By Fergal Gleeson
As a Winemaker who has worked at Vasse Felix and now Fraser Gallop, Clive is well placed to see future trends in Margaret River.
While Chardonnay and Cabernet are king. Clive also feels barrel fermented Semillon Sauvignon Blanc is underestimated in Margaret River. Clive spent a vintage at Domaine De Chevalier in 2009 learning white Bordeaux techniques.
“This blend is considered world class in Bordeaux and the best examples can be more expensive than white burgundy. So I think the top SSB blends will become more recognised.”
“Around the fringes winemakers are experimenting with different styles and grapes but I think Chardonnay and Cabernet are likely to remain the hero grapes. I think the price of Margaret River wine will be more like Bordeaux and Napa in future.”
Fraser Gallop have no plans to expand their plantings though Clive wants to continue to spread the word about their wine and the region.
“Margaret River makes life easy. The dry summers and the ocean breezes mean there is no disease pressure. The wine almost makes itself!”
A Unique Way to visit Fraser Gallop
The Margaret River Discovery Co. offers a unique way to explore Fraser Gallop Estate. Sean Blocksidge describes his approach as “the tour for people who don’t do tours.”
“We look at the concept of terroir through geology and climate. You start in the morning by canoeing on the river. It’s a tranquil setting and you head over to a waterhole where we explore the early European and Aboriginal history. Then the highlight of the day. We head over to Fraser Gallop to get a behind the scenes look at the winery. You enter this magnificent tree lined avenue and see the house in front of you in all its grandeur.”
“Then you sit amongst the barrels. You have some food that’s matched with Fraser Gallop wines. At vintage time we sit amongst the vines. We meet one of the winemakers. Maybe Clive will walk over and have a chat about Cabernet.”
“People really have a connection to it when they can meet a winemaker in that setting. Fraser Gallop is hot right now.”
For the record Clive Otto still surfs. Though he stand up paddle surfs these days. “It keeps my toes out of the water, so is not as enticing for sharks!”
Fraser Gallop is a bit like a brilliant restaurant you discover that you don’t want to tell anyone about in case it becomes too popular. Unfortunately it may already be too late….
More on Fraser Gallop at http://www.frasergallopestate.com.au . Photos courtesy of Sean Blocksidge, The Margaret River Discovery Co. More on Margaret River Discovery Co. at http://www.margaretriverdiscovery.com.au . This is an excerpt from a feature in the summer issue of Your Margaret River Region Magazine