Spirit of the Swan – 180 Years of Swan Valley Winemaking History launched at the Houghton Winery on Thursday July 31st 2014

The books are $45.00 each and available from The Houghton Winery, Sandalford Wines, Faber Vineyard, Mandoon Estate, Upper Reach Winery, Harris Organic Winery, John Kosovich Wines, Windy Creek Winery, Lamonts Winery, Olive Farm Wines, Swanbrook Winery, Black Swan and  Oakover Wines

Spirit of the Swan
180 Years of Winemaking in the Swan Valley (1834-2014)
26 July 2014

The Swan Valley and Regional Winemakers Association have commissioned well known author and journalist Mike Zekulich to write a book capturing the spirit of Western Australia’s oldest wine region The Swan Valley.

The book will be officially launched by The Honourable Colin Barnett Premier of Western Australia at a function on Thursday July 31st at the historic Houghton Winery.

From humble beginnings in 1834 winemaking has become the keystone of the valleys culture and economy. 

Winemaking has evolved in the Swan Valley over many generations the region now has its own distinct character and style and its wines have established an excellent reputation.

The Swan Valley has a special place in the heart of the people of Western Australia many of whom have special memories of visiting.

The story of winemaking in the Swan Valley is a story of people, pioneers, families, characters, visionaries and craftsmen people who created the Spirit of the Swan.

 The author of the book Mike Zekulich was inducted as an Icon of the Swan Valley in 2010 to acknowledge the contribution both he and the Zekulich family have made to the advancement of winemaking in the Swan Valley.

Mikes career as a journalist with the West Australian spanned 41 years and he is the author of numerous books including many about the wineries and wine industry in Western Australia.

Spirit of the Swan – 180 Years of Winemaking in the Swan Valley is a coffee table style book of 124 pages and recounts of the lives and backgrounds of the people who have contributed to the valley over 180 years.

The book has many historic photographs and panoramic shots of the Swan Valley and the people who have shaped the past and continue today to shape its future.

The Swan Valley and Regional Winemakers Association believes Spirit of the Swan will ensure future generations understand the first 180 years of winemaking in the Swan Valley and follow its journey into the next 180 years.

Viva Verdehlo Poster13






Celebrate Verdelho in the Swan Valley – Viva Verdelho 2013
23 July 2013

Swan Valley winemakers are out to champion what they believe is an often neglected star of the wine world, Verdelho, and on Sunday 10th of November over 20 producers will gather together to showcase their best Verdelho’s matched with food created by head chef Jamie Skinner from Stewarts for Viva Verdelho 2013.

The winemakers of the Swan Valley believe that Viva Verdelho is a great way to make consumers more aware of this lesser known wine variety and to encourage people to try a style of wine they don’t usually go for in a setting that will allow them to discover it, so they know what to look for next time they are in the region.

Viva Verdelho is a fun and interactive afternoon where food lovers will be offered the opportunity to sample the wines, match them over three courses and vote for their favourites in the ‘People’s Choice Award’.

The pairings will also be judged by wine critics/professionals: Ray Jordan wine reviewer for the Western Australian newspaper, David Prestipino wine reviewer for the Sunday Times, Paul Murray journalist and radio broadcaster, and Fleur Bainger from White Noise Media who will award the ‘Critics’ Choice Award’, both awards are announced on the day.

The lunch takes place from 12.30pm to 4.00pm in the picturesque Stewarts Restaurant located in the heart of the Swan Valley, looking its absolute best at this time of year.

Neil Reveler from Stewarts says he’s a big fan of Verdelho and the Swan Valley is now producing some excellent Verdelho’s that stand shoulder to shoulder with many national and international offerings.

“The fruitiness balanced by the acidity of Verdelho means that it works really well with fish and chicken, great with smoked salmon or creamy mussels-moules marinaire, or just with crusty bread in the garden. Personally I love to cook and eat Asian food which works really well with Verdelho,” says Neil.

President of the Swan Valley and Regional Winemakers Association John Griffiths says many people are under the impression that Verdelho is a sweet wine variety, but that is far from the case as most modern styles of Verdelho are made in a dryer style.

“Verdelho is the great wine variety of the Swan Valley; it’s a lifestyle wine to be shared between friends with food and it has a bit of fun about it” says John.

“This event won’t be connoisseurs hovering over a glass, it will be a fun afternoon for people to enjoy the food and enjoy the wine and pick which wines they like while discovering more about this ‘unsung’ variety,” he added.

The afternoon will also feature tastings of new release red wines and fortified Verdelho matched with cheeses from the Cheese Barrel and chocolates and nougat from Mondo Nougat, raffles and interviews with the judges.

WHEN:             Sunday 10th November – 12.30pm to 4.00pm
WHERE:           Stewarts at Brookleigh, 1235 Great Northern Hwy, Upper Swan
TICKETS:          $82.00pp

Tickets go on sale from July 29 from http://www.trybooking.com/55888

Grape Expectations
16 January 2013

The sound of crushers and presses at most Swan Valley Wineries has hailed the start of wine production from Vintage 2013 with Madeleine and Chardonnay grapes being crushed and pressed for sparkling wine.

John Griffiths President of the Swan Valley and Regional Winemakers Association said

Well timed spring and early summer rains has given good soil moisture in the vineyards.  Vine health is excellent with prospects of an excellent crop.  Disease has been minimal.  Hot days since Christmas have not effected grapes as the vines have been in such excellent condition.  And despite the high daily maximum temperatures there has been high humidity and an absence of the normal strong hot easterly winds that can dry out the soil and lead to vine stress.  The Swan Valley has not suffered the same debilitating heat stress, sunburn and dessication some areas in the eastern states have in the past days.

Harvest will commence the third week of January for early varieties – verdelho and chardonnay. Demand for high quality fruit is the greatest for several years both from local winemakers and those further afield.

Whilst it is too early to call, all the signs point to an excellent vintage – both in quantity and quality

Swan Valley wineries will again be welcoming people into their wineries to experience firsthand the crafting of Swan Valley wine from vineyard to bottle. A Vintage Weekend in the Swan Valley will be held March 15th, 16th and 17th; the weekend is a great opportunity for a behind the scenes look at how wine is made and to enjoy some good wine, good food and good company in the Swan Valley during the harvest season.

A Golden Year for Swan Valley Wines and Wineries

Perth Royal Wine Show September 2012
Swan Valley Wines and Wineries have had a very successful year on the Wine show circuit this year, a list of the awards won by our local Swan Valley wineries in 2012 is listed below.

Lamonts 2012 Mt Barker Riesling – Gold
2012 Western Range 2012 Baroque Series Verdelho – Gold
Heafod Glen 2009 Cabernet Sauvignon – Gold
Houghton 2011 Cabernet Sauvignon – Gold
Upper Reach 2011  Reserve Shiraz – Gold
Houghton 2011 Jack Mann – Gold and Trophy for Best Dry Red Table Wine
Houghton 2008 CW Ferguson Cabernet Malbec – Gold

Qantas Mt Barker Wine Show 2012
Mandoon Estate 2011 Old vine Shiraz – Gold
Mandoon Estate 2010 Cabernet Merlot – Gold
Mandoon Estate – Trophy for Most Successful Exhibitor processing under 250 tonne
Mandoon Estate Cabernet Merlot 2010 – Trophy for Best Red Blend
Houghton Wines 2009 Wisdom Chardonnay – Gold
Houghton Wines 2008 CW Ferguson Cabernet Malbec – Gold
CW Ferguson 2008 Cabernet Malbec – Trophy for Best Older Dry Red

WA Boutique Wine Show 2012
Faber 2010 Reserve Shiraz – Trophy for Best WA Red Wine
Faber Liqueur Muscat – Gold
Mandoon Estate 2012 Sauvignon Blanc – Gold
Mandoon Estate 2010 Research Station Reserve Cabernet Sauvignon – Gold

National Boutique Wine Show
Sittella 2008 Sparkling Pinot Chardonnay – Gold Medal and Trophy in the Sparkling Wine Category

Faber Vineyard Named Best Small Producer in Western Australia
15 November 2013

As you know we don’t like to bang on about awards at Faber Vineyard. Wine awards are fickle things – what do they really mean? What are they judging and are they relevant?

However we have received some very welcome recognition from a source that we think is very relevant. Ray Jordan is the long time wine writer for the West Australian – our daily rag. In his 2013 West Australian Wine Guide published this week he has nominated Faber as the “Best Small Producer in Western Australia”. Pretty good when we have several hundred small wineries in WA! And Ray has rated our 2012 Swan Verdelho and 2010 Reserve Shiraz (release April 2013) as among the best of their respective varieties in WA.

New Cellar Door opens in the Swan Valley
15 September 2012

New Winery launched in the Swan Valley – Tyler’s Vineyard – Specialisng in Grenache

Tyler’s Vineyard is owned and operated by the Tyler Family who recently opened a winery cellar door for the first time.

Colin and Donelle Tyler have been caring for their Swan Valley Foundation Vineyard of old Grenache vines in Padbury Avenue for 15 years now, and they have decided that it was time to make their own labelled wine.

“It has been a dream of ours since we purchased the vineyard 15 years ago; in that time we were blessed with triplets so the dream had to wait a while, but now the dream has now become our children’s adventure as well” says Donelle.

The Tylers have so far produced a fine style Grenache (a rich red for those unfamiliar with the variety) as well as a ‘Blush’ Grenache – a rose style wine.  Tyler’s intend to add to their range of wine as time goes on and look forward to soon furthering their range of Grenache styles.

A unique and interesting aspect of the cellar door is the provision of means for customers to design their own labels on the spot!  Installed by Colin Tyler, computers allow customers to upload photos for a great commemorative opportunity or special occasion.

Located at the corner of Padbury Avenue and Moore Road, Millendon – Tyler’s new rustic cellar door is open Mondays, Thursdays and Fridays from 11am-3pm and Saturdays and Sundays from 11am-5pm. Please phone 0438296000 for information or bookings.

New book just released
1 August 2012

The History of Australian Wine by Max Allen
Stories from the Vineyard to the Cellar Door

The history of Australian Wine is a unique inside account of the Australian Wine Industry’s development throughout the 20th century. Award winning writer Max Allen weaves together an oral history full of first hand recollections from winemakers, cellarhands, business leaders and grape growers, offering personal insights into how Australian wine has received its phenomenal international reputation.

From the first horse drawn plough in the Vineyard to innovative winemaking technology and our changing tastes as a nation of wine drinkers, the stories in the book real plenty of larikins and pioneers. Charismatic leaders mentored each generation and inbued a strong sense of collaboration and mateship, and bloody minded individuals fiercely steered their own course and inspired many along the way.At the heart of it beats a powerful sense of resilience.
Australian vignerons have always faced challenges, but it has been in times of extreme adversity that the industry has taken it’s greatest leaps forward.

Beautifully designed and illustrated The history of Australian Wine collects these fascinating characters and stories together to reflect on the ever involving and complex history.Recommended retail $49.99  Contact Victory Books www.mup.com.au

The perfect gift for Fathers Day, Christmas or anytime for anyone who enjoys a beautifully written book about our great Australian wines and people who have shaped the industry into what it is today.