Val­ley love af­fair

Ellenbrook Advocate - - NEWS -

JOHN Grif­fiths and Jane Mi­callef have had a 20-year love af­fair with the Swan Val­ley.

In 1997, they bor­rowed money to es­tab­lish Faber Vine­yard.

It’s been hard work for the hus­band and wife team, but through their jour­ney they have grown to love the cul­ture of the wine grow­ing re­gion and con­trib­uted to the evo­lu­tion that has seen it be­come a highly re­garded wine re­gion.

To cel­e­brate Faber Vine­yard’s 20th an­niver­sary, cel­e­bra­tions will be held from 11am to 5pm on Sun­day, Septem­ber 24 and Mon­day, Septem­ber 25 over the Queen’s Birth­day long weekend.

As well as live mu­sic there will be vine­yard walk­a­bouts and mas­ter­classes through­out the day.

John was a highly re­spected wine­maker at Houghton Wines when he and Jane took a huge gam­ble on the Swan Val­ley at a time when the re­gion’s wines were not as well re­garded.

“I’d worked in other hot ar­eas and I had no doubt that qual­ity wine could be made here,” he said.

The wine­mak­ing was a bit old fash­ioned in the Val­ley at the time, with hot sheds and old equip­ment, but the 1990s saw mod­erni­sa­tion and there was an ex­plo­sion of new winer­ies.

Grape va­ri­eties like the chenin blanc, verd­hello, shi­raz and caber­net sauvi­gnon that were al­ready well es­tab­lished in the Swan Val­ley were given a new lease of life.

John says he loves the char­ac­ter of the val­ley.

“I love there are all th­ese wine­mak­ers who have been here many years, and of­ten their fa­ther and grand­fa­ther be­fore them, and I love the his­tory and cul­ture,” he said.

The first vines were planted in spring of 1998 and the first shi­raz grapes har­vested in Fe­bru­ary 2000. That 2000 Shi­raz was re­leased in Jan­uary 2001 and quickly sold out.

The win­ery was built in time for the 2005 vin­tage and cel­lar door sales were opened in 2008. The bar­rel hall was built in 2010. The last of their land was planted to vines in 2016 and 2017, pro­vid­ing 11 acres in to­tal.

Faber Vine­yard’s wines have a track record of win­ning awards.

Aus­tralia’s lead­ing wine critic James Hal­l­i­day recog­nised Faber as one of Aus­tralia’s 10 best new winer­ies in 2002 and one of 10 ‘Dark Horses’ to watch out for in 2006. He rated Faber’s cur­rent re­lease 2014 Re­serve Shi­raz as gold medal stan­dard.

Faber Vine­yard’s John Grif­fiths.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Australia

© PressReader. All rights reserved.