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Frankland River Cellar Door Experience

Home > Perth > Escape the City | Food and Wine | Food Festivals | Lunch | Wineries
by Peter Hancock (subscribe)
Journalist, historian and naturalist living in Perth's eastern suburbs.
Event:
Savour cool climate wines and long lunch
The Southern corner of Western Australia has grown a reputation for its cool climate wines and the most prolific of these five Great Southern wine district sub-regions is Frankland River.

Taste Great Southern, Scott Brannigan, Foni Pollitt, Frankland River, cool climate wines, Alkoomi, Swinney, Cherubino, Ferngrove, Lange Estate
Chef Scott Brannigan will prepare the four course lunch at Frankland Estate.


Inland from the Southern Ocean coast and 300km south-east of Perth, Frankland River has nearly 2025 hectares of vines producing distinctive wines with a terroir featuring alluvial flood plains and valleys of clays and gravels.

An opportunity to sample the distinctive Reislings and Syrah wines from six of the region's producers Alkoomi, Cherubino, Ferngrove, Frankland Estate, Lange Estate, and Swinney, matched to a four-course meal prepared by renowned Perth chef Scott Brannigan, will be held at Frankland Estate on Sunday May 15.

The event is part of food and wine festival Taste Great Southern.

Taste Great Southern, Scott Brannigan, Foni Pollitt, Frankland River, cool climate wines, Alkoomi, Swinney, Cherubino, Ferngrove, Lange Estate
Sommelier Foni Pollitt.


Sommelier Foni Pollitt from one of Perth's top restaurants Mayfair Lane Pub and Dining Room, and winemakers from the region, will guide guests through an interactive long lunch designed to show off wines that benefit from cool climate viticulture in a pristine environment.

Originally from Melbourne, Foni began her career in the 90s when she left Australia for Italy before moving to the UK where she spent 15 years with some of the world's top restaurants and bistros.

She moved to Montreal in Canada where she was awarded the Wine Spectators 'Award of Excellence' for her wine list of Greek wines.

Taste Great Southern, Scott Brannigan, Foni Pollitt, Frankland River, cool climate wines, Alkoomi, Swinney, Cherubino, Ferngrove, Lange Estate
Frankland Estate's Isolation Ridge Vineyard at sunrise.


Foni will be joined by chef Scott Brannigan who operates Coogee Common in the Perth suburb of Coogee, and Bread in Common in Fremantle, where he demonstrates a passion for the use of fresh ingredients.

He's had an extensive career in hospitality in Britain and was also head chef at Perth's Balthazar restaurant.

So that guests can enjoy a glass or two of wine, transport is available to and from Albany and Mt Barker.

The wine producers will include:
Alkoomi, a third-generation family winery operated by Sandy and Rod Hallett, with daughters Laura, Emily, and Molly.

Taste Great Southern, Scott Brannigan, Foni Pollitt, Frankland River, cool climate wines, Alkoomi, Swinney, Cherubino, Ferngrove, Lange Estate
Alkoomi's cellar.


The 1200-hectare farm has been the family home since 1946 and has evolved from being a grain and livestock producer to a renowned winery.

In 1971, Sandy's parents Merv and Judy planted one hectare each of Cabernet Sauvignon, Riesling, and some Shiraz and Malbec, laying the foundation for the thriving family business.

Cherubino has become a flagship wine name of Western Australia built by horticulturist Larry Cherubino who turned his hand to winemaking, firstly at Tintara and then at Houghton.

Larry moved into consultancy in Australia and New Zealand, France the United States, South Africa and Italy before he and wife Edwina bought a small block of land, Riversdale, in Frankland River in 2004.

Taste Great Southern, Scott Brannigan, Foni Pollitt, Frankland River, cool climate wines, Alkoomi, Swinney, Cherubino, Ferngrove, Lange Estate
Larry Cherubino checking the vines.


They added an adjacent vineyard and more land a few years later, creating their first vintage in 2005.

Riversdale, Cherubino's home base now grows shiraz, cabernet sauvignon, merlot, cabernet franc, mencía, touriga nacional, grenache, mourvèdre, malbec, fiano and tempranillo.

Cherubino also operates another vineyard in Frankland River, as well vineyards in Pemberton, Porongurup and Margaret River.

Ferngrove Wines claims to be one of the world's most isolated wine estates, something that makes their wines distinctive.

Around 90 kilometres from the coast, Ferngrove was chosen in 1998 for its location where ancient soils and cool climate allowed grapes to ripen slowly.

Taste Great Southern, Scott Brannigan, Foni Pollitt, Frankland River, cool climate wines, Alkoomi, Swinney, Cherubino, Ferngrove, Lange Estate
Ferngrove Wines from the air.


Because of its remote location the Ferngrove team has adopted a pioneering approach over the past 20 years as they strive for winemaking excellence.

Frankland Estate had its origins in the foresight of prominent U.S. viticulturalist Dr Harold Olmo who recognised the potential of the Frankland River to produce wines likes those of Bordeaux in France.

Barrie Smith and Judi Cullam co-founded Frankland Estate in 1988 after divesting themselves of their wool-growing interests, working on two vintages in Bordeaux and touring French vineyards.

The winery is family run with children Elizabeth and Hunter and their families, all living on the property and working to produce distinctive and flavoursome wines.

The vineyard at Isolation Ridge focuses on growing vines with an appreciation for the environment and farming in a sustainable manner which earned them organic certification in 2009.

Lange Estate, established in 1997 by the Lange family which has been involved in WA farming for five generations, is now operated by Kim and Chelsea, their children Jack, Ella and Dylan with parents Don and Maxine.

Taste Great Southern, Scott Brannigan, Foni Pollitt, Frankland River, cool climate wines, Alkoomi, Swinney, Cherubino, Ferngrove, Lange Estate
The Lange family


Focusing on Shiraz and Riesling the 300m high elevation vineyard, combined with red jarrah gravel loam soils helps create wines of great intensity.

Swinney has its roots in a pioneer of the Frankland River region, George John Alexander Swinney, known as "Farvie" who settled on the banks of the Frankland River in 1922.

The large grazing property featured gentle slopes of jarrah and redgum trees growing on ironstone gravel and loam soils.

Taste Great Southern, Scott Brannigan, Foni Pollitt, Frankland River, cool climate wines, Alkoomi, Swinney, Cherubino, Ferngrove, Lange Estate
The Swinney family


Brother and sister, Matt and Janelle Swinney are now the principals of Swinney and the fourth generation Swinneys, growing up beside their parents and grandparents on the family farm.

The great-grandchildren, are dedicated to pursuing George's legacy through their wine with the first Farvie wines released in March 2020 from the 2018 vintage, featuring the best of the Swinney vineyards.

Tickets for the lunch cost $155 and include transport to and from Albany or Mt Barker.
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Why? Enjoy the finest wines of the Frankland River in the heart of the Great Southern wine producing sub region while sommelier Foni Pollitt talks about the wines and chef Scott Brannigan prepares a four-course lunch.
When: Sunday May 15 from noon to 4pm.
Phone: 0428 551 628
Where: Frankland Estate, 530 Rocky Gully – Frankland Road, Frankland River, Western Australia.
Cost: $155 including transport to and from Albany or Mt Barker.
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