They say an image is worth a thousand words, and so the entrance to a cellar door is a key marker for a winery’s identity and ethos. Turn off Caves Road, and you’ll wind past vineyards and towering gums lining the tarmac for some time before the Wilyabrup Brook and the familiar vine-clad Vasse Felix cellar door comes into view. The front two blocks are currently being replanted; “This is chardonnay country”, shares winemaker Virginia Willcock. As the first commercial vineyard founded in Margaret River, the initial vines and varieties were planted well before the region was established as prime cabernet sauvignon and chardonnay terroir. “Our cabernet sauvignon vines on the home block are incredible – just look at how happy these old boys are.” Vanessa is right – the gnarly old vines are resplendent with energy and sturdy growth; their flavour-packed berries have just been harvested.
There are four distinct Vasse Felix vineyard sites in the Margaret River region, including the home block. All are farmed sustainably with traditional and organic practices, with an active program in the winery to reduce carbon emissions and the use of imported French oak.
Tasting through the wines is an excellent exercise in understanding the different sites and what they contribute. The Filius Cabernet Sauvignon is plush and juicy, a vibrant and typical expression of cabernet sauvignon from the warmer Adams Road Vineyard in the Carbunup.
The Vasse Felix Cabernet Sauvignon is a next-level expression of Margaret River cabernet, produced from Wilyabrup parcels of fruit. Elegant and artfully balanced with a jumble of cassis, black fruits and fresh minerality, it’s inviting and balanced to drink now, or age for further complexity and developed characteristics to evolve in the cellar.
Try the Vasse Felix Filius Sauvignon Blanc Semillon as an alternative to chardonnay. A classic blend, the aromatic sauvignon blanc is kept in check with the grassy and waxy savoury semillon. Fresh, generous and textural, it’s the perfect midweek white wine.
“A wine always tastes best on the soil it was grown from,” shares Vanessa as we walk over the loamy soils of the home block. Visitors to the cellar door can experience a guided walk through the vines with one of the tours on offer, guided by the expert cellar door staff. The Cellar Experience is the ultimate wine enthusiasts tour, or to dive even deeper into the region and why it is the perfect grape terroir, take the half-day Cape to Vine tour. Alternatively, enjoy a wine tasting at your own pace at the cellar door, or relax by the contemporary fireplace in the Vasse Felix Wine Lounge for a wine flight and a charcuterie platter. No visit to Vasse Felix is complete without lunch at the award winning fine-dining restaurant, where food and wine pairings are artfully executed. Finish your stay with a stroll around the Vasse Felix Art Gallery, curated from the Janet Holmes à Court Collection and extended out to the gardens with a sculpture walk.
Products featured are available from 28/06/23 to 1/08/23, while stocks last. Some products or varieties featured may not be available in all stores.