Lesser-known regions: Geographe

By Halliday Promotion

16 Jun, 2020

Get off the beaten track to the Western Australian region of Geographe for stunning scenery and intimate wine experiences.

    Take a short drive from Perth to the wonderfully diverse and naturally beautiful Western Australian locality of Geographe. This wine region is flanked by the Darling and Whicher Ranges to the east, and the Geographe Bay to the west, with vineyards stretching from the coast to the hills inland. The melange of soils and microclimates in this region results in a variety of exciting wine styles, including classics such as shiraz, cabernet sauvignon, chardonnay and sauvignon blanc, and emerging Australian varieties like tempranillo, mataro, nebbiolo, arneis and viognier.

    Geographe primarily encompasses small, family-owned wineries, so expect a personal experience wherever you go. When you’re ready to take a break from wine tasting, enjoy the region’s scenic beaches, peaceful rivers, lush forests and reserves. Put the excellent wineries ahead on your itinerary for a taste of local produce alongside the stunning scenery of the southwest. 

    Explore the trail.

  • Barton Jones Wines

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    Owners: Preeti and Brad Coughlan
    Key varieties: Chenin blanc, semillon, cabernet sauvignon and shiraz

    Barton Jones Wines has some of the oldest vines in the Geographe region, planted in 1978. With a focus on sustainability, the winery’s architecturally designed straw-bale cellar door is powered by solar-passive principles and renewable energy. Stop by to sample some of the region’s flagship varieties, followed by lunch at the adjoining cafe. Alfresco seating allows you to take in views of the state forest, and the cellar door here also has local wares including paintings, pottery, gourmet gifts and produce to browse. 

    Flagship wine to try:
    2015 Barton Jones The Top Drawer Cabernet Sauvignon 

    A bouquet of herbs and briar fruits accompanies a smooth, elegant palate with generous, lifted berry flavours. A medium-bodied wine that shows excellent fruit expression due to careful use of oak – it pairs excellently with steak and blue cheese. 

    Find out more.

  • Whicher Ridge

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    Owners and vignerons: Cathy and Neil Howard
    Key varieties: Sauvignon blanc, shiraz, cabernet sauvignon, chardonnay and viognier

    Whicher Ridge is a short drive south of the seaside town of Busselton. It is a small, family-owned winery providing an authentic and very unique wine tasting experience. Stop by the cellar door to explore the Wine Sensory Garden, which is the only one of its kind in Australia. The Sensory Garden is laid out with distinctly themed garden beds for seven different wine varieties – some describe the varietal wine flavours and others provide inspiration for potential food pairings. Visitors can book in for different tasting options, including the ‘Pick and Sip’ tour and a seated tasting indoors. All experiences are with the winemaker and owner, Cathy.

    Flagship wine to try: 
    2015 Whicher Ridge Elevation Cabernet Sauvignon

    Handmade, basket pressed and matured in French oak barrels for 2 years. This wine has a complex mix of blueberry, dark plum, bay leaf and savoury black olive flavours, with gravelly textured tannins.

    Find out more.

  • Harvey River Estate

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    Winemaker: Stuart Pierce
    Key varieties: Shiraz, cabernet sauvignon and chardonnay

    Harvey River Estate is in the beautiful town of Harvey, located well under two hour’s drive from Perth. Harvey has a history of citrus growing and dairy farming and is home to the iconic Big Orange – climb up the 10-metre tower and inside the Orange for a beautiful view of the vineyards. Like much of the Geographe region, Harvey River Estate champions grape varieties like shiraz and cabernet sauvignon. Diverse soils, including stony outcrops, rich river loams and sands, provide unique flavours and characteristics between each site.

    Flagship wine to try: 
    2017 Harvey River Cabernet Sauvignon

    A ripe spectrum of red berries, fruit flavours and refined oak persists over great lengths. This cabernet sauvignon is best enjoyed with red meat or a beautiful bowl of pasta.

    Find out more.

    *This article was produced by Halliday Wine Companion in partnership with the featured wineries.

    Image credit: Tessa Eckersley