Pretty as a picture. Karri forests, rivers, rolling hills and dales, Pemberton's visual feast brings a little tear to the eye. As a wine region it is very young, with most plantings occurring in the 1980s before a bigger push through the '90s. The region has come along in leaps and bounds for quality, and its position way way down in Western Australia lends a hand to sensational growing conditions. Only 50 kilometres from the coast, Pemberton enjoys a mild, maritime influenced climate and a really even growing season. Grapes love it.
The region has no halo variety per se, but Chardonnay, Pinot Noir and increasingly Riesling and Shiraz are the best suited mainstream varieties produced. The wines generally show aspects of cool climate influence (there is a gentle elevation up to 200 metres), are soft in tannin structure (reds) and leaner in profile (whites). Often the wines are described as ‘pristine’ for their fruit integrity and vitality.
While the region has less traffic than the closest major wine region, Margaret River, wine (and food) tourism to the region is increasing. The Pemberton Pub is a landmark Aussie drinking hole and worthy of a swing-through if in the area, and the landscape offers lots of pleasant vistas. While the spotlight tends to stay on Margaret River, Pemberton has made in-roads with leading WA producers taking interest in fruit from the region. The wines often represent great value for money, and there is a focus on premium wines.