On most afternoons, a cool sea breeze can be felt drifting through the vines in Frankland River; a perplexing occurrence, given how far from the sea Frankland River is. Located in the Shire of Cranbrook, approximately 120 kilometres from Albany (and the ocean) and 360km southeast of Perth, Frankland River and its wines is, according to vino authority James Halliday, “one of Western Australia’s best-kept secrets”. For those who are “in-the-know”, Frankland River produces more than its fair share of fine drops. But this not-so-secret secret didn’t just develop out of thin vapour.
In the beginning
Frankland was first settled in 1857 by farming families, after reports from explorers told of good soils, consistent rainfall, and plenty of rivers and lakes. Home to some of the oldest vines in Western Australia, Frankland River saw its first vineyard planted in 1967 by the Roche family. That vineyard, originally called Westfield, is now owned by Houghton. Between then and the 1980s, several very small, family vineyards we established and now the region has around 1600 hectares under vine.
The right grape-growing elements
The most northerly inland sub-region of the Great Southern Wine region, Frankland River boasts a Mediterranean climate, plenty of winter-spring rainfall, a unique late afternoon sea breeze, land set up for irrigation and ironstone-based gravel soils that make it an ideal destination for grape-growing. Warm days and cool nights team with lots of sunlight, resulting in wines that have a high intensity of fruit, finesse, freshness and longevity.
Frankland River’s terroir lends itself well to the production of Riesling, Shiraz and Cabernet Sauvignon varietals. Here at The Lake House, our prized Shiraz and Cabernet Sauvignon wines shine the spotlight on the wine sub-region’s superb grapes.
For a taste of Great Southern Winter in a glass, try our Premium Reserve Frankland River Shiraz. This dense, inky red drop features rich dark fruit, mocha and liquorice aromas complemented by toasted oak and notes of pepper and spice. Initial flavours of black cherry and blackcurrant lead to a rich complex mid-palate of liquorice and dark chocolate and subtle spiced savoury notes, before finishing with long fine tannins and toasty spice and vanilla of premium French and American oak.
For something that’s a dash more complex, you can’t surpass our Premium Reserve Frankland River Cabernet Sauvignon. Juicy blackcurrant, cake spice and tobacco greet you upon first sniff of this tantalising drink, followed closely by hints of fresh mint. Briary red and dark fruits with dark chocolate feature on the mid-palate, then make way for velvety tannins and a long, toasty coffee bean finish supported by fine grain French oak.
Want to be transported to the Frankland River wine region? All you need to do is pick up a glass. Need it filling? Purchase one of our beautiful Frankland River wines today.