Vasse Felix Celebrates 50 Years in Margaret River: A Colossal Celebration

Tasting in full swing at Vasse on Friday 5th May

Tasting in full swing at Vasse on Friday 5th May

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2017 marks 50 years since the first of the modern-era vineyards was planted in Margaret River, on the Vasse Felix property, by Dr Tom Cullity.  There is no doubt that there were vineyards planted in and around Margaret River prior to 1967 (as early as the 1830's), however none survived to be included in what we now class as the Margaret River wine industry.

To celebrate the Golden Jubilee of the region, Vasse Felix hosted a party on the lawn by the original vines.  Each person who attended (thought to be around 350) brought a bottle of wine that was produced in Margaret River in the past 50 years.    

The view from here... straight down the line - this is what 350 wines from Margaret River's last 50 years looks like.

The view from here... straight down the line - this is what 350 wines from Margaret River's last 50 years looks like.

What is good for Vasse Felix, is good for Margaret River. And what is good for Margaret River is good for Vasse Felix
— Paul Holmes a Court, Owner

This attitude of team work, and unification of the region was a strong theme running through the panel discussion on the day.  Paul Holmes A Court addressed the crowd by saying, "Friends, family and neighbours - welcome". 

Wine celebrities on the panel were: Denis Horgan (owner/founder Leeuwin Estate); Nic Peterkin (owner/winemaker L.A.S. Vino, and son of Dr Mike Peterkin - Pierro); Robert Hill-Smith (owner Yalumba Wine Company and Samuel Smith & Sons - distribution partner Vasse Felix); Virginia Willcock (winemaker Vasse Felix) and Andrew Caillard MW (winemaker Caillard Wine, Langtons, filmmaker, MW).

Two of the many premium wines on offer on Friday.  It is perhaps unnecessary to note that both of these wines were in superb form, and illustrated with grace what aged Margaret River Cabernet Sauvignon can offer.  Note the interesting watermark running vertically down the bottle on the right - this was the first time Margaret River had been displayed on the label of a Vasse Felix wine.

Two of the many premium wines on offer on Friday.  It is perhaps unnecessary to note that both of these wines were in superb form, and illustrated with grace what aged Margaret River Cabernet Sauvignon can offer.  Note the interesting watermark running vertically down the bottle on the right - this was the first time Margaret River had been displayed on the label of a Vasse Felix wine.

Poured here: The 1982 Vasse Felix Hermitage, the tasting table in the background.

Poured here: The 1982 Vasse Felix Hermitage, the tasting table in the background.

SEEN: Veronica Cullity and Dr Mike Peterkin (Pierro); Dan Wegener (Somm, owner of Il Lido Italian Canteen, Cottesloe); Will Berliner (owner Cloudburst wines), Glenn Goodall and Brendan Carr (winemakers at Xanadu); Julian Langworthy (winemaker Deep Woods and current Jimmy Watson trophy holder); Luke Jolieff (winemaker Stella Bella & Len Evans scholar); Ian Parmenter (former writer for Wine Selector magazine; Peter Forrestal (wine writer); fine wine retailers John Jens (Lamonts),  Moreno Berti (RE Store) and Mike Tambouri (La Vigne); Tricia Horgan, Shelley Cullen, Janet and Zara Holmes A Court, Danielle and Jeremy Gordon (owners and winemaker Amelia Park) and many many more...