Harvey River Estate and Vineyard 28 major winners in WA Alternative Varieties Wine Show

Headshot of Sean Van Der Wielen
Sean Van Der WielenHarvey-Waroona Reporter
Vineyard 28 owners Mark Cumbers and Pippa Cumbers with one of their awards.
Camera IconVineyard 28 owners Mark Cumbers and Pippa Cumbers with one of their awards. Credit: Vineyard 28/Facebook

Some of Harvey’s best known wineries are celebrating after being recognised as some of the best in the region.

Harvey River Estate and Vineyard 28 both took home gongs at this year’s WA Alternative Varieties Wine Show.

The two vineyards took home a combined seven of the 26 categories up for grabs at the show, held at Capel Vale Winery on September 17.

Harvey River Estate took home gold for Best Rose and Best Geographe Rose for their 2022 vintage, while the 2022 vintage Moscato and Sauvignon Blanc/Semillon took home the Best Geographe Sweet Table Wine and Best Geographe White Blend awards respectively.

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Winemaker Stuart Pierce said it is excellent to have been recognised.

“It is a great feeling because it validates what we’re doing,” he said.

“It gives you a bit more confidence in what you are doing.”

Harvey River Estate winemaker Stuart Pierce with the Best Rosé Award plaque.
Camera IconHarvey River Estate winemaker Stuart Pierce with the Best Rosé Award plaque. Credit: Harvey River Estate/Facebook

He put the winery’s four accolades down to a mixture of luck and having a good product.

Mr Pierce described this year’s growing conditions as “pretty good”.

“We had fairly stable weather throughout the whole ripening period,” he said.

“It makes our job a lot easier when you’re trying to harvest the fruit at its most optimum.”

Vineyard 28 won three awards on the night. The winery’s 2022 vintage Fiano was recognised as the Best Geographe White Wine and Best Geographe White Varietal, while the 2020 Cabernet Sauvignon won Best Geographe Cabernet.

Vineyard 28 owner Pippa Cumbers said she was very happy with the result.

“Great wine is made in the vineyard, and it is a reflection of the hard work put in by everyone,” she said.

“It is about picking the best fruit at the best time to make the best product.”

Her husband and Vineyard 28 winemarker Mark Cumbers said it was great to be recognised.

“The Geographe region likes to call itself the home of alternative wines in Western Australia,” he said.

“We have a Mediterranean climate which helps with the growing of Spanish and Italian varieties.”

Asked what the growing seasons were like for the 2020 vintage season, Mr Cumbers described it as “average” but they did have some advantages.

“I don’t think it was a standout year but we had maturing vines and there was a changing of some of the winemaking processes,” he said.

Mr Cumbers said this year’s vintage was looking promising in the barrel.

“Every vintage I like to do different things so you end up with a slightly different result,” he said.

“About 80 per cent of the wine we use is grown in the vineyard, so if you grow it well, you can get good wine.”

The awards winners were decided by a panel of three judges from both WA and interstate.

This year marks the 20th anniversary of the wine show, which was previously known as the Geographe Wine Show.

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