Located 250km south of Western Australia’s capital Perth, the Margaret River region stretches some 100km from north to south and about 27km wide in parts. As a region, Margaret River truly punches above its weight: its wineries now produce more than 20% of Australia’s premium wines from less than 3% of total wine production. The moderating influences of the nearby oceans and the marked Mediterranean climate in terms of rainfall ensure slow, even ripening for beautifully balanced fruit. Consequently, since the first significant planting of vines in 1967,annual vintage results continue to exceed expectations and reinforce its reputation of one of the premium wine producing regions of the world.
The region comprises the rolling hills of the Leeuwin-Naturaliste Ridge, between Cape Naturaliste and Cape Leeuwin. To the west, the Indian Ocean provides a dramatic boundary of cliffs, world-renowned surf and some of Australia’s most pristine beaches.
With a mean annual temperature range of only 7.6°C (45.68°F), it also has a typically Mediterranean climate in terms of rainfall, with less than 25% of its annual rain falling between October and April. The low diurnal and seasonal temperature range means an unusually even accumulation of warmth.
The varied landscape is given character by the abundance of small creeks and gentle valleys, as well as the profusion of native trees, shrubs and flowers. In physical terms, a degree of protection from winds blowing in from the ocean is the most important factor.
A producer of powerful yet elegant Cabernet Sauvignon, the region also has a great reputation for its white wines, notably Chardonnay and Semillon Sauvignon Blanc blends.
Acknowledgement: Wine Australia and Wine Industry Association of WA