Bunbury Geographe is blessed with not one, but two wine regions. The Geographe Wine Region spans the majority of BunGeo, with the Blackwood Valley Wine Region located on the outskirts of Balingup and Boyup Brook.
We don’t have big businesses dominating our wine industry, just passionate winemakers creating the awesome small-batch wines. Arguably, the most impressive wineries in the region are Willow Bridge Estate and Capel Vale. But don’t discount the small guys. Boutique producer Talisman is taking the award-scene by storm, and many others are hot on their heels. A Must-Do is the Geographe Alternative Wine Trail. From Arneis to Barbera, Fiano to Tempranillo, the Trail will introduce you to some cutting-edge wines.
The wine regions are perfect road trip destinations – connected by a maze of valleys and small, winding roads (some dirt) and stunning outlooks. The rustic feel of the backcountry adds to the charm, giving the impression you’ve stumbled upon a well-kept secret.
Some of WA’s best boutique wineries are just outside Bunbury in the Geographe Wine Region. Visit their cellar doors (check opening times), sample the food and stay a night or two.
GEOGRAPHE WINE REGION
Geographe is one of Western Australia’s most captivating and diverse wine regions and with its proximity to Perth, ideal for short getaways. It has more than 30 small, family-run wineries making high quality, exciting small batch wines.
The region is cooled by the afternoon sea breeze creating a long and stable growing season. Alongside the more well-known varieties there are plantings of many minor varieties such as Arneis, Bastardo, Cinsaut, Dolcetto, Barbera, Fiano, Graciano, Háslevelü, Muscadelle, Muscat Hamburg, Saperavi, Souzao, Tinta Cao, Touriga Nacional, Verdejo, Vermentino, Zinfandel and probably we are yet to discover.
The strongly maritime coastal strip, to the rolling hills and river valleys of the Darling Range, gives rise to a number of microclimates making the region perfectly suited to many different grape varieties.
It sits between Margaret River in the south, Peel to the north and the Blackwood Valley to the east. To the west is the Indian Ocean and the stunning Geographe Bay. There are no official sub-regions. However, there are four distinct wine-producing districts. Harvey, the Ferguson Valley, Donnybrook and Capel/Busselton.
One of the most popular areas in the Geographe is the Ferguson Valley. Good Food, Good Wine, Beautiful Scenery is the motto of Ferguson Valley. The wineries and localities are nearby, creating a fun and a fabulous wine touring experience. Indulging in wine and local food go hand-in-hand, and many vineyards include dining experiences right in the vines with a spectacular view across the Darling Scarp.
Join the clued-up crowd that are thirsty for new experiences and honing their alternative wine palates. From Arneis to Barbera, Fiano to Tempranillo, the Geographe Alternative Wine Trail will introduce you to some cutting-edge wines.
BLACKWOOD VALLEY WINE REGION
The picturesque Blackwood Valley Wine Region is nestled in the heart of the South West of Western Australia. Undoubtedly the most scenic wine region in the state of Western Australia, the Blackwood Valley is home to 19 wine producers and 50 vineyards.
The first wine grapevines were planted by the Fairbrass family in 1976 at what is now called Blackwood Crest, inspired in part by the table grapes grown by Max Fairbrass’s grandfather on the same property in the northeastern corner of the region.
With plantings more than 450 hectares of premium varieties the most prominent grape varieties of the region include Cabernet Sauvignon, Shiraz, Merlot, Chardonnay, Sauvignon Blanc and Semillon. There are smaller plantings of Riesling, Viognier and Pinot Noir.
The region is situated on the same latitude as Margaret River and shares many of the same basic climatic characteristics. Most notable of these are wet and relatively cool winters and proportionately warm, dry summers. The unique flavours of the area are characterised by earthy undertones in the Cabernet and Shiraz and golden honey flavours in white wine varieties.
Editor Note: There are no cellar doors presently open in the Balingup and Boyup Brook sub-regions. However, visits may be arranged by appointment.