By Fergal Gleeson
Stella Bella Wines cleaned up at the Margaret River Wine Show 2018 in November winning an extraordinary six trophies.
It was the culmination of a dazzling year of wine show success including a trophy at the Royal Melbourne Wine Show for the 2016 Suckfizzle Sauvignon Semillon, the Best Margaret River Chardonnay Award for the 2017 Suckfizzle Chardonnay and three trophies at Wine Show of Western Australia for the 2017 Shiraz.
Why is this small winery excelling?
Winemaker Luke Joliffe explains. “Our vineyard management and winemaking has certainly evolved over the past 5 years.”
“Our philosophy is to make distinctive Southern Margaret wines in the Stella Bella style which enhances the strengths of individual vineyard sites through thoughtful and attentive winemaking and viticulture. This is through keeping it simple.”
Luke considers Stella Bella’s Southern Margaret River vineyards to be a really important part of their identity. Given the Margaret River wine region is 100km long from north to south there is significant variance in both climate and soils.
The cooler southern vineyards generate aromatic, precise whites and elegant, detailed reds. Luke demurs from saying that the southern Margaret River makes better wine but only that they are distinctive!
Luke joined Stella Bella in 2007 and took over the reins as Senior Winemaker from founder Stuart Pym in 2013. Luke’s early studies and career were as a Viticulturist which is why he is a believer in the maxim of “great wines are made in the vineyard” rather than in the winery.
Stella Bella offer wines at 4 different levels: the Luminosa Cabernet and Chardonnay at the pinnacle, followed by the single vineyard Suckfizzle range, then the Stella Bella range and the entry level Scuttlebutt wines for every day drinking.
Sitting outside that hierarchy is the Otro Vino range meaning ‘other wine’ in Italian. This is a small batch range of wines described as “adventurous, creative, exotic, and hand-crafted”.
The Cellar Door is open daily. You are welcome to bring your own picnic and enjoy Stella Bella wines on the lawn overlooking the vines.
For more visit http://www.stellabella.com.au
Originally from the spring issue of Your Margaret River Region Magazine