Churchview Estate gets its name from the St Johns, heritage listed Anglican church, as seen from the tasting room. The privately owned property was selected for its ideal and fertile gravelly loam soils, ample clean water and north facing slopes. The 100 hectare estate has 56 hectares under vines growing 16 different grape varieties. The portfolio of wines offered is both extensive and exciting, with a wine to suit every occasion and every budget. This website will tell you the story behind the very passionate and dedicated team who are only interested in producing the very best wines for your enjoyment. It is for these reasons Churchview Estate was awarded a five star winery status from James Halliday in 2016.
The Margaret River wine region produces around three percent of Australia's wine grapes, however, the wines from this region account for over 20 percent of Australia's finest wines. There is over 5000 hectares under vine and approximately 215 grape growers and wine producers. Margaret River is a true "boutique" wine producing region. What makes a great Margaret River wine is not only the unique clean maritime environment in which the grapes are grown or the science of modern wine making techniques. It is equally about the passionate men and women who are dedicated to growing and crafting some of the world's finest wines.
The grape vine in its wild state is a climber and its natural habitat was the forest. Over 5000 years ago man took the vine and began to cultivate it, presumably for wine. Wine-growers have long known the importance of soil, climate and the grape variety, a combination the French call "terroir". Today we also understand the importance of viticulture the science behind cultivating the fruit.
It is a well known fact that the creation of a great bottle of wine starts in the vineyard. What is meant by this is that the purity and quality of the fruit will dictate the quality and purity of the wine. Our philosophy behind the cultivation of our vines is simple, if we treat the environment with respect and work with nature, then in return we will be gifted with pure, clean and healthy fruit.
Churchview Estate prides itself on doing our bit to look after the environment. Over the last 15 years we have worked hard to convert the vineyard from a full conventional to an organic operated vineyard. This means that we do not use any toxic chemical fertilizers or pesticides.
The property was originally selected for its fertile and healthy soils and for the mainly north facing slopes capturing the best of the sunlight. This helps with the consistent ripening of the fruit.
The estate is situated on one of the first major slopes heading south towards Margaret River on the Bussell Hwy. This gives us the opportunity to capture the natural runoff of rainfall to fill a number of dams on the property.
The soils consist mainly of gravelly loam with some smaller plots of sandy loam. Some sections also have an underlying slightly clay base. These soils have the capacity to hold their moisture for longer into the summer meaning that the nutrients that are in the soil are available to the plant for longer into the summer.
Most of our rows of vines run north south. This means that the vines and grapes capture the morning sun on the east, grapes are shaded in the heat of the day as the sun is above in the north and the grapes benefit from the cooler afternoon sun in the west. We have a split canopy system which allows for a larger canopy from the ground up. This gives a greater leaf area helping to ripen the grapes more evenly.
Every vineyard has the same essential annual routine, but there are scores of options open to the wine-grower as to how and when each job is carried out. The decisions of the growers will be dictated by climate, tradition, economics and the pursuit of quality. There have been enormous advances in the science of viticulture and the results of such research is shared world wide. We continously try to make improvements each year learning from our previous experiences and techniques. We also rely on new knowledge as well as a healthy portion of tradition.
Our vines are pruned from June through to August.
Budburst starts in spring during September.
Flowering begins in middle to late November.
In the middle of December the bunches start to fill out and rapidly increase in size.
Late in January the fruit begins a process called veraison. This is where the grapes begin to change colour. It is also when the sugar levels in the grapes begin to rise on a daily basis.
Harvest time can start as early as the middle of February for some white varieties and finish in the middle of April for some red varieties.
After harvest and as the season changes the vines turn golden and drop their leaves before coming dormant for the winter months ready for pruning.
The 100 hectare property that is Churchview Estate currently has 56 hectares of vines. On the property we grow 16 different grape varieties and this is more varieties on a single vineyard that any other vineyard in the Margaret River region.
The varieties are planted in various blocks across the estate depending on the best location for that variety. Listed below are all 16 varieties.
Chardonnay (4 clones)
Winemaking or vinification is the process of taking grapes and turning the juice of those grapes into wine. The process is a simple one, but it requires special attention at key events. There is both an art and a science involved in the process and it can be argued that the skills required by the winemaker amount to craftsmanship.
Our winemaker is Greg Garnish, his role is to ensure that at each quality event he takes extra care to craft the wine. Every stage whether it be grape sampling, harvesting, crushing, pressing, fermenting, filtering and bottling requires attention to detail and sensory analysis to craft the finest wines we can for each vintage.
The special ability to craft the wine ensures that every single bottle we produce is a reflection of the site and speaks about the vintage, the climate and the different flavour profiles that each season brings. It's the difference in vintage that makes winemaking an art and the ability to bring these flavours to you that makes wine so interesting.
The line between the vineyard and the winery is not as absolute and clear cut as it might seem at first. The winery and much of its equipment is but a passing phase in the transition from grape to wine. All the equipment in the winery cannot itself guarantee quality, identity or style. These things come primarily from the fruit supplied and the winemaker's imprint on them. At every stage of the process different options are available to the winemaker. Even given identical grapes it is these options that determine to a large extent the final quality and individual style of what is finally bottled. Our philosophy at Churchview Estate is to make the best possible wine we can and make that affordable to you. We have built a reputation for quality and affordability and we are confident every bottle of wine we produce will impress you and those who you share it with.
Most of our premium wines will have an element of oak in their flavour profile. Quality oak barrels are an important factor in the making of quality wines. The very best French Oak barrels are sourced to make our wines and these barrels are as important as the fruit when it comes to crafting the wines.
These barrels are sourced from France, they are grown in the famous oak forests of France and made by French coopers. These barrels are expensive and form a major part of the cost of making fine wines. A barrel or barrique holds 225 litres they are only used a handful of times before they serve no further purpose as they do not add any further "oak" flavour to the wine. We will invest several thousands of dollars each year on oak barrels and it is for this reason that some of our very best wines will carry a higher price tag.
What many mass producers will do is add oak flavour to their wines using free floating oak chips in the fermentation tanks, this cuts costs but it also cuts quality. It can be argued that the flavour added to these wines using these methods is overpowering and can often be unpleasant, it is for this reason that many people may choose to opt for wine styles that do not have any oak flavour. Wine is all about balance and a well balanced wine may contain a well balanced oak component. We encourage you to embrace these traditional methods and enjoy the complexity and depth oak will add to our wines. The Bartondale chardonnay is a wine that will showcase how oak and fruit can work so well together, that the experience when drinking this wine is simply magic.
It would be impossible to trace back the origins of wine. There is evidence that the Egyptians, Greeks and Romans enjoyed wine in their ancient cultures. Wine is now widely available to most in our society, but it's how we view wine that will differ between each of us. We believe that every bottle of wine should be enjoyed, shared and cherished.
Wine is more than just a beverage. It has been enjoyed for many thousands of years in many different cultures. Today wine is available to most of us and is easily obtained. As wine enthusiasts we want to share our product with other wine enthusiasts. It is a well known fact that Western Australia and Margaret River in particular produces some of the finest wines in the world. What makes a fine wine is very subjective and personal, for example someone may prefer sweet wines over dry, or oaked wines over unoaked. If you enjoy the wine and it provides you with a positive experience then we can assume its a fine wine. To enjoy wines and all they offer it is worth following a method when tasting wines.
There is a distinct order in which the senses are brought into play when tasting wine. Quite naturally sight is the first to take part. Clarity, colour, condition and the age of the wine can be determined through the appearance of the wine. Aroma and how the wine stimulates our sense of smell is often neglected, yet is such an important aspect of wine tasting. Our wines are famously aromatic and to take just a few moments to enjoy their aroma will highten the experience. The taste of the wine is of course the highlight, usually the appearance and aroma of the wine will have given us a good idea of how the wine may taste. Finally the feeling of the wine on the palate is again an aspect of wine tasting often neglected but is so very important. The structure of the wine and how the wine is made will determine the mouth feel.
We believe very strongly that our wines should be enjoyed with food and whilst there isn't any hard and fast rules as to what food types go with which wines, we would suggest that delicate aromatic white wines should be enjoyed with delicate flavoured foods and the heavy powerful reds should be matched with strong flavoured dishes.
Most importantly we want our wines to mark an occasion. It could be a daily glass with your evening meal or a bottle shared over a romantic dinner or a family feast. We encourage responsible consumption and a good guide here is to choose quality over quantity.
Luxury wines of the highest quality, crafted with the very best fruit from the very best vintages. Wines for the most discerning enthusiast.
The Bartondale wines are named after the first European family, with the name Bartondale, who cleared the land for dairy production as part of the group settlement programme in the 1920s.
Our philosophy has always been to craft the finest wines we possibly can, with the fruit we caringly cultivate on the estate and The Bartondale wines represent this very well.
There is no compromise with these wines, only the very best fruit is used along with the highest quality oak. Hand crafted with special care and attention, with minimal additions, these wines, can be enjoyed young, but will benefit from extended cellaring in the right conditions.
The Bartondale wines have always scored very favourably with James Halliday and Ray Jordan and perform very well when placed into shows. As a result of this consistent quality James Halliday awarded Churchview Estate with a five star winery rating in 2016.
The range is very limited with only about 10 barriques of the reds to be produced each year.
The Bartondale is held back to allow for additional bottle age. Each year the new vintage is released around October and the vast majority is sold by allocation.
These wines will appeal to the dedicated and fanatical wine enthusiast.
Rare, unique and extremely well crafted wines made with less common varieties. Our interpretation of classic styles from classic regions.
There is no doubt the St Johns wines are particularly special. Named after the St John the Baptist Anglican church as seen from the tasting room. These wines are carefully crafted with some of the less common grape varieties grown on the Estate.
These wines really showcase the passion that exists throughout the team at Churchview Estate.
The quality begins in the vineyard where our team painstakingly cultivate these often difficult varieties.
The winery team then uses this pure, clean and quality fruit to craft what we believe to be some of the finest examples of classic styles.
These wines are for the discerning wine enthusiast looking to broaden their experiences, stock their cellars and impress their guests. These wines can be enjoyed young or put away for enjoyment in years to come.
Affordable quality, wines designed to complement great meals, which opens this range of wines, not only to the wine enthusiast and fine wine retailer, but also fine dining restaurants.
These are the wines that we at Churchview Estate love to craft and love to cherish, the wines that we drink on those special occasions.
Premium wines made from the varieties Margaret River is world famous for, with good expression of fruit, subtle complexity and offering great value.
Our first vintage in 2001 gave us four wines styles that were to become what is now known as the Estate Range.
These premium wines are made from the varieties Margaret River is world famous for, with good expressions of fruit, subtle complexity and a long finish.
These wines are the typical styles you would expect to find at a Margaret River winery. As with all wines from this region they are elegant, approachable and of course, of the highest quality.
These are competitively priced and the range will appeal to the everyday wine drinker who appreciates quality and value for money.
Lifestyle wines, fruit driven, light, fresh and easy drinking. Exceptional value wines made for immediate enjoyment.
This range of wines has seen huge success in Western Australia and is very competitively priced in the sub $15 retail price point.
At these prices the wines offer exceptional value for money and the quality you expect from a Margaret River boutique producer.
These wines have been awarded multiple gold medals over the various show seasons.
The Silverleaf wines can be enjoyed every day at home or away, in the knowledge that they will suitably impress your friends and family.