Manjimup’s viticulture and wine foundation began with research in the mid-1970s that identified the area for its potential as a leading grape growing region. Located in the heart of Western Australia's south-west among towering forests, Manjimup enjoys an outstanding reputation for its valued food crops; from prized, highly-priced truffles and a range of fruit and vegetables to high-quality wines. Bush trails taking in unique flora and fauna are an added attraction for the continual flow of tourists. Though overall production is small, Manjimup has quickly established a reputation for its Verdelho, Merlot and Cabernet.
- Manjimup is situated immediately north of the Pemberton region.
- The dividing line with Pemberton is largely based on soil type, topography and elevation.
- The region is currently home to around five wineries.
- Research in the 1970s identified the area for its potential as a leading grape growing region.
- The climate is influenced by the Indian and the Southern oceans.
- Soil is predominantly red gravelly loam.
- The region prides itself on outstanding wine, and fruit and vegetable crops.
- Large areas are heavily forested; approximately 25% of the region is suitable for viticulture.
- Elegant, medium-bodied cool climate Chardonnay is the standout wine of the region.
Principal grape varieties are Chardonnay, Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot.
The climate is influenced by the Indian and Southern oceans. It has some similarities to Margaret River, although being at a higher altitude, it is more Continental. Cold winters provide true vine dormancy, while plentiful spring rainfall promotes good budburst and early growth. The relatively dry but stress-free summer and autumn conditions are also favourable. Even temperatures during the ripening period ensure intense fruit flavours in the grapes.
The best soils of the region belong to the Kennan-Queenup series of sandy, gravelly loams created over millions of years by the erosive effects of the Warren River and its tributaries. An ironstone layer several metres below the ancient surface has eroded mixing with the red soil formed from the underlying granite. This produces a red, gravelly loam.
Chardonnay: The wines are elegant, light to medium-bodied, with the melon, citrus flavours of cooler grown Chardonnay. As the vines mature it will bring increased structure and intensity to the wines.
Verdelho: This wine has great freshness and zingy acidity here, yet it retains its tropical flavours and rounded mouthfeel.
Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot: Dr John Gladstone has observed that both mean temperatures and sunshine hours are very close to those of Bordeaux. It is thus no surprise to find that Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot dominate the plantings and some very appealing and elegant Cabernet Merlot blends have been produced.
Map Coordinates: 34° 26'S
Altitude: 200-300 metres (656-984 feet)
Heat degree days, October - April: 1492 (cut off at 19°C (66.2°F) but otherwise not adjusted)
Growing season rainfall, October - April: 279 millimetres (11 inches)
Mean January temperature: 20.05°C (68 °F)
Relative humidity, October - April, 3 pm: Average 48%
Harvest: Mid-March - mid-April
Vic Peos, Vineyard Manager, Peos Estate, Manjimup, Western Australia
When third generation West Australian farmer Vic Peos tells you that “everything grows in Manjimup”, he's speaking with pride and knowledge. The Peos Estate Vineyard Manager knows this south-west town from the soil up, harvesting fruit with the intimacy of someone who has spent a lifetime on the land.
The family business is steeped in tradition. Vic’s grandfather PY Peos arrived from Macedonia in 1926, and over the years the family has farmed tobacco, dairy and beef cattle, mixed horticulture and, of course, grapes.
“Today Peos Estate wines are produced solely from fruit grown on the 92-acre property, and local knowledge, teamed with the reliability of growing conditions, has cemented it as a mainstay in the Manjimup wine region,” Vic says.
“The soil at Peos Estate is jarrah gravel over red clay-loam. It’s a hungrier soil that vines love and which produces fruit with intensity. Shiraz in particular thrives, and has led to the winery producing a consistent vintage, including the Peos Estate Four Aces Shiraz, which has won gold, silver and bronze medals since 2001.
“The vineyard also produces Carnelian, an unusual red wine grape variety originally planted on Peos Estate by accident. I use Carnelian to make a pink wine cheekily named Chameleon Rosé.
With future generations in mind, Peos Estate philosophy is to concentrate on enhancing the quality of the fruit and flavours, rather than simply chasing market trends.
“Winemaking is a passion – we love drinking it, working with it and the goal is always to make it to the highest standard that we can.”