07/05/2008 - 22:00

McHenry Hohnen in for the long haul

07/05/2008 - 22:00

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The planned opening of a new cellar door next year is a further development in the partnership between two established wine industry families and second generation winemakers.

McHenry Hohnen in for the long haul

The planned opening of a new cellar door next year is a further development in the partnership between two established wine industry families and second generation winemakers.

Releasing its first vintage in 2004, McHenry Hohnen Vintners will launch its cellar door on Caves Road in 2009, and will have several new labels ready to take to the market.

The new business is driven by three well-known names: David Hohnen, founder of one of Margaret River’s most successful wineries, Cape Mentelle, and New Zealand’s Cloudy Bay; Murray McHenry; and Mr Hohnen’s daughter, Freya Walsh, who is a winemaker with her partner, Ryan.

Mr Hohnen said the partnership was a prerequisite for him to get involved in a new winery business.

“It is difficult to start a new winery in Margaret River and I did it for two reasons; the most important I think is that my daughter, Freya, agreed to be winemaker, so we had the opportunity to take our vineyard to second generation. With the knowledge I have of how difficult it is and how long it takes to establish a winery and a brand it would have been futile for a person of my age at my point of life to start all over again,” he said.

“Perhaps equally importantly, my brother-in-law Murray took part of it and gave us the confidence to go forward.”

The winery relies on four different vineyards, spread over  120 hectares, belonging to Mr Hohnen and Mr McHenry, on which 18 varieties are cultivated on individual sites within each vineyard best suited to the requirements of that grape.

“The vineyards have slightly different characteristics. They cover the whole range of the Margaret river spectrum,” Mr Hohnen said.

The first-generation Margaret River wines have been cabernet-based reds or sauvignon-based white, according to Mr Hohnen, who described McHenry Hohnen Vintners as a new generation winery.

“We are exploring additional varieties that would be relevant to our soils and climate,” he said.

“We make a red from a blend of shiraz, grenache and mataro...we make tempranillo, zinfandel, I think that gives you an idea on how we are second generation,” Mr Hohnen said.

Winemaker Ryan Walsh said the winery had a long-term focus and aimed to capture a boutique market through the introduction of new grapes to the region.

“You need a long-term focus in the wine industry as it takes a long time for the consumer to get the brand. We have a serious set up and we want to be here for the next 100 years,” Mr Walsh said.

STANDING BY BUSINESS. TRUSTED BY BUSINESS.

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