BANTRY BAY ESTATE
NATIONAL VINEYARD FUND OF AUSTRALIA LIMITED
The Bantry Bay Estate vineyard, is partly owned by NVFAL, and has been producing premium fruit for brands such as Houghtons, Yalumba and Brookland Valley for the past 15 years.
The property is located in the northern part of the Margaret River region approximately 240km south of Perth in Western Australia. Bantry Bay Estate is located approximately 30 km south east of Busselton and 32km north of the regional town of Margaret River.
NVFAL owns approximately 51.5ha of land which is approximately 1/6 of the entire Bantry Bay property (of 240 ha). It is located in the famed Willyabrup sub-region of Margaret River on the western side of Vasse Highway and the eastern side of Caves Road. The site ranges between 40 and 90m above sea level.
The property was developed by FABAL Operations for NVFAL in 1999 and then 2003. The freehold property, part of the original property was acquired by NVFAL in 2002.
The entire property is planted to five red varieties (Cabernet Sauvignon, Shiraz, Merlot, Petit Verdot and Cabernet Franc) and fourwhite varieties (Chardonnay, Semillon, Verdelho and Sauvignon Blanc). The balance is farming land and native vegetation. It is also home to the Vasse Virgin Olive Oil Co and the Bahen Chocolate Company businesses.
The property was traditionally used for cropping and grazing land.
The land is undulating and is serviced by run-off from streams and soaks for its water supply. The soils range from sandy loams through to ironstone gravels with clay subsoils. The land is blessed with significant surface run-off and there is no regulation of water in Margaret River at this time. The water is stored in one shared 250ML dam and another 30ML ‘turkeys nest’ dam owned by NVFAL for backup purposes.
Irrigation is discussed in the Water section below.
Margaret River region is one of the most famous Australian wine regions despite the fact that it has only been growing grapes for just under 50 years. It was first planted in 1967 and has been recognized for its unique maritime climate. It is only 3 hours south of Perth and enjoys an enviable diversity of coastal activities to add to the wine interest.
While it only contributes approximately 3% of the nation’s crush, it commands a preeminent position in international marketing of Australian wine.
The distinct region is a peninsula of around 100 kilometres long by just 27 kilometres wide.
The Vasse Highway and the famous Caves Road led visitors to most of the wineries in the region.
Today, Bantry Bay Estate vineyard is a mix of red varieties (NVFAL has Shiraz) and white varieties (NVFAL has Sauvignon Blanc and Semillon).
The mix of wine grape varieties planted on Bantry Bay Estate were planned by FABAL Operations in conjunction with the major purchaser of grapes from the property, Accolade Wines Australia, the owner of the famous Houghton (and Brookland Valley) brand.
After the 2012 shift, it is planted to 29.0ha of vineyard on the 52ha property.