Fortified Wine Trail

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Fortified wines created in the Swan Valley are some of the most unique and complex made anywhere in the world, often blended from many vintages, and rated among the very best.
 
The origin of fortified wine styles goes back as far as the 16th century, when a growing number of countries were exporting wines. Long sea voyages, rough conditions and extremes of heat and cold made the wines unstable, with many oxidising during the journey.
 
In an effort to preserve the wines, winemakers started adding brandy. This resulted in a higher alcohol content (up to 20 per cent), less spoilage and a far more palatable product when the wine reached its destination.

Grapes used to produce fortified wines are typically harvested much later and riper than those grapes used for table wine. At a certain point during fermentation, winemakers introduce brandy spirit to shut down the fermentation process, leaving behind a natural residual sweetness.
 
The Swan Valley’s warm Mediterranean climate allows for a range of grape varieties to be grown, and styles to be produced. From rich and luscious liqueurs made from Muscat and Pedro Ximenez, through to Shiraz, Verdelho, and aged Tawny fortified wines. Discover them all on our Fortified Wine Trail.

Download the trail map

 

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