Monday, October 24, 2022
The best of the Great Southern wine region: Denmark edition
In a land where luxurious green forest meets the deep blue sea, billion-year-old granite rock formations adorn the coastline, and stretches of dazzling white sand splices through the shocking colour contrast. In the midst of this landscape, dozens of world-class wineries are scattered throughout. This is Australia’s quiet viticulture achiever, the Great Southern.
This cool wine-growing region may not be as well-known as its sister to the west, Margaret River, but its sheer size (150km east to west and 100km north to south) means the varying climate and topography can accommodate a wide variety of grapes, with heavier reds in the warmer north, whites and pinot in the south, and riesling just about everywhere!
With five distinct sub-regions – Albany, Denmark, Frankland River, Mount Barker, and Porongurup – a wine escape here has plenty of secret spots to be discovered. We recommend basing yourself in the tourist town of Denmark for the most effective reach.
The best wineries near Denmark, in WA’s Great Southern wine region
A big name in the wine world, Singlefile is only getting better and better. In 2022 alone, the team won the top gong at the Canberra International Riesling Challenge, there were two wines featured in Ray Jordan’s Top 100 Reds, and Singlefile was named one of The Real Review’s Top Wineries in Australia. Just 7km from Denmark, the stunning property offers views of a forest-lined lake, a cute family of geese ambling past, and a cosy cottage-y outdoor area to enjoy cheese and chocolate with your glass of wine.
Forest Hill Wines
A pioneering vineyard in the region, Forest Hill Wines is steeped in history and beauty. Home of the highly rated Pepper & Salt restaurant, the cellar door is beneath the eatery, and a great visual and atmospheric experience. The enthusiastic and friendly staff will wow you with their knowledge, and you can sample their exceptional dry-grown wine. Red drinkers, note that they won the 2022 James Halliday’s Australian Cabernet Challenge for the whole region.
Wine and … gelato? Yes friends, it’s true. Rockcliffe Winery and Gelateria is a standout boutique winery, James Halliday awarded them 5 red stars and Ray Jordan labelled them ‘rock stars’ of the Western Australian wine industry. With a social and casual atmosphere, bring a picnic along or sample some yummy gelato and fudge to finish off a perfect day in the Great Southern.
Wine runs through the family veins, with director Sam Castelli hailing from Italy and having nurtured a love of wine from a young age. Castelli Estate sits on the slope of pristine Mount Shadforth, with vistas of the rows of grapevines stretching out beyond. Drop by the cellar door Wednesdays to Sundays for a simple tasting, choose the wine flight, or grab yourself something from the tapas menu. Do yourself a favour and sample their highly regarded chardonnays and cabernet sauvignons.
Nestled in the Denmark hinterland amongst rolling hills and tall trees, is the storybook-like Moombaki Wines. The family-run small vineyard has produced outstanding award-winning reds consistently in the past, including shiraz and cabernet sauvignon. The cellar door is open five days a week (except school holidays when it’s seven), and they sell art and woodwork too.
Oranje Tractor Wines
Want to feel ethical and honourable whilst indulging in your favourite beverage? Oranje Tractor Wines is organic, regenerative and carbon negative, and all about a down to earth experience. The cosy tasting room, hundreds of fruit trees (Bananas! Avocados! Cherries!), fabulous farm tours, and mouth-watering food and wine flights – this winery is one we can guarantee you’ll hear much more about in the future. If you’re heading towards Albany for a day visit, make sure you drop in here first.
West Cape Howe Wines
Head towards Mount Barker to find the large scenic property belonging to West Cape Howe Wines. Awarded Best Value Winery a few years back by Halliday’s Wine Companion, this popular and sustainability-focused business is a regional treasure. Due to the estate’s position, they produce a wide range of top quality varieties. And, in true Great Southern style, exceptional riesling; the 2019 vintage was voted Best Australian Riesling at the Canberra International Riesling Challenge.
Notable wineries to add to the list
We couldn’t get through all the area’s wine growers, but we do have a few more that simply could not be left off the touring list. These include:
These are perfect to add to your self-guided Denmark winery tour. Browse our portfolio of luxury holiday homes today.
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