Vines and winemaking are an essential part of the Margaret River Region’s DNA. From pretty much the earliest days of settlement in the Margaret River Region, vines were a part of the area’s history.
The Bussells planted vines in the 1830s for use as table grapes and to make wine for the family. In about 1851, Elijah Dawson planted the region’s first commercial vineyard at Vasse – three acres of vines to supply wine to the significant numbers of the American whalers who plied their trade off the coast of Western Australia.
Giacomo Meleri had a vineyard at Yallingup from 1920 to 1950 which, at its peak, was four hectares in size. He had a cellar door at which he offered tastings and also sold his ‘Red Dynamite’ at the local dances.
The distinguished American viticulturist, Professor Harold Olmo, spent eight months in Western Australia on a Fullbright Research scholarship in 1955 to examine problems in the wine industry in the Swan Valley. While here, he visited the Great Southern and his report included a recommendation that this area could produce high quality light, dry table wines and boost Western Australia’s economy.