Western Australia wines may only contribute 5% towards the country’s entire production, but the vintages from here are among the finest in the country and frequently lauded on the international stage.
Western Australian wine making is concentrated in the south-western corner of Australia’s largest state, with world class red wines produced from Cabernet Sauvignon and blends cementing the prestige of the region’s wine estates – while white styles from Chardonnay and blends of Semillon and Sauvignon Blanc are also renowned.
The first vineyards were established in the Swan Valley district in 1829 in what is regarded as the one of the hottest viticulture regions in the world, which is perhaps why wine makers have been steadily deserting the area for the cooler climes further south.The two most recognised and revered Western Australian wine regions further south are undoubtedly Margaret River and the Great Southern – where the influence of cool breezes brought by Antarctic currents across two oceans create a more temperate climate.
While Western Australia wines from Swan Valley are typically fruit laden and high in alcohol content, those produced in Margaret River tend to be more elegant and refined – including some medium bodied Cabernet Sauvignon red wines and powerful Chardonnay whites.The sheer scale of the Great Southern region means that wines from here are more diverse, with fresh, crisp Riesling and savoury Shiraz (known elsewhere as Syrah) and Cabernet Sauvignon among the most respected grape varieties.
At Wine Paths, our local expert can organise exclusive tours across the Western Australian wine region, which can include elaborate tastings, luxury accommodation, fine dining experiences and some unique activitiesAll of our private tours can be tailor made to meet your exact needs, ensuring that every detail is taken care of so that you can relax and enjoy the matter at hand – sampling premium Western Australia wines Down Under.
The wines of Western Australia are dominated by six main grape varieties, with Margaret River generally associated with red wines and Chardonnay while Great Southern is famed for its Riesling and a few sparkling wines.To help you decide which Western Australia wine region accommodates your tastes, we have compiled an overview of the main wine styles and where to find the finest examples of them:
Cabernet Sauvignon is typically used in Bordeaux style blends, with Margaret River winning international acclaim for its red wines that are characterised by sweet, dark berry flavours with medium weight and firm tannins. These wines tend to age excellently.Margaret River is famous for producing Western Australia wines – which also include Merlot, Shiraz, Chardonnay and blends using Semillon and Sauvignon Blanc – that are more ‘European’ in style compared to some of the country’s other wine regions.
The Chardonnay from Margaret River is also highly regarded, showing a powerful depth of flavour with a refreshing acidic profile that means they can be aged for decades – with oak barrels often used during maturation to evolve the wine’s complexity.The so-called ‘SSB’ blends that use Semillon and Sauvignon Blanc are also popular in Margaret River – with classic dry whites usually bottleed young to retain their succulent and grassy freshness, while oak ageing the wines, on lees, can create some highly complex styles with more savoury flavours.
The wines of Western Australia that hail from the Great Southern region are prevailed by Riesling, which is typically more intense and leaner than in other parts of the country and can be aged gracefully – sometimes for over 20 years.Australia’s signature Shiraz grape from the Western Australian wine region is bold in flavour and soft in texture with many wineries moving from full bodied to more medium weighted styles. The sub-region of Geographe is arguably the best place to sample Shiraz from this part of the country.
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