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Margaret River celebrates 50 years of wine

Hay Shed Hill winery, WilyabrupHay Shed Hill winery, Wilyabrup

This year we celebrate Western Australia’s wine region Margaret River on its 50th year of producing wine.

The proximity of ocean to vine gives the Margaret River a maritime climate providing cool nights which is perfect for a wine region.

The beautiful Margaret River region, located by a pristine coastline, deserted beaches and 75 surf breaks, is home to some of Australia’s finest wines.  The proximity of ocean to vine gives the region a maritime climate providing cool nights which is perfect for a wine region.

It all started half a century ago when government viticulturist Bill Jamieson investigated if the Margaret River region would be suitable for growing grapes.  Californian viticulturist Professor Harold Olmow, who was invited to visit the region, identified the cool southern areas of Western Australia as an ideal place to produce premium wines.

10 years later, in 1964, a five acre vineyard comprised of half Riesling and half Cabernet was planted by the Department of Agriculture. This was the start of a Great Southern grape rush by pioneers, which developed into a flourishing grape growing industry full of improvisation and experimentation.

The 1970’s delivered the first vintage wines which had great success in national wine awards. This success encouraged more vineyards to be planted and resulted in more wines receiving critical acclaim.

Today, 50 years later, the Margaret River region has cemented its reputation as a wine region known for its superb Chardonnays, Rieslings, Semillon and Sauvignon Blanc, Shiraz, Cabernet Sauvignon and Pinot Noir wines.

Australian wines are ones to watch as the young industry takes on the world. In 2015-16 Australia produced some 728 million litres of wine valued at $5.1 billion according to a report by Wine Australia. 61 per cent of the volume produced was exported and the sales are forecasted to grow over the next years, in particular in export markets.

Australia’s top five export markets by value were the United States, China, the United Kingdom, Canada and Hong Kong.

To read the Production, Sales and Inventory Report 2016 click here.

More information
Do you want to know more about the Margaret River region or have any trade enquiries concerning Western Australia’s wine industry? Please contact Sally Jansen on sally@wago.co.uk

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