Great Southern

Wineries

An immense wine region in the shape of a large rectangle, the Great Southern spans 150km north to south, and 100km east to west.

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The region offers a massive variety of top-quality wine, specifically riesling, cabernet (and blends) and chardonnay. With five wine-producing subregions, the Great Southern embraces climates from strongly maritime influenced to moderately continental, and an ever-changing topography.

There are the immense eucalypts of the south coast near the pretty towns of Denmark and Albany; the striking round boulders and sweeping vistas of Porongurup; the harder blackboy country of Alkoomi (near Frankland River), and the softer rolling hills of Mt Barker. The region’s wine-making appeal was discovered by distinguished Californian viticulturist Professor Harold Olmo, who was retained by the WA government in 1955 to report on the status of the WA wine industry.

The first vines in the Great Southern were planted in 1859 in Mt Barker, the first wine subregion declared in Australia. Though largely open grazing country, there is a feeling of ‘oneness’ here, similar to a micro-terroir of France (1/100th of the size of Mt Barker).

Two hectares of cabernet sauvignon were planted at the Boyanup Vineyard in the neighbouring Porongurups in 1974, while the first vineyard in the Frankland River region was planted in 1968. Originally owned by the wealthy Roche family of Perth, it is an important vineyard now owned by Houghton and known as Netley Brook Vineyard, producing ultra-premium grapes. In 1971, Merv and Judy Lange began the highly rated Alkoomi vineyard and winery.

Great Southern Riesling

While, historically, Clare Valley in South Australia has always been regarded as the Australian region for riesling, the Great Southern – headed by the subregions of Porongurup and Mt Barker – is challenging it, with six of the best 17 rieslings compared to three from Clare Valley. With more top-end riesling than Clare and even Eden Valley, the Great Southern is the major player in Australia for this increasingly popular variety.

FAST FACTS

WineriesLatitudeAltitudeSeason RainfallHarvest
6834°08’S50-300m313mmEarly Mar to early May

Great Southern Wine Region

An immense wine region in the shape of a large rectangle, the Great Southern spans 150km north to south, and 100km east to west. It offers a massive variety of top-quality wine, specifically riesling, cabernet (and blends) and chardonnay.

With five wine-producing subregions, the Great Southern embraces climates from strongly maritime influenced to moderately continental, and an ever-changing topography. There are the immense eucalypts of the south coast near the pretty towns of Denmark and Albany; the striking round boulders and sweeping vistas of Porongurup; the harder blackboy country of Alkoomi (near Frankland River), and the softer rolling hills of Mt Barker. The region’s wine-making appeal was discovered by distinguished Californian viticulturist Professor Harold Olmo, who was retained by the WA government in 1955 to report on the status of the WA wine industry.

The first vines in the Great Southern were planted in 1859 in Mt Barker, the first wine subregion declared in Australia. Though largely open grazing country, there is a feeling of ‘oneness’ here, similar to a micro-terroir of France (1/100th of the size of Mt Barker).

Two hectares of cabernet sauvignon were planted at the Boyanup Vineyard in the neighbouring Porongurups in 1974, while the first vineyard in the Frankland River region was planted in 1968. Originally owned by the wealthy Roche family of Perth, it is an important vineyard now owned by Houghton and known as Netley Brook Vineyard, producing ultra-premium grapes. In 1971, Merv and Judy Lange began the highly rated Alkoomi vineyard and winery.

Great Southern Riesling

While, historically, Clare Valley in South Australia has always been regarded as the Australian region for riesling, the Great Southern – headed by the subregions of Porongurup and Mt Barker – is challenging it, with six of the best 17 rieslings compared to three from Clare Valley. With more top-end riesling than Clare and even Eden Valley, the Great Southern is the major player in Australia for this increasingly popular variety.

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