Margaret River is one of the unique wine regions in the world that can grow vines on their own root system. The absence of the vine pest phylloxera has meant most vineyards have been grown from cuttings taken from high quality existing vineyards. This has allowed for the selection and spread over time of very high-quality heritage clones of each variety. These unique heritage clones have played a large role in creating the world class vineyards seen in the region today and distinctive Margaret River style of Chardonnay and Cabernet Sauvignon.
Margaret River winemakers draw on the classic winemaking regions for technique and the local environment for inspiration. Wines tend toward the elegant and refined, a reflection of the moderate Mediterranean climate with cool maritime influence and complex ancient soils.
The consistency between vintages and the ability to perfectly ripen fruit in most years means Margaret River winemakers can be relatively low intervention in the winery and let the quality of the grapes shine.
While most wines see oak barrel fermentation and/or maturation winemakers practise restraint when new oak barrels are used, these are always used in combination with seasoned oak to give complexity and depth while preserving the varietal character.
Hand harvesting and careful selection for high quality by hand sorting of grapes when they arrive at the winery is common throughout. Natural fermentations using the indigenous vineyard yeast prevails and allows for distinctive expression of vineyard terroir.
Margaret River winemakers are close knit, with a plethora of tastings held throughout the year to share knowledge and experience. The two flagship varieties, Cabernet Sauvignon and Chardonnay, both have an annual tasting, hosted by Vasse Felix, where hundreds of single vineyard barrel samples from a single vintage are tasted and discussed.