The Swan Valley has a warm, Mediterranean-style climate and rich, fertile soils, so it's no surprise the region has claimed its spot as a leading producer of a vast range of top quality wines.
Sparkling wines have long been the favoured drink to celebrate any occasion. Making sparkling wine in the traditional Methode Champenoise, the same method that produces champagne in France, is labour intensive but very much worth the extra effort. In the Swan Valley, delicious and creamy sparkling wines are produced from traditional varieties such as Chardonnay, Chenin Blanc and Shiraz.
Verdelho is a variety that thrives in the climate of the Swan Valley. It is crisp and dry with tropical notes and is perfect with or without food. Ideal to serve with tapas, freshly shucked oysters and Asia flavours.
Chenin Blanc is grown extensively in the Valley and often forms the basis of wines called 'classic'. Chenin Blanc is crisp and dry with intense flavour. Ideal to serve with seafood and light-style chicken dishes.
Petit Verdot has gained a strong following in the Swan Valley. Dense in colour and highly aromatic with notes of blueberries and spice flavours on the palate, it is best matched with rich foods including hearty casseroles, roast duck and strong cheddar cheese.
Shiraz is used to make a full-bodied red wine suitable for both early consumption or cellaring. The use of new and old oak adds greater complexity and depth. In the Swan Valley, there are still some blocks of very old Shiraz vines that produce a minimum yield but extremely high quality wine. Great food matches include grilled red meats, coq au vin and dry cheddar-style cheeses.
Fortified wines are often referred to as liquid sunshine thanks to the fruit being left on the vines for extended ripening in the warm summer sun. The berries are semi-dried, which allows the grape sugars and flavours to concentrate. The term fortified refers to the addition of a small amount of brandy spirit to strengthen the partly-fermented wine, which is then left to mature in an oak barrel. Some of the luscious fortified wines made in the Valley include Pedro Ximenes, Muscadelle, Liqueur Shiraz and Liqueur Verdelho.
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