Wine Edens was started to explore and experience beautiful wine utopias that are lesser known and, critically, produce exquisite wines. We take pride in learning the history of the regions we explore, knowing the local culture and its populace, and experiencing the wine-making process. It is with immense passion that we bring these wines to you in Singapore.
We want to begin our journey closer to home. Many a times, the thing you're looking for could easily be in your own backyard or just next to you. Looking across the Old and New World wine regions, Australia comes quickly to mind. It is a place many Singaporeans often visit, live and connect easily with. Perhaps a country Singaporeans know too well, is there still a pristine, lesser known wine region in Australia to be explored?
As many of you know, Australia is a significant wine producer in the global market. The country holds ~150,000 hectares in vine acreage, produces ~12 million hectolitre of wines annually of which more than 7 million hectolitres are exported, representing $1.5 billion in value. So clearly, there is a commercial imperative to be acquainted with Australian wines!
Many recognize Australian wines as fresh, fruity and relatively inexpensive, and often associate with Shiraz. Further, wine regions such as Margaret River, Clare Valley, Hunter Valley, Yarra Valley and Barossa Valley come quickly to mind. Wines from these regions are commonly found in restaurants, cafes and retail shops across Singapore. And of course, it ought to be expected by now that Wine Edens will not be visiting these regions.
Instead, we are exploring the Great Southern Australia wine region. The Great Southern is large - approximately 150km from North to South and 100km from East to West. Its basically 20 times the size of Singapore. Unlike many wine regions, the Great Southern is very diverse. Topography, soil and climatic conditions vary from the gentle hills of Mount Barker, to the open country at Frankland River, to the giant karri tree forests at Porongurup range, to the coastal scenery with towering eucalypts and granite cliffs at Denmark and finally, to Albany - the oldest European settlement in Western Australia.
Getting to the Great Southern is, appropriately, a trying journey. The nearest international airport is Albany but a truer test of an adventurer is a 4-5 hour drive south from Perth airport. The drive is to take us into Western Australia heartlands, through nature reserves with pit stops at little towns such as Bannister and Williams. We will be driving more than 400km. For Singaporeans, this would be driving back and forth between Tuas and Changi for 8 times.
Our destination will be Denmark. A 6,500 population town which one could rarely google for a successful hit because, Denmark (Scandinavian country) is typically the better known destination. Yes, this is how Wine Edens will do it. We explore wine regions you can barely google!
Pinot Noir, Chardonnay, Riesling and Sauvignon Blanc, the region's principal varieties, await us. Spectacular beaches and rock cliffs await us. Tranquil vineyards with grapes approaching harvest await us. An adventure await us.
And so our journey begins...
Source: Figures from OIV, Great Southern Wine Producers Association