From Cabernet To Conservation
Passionate about fine wine, Wendy and Barry Stimpson had a shared dream of owning a vineyard and making environmentally sustainable premium wine. Purchasing the pristine Passel Estate land in the heart of the Margaret River wine region provided the perfect location for the realisation of these dreams. The property features mature vineyards, which were planted almost thirty years ago, with additional vineyards planted since. “We have always managed our vineyards in an environmentally sustainable way under the guidance of our veteran viticulturist, Andy Ferreira, and we’ve recently received formal recognition for sustainability through certification by Sustainable Winegrowing Australia,” says Wendy. Margaret River’s Mediterranean climate and maritime influence provide optimal growing conditions for sustainable viticulture, and Passel Estate’s vines consistently yield first-class fruit for the production of their award winning range of wines, including renowned regional flagship varietals cabernet sauvignon and chardonnay. “Rich soils and reliable winter rainfall nourish the deep roots of our mature vines, while the region’s consistent summer sunshine and cooling sea breezes provide ideal conditions for ripening,” says Barry.
Water management is an important part of sustainable viticulture, and two dams on the property provide water for occasional irrigation of the vines. Local farmers are invited to agist sheep in the vineyard, as grazing reduces the need for slashing and spraying, and the sheep fertilise the soil as they forage. Bees also play a key role in nurturing a sustainable vineyard ecosystem, as they pollinate vineyard cover crops, which are vital for healthy vines. Beehives have been placed near the vineyards and honey is sold to raise funds for ongoing conservation efforts, such as revegetation of bushland areas to enhance the habitat for the resident passel of endangered Western Ringtail Possums. During the warmer months, visitors can venture into this pristine bushland sanctuary and taste wine alongside the vines it originated from on the Nature and Wine Walk. Part of the proceeds from this experience are invested in conservation initiatives at the property, so lace up your walking shoes and enjoy this immersive guided wine tasting experience to support wildlife conservation at this environmentally sustainable wine estate.