New publication describes WA regions' uniqueness
A comprehensive guide to the wine growing regions of Western Australia has been released to coincide with World Soil Day on 5 December 2022.
The publication, compiled by the Department of Primary Industries and Regional Development (DPIRD), details what is special about the geology, soil and climate of the state’s nine wine regions in the south-west of WA.
Speaking at a joint SoilsWest and Soil Science Australia event to mark World Soil Day, DPIRD senior research scientist Angela Stuart-Street said it is time to showcase the environment that underlies WA’s reputation for producing some of Australia’s most distinguished wines.
“Through this work we have found that the wine regions of south-west WA are unique and special in many ways, with a combination of qualities contributing to the south-west’s reputation for producing the grapes that make fine wines,” Ms Stuart-Street said.
“Although we are still a long way from fully understanding the interactions between environmental conditions and wine production in WA, three features of the south-west stand out: the ubiquitous ironstone gravelly soils, the ancient granitic geology and the influences of afternoon sea breezes, such as the Fremantle and Albany doctors.”
Ms Stuart-Street said building a picture of what makes the environment of a wine region unique is an important narrative to accompany the wines produced in WA.
“This enables growers to tell the story of their wine and their label to form direct connections between the wine producer and consumer,” she said.
“The information in the new report will support that story and underpin it with the most currently available data. Many globally recognised wine producing regions have a great depth of understanding of their environments, and now the WA wine industry does.”
Wines of WA CEO Larry Jorgensen said the project stemmed from an incredible body of work undertaken by the department.
“The bulletin directly addresses a strategic priority that has been identified by all WA wine regions – what is it that makes our provenance unique and what is the value of this? The objective data and summary conclusions presented in the bulletin directly answer this question,” Mr Jorgensen said.
“Producers can use this practically in making decisions on what varieties to plant and how to manage their vineyard resource and to tell the story of their wine through the lens of unique provenance.”
The publication covers the wine regions of Margaret River, Great Southern, Swan District, Geographe, Pemberton, Blackwood Valley, Manjimup, Perth Hills and Peel.
The DPIRD Bulletin ‘Geology, soils and climate of Western Australia’s wine regions is available from https://library.dpird.wa.gov.au/bulletins/281/
Soil enthusiasts can also access the DPIRD publication ‘A simple guide for describing soils’ which provides a step-by-step guide of what soil properties to describe and how to describe them, along with the tools to make basic soil classifications.