Viticulture has been practised intermittently in the picturesque Perth Hills for more than a century. The first vineyard was planted in Darlington in the 1880s, followed by a second in Glen Forrest in 1896.  The earliest of the present day wineries in the region date back to the mid 1970s.

The Perth Hills came of age in April 1999, when given official status as a gazetted wine growing region, though by this stage it had already gained a reputation in Western Australia as a producer of fine quality wines. Today it boasts a number of very successful wine producers who have won awards and trophies at Australian and international wine shows. 

31° 59'S
Latitude
150-400m
Altitude
220-250mm
Growing season rainfall

Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot

These are frequently blended, sometimes released as straight varietal wines, and produced by the majority of the wineries in the region. The wines are reliable and pleasant; full flavoured, with chocolate, earthy and berry flavours.  

Chardonnay

Chardonnay does not disappoint and the best white wines from the Perth Hills region have been made from this variety. The style of these wines is generous, bursting with ripe melon and peach characters. 

Shiraz

The winemakers of the Perth Hills share with their colleagues in many other Australian wine regions an enthusiasm for Shiraz which here, as in other warmer regions, is generously fruit driven.

Top varieties grown in Perth Hills
Climate
  • As expected, the climate varies significantly with altitude. The tempering influences which delay ripening for 10 to 21 days (compared to the Swan Valley) are the altitude (generally between 150 and 400 metres), the free air flow and exposure to afternoon sea breezes.
  • The annual rainfall of 900 to 1200 millimetres (35 to 47 inches), is strongly winter-spring dominant and, given adequate irrigation sites, the climate poses no problems for the vigneron. 
  • Rivulets and often dry creek beds, ridges, hills and valleys criss-cross the region in every direction, offering an almost unlimited choice of aspect and slope, but those cut off from the sea breeze influence tend to be warmer rather than cooler.
Soil
  • The valley slopes have ironstone and gravel sandy loams as well as gravelly loams which overlay clay, similar in type to much of south-west Australia, and were once covered with forests. They are well suited to viticulture, being of moderate fertility and producing moderate yields.