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Great Southern

The Great Southern is a large yet vibrant region where the food and wine scene has been transformed in the last ten years, especially in its largest town, Albany. Good coffee is much more readily available in most parts of the region. Visiting cellar doors here can mean driving long distances: the reward, however, is in the diverse and rugged landscape.

Duke’s Vineyard

Star Cellar Door

(08) 9853 1107

The Ransons planted their 10-hectare vineyard twenty years ago when Duke turned 60. During that time, the Porongurup subregion has risen from relative obscurity to being considered one of the country’s finest areas for riesling and pretty handy with other varieties. Duke’s wines are made under contract at nearby Castle Rock where Rob Diletti is firmly established among the ranks of Australia’s finest winemakers. The maturing of the vines has been another major influence on the quality at Duke’s.

There are now four rieslings (plus a sparkling riesling) as well as ageworthy single vineyard and reserve cabernets and shiraz and a cabernet shiraz blend. The 2017 The Morrissey, which Duke regards as their best ever red, is priced accordingly. That said, prices overall are modest. The cellar door itself is striking: inside a warm welcome and an interesting tasting are guaranteed while the rugged beauty of the Porongurups and the Stirling Ranges offer another good reason for visiting. Expect to be tempted by one of Hilda Ranson’s art works.  PETER FORRESTAL

OUTSTANDING WINE: 2018 Duke’s Magpie Hill Reserve Riesling, A$40

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