Thoughtful consumerism is alive and well in the Margaret River Region. Getting to grips with the journey from paddock to plate and vineyard to glass is a reality, whether picking up organic produce at the Margaret River Farmers Market or trying the growing number of winemakers who are in varying measures: organic, biodynamic and natural.
At Burnside Organic Farm, Lara and Jamie McCall produce wine, avocados and capers. Certified both organic and biodynamic it wasn’t a commercial decision to take this root, more a personal belief that to pollute the land on which they live and feed their family from wasn’t an option. Organic at its simplest excludes synthetic and artificial chemicals, such as fertilisers, pesticides, and fungicides while biodynamics takes a holistic approach that sees the fertility of soil, livestock care and plant growth as interrelated tasks. Certification comes with a cost and work on the producers part; soil tests, checks and audits all part of getting the prized certification.
For Lara McCall there’s no question of the value. “Interest is growing,” she says. “Margaret River has a reputation for amazing quality and people see organic as part of that. There’s pressure in the industry to go this way.” McCall also points to the work done by other winemakers in the region, such as Vanya Cullen at the iconic Cullen Wines in Wilyabrup, Wayne and Kaye Nobbs of Settlers Ridge in Cowaramup and Julian Wright at Marri Wood Park near Yallingup.