Xanadu is tucked away in Australia’s south-west corner just 4km from Margaret River’s town centre and an equal distance from the magnificent coastline. Xanadu has a long history of crafting outstanding wines that embody all the region has to offer. Xanadu was one of the region’s first vineyards established in 1977 by Dr John Lagan, and now, it is one of the country’s most acclaimed wineries. Xanadu is a true reflection of its idyllic setting and poetic namesake.
Xanadu was established by Dr John Lagan, an Irishman who arrived in Margaret River in 1969 with his wife Eithne and was inspired by the pioneering spirit of the region. At the time, the potential of Margaret River as one of the world’s finest wine producing regions was only just being considered. Less than a decade on, in 1977, the couple planted their first vines and establish one of the region’s earliest vineyards. Lovers of literature will remember Xanadu as Samuel Coleridge’s mysterious, idyllic, exotic city – home of Kubla Khan. As a literary enthusiast, Dr Lagan drew parallels between Coleridge’s vision of utopia and his newly adopted home and thus the name Xanadu was born. True to its poetic namesake, Xanadu is an idyllic setting where the now 65 hectares of vine on the original estate flourish in the rich, free draining soils of the Margaret River region. In this unique maritime climate, vines enjoy an abundant supply of water sheltered by forests of magnificent marri (gum) trees. Over the last 40 years, there has been major investment in modern winemaking technology. A state of the art restaurant and cellar door was also constructed in the early 2000s with extensive use of local granite and gneissic rock excavated during the planting of the original Lagan vineyard. The expansion culminated in Xanadu being listed on the ASX in 2001.
After their success at Yering Station and Mount Langi Ghiran, the Rathbone family looked to Margaret River as one of the great wine regions of Australia driven by Darren Rathbone’s love of Cabernet Sauvignon. The family recognized the potential of Xanadu as having the combination of great viticulture, winemaking and tourism facilities and ultimately purchased it in 2005. It was at this time that winemaker Glenn Goodall stepped in to the role of senior winemaker after having been with the team since 1999. Their main focus is on producing quality wines that start in the vineyard. Glenn’s passion and dedication to this focus, along with fostering a strong team spirit has allowed Xanadu to thrive. Glenn considers his role if often more about being custodian of the vineyards. His philosophy is to guide the wines through to the bottle, rather than “beating them to submission”. Being a family-owned and operated winery, they’re proud to be one of the country’s most acclaimed wineries. They have won Australia’s Best Cabernet for the last 7 years, and is still currently holding this title. Not to mention the staggering 110 trophies and 304 gold medals accumulated since 2007 including the coveted Jimmy Watson Memorial Trophy for their 2016 Xanadu Cabernet Sauvignon. Viticulture The Mediterranean climate of Margaret River is ideal for grape growing and crafting outstanding wines that embody all the region has to offer. Located in the Wallcliffe sub-region of Margaret River, Xanadu includes 3 key vineyards: Lagan Estate, Boodjidup Estate and Stevens Road. Lagan Estate The Lagan Estate is located on the Xanadu property and is our first vineyard planted in 1977 by Dr John Lagan. The original varieties planted include Cabernet Sauvignon and Semillon, closely followed by Sauvignon Blanc, Chardonnay, Cabernet Franc and Merlot. It is a relatively flat site with vines rooted in a deep, gravelly loam soil over clay which allows for free draining. The vines use vertical shoot positioning trellising and has a total of 17 hectares under the vine. Their most revered variety from the Lagan Estate is Chardonnay which has produced Xanadu’s Reserve wine each year for the last 10 consecutive years. From original 1981 plantings, the low-yielding Chardonnay produces a powerful and robust style of wine, with all the hallmarks of Margaret River fruit intensity. Boodjidup Estate The Boodjidup Estate is the newest addition to Xanadu and is located next to the Lagan Estate, expanding out onto Boodjidup and Exmoor Drives. Planted in 1999, the standout varietal is 23 hectares of Cabernet Sauvignon which makes up the backbone of our premium Cabernet Sauvignon. Performing on our north / south and east / west orientated rows, they utilise a variety of canopy management techniques to achieve these fine wines. Other notable varieties that make up the 47 hectare under vine are Sauvignon Blanc, Semillon and Shiraz. Stevens Road
The Stevens Road vineyard was first planted in 1989, 3km from the Xanadu winery. With 24 hectares under the vine, the block is a gracious host to many varieties such as Chardonnay, Petit Verdot, Malbec, Merlot, Shiraz Muscadelle, Graciano and Cabernet Sauvignon. The Boodjidup Brook weaves its way through the undulating property which gives rise to multiple aspects throughout the vineyard. The soils on the Stevens Road vineyard are shallow sandy loams over deep well-drained gravel. These soils are conductive to the well-balanced vines which are in the Boodjidup Brook catchment on Stevens Road. The two stellar varietals to come off this vineyard include both the Chardonnay and Cabernet Sauvignon. The Chardonnay from Block 2 offers a wonderful minerality and tightly coiled style. This block is planted with an easterly aspect with the vines well balanced, with very low vigour. There is an underground stream meandering through the block – this mystical site produces the grapes that nearly always make up our single-vineyard Stevens Road Chardonnay. The Cabernet Sauvignon comes from 21 rows of Houghton clone Cabernet on free-draining gravelly-loam soils. The block has an easterly aspect with north-south orientation with cane pruned vines of natural low-moderate vigour that have tended to settle at yields of 5-6 tonnes per hectare. It’s a block that just always seems to know its own balance. In 2010, we took cuttings of this Cabernet block and in 2011 planted another 4 hectares on the south side of the Boodjidup creek. An exceptionally hilly site with north / south rows over beautiful ironstone gravels with granite influence, the block is now online and although young, already producing amazing wine. The wines that come out of the Stevens Road vineyard are a true testament to the statement “quality not quantity” as production remains very limited for wines under the Stevens Road label.