Hamelin Bay Wines in the Margaret River wine region was established by the Drake-Brockman family in 1992. The family-run vineyard near Karridale is now also home to a cellar door and restaurant.
Ancestral ties with the area date back to the first European settlement. Owner Richard Drake-Brockman is the great-grandson of Grace Bussell, whose family first settled in the Margaret River region in 1830. Grace is famous for her courage as a 16 year old when in 1876, with Aboriginal stockman Sam Isaacs, she rescued the survivors of the ‘Georgette’ shipwreck at Redgate Beach. Richard's great-grandfather Frederick Brockman, known for his exploration of the Kimberley, read about Grace’s feat in the newspaper and was so impressed he rode 300km on horseback to meet her! This romantic tale ended happily when they married in 1882. In a stroke of serendipity, Hamelin Bay's vineyard and winery are fittingly located at the intersection of the Brockman and Bussell Highways, which were named in honour of these two pioneering families.
Dr John Gladstones, Margaret River’s founding father and Australia's leading viticultural research scientist, was approached by Richard to seek his opinion, prior to him acquiring the property. Dr Gladstones said Karridale showed great potential given its cooler location and the availability of well-drained gravel soils. He said he now preferred the southerly areas of Margaret River to the northerly Wilyabrup region having realised that the nearby Southern and Indian Oceans give the southern subregions such as Karridale a moderate maritime climate year-round. As awareness of rising climatic temperatures grows, there is increasing recognition of the cooler southern Karridale sub-region of Margaret River.
Hamelin Bay Wines unique Five Ashes vineyard is one of Margaret River’s most picturesque vineyards. The moderate maritime climate and a north-facing ridge of prime gravelly loam soils are ideal for premium quality grape growing. The exceptional wine produced reflects these superb natural attributes of the 26-hectare vineyard. The Whites are positioned on a cool Easterly slope with soils varying from prized Forest Grove gravels to Karri loams, whilst the Reds are situated on a warmer North-facing slope beneath the cellar door on deep, dark gravel loams. The Whites exude freshness and elegance, and the Reds have restrained power and depth, both with distinctive and intense characters specific to each particular variety, block and site. From the very first vintage, Hamelin Bay Wines has won awards thanks to the outstanding terroir influenced by perfect gravel soils, select aspects, and cool moderate maritime microclimate.