A Guide to Western Australia

May 22, 2019
A Guide to Western Australia

Western Australia wine region dates back to 1829 when the Swan Valley was established. The most picturesque wine regions in Australia can be found predominantly in the south-west corner of Western Australia. The wine production that comes out of Western Australia might be a very small percentage, however the quality is outstanding.

These regions have cooler conditions than the rest of the state with the climate of the south-western WA coastline being relatively cool, tempered by the proximity of the Indian Ocean to the west and the Southern Ocean (Antarctic Ocean) to the south and east. The climate around the state's south-western cape is comparable to that of Bordeaux in France, with the most-successful grape varieties grown here to reflect this. This being the reason that many winemakers from this area aim for a more European wine style than their counterparts further north, or even those from New South Wales and South Australia.

The regions and grape varieties:

The 9 regions include Margaret River, Blackwood Valley, Geographe, Great Southern, Peel, Perth Hills, Pemberton, Manjimup and Swan District and are home to more than 300 wineries.

Margaret River -

There are approximately 187 wineries in this region which specialise in Chardonnay, Sauvignon Blanc, Sémillion, Cabernet Sauvignon and Shiraz. Margaret River, in particular, is acclaimed for its more-balanced, elegant wines, which contrast with the robust, fruit-driven wines of the regions further east. The position of this region has a heavily maritime-influenced climate, without which its trademark wine styles would certainly be less restrained and complex.


Image taken from Wine Australia

View all Margaret River wines here

Blackwood Valley –

There are approximately 50 wineries in this region specialising in Cabernet Sauvignon, Shiraz, Merlot, Chardonnay, Sauvignon Blanc and Sémillion. This region is recognised for its high-quality fruit and premium wines. The climate in this region is Mediterranean in type, with warm, dry summers and wet winters. As expected in a riverine area of varied altitude, the soils are different from place to place.


Image taken from Western Australia

Geographe –

There are approximately 30 wineries in this region specialising in Sémillion, Sauvignon Blanc and Shiraz. Considered to be one of the most captivating and diverse of the 9 regions. A lack of exposure to the cool waters of the Southern (Antarctic) Ocean means that this region has a slightly hotter climate than its famous neighbour (Margaret River), leading to typically more powerful, fruit-driven wine styles.


Image taken from Wine Australia

Great Southern –

There are approximately 48 wineries in this region specialising in Chardonnay, Sauvignon Blanc, Riesling, Shiraz, Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot and Pinot Noir. The Great Southern wine region is vast and diverse and provides an ideal environment for creating distinctive regional wines.


Image taken from Scoop

View all Great Southern wines here

View all Frankland River wines here

Peel –

There are approximately 10 wineries in this region specialising in Shiraz, Chardonnay, Sémillion, Chenin Blanc, Cabernet Sauvignon and Zinfandel. The climate in this region can be compared to the Mediterranean, with cool winters moistened with regular rainfall and hot, dry summers. The sea breezes which blow in from the Indian Ocean coast take a certain amount of heat out of the hot summer afternoons, without depriving the vines of the abundant sunshine which helps them reach full ripeness. Such a great diversity of wines come out of Peel.


Image taken from Scoop

Perth Hills –

There are approximately 20 wineries in this region specialising in Shiraz, Viognier, Tempranillo, Mourvèdre, Zinfandel and Durif. Perth Hills offers such a remarkably diverse array of grape growing opportunities with the climate in this region varying noticeably depending on altitude and a vineyard's position relative to the hills themselves.


Image taken from Wine Australia

Pemberton –

There are approximately 16 wineries in this region specialising in Pinot Noir, Chardonnay, Merlot, Sémillion, Sauvignon Blanc, Shiraz and Cabernet Sauvignon. This region is a a cool and wet and the landscape is dominated by tall eucalyptus forests. The terroir has been compared to Burgundy in France which allows for successful Pinot Noir production.


Image taken from Riversdale Club

Manjimup –

There are approximately 6 wineries in this region specialising in Pinot Noir, Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Chardonnay, Sauvignon Blanc and Verdelho. A beautiful rolling farmland and soaring karri forests, this region has a cool climate and produces excellent quality wines.


Image taken from Scoop

Swan Districts –

There are approximately 30 wineries in this region specialising in Verdelho, Shiraz, Grenache, Pedro Ximenes, Muscat, Chenin Blanc and Cabernet Sauvignon. One of Australia’s oldest wine growing regions that has a hot dry summer making it one of the warmest grape growing regions. The wines produced here are said to be distinctive, flavoursome and superbly drinkable.


Image taken from Scoop

View all Swan Districts wine here

Secluded and breathtakingly beautiful, it is no surprise that Western Australia’s wine regions produce such captivating wines, there are so many regions and styles to explore.

View all Western Australian wines here


Image taken from Winecraft

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