The West Australian Play Magazine featured our Taste of the Vineyard experience in Rob Broadfield's popular Broadbrush column on Saturday 27th March. Read all about it here...
"Driving around the impeccable grounds of Fraser Gallop wines in the Margaret River in a golf cart is part of the experience of the celebrated winery's new wine tour events. We took a couple of hours off last week to take the tour which includes stops at various points on the grounds, and among the vines for guided tastings and discussions about Fraser Gallop Estate wines. It's a bucolic meander through the tastes and history of the vineyard and a lovely, leisurely way to spend a couple of hours, capped off with a charcuterie plate and more tastings at the end of the tour. It's a quintessential Margaret River experience. For the full story and pics, check out @broadbrush on Instagram. "
Don't forget to book in for your experience when you're planning your next trip down south...
Our Taste of the Vineyard experiences are attracting lots of attention. This week Urban List Perth has named it one of their top things to do in the Margaret River region. Read all about it below:
It’s time to grab your deso driver, pack some fancy clothes and book a trip down south ASAP, because Fraser Gallop Estate—one of Margaret River’s most private and awarded properties—has just introduced their exclusive and intimate new A Taste of the Vineyard tours.
Hop aboard the solar-powered Fraser Gallop Estate buggy with six fellow vino lovers—or six of your pals if you’re visiting as a group—and prepare to be taken on an immersive tour of the perfectly manicured gardens and immaculate vineyards, which are situated upon the highest point in Wilyabrup.
Of course, while you’re checking out the stunning scenery, you’ll also be treated to plenty of tastings. Your guide will point out the powerful influence the Wilyabrup terroir has on each delicious drop before taking you behind the scenes where you might encounter winemaker Clive Otto and his team before learning about how they make their wine.
There are only three A Taste of the Vineyard tours available each week, with one per day from 10.20am to 12pm on Wednesdays, Fridays and Saturdays, and tickets are $95 each.
Keep the vino-loving adventures going at these top Margaret River wineries.
John Lethlean, The Weekend Australian Magazine
March 21, 2020
By 6.30am the nets are off, the buckets are out and the lingua franca of the vineyard is softly spoken French, filtering through the trellised rows of vines like dappled sunlight. With a smattering of English, Spanish, Italian and German.
All over the district, on hundreds of vineyards large and small, the picking teams – travellers, mostly, from the northern hemisphere or Latin America – are out among the rows. The viticulturists are on hand making sure the fruit they’ve worked hard all year to nurture is handled properly. The vineyard hands buzz around in little banana buggies distributing empty buckets, collecting filled ones. In some cases, even the managing directors are driving the tractors that ferry the picked fruit back to the winery.
In the winery, harvest is an exciting, more-balls-in-the-air-thanusual time of year for winemakers. On top of everything else they must get that fruit into tanks, or pressed, now. There’s very little romance about forklifting palettes of cabernet sauvignon into a destemming machine, which in turn pumps whole berries off to cooled tanks for the slow process of fermentation to begin. It’s hard, urgent work. And it’s all happening at my back door. Within 10 minutes’ drive from home are probably 10 wineries; within 20, about 100. It’s a significant part of the local economy but you can wake up in a wine-growing region and not be aware of it. The estate agent next door takes his kids to school; the builder three doors down has already left for a job. But just out of town, on hundreds of properties that employ thousands of people – from crews of pickers to managing directors, with viticulturists and winemakers somewhere in between – it is the most important time of year.
Vintage. Eight weeks of the year, give or take, when super-important decisions are made about when to pick the various plots of fruit and get them into the winery, the vineyards come alive. At Fraser Gallop Estate, where my wife works, you can see the classic Australian wine business at work. It’s difficult to think of any other Australian agricultural model where something is grown, processed and valueadded on site, marketed and distributed, all on the one property.
The typical Australian wine brand, built around an estate, represents a cluster of diverse talents within usually, a fairly small business by most standards.
Vintage is the business cycle’s apotheosis, the money shot. For a lot of poor souls along the eastern seaboard, the summer bushfire crisis has wrought varying degrees of havoc on their fruit and/or vines. Margaret River hasn’t had the same issues, although yields are down and the vintage itself earlier than many in the industry remember.
By 11am, the cabernet picking is over. It’s harder than it looks if you want to make a few bucks. In the
winery, that fresh-picked fruit is the first priority, but it doesn’t mean constant technical evaluation of
previous days’ work stops. Or the plunging, the pumping, the liaison with clients (if your winery contracts
to others); the cleaning up; the readying of everything for tomorrow’s 6am start when the Frenchies return. There’s a methodical sense of purpose to it all. And winemaker Clive Otto is smiling. “The yield is down,” he says “but the fruit is brilliant. It’s a great time of year.”