Our Karridale Vineyard, 45km south of Margaret River township, is very close to Flinders Bay. Its climate is distinctly cooler than in the north of the region. Scientific data has found that Karridale is the coolest grape growing region in Western Australia.
Influenced by both Southern and Indian Oceans, the 50 hectare (120 acres) vineyard was planted between 1995 and 1998 on a former dairy farm of 80 hectares (200 acres). Varieties planted are Sauvignon Blanc, Semillon, Chardonnay, Shiraz, Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot and Malbec.
Vineyard practices, trellising methods and control of yields, are determined by only one criterion ‚ optimum quality.
Pests (slugs, snails, beetles etc) are controlled without the use of chemicals, by chooks (chickens) and ducks. In fact we elect to use the absolute minimum of fertilizers and chemicals.
The surrounding Marri trees (WA Red gum) conveniently flower as vintage approaches. The silvereye birds which can cause so much damage to ripening grapes are attracted to the Marri blossom. If the Marri blossom is poor, the silvereyes will attack the grapes. So we put nets over whole rows of ripening grapes.
The fruit is harvested when taste and laboratory analysis indicates optimum ripeness. Whites are harvested at night, so as to reach the winery cool, and need less refrigeration prior to cold fermentation. Reds can come off during the day, as they are fermented at room temperature.
The quality of our fruit has exceeded our best expectations.