Geographe’s Whicher Ridge Wine Sensory Garden is laid out in a formal kitchen potager garden style with sections around the garden devoted to a specific varietal wine made in the winery.
The wine sensory garden is 42 metres x 25 metres, bordered by olive hedges on two sides (east and north) and a lilly-pilly hedge on the southern boundary. The hedges were planted in December 2013, and the garden beds were planted in September 2014. The garden is themed with a mix of fruit trees, vegetables, herbs, flowers and coloured foliage plants.
Whicher Ridge’s Wine Sensory Garden is the only one of its kind in Australia, apart from a small one at the Waite Institute in Adelaide. They have created a real point of difference in the type of experience they were offering to their visitors to the winery, vineyard and cellar door. Inspiration for the garden has come from the wine sensory garden at Kendall Jackson Wines in the Napa Valley; a definite bucket list destination!
For each wine, there is a descriptor garden bed planted out with a selection of fruit trees, herbs and vegetables used to describe the aromas and flavours found in that particular varietal wine.
The adjacent central affinity bed is planted out with fruit bearing plants, herbs and vegetables which have flavours and textures that match or have an affinity for that same wine.
VISITING THE WINE SENSORY GARDEN
The visitor walks out from the cellar door into the wine sensory garden, entering into the first part of the garden where each section represents a white wine varietal, then finishing their garden walk through the red wine varietal section.
Descriptor beds are planted along the sides of the hedged garden, and affinities in the central beds. The descriptor beds give visitors examples of different plants used to describe the different aromas and flavours in each wine varietal. The affinity beds give visitors ideas of what to cook for dinner that night which will best match their chosen wine.
The plants themselves can also be an inspiration as to what to plant in your own herb or vegetable garden which best matches with your favourite wine style or styles.
Wine Descriptors: orange blossom, pink grapefruit, melon, lime, pear, lavender
Affinities: Caraway, fennel, persimmons, lime, snow peas, carrots, rhubarb
Wine Descriptors: Melon, fig, pear, lemon, lemongrass, gooseberries, dill, olive
Affinities: Rosemary, radishes, lemon grass, jerusalem artichoke, lemon thyme
Wine Descriptors: Apple, lemon, peach, pear, melon, quince, vanilla grass, grapefruit,
Affinities: Pumpkin, squash, thyme, mustard, tarragon, sweet corn, artichoke
Wine Descriptors: Honeysuckle, apricot, yellow nectarine, peach, lychee
Affinities: Fig, Jerusalem artichoke, carrots, pumpkin, marjoram, ginger, chillies
Wine Descriptors: Peppercorn, anise, cherry, pomegranate, blackberry, plum, blueberry,
Affinities: Tomato, squash, cumin, sage, green beans, cloves, saffron, green olives, fennel
Wine Descriptors: Oregano, blueberry, black cherry, black currant, mint, olives, bay leaf
Affinities: Eggplant, green beans, beetroot, radicchio, carrots, black olives, sage, rosemary
Wine Descriptors: Peppercorn, blackberry, plum, blackberry, anise
Affinities: Tomato, sage, cloves, saffron, black olives, fennel, pepper, savoury, basil