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Western Australia

I first travelled to Perth and Western Australians wine country at the end of my five month tour in May 2000. I had sold my trusty Ford Falcon with the bench “ bed” front seat back in Sydney since my trust in it did not go as far as crossing the Nullarbor. I was now on foot, or thumb as the case may be, hitching south from Perth to Margaret river and then south-east to relatively new Great Southern wine regions. Its great wine country down here, really great! Of all the wine country in Australia this, I was to discover, is the most captivating. They produce only 2% of total production of Australia in this vast region, but what you taste in Margaret River, Manjimup, Pemberton, The Porongurups, Denmark and Albany are top notch. The vines are dotted around amidst a stretched landscape of massive gum trees, Kari and Mari trees, intermingled with lots of Eucalyptus, and these tree’s play an important part in the make up of the wines here; they shade the vines, keeping them cooler and they add a little extra special flavours to the finished product, especially in the red wines where the terroir of gum and eucalyptus really shows through. However its not all big tree country down here: in the Porongurups the country reverts to hills and massive granite boulders and around Mount Barker, just to the west, there are rolling hills of real beauty. I recommend anyone to hire a car or motorhome and spend some time down here. It really is the most individual and uninhabited wine country to be found in this land.

Willespie Vineyards, Margaret River