Pemberton’s star continues to rise as winemakers draw on site variation to craft exceptional wine against a cool, coastal backdrop.
From the ocean to the land, the soils to the wine styles, there is great diversity across the region. It has a cooler climate than Margaret River and, as a result, the key grape varieties tend to be sauvignon blanc, chardonnay and riesling. But a range of other styles are also showing great promise, particularly sparkling, which is derived from relatively new pinot noir plantings. Winemakers are adapting their styles as they learn more about their sites and the climate.
Pemberton’s towering karri tree forests are another drawcard to the region, as well as an abundance of lush national parks. Originally created as fire lookouts in the 1930s, visitors can climb the karri tree towers via the metal pegs for incredible views. Discover the gems of the region, from award-winning wines and nature trails to camping sites. The bushland overlooking the national park and Warren River offer the perfect spot for a leisurely afternoon. Pack a blanket, hamper and sip on a glass of your new favourite wine. Those travelling from Perth can expect to arrive in this vivid green landscape within a four-hour drive.
James Halliday on Pemberton
The history of viticulture at Pemberton is recent, the first vines being planted by the Western Australia Department of Agriculture in 1977 on an experimental block midway between the towns of Pemberton and Manjimup. Given the prolonged stand-off on regional boundaries and names between the two, the choice of site was ironically felicitous.
The region has a slightly cooler and wetter climate than Manjimup, although site climates can always move outside the norm. It has a far larger aggregation of wineries than Manjimup, and has achieved more in winemaking terms. It shares with Manjimup an at times disconcerting lushness and richness to its forests, fields and waterways, particularly in red soil country. Indeed, it is so heavily forested that only 15 per cent of the region is available for, and suited to, viticulture or horticulture.
With both the Warren and Donnelly rivers flowing through the region, the valleys and slopes, plus the lakes and streams, and the often vivid red soils all make this a region of great beauty.
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Early March to mid-April