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The discovery that the Frankland River region possessed an ideal climate to cultivate wine was first realised in 1956, by the renowned Californian viticulturist Dr Harold Olmo. Extraordinarily, Dr Olmo was in Western Australia to study the climatic limitations of the Swan Valley, when he noted that the climate in the Great Southern area of our state reflected that of Bordeaux in France, with cool summers that offer optimum ripening conditions for wine grapes. We believe our Olmo’s Reward is thus a fitting tribute; crafted from an elegant combination of cabernet franc, cabernet sauvignon, and petit verdot, this wine honours Olmo’s contribution to the region through flavours that echo vibrancy and complexity, with an eloquent finish.
Frankland River is the most isolated and cool-tempered wine region in Western Australia. For as long as it has remained, Frankland River has cut through the region’s ancient surface rocks to create gravel-loam soils of moderate fertility that are ideal for growing grapes. The river valley also has a crucial influence on the region’s climate. During winter and spring it sucks cold air down to the Southern Ocean (about 40km south of our vineyard), creating air-circulation between land and sea that minimises the danger of vine-damaging frosts. In the summertime it funnels cool and humid air north from the ocean, tempering the afternoon heat to provide a long, slow ripening period for grapes.
Our wonderful region remains almost completely free of pests and diseases. Its remote location, one that is far from an overcrowded population or industrial centres means that it is virtually pollution-free, and offers a pristine and organic grape-growing environment.
Like many other winemakers, we subscribe to the view that great wines are made in the vineyard, and not in the winery. In encompassing this belief we look to the soils in our vineyards to provide the foundation for healthy vines, intensely flavoured fruit, and wines that articulate the distinctive features of the environment in which they are grown.
Frankland Estate draws upon on two different sources of fruit for its wines. The fruit we use for our Isolation Ridge Vineyard range is cultivated in the evocative and appropriately named vineyard surrounding our winery. Sitting high on an ironstone ridge with ancient duplex soils of gravel and loam over a clay sub-soil, the first vines at Isolation Ridge were planted in 1988, from which the vineyard has since progressively expanded to its current 30-hectares. Our team at Frankland Estate, who both promote and endorse the use of organic, sustainable grape-growing principles, manages this vineyard.
For our single-vineyard Rieslings as well as our Rocky Gully range of wines, fruit is sourced from other growers within the Frankland River region, with whom we share our commitment to sustainable agriculture and healthy, delectable fruit.
Organic grape-growing principles prohibit the use of synthetic fertilisers, pesticides, fungicides and plant growth hormones. Instead, we at Frankland Estate rely on mid-row cultivation, as well as a range of composting and mulching techniques, to increase soil fertility and encourage bio-diversity within the vineyard.
Conversion to organic viticulture at Frankland Estate’s Isolation Ridge Vineyard began in 2005, and receiving full organic certification just in time for the 2010 harvest. Since then, all of the wines produced from Isolation Ridge carry full organic certification through Australian Certified Organics (ACO). This certification involves yearly audits and random sampling of produce to ensure our customers can have the peace of mind in knowing that the product they have purchased and received is a fully certified product.
Our decision to become a fully certified organic vineyard evolved as a natural progression from farming, with minimal inputs under a “sustainable farming practice” method. At Frankland Estate we truly value the importance of organic farming and agricultural sustainability, and believe that by practicing what we preach our vineyard will continue to produce good quality wines that we are proud of, while remaining in the best possible condition for future generations to come.
We welcome visitors, and would love for you to sample our wines whilst drinking in the visual charm of the Isolation Ridge vineyard. But a word of caution – as our name suggests, we are located a long way away from almost everything! Please allow at least 4 hours if you are driving from Perth.
Take the Kwinana Freeway south from Perth.
Leave the freeway at Armadale Road, and head east toward Armadale crossing over the South West Highway to join the Albany Highway that climbs up the Darling Ranges.
Follow the Albany Highway, passing through Williams (Approx. 1.5 hours from Perth) and Kojonup (Approx. 2.5 hours from Perth). Some 17 kilometres south of Kojonup leave the Albany Highway and take Shamrock Road, heading westward toward Frankland.
At Frankland (Approx. 3.5 hours from Perth) take the Frankland Road south toward Rocky Gully. The Frankland Estate winery lies off to the west of this road some 14 kilometres south of Frankland, and is well sign-posted.
Telephone in advance
As our isolated location ensures we do not have a regular stream of visitors to our cellar door, we always appreciate advance warning of any visit so we can guarantee that someone is on hand to look after you. Please ring (08) 9855 1544 if you are heading our way.
At Frankland Estate we evoke a unique style that’s characterising the progress of Australian wines on the international stage.
To learn more about our international partners, contact us directly or contact our Distributors listed here