Swan District

The Swan District is Western Australia’s oldest wine region, having been planted by English settlers soon after their arrival in 1829. The first vines at Olive Farm were planted by Thomas Waters, and the following year he dug out the wine cellar that is incorporated in the present winery of the same name. For almost 150 years it was the only significant wine-producing region in Western Australia and today it's also home to the state's largest winery. Some of Western Australia's finest wines and local produce can be found in the Swan Valley.

It is an actively multicultural area, with the descendants of early Yugoslav, Italian and English migrants continuing the region's winemaking traditions. Pioneers in the development of table wines include the legendary Jack Mann at Houghton in the 1930s and 1940s and John Kosovich at John Kosovich Wines in the 1960s and 1970s.  

31° 50'S
Latitude
45m
Altitude
145mm
Growing season rainfall

Chardonnay

The plantings are increasing and one or two producers have produced some very good, buttery, peachy wines from this grape. 

Chenin Blanc

This is one of the principal varieties in the Swan District. In this climate the wine produced has a certain luscious richness, which responds well to bottle age, producing a full-flavoured white of voluptuous dimensions.

Verdelho

Many wineries produce a varietal wine from Verdelho and are usually allow the rich honeyed, honeysuckle flavours free reign without the influence of new oak.

Top varieties grown in Swan District
Climate
  • The Swan District has a warm to hot Mediterranean climate. It is very dry during ripening and harvest, with most rainfall (167 millimetres or 6.5 inches) occurring during winter and spring. 
  • It has an extremely high mean January temperature of 24.15°C (75.5°F), a low relative humidity of 44% and a high 1791 total sunshine hours during the growing season.  
  • The district is relieved from the heat by the famous Fremantle Doctor ─ the south-westerly sea breeze. 
  • Verdelho, Chardonnay, Chenin Blanc, Shiraz and Cabernet Sauvignon excel in the warm, dry growing conditions.  
  • The Gingin/Moondah Brook area is somewhat cooler and has consistently demonstrated a surprising capacity to produce full flavoured, full bodied white whites, particularly with Chenin Blanc, Verdelho and Chardonnay.
Soil
  • The soils of the Swan District are typically young alluvial soils; very deep, with excellent moisture retention capacity. 
  • Soil types vary widely, from deep draining sand over limestone along the coastal strip around Wanneroo to well drained gravelly loam along the fringes of the Darling Scarp, deep rich red loam around the Swan River and grey sand over clay in the Herne Hill flats of the Swan Valley subregion. 
  • On the lower slopes of the Darling Range is the highly suited gravelly sand to gravelly sandy loam overlying brown clay.