Climate

The Swan Valley is one of the warmest grape growing regions in Australia and its climate is shaped by a long, dry summer. This climate allows the fruit to reach it maximum ripeness, giving the Swan Valley wines their full, robust and multi-dimensional flavour spectrum.

Many vineyards are unirrigated, especially the older ones. There is little disease as a result of the lack of humidity and most vineyards would qualify as organic if herbicides weren’t used to control weeds.

Seasons

Winter in the Swan Valley
Vines must be pruned during this time, ready for optimum spring growth.  Most of the Swan Valley is hand-pruned by skilled vignerons or by skilled vineyard workers.

Spring… How Green is the Valley
The vineyard is in budburst and the Swan Valley is a picture of verdant spring growth.  This is a time when vignerons are constantly tending their vines, training the young canes in the way that they should go. Spring is also the time when the white varieties of the previous Swan Valley harvest is released at cellar doors – it is like the French Beaujolais time of year for young wines.

Summer in the Valley – Vintage Begins!
In Summer, all the hard work of the year is realised.  Harvesting the carefully grown fruit is usually done by hand.  The exact timing of each session of fruit picking is carefully calculated, according to the temperatures of early summer and the beame (or sugar level) in the fruit.  For premium conditions, grape picking begins at dawn and ends early on hot summer days in the Swan Valley.

Autumn – Maturing the Wines and Late Picking
The young wine from the summer harvest is by now maturing in the winery cellars while many Swan Valley winemakers are still hard at work in producing the late harvested fruit for the Swan Valley’s famous fortified wines. The end of another long hard vintage, and a time to celebrate.

Soils

The soils in the Swan valley range from rich loam to light and sandy it is this diverse “terroir” that allows many different varieties of grape vines to be grown. The soils can be grouped into three main soil types.

On the western side of the Swan River is swampy sandy country, moving towards deep draining sand over limestone towards Wanneroo nearer to the coast.

Along the river are deep alluvial loams with excellent water retention capacity. These are the most productive soils.

To the east, between the river flats and the base of the Darling Range are the tough laterite soils of gravelly clay loams over coffee rock.