Capel Vale was the first winery in Western Australia to own and establish vineyards in Margaret River, Pemberton, Mount Barker and Geographe. As a result, Capel Vale now produces wines of definitive regional flavour and varietal expression with a focus on balance, complexity and elegant fruit flavours. Capel Vale is a pioneer in Western Australia with vines planted in 1974. The initial winery was built on the Stirling Estate in Capel in 1979. Original winemaker and owners Dr Peter and Elizabeth Pratten produced Capel Vale's first vintage in 1980. In the mid-2000s, they passed the winery down to their son Simon. It remains a family-owned and -managed winery today. Capel Vale's goal is to produce wines with regional distinction and to show that respect for their pristine environment matters. Their winemaking philosophy is to create wines with balance, complexity and elegant fruit flavours. Why the duck? Sheldrake ducks accompanied the original vineyard planting teams and their enduring presence is acknowledged on the Capel Vale wine labels.
Geographe Region – Stirling Estate Vineyard in Capel
The Stirling Estate Vineyard in Capel sits on the banks of the Capel River and produces brilliant Merlot and Malbec grapes. This vineyard was planted (1974) in the state of the art Lyre Bird trellis system. Along the coast of the Indian Ocean, between Busselton and Perth, is a coastal limestone plain over which run a small number of rivers into the sea. Along the river banks are deposits of rich, red alluvial soil, approximately 5 metres deep, which lie over a limestone base. Capel Vale’s Stirling vineyard is situated on this terroir. The steady rainfall and consistent sea breezes contribute to a longer growing season for the vines, helping to extend flavour and contribute to a balanced wine.
Margaret River – Scholar Vineyard
Scholar Vineyard is located on Miamup Road in the heart of the Willyabrup sub region of Margaret River. This relatively young wine region in a world context has a world class wine making pedigree. Soils in the Capel Vale Margaret River vineyard consist of laterite gravel over sandy loam, overlying areas of granitic loamy soil which rise to the surface in the high ground. The incredible climate, clean environment, ancient soils, fresh air, and wild oceans on three sides culminate in a stable predictable Mediterranean maritime climate perfect for growing grapes. Careful stewardship of this land, which they call “wine paradise”, has seen the vineyards flourish and improve into maturity.
Mount Barker – Whispering Hill Vineyard
The Whispering Hill Vineyard in Mount Barker is heaven for Riesling and Shiraz grapes and overlooks the Porongurup Mount Ranges to the north east. This region is an ancient archaeological place. The Porongurup’s don’t have any foot hills and are largely eroded. The very old leached ground helps drain the soil and results in the vines striving to fruit and somewhat paradoxically produce healthy grapes. To the south is the vast cold southern ocean. The next land mass is Antarctica. The ocean breezes have to be some of the cleanest most pristine in the world. Elegant but powerful wines are made from this site. Cool, windy, often overcast conditions, with very leached laterite and granite sandy soils provide the region with ideal growing conditions for Riesling and Shiraz grapes, which ripen to show some of the most desirable elegant but complex flavours and aromas seen in the best wines in the world. Both wine varieties from this vineyard have been recognised on the world stage, garnering international trophies. Fruit from Capel Vale’s Mount Barker vineyard follows the long history of producing award winning wines, beginning in 1986 when the Capel Vale Riesling was awarded the Australian National Dry White Champion – the first Western Australian wine to win this award. The vines on this property produce fruit of great intensity and complexity.