When Brian Ede and partner Anne Walsh left Alice Springs in 1996 to move to Pemberton, they made (in their words) the ultimate tree change. As well as establishing sauvignon blanc (3.4ha), merlot (2ha), semillon (1.2ha), pinot noir (0.8ha) and a smattering of chardonnay, they have 600 olive trees. A substantial portion of the estate-produced grapes are sold, only part vinified for the Hillbrook label.
Brian Ede spent thirty years working in Papua New Guinea and the Northern Territory before, with wife Anne and the two youngest children they bought an old 'Groupie' block in the coolest part of the Pemberton Wine Region. Set among the Karri giants of Australia's South West the beautiful block required years of moving 'rocks and roots' before the first vines were planted in the late 1990s.
Vines have to struggle in the infertile acidic soils but by 2009 the Wines were getting noticed and show success has followed. Sauvignon Blanc and Merlot were the first releases with Chardonnay and Semillon/Sauvignon Blanc to come this year and Pinot Noir to come later.
They now have a Cellar Door open weekends and Public Holidays. A limited number of Perth and all local stores in the region stock the wine but most sales are by the case, mixed or otherwise, purchased through the Vineyard website www.hillbrookwines.com.au
Rob Diletti (Castle Rock Estate)
Fri-Sun & public hols 12-5
Cnr Hillbrook Road/Wheatley Coast Road, Quinninup, WA 6258
(08) 9776 7202