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.
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