Australia - Western Australia/South West Australia Zone

4 important questions on Australia - Western Australia/South West Australia Zone

What is the climate of Western Australia

One of Australia's hottest regions. South western corner is cooler and moderated by the ocean and by altitude.

What are the moderating influences on the climate of Western Australia's best-known wine region Margaret River.

  • Located at the very south-western corner
  • surrounded by water on 3 sides:
  • Indian Ocean - north & west; warm ocean - night temperatures do not lower much
  • Southern Ocean - south
  • Latitude 34S, days still warm.
  • Maritime influences prevent for spring frost
  • High rainfall >1000mm
  • Ripe fruit character is typical for Margaret River wines

What grapes are grown in Margaret River? Describe the growing environment too.

  • 5000ha - 50/50 black/white
  • Cabernet Sauvignon most planted black.
  • Blended with Merlot
  • Sauvignon blanc & Semillon most planted whites (blended also)
    • grassy, herbaceous, gooseberry, tropical fruit, stainless steel
  • Bordeaux style wines, matured in French oak
  • Premium white Chardonnay:
    • high in acidity, stone fruit aromas
    • full body, MLF blocked, French oak (some new), lees contact.
  • Flat region with hills and valleys (40-90m)
  • Gravelly soils: free draining, irrigation essential

What are the main grapes of the Great Southern region? What is the flagship variety? And where are they planted?

  • 2000ha
  • 59% black varieties
  • Shiraz 30% of the total (Mount Barker and Frankland)
  • Cabernet Sauvignon (Mount Barker, Denmark): intens black fruit
  • Riesling is the flagship variety - in Porongurup
  • Also Chardonnay and Sauvignon blanc

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