cabernet Sauvignon
What Did I Taste And What Did I Love?
If I find a cellar door has the option to start with sparkling, then I find it hard to turn it down and I was super impressed by the Mira (a blend of Pinot Noir and Chardonnay) and the Fizzy Lizzie (2011 Traditional Method, Pinot Noir ).
One word came to mind for both – Smashable.
Now this one is for the Riesling lovers!
On offer in the cellar door, you can find four Rieslings from the Great Southern Wine Regions;
- Frankland River
- Mount Barker
Expect to be blown away by how different each of the wines tastes, purely based on their location.
The Pinot Noir was truly memorable and a bottle found its way into my hand and on its way home with me.
I like Wine sums up the wine as “a dark crimson colour, with purple hues. A complex, perfumed nose of black cherries, dried flowers and rich dark chocolate. Primary flavours of cherries and plums marry with darker liquorice and coffee characters. The tannins are rich and supple complemented by a long and spicy finish.”
There is an extensive wine list to taste though, so if you have the time and an exceptional designated driver, I encourage you to do so!
The Flux Range
I was introduced to the 2018 Flux-II Pinot Gris from the Harewood Estate Flux range. Unfortunately, they don’t have this wine available as a tasting, but what is unique about this brand are the 10,000 unique labels that have been created with each label being slightly different from the last.
The Harewood Estate website describes the wine as “grown in Frankland River, this wine is a dry expression of the classic Alsatian variety. Flavours of Meyer lemon and pear marry with hints of spice and honeysuckle with a long crisp finish. Fermented in stainless steel to capture the subtleties of the variety.”
Dukes Invitational Wine Series
Dukes Vineyard in the Porongurups has a unique yearly tradition.
Each vintage, Duke invites a different winemaker to come and make an invitational wine.
This is a way for Dukes Vineyard to showcase the many talents found throughout the Great Southern. A local winemaker is invited to make a wine that is unique to their style, utilising grapes from Dukes Vineyard.
2012 James was invited and made the ‘Invitation Riesling 2012’, which was the first in the series.
Image source: perthcafeculture.com.au
Duke gave James a small parcel of handpicked Riesling that they thought “…was as good as we have ever produced and left the rest to him.”
Good Food described the Invitational Riesling as a “…pale colour, this is a very restrained, backward riesling that promises to age superbly. It’s a gorgeous, ethereal wine, off-dry in a mosel-ish style. It’s tremendously delicate, refined and aromatic. Now to 2022.”
Each invitational bottle also includes a drawn portrait of the winemaker. I suspect it could be Duke’s talented wife Hilde who draws these.