OK, it’s not really. But bear with me.
Last night, I met a woman who told me her bucket list consisted of visiting every winery in Australia. She immediately became my new best friend as she regaled me with an account of her last long weekend when she and her mates hit the Hunter Valley on a mission to take her closer to her end goal.
“There’s only one problem,” she said. “I’ve been going to wineries for years and after a while, it’s not easy to find ones I haven’t been to before.”
It was an instant reminder to me of our main purpose here at CELLARDOORS.CO. In addition to connecting wine and travel lovers with the shining stars of the wine industries, we are here to make it easier for you to discover little known wine destinations and their diverse, unique and sometimes undiscovered flavours and fare.
Back to Bastardo
Bastardo is a variety of Port – Portugal’s famed fortified wine from grapes sourced from the steep terraced vineyards of the Duoro Valley.
You may already be aware of that, but did you know there is a relatively new wine region in Western Australia by the name of Geographe that is churning out ideal conditions for the production of Bastardo?
Geographe boutique winemaker, David Mazza tells our Geographe-born CEO, Judith that it’s been the wettest, coldest summer in the South West of WA that anyone can remember. Usually by this time of year the vines are the only swathe of colour in a dry, dusty valley. But this year, after heavy rainfall in February the paddocks are green again. The kangaroos and cows are loving it and so are the grapes.
“We have been left with fantastic looking fruit and some of the best yields we’ve seen for a few years. Harvest is about three weeks later than usual with Bastardo first off the ranks as always,” he says.
David’s company, Mazza Wines specialises in growing Spanish and Portuguese grape varieties. Tempranillo, Touriga, Bastardo, Tinta Cão, Graciano, Sousão. Their plantings have been inspired by the fantastic wines of Spain’s Rioja and the Douro Valley and Mazza is producing an Australian translation of these Old-World heritage varieties.
Many people have never tried any of these varietals before and are unsure where to start.
“We believe we are still the only Australian vineyard to present this collection of varieties on a single site and look forward to planting other interesting grapes in the not too distant future. Are there other wine companies out there doing the same?”
Check out Geographe
For those of you curious and keen to explore this widely unchartered territory, Geographe faces Geographe Bay in the Indian Ocean. It is located south of Perth along the coastal strip from Harvey and Preston Beach in the north to Busselton in the south and inland to the Darling Range. Margaret River sits to its south west.
Previously known for dairy farming and orange orchards, the area is now best known for a diverse range of wine varieties: sauvignon blanc, semillon, chardonnay, chenin blanc, verdelho, viognier, muscat, merlot, shiraz and cabernet sauvignon. The majority of Geographe wine companies are boutique and are striving for recognition given that their neighbour Margaret River has established itself as the crowning glory of WA wine.
If you make it to Geographe and/or taste the wines of the area, we would love you to contact us and tell you what you think.