About The Great Southern

The Great Southern is an immense wine region spanning 150km north to south, and 100km east to west. More than 40 cellar doors are dotted throughout Albany, Denmark, Frankland River, Mt Barker and Porongorup. Climates range from strongly maritime influenced to moderately continental, and this, combined with an ever-changing topography, aids in the production of a wide variety of high quality grapes. The region however is especially renowned for riesling and shiraz. MORE

LOCATION
Altitude 0-1083m
34° 58 S

RAINFALL
Average 251mm
(Oct – Apr)

TEMPERATURE
Average 20.0°
(Oct – Apr)

HARVEST
Early Mar –
Late Apr

SOIL TYPE
Moderately fertile brown to grey-brown sandy loams

Great Southern Wine Guide

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Get in touch

For general enquiries, please contact [email protected]

For further tourism information, please contact the following regional wine associations:

 

The Great Southern, Australia's largest wine region, lies along the Southern Ocean on Western Australia’s south coast.

The pristine ocean and rugged coastline is only part of a spectacular natural environment that includes the ancient Stirling and Porongurup Ranges. The landscape features dramatic forested cliffs pounded by the wild Southern Ocean intermingled with cosy coves and calm bays. Coastal and country towns are steeped in the history of early European settlement. Rolling pastoral landscapes and majestic mountain ranges are home to a rich variety of flora and fauna - and fine wines are carefully crafted in the region’s vineyards.

Great Southern wines are produced in five subregions characterised by unique geomorphic and climatic conditions. These subregions are Albany, Denmark, Frankland River, Mount Barker and Porongurup, all producing distinctive fine wines that benefit from cool climate viticulture in a clean and green environment.

Riesling and cool climate shiraz are standout varieties across the entire region, although the classic varieties of chardonnay, pinot noir and cabernet also do well.

The Great Southern wine story began in 1956 when University of California Viticulture Professor Harold Olmo reported that the Mount Barker and Frankland River areas showed great promise for making table wines in the light traditional European style.

In 1965 the Western Australian State Viticulturist established a trial vineyard at Forest Hill near Mount Barker, two years before the first Margaret River plantings. The first wines from those plantings - a Riesling and a Cabernet Sauvignon - were made in 1972. Recognition soon followed: a 1975 Riesling was a multiple trophy winner in wine shows around Australia.

Wine grape production is still today based on a number of small family run businesses, with winemaking in the hands of talented winemakers operating approximately fifteen wineries in the region. This production regime provides region-wide quality assurance, continuous improvement and stylistic quality across the classic varietals whilst also providing room for contemporary explorations and garagista production. Wine grapes from the region, especially from Frankland River and Mount Barker, are also in demand from other Western Australian winemakers seeking pristine, cool climate fruit.