© Elements Margaret River
© Elements Margaret River

Gourmet paradise

Margaret River, located in the far south-west corner of Western Australia, is one of the most geographically isolated wine regions in the world. But this isolation has been no barrier to the development of the region as it has grown and evolved into a place dedicated to the pursuit of great food, exceptional lifestyle and fine wine.

In the years since it was established as a fine wine region Margaret River has grown to become home to over two hundred wineries in the region.

They produce around twenty per cent of Australia’s premium wine from only three per cent of Australia’s total grape crush. Adding diversity to the region in recent years, a new generation of producers redefining the possibilities for Margaret River ensuring it remains vibrant and vital for years to come.

Read more about Margaret River.

Margaret River
Margaret River
This map is not an accurate representation of the regional GI boundaries. Please click here to view an accurate map of the regional boundary.

Margaret River snapshot

The Margaret River region was once an isolated slice of paradise, home to dairy farmers and a few surfers drawn to some of the most spectacular waves on earth. And it could still be that way today if it wasn’t for the work of two research scientists. Professor Harry Olmo in the 1950s and Dr John Gladstones in the 1960s identified the region as having tremendous potential, exhibiting superb conditions for viticulture. The areas’ high winter rainfall, a dry, warm summer and low risk of frosts and hail, combined with soils grey loam on a subsoil of clay, have proven Olmo and Gladstones to be correct in their belief in the regions potential.

From the first vintages in the early 1970s, by amateur vignerons new to grape growing and winemaking, the Margaret River region quickly stamped itself as one to watch.

The region gained a reputation for producing powerful, yet elegant, wines producing standout Cabernet blends, Chardonnay and Semillon/Sauvignon Blanc blends. Names like Leeuwin Estate, Vasse Felix, Cullen and many, many more are beacons for fine Australian wine. Today they are joined by the next generation of producers pushing boundaries and changing perceptions  of the region. From organic and biodynamic farming methods to whole bunch fermentation in amphora to extended skin contact to experimenting with alternative varieties the next generation of Margaret River producers are finding a new audience for the region around the world.

Read more about Margaret River.

4,875ha
Total vineyard area
40-90m
Altitude
33° 57'S - 38° 29'S
Latitude
275mm
Growing season rainfall
20.4°c
Mean temperature (Jan)
1690
Heat degree days
White
50%
Red
50%
Type

Cabernet Sauvignon

This is the hero variety for many in Margaret River. Often blended with Merlot, the wines are medium to full-bodied with earthy, gravelly characters and ripe cassis and violet aromas.

Chardonnay

The Mendoza or Gin Gin clone of Chardonnay rules the roost in the region, producing wines that combine intense and complex flavours with a wonderful backbone of lime-like acidity.

Semillon and Sauvignon Blanc

Lives in the shadow of the more celebrated Cabernet and Chardonnay but these crisp, lively and juicy blends deserve more time in the spotlight. Winemakers get the chance to shine with these blends with varying proportions, oak treatment and ripeness levels all playing a part in a diverse range of styles made in Margaret River.

Top varieties grown in Margaret River
Climate
  • Overall Margaret River climate is similar to Bordeaux in a dry year
  • Has the most marked maritime climate of any region in Australia in terms of rainfall
  • Low diurnal temperature range leads to very even heat accumulation
Soil
  • The ridge from Cape Naturaliste to Cape Leeuwin is predominantly gravelly loam on granite and gneiss
  • Overall water holding capacity is low