Juniper Estate was planted by Henry and Maureen Wright in 1973 on Harmans Road South (now known as Tom Cullity Drive), in its picturesque setting along the Wilyabrup Creek. The vineyard grows on the ancient laterite gravelly loam soils that lie over a clay base. Typically the soil of the Wilyabrup region is deep and well drained, and has produced so many of the Margaret River wines which now command Australia-wide and international recognition.
The land has a rich history. In the 19th century the road from Busselton to the south ran through what is now the vineyard and forded the Wilyabrup Creek (hence the “Crossing” range of wines). It was then part of the group settlement scheme in the years between the World Wars. The present vineyard block was created by subdivision by the well-known Western Australian artist family, the Junipers, after whom it is now named.
The original Margaret River vineyards were planted without irrigation. Wright's vineyard (as Juniper Estate was formerly known) was no exception and the original 21 acres of Cabernet Sauvignon, Shiraz, and Semillon are dry grown. Dry land viticulture is highly regarded for the depth of flavour it produces in the grapes. The relative lack of water during the dry ripening months is thought to concentrate flavour into lower yields of intensely flavoured fruit. Characteristically yields average less than 3 tons / acre.
The Margaret River region is surrounded on three sides by the sea (marking the confluence of the Indian and Southern Oceans), delivering a moderate, Mediterranean climate to the area. We have sunny, dry, warm to hot summers, long mild autumns and cool wet winters. There is also the benefit of no frost and very little rain at vintage. The vineyard is hand-pruned and the grapes are hand-picked at harvest. Two acres of Petit Verdot, Merlot, Cabernet Franc and Malbec were added in 1999, with the aim of extending the flavours of future Estate Cabernets. All the new plantings are also dry grown.
Mark Messenger has been the Winemaker at Juniper Estate since 1998. He has responsibility for production of all Juniper wines and is supported by an experienced winery and vineyard team. Prior to joining Juniper, Mark was assistant Winemaker at Cape Mentelle, in Margaret River, from 1990 to 1998. Mark's experience lies in producing premium Margaret River wines, using the best quality grapes, oak and other materials, and that is his mission at Juniper Estate.
We enjoy a picturesque location in a serene part of Wilyabrup, with rolling hills and vineyards. Our cellar door, staffed by knowledgeable and friendly wine lovers, is open to visitors every day for tasting and sales. Our wines can be enjoyed outside the cellar door on the grassed areas besides the Wilyabrup Creek.