“The goal is to be West Australia’s premier sparkling producer and this acquisition is the next step on our journey,” Howard Park Wines founder Jeff Burch said.
“Our Chief Winemaker Nic Bowen has an incredible track record of producing exceptional wines, and especially world class sparkling. This investment gives Nic and his team even more opportunity to showcase their talents and indicates how serious we are about crafting West Australia’s best sparkling wines.”
“The fruit from the Forest View site, and the Pemberton region as a whole, makes an excellent sparkling base, which will be a brilliant complement and blending component for our Jeté wines. In addition, we’ll continue to showcase what the region has to offer in the sparkling wine category.”
The site will continue to be managed by David and Jordan Radomiljac to ensure the continuation of high-quality fruit from the vines is supplied to Howard Park.
“Our relationship with the Burch family goes way back and this further solidifies the bond between our two winemaking businesses.” Jordan Radomiljac of Pemberley of Pemberton said.
“Forest View has been a terrific resource for both of our businesses and we know through this ongoing partnership, it will give Howard Park the opportunity to bring more awareness to the quality of sparkling wines coming out of the Pemberton wine region.”
As fate would have it, Bowen is no stranger to the Forest View Vineyard, with his winemaking father, Rob Bowen, the original winemaker at Pemberley and Nic’s late mother, Denise, the artist behind Pemberley’s striking art deco label.
“I originally visited Pemberley with my dad many years ago to inspect the vines. I casually mentioned that the south-facing Chardonnay D block would be brilliant for making méthode traditionnelle sparkling wines. Never in a million years did I think I’d get to do just that,” Bowen said.
“2023 is shaping up to be a very exciting vintage for the region, and I’m looking forward to welcoming these new parcels into the winery this year.”
The 48-hectare vineyard features six varieties, predominantly Chardonnay and also Pinot Noir, Prosecco, Pinot Gris, Sauvignon Blanc and Semillon. The vines, first planted in 2003, are nestled in deep Karri Loams (red and brown sandy loams over red clay loams). The site is relatively fertile with plentiful natural water resources, reducing the need for extensive irrigation. The area enjoys a hybrid maritime/continental climate as it straddles the coastal/inland divide at between 150 to 180 metres above sea level.
As a testament to the continued partnership between the two families, Bowen will assist the Pemberley team in further developing their own sparkling wines with fruit from their original sites, bringing both family brands into a new era.
The private purchase agreement is now in place, with fruit from the site to arrive at Howard Park’s winemaking facilities this vintage.