Western Australia

About

Western Australian Wine Regions


Isolated and breathtakingly beautiful, it is no surprise that Western Australia’s wine regions yield such captivating wines. From world-famous Margaret River, with its coveted cabernet sauvignon and chardonnay, and flagship blends of sauvignon blanc and semillon, to the Great Southern, which has fast gained serious clout for its pristine wines, there are so many regions and styles to explore.

While the Swan Valley is one of Australia’s oldest wine regions, the state’s other regions have achieved a great deal in a relatively short time – at least when compared with other regions. In 2017, Margaret River celebrated 50 years since its first vine plantings, yet it’s one of our most recognised and decorated regions. It also has about 150 wineries, all focusing on what the region does best.

Great Southern is even younger, but with a wealth of wines carrying the indelible stamp of the vast region, across everything from pinot noir and chardonnay to shiraz and more. Then there are other areas like Pemberton and Geographe, where producers are also continuing to fine-tune their regional offering.


Discover Western Australia's wine regions with James Halliday's Wine Atlas of Australia


Two things are immediately obvious from a glance at the state map: first, the sheer immensity of Western Australia (it is a four hours’ plus drive from Perth to Mount Barker, closer to five hours to Albany); second, how the need to cover the state – all states – with wine zones comes up with the result that all the regions so far registered are situated in two of the five zones, and that only nine out of 316 wineries are situated in the remaining three zones.

The Eastern Plains, Inland and North of Western Australia Zone is a massive blank page, roughly comparable to the land mass of New South Wales, Victoria and South Australia combined. Only two wineries have ventured into this vast area, adjacent to Lake Grace. The Central Western Australia Zone stretches over 600 kilometres in a north–south irregular sausage, with Perth (away to the west) slightly closer to the northern than the southern end. Much is wheatbelt country, and the existence of the handful of vineyards show that viticulture is feasible in a strongly continental climate, with hot days and cold nights. The wines do not make their way out of the nearby towns.

The West Australian South East Coastal Zone stretches along the southern coast of the state from west of Bremer Bay to well east of Esperance. It has one winery: Dalyup River at Esperance.

This leaves the Greater Perth Zone and South West Australia Zone with all the action: nine regions and five subregions.

Facts

Regions 20
Wineries 477
Tasting Notes 19674