European varieties flourish in the Ferguson

September 09 2021 – Ryan Gibbs

Aylesbury Estate Wines made under the influence of European varietals
Aylesbury Estate Wines made under the influence of European varietals

Western Australia’s Ferguson Valley, situated among rolling hills overlooking the Indian Ocean within the Geographe Wine Region, is often compared climatically to Portugal’s Douro Valley. Cool winters, high winter rainfall, warm summers, and cooling sea breezes at night, are superbly suited to the growth of many European grape varieties.


Since the first vines were planted in the late ‘70’s, the Ferguson Valley has established itself as a perfect location for the ever-expanding plantings of many unique and interesting European grape varieties. Cellar doors, while still offering the more traditional Cabernet, Merlot, Chardonnay and Sauvignon Blanc, are now showcasing a growing list of alternate wines, including Arneis, Gamay, Verdelho, Fiano, Vermentino, Graciano, Grenache, Touriga Nacional and Tempranillo.


Aylesbury Estate have been successfully growing quality fruit, and producing elegant, fruit-driven wines from their Estate since planting their first vines in 1998 and are now enjoying the success of mastering beautifully crafted red and white wines with Arneis, Gamay and Tempranillo fruit.


Aylesbury Estate’s QO5 range of wines was created to allow their customers to experience the unique wines coming out of the region, while also branding the Ferguson Valley as the key region in Western Australia for these fabulous wine styles.


The first release of the QO5 wines has seen the following wines join the Aylesbury Estate family:

Arneis – traditionally known to be a favourite in Piedmont, Italy, Arneis is a beautifully structured wine, fruit-driven with stone fruit and melon characters, guided to a soft finish by a tight, zesty acidity.


Gamay – famous in the Beaujolais region of France, this wine is a heady mix of cherry, blackberry, violet and an earthy undertone. A bright pomegranate acidity provides structure to this medium-bodied wine.


Tempranillo – hailing from the prestigious Rioja region in Spain, Tempranillo has a great reputation in the Ferguson Valley for its plush, yet tightly structured style, filled with cherry, plum and spiced fig, while silky tannins provide length and depth.


Other varieties that will join the QO5 range over the coming vintages include:

Vermentino – originally grown in Sardinia, Italy, Aylesbury Estate is excited to see this complex, yet bright variety with lime, grapefruit, almond and pretty white floral notes.


Grenache – a delightful Spanish variety, Grenache has already established itself as a Ferguson Valley hero. Medium-full bodied with lashings of strawberry, spiced plum, leather and dried herbs, with a tangy blood orange acidity ensuring a long finish.