Cathy and Neil Howard had a great deal of experience in winemaking and viticulture before establishing Whicher Ridge in 2008. Cathy in Tasmania, the Barossa and Margaret River and Neil in the Pyrenees and Margaret River. Whicher Ridge is inland from Busselton at 170 metres with similar soils to parts of Margaret River. They grow sauvignon blanc, viognier and cabernet sauvignon and source other varieties from Margaret River and Frankland River.
The Howards are hands-on: expect to taste with Cathy at cellar door. Vineyard tours can be organised a day or two ahead. The Wine Sensory Garden is likely to be a highlight of a visit. It’s designed to heighten the senses and make connections between the aromas and flavours of the different varieties. There are several petanque pistes and boules are available for visitors to enjoy. PETER FORRESTAL
OUTSTANDING WINE: 2014 Whicher Ridge Elevation Cabernet Sauvignon, A$42