Why the Duck?
The Capel River, adjacent to Capel Vale winery is home to many species of waterfowl, including the protected Sheldrake, or native Mountain Duck. When the Pratten family originally planted the vines in 1974, the Mountain Ducks constantly surrounded them, reminding them of their presence whilst they work. The banks of the Capel River were deliberately untouched to allow the ducks to maintain their natural habitat and can still be seen today, squawking merrily along their way.
Along the coast of the Indian Ocean between Busselton and Perth, is a coastal limestone plain over which run a small number of rivers into the sea. Along the river banks are deposits of rich, red alluvial soil, approximately five metres deep, which lie over a limestone base. Both Capel Vale's Stirling and Wellington vineyards are situated on this terroir. These vineyards are trickle irrigated with pure, clean water with a guaranteed supply, supplemented by recycled treated waste water from the winery and bottling line.
The region enjoys a very mild climate with a strong Mediterranean influence. Summer days are generally warm but always end with a cool sea breeze that drops the temperature every afternoon. Rainfall occurs predominantly during the winter months. It is particularly recognised for Chardonnays and Merlots and shows great promise for some other varietals including Petit Verdot, Viognier, Verdelho, Tempranillo and Sangiovese.
Thanks to Justin Hearn for showing our group through the winery.