Howard Park Wines was one of the earliest adopters of multi-regional fruit sourcing; a champion of the cool-climate Great Southern wine region and the world-renowned Margaret River. The result is the work of heritage and family - more than three decades handcrafting wines of provenance and elegance.
Howard Park was borne from an ambition to craft wine with generational cellaring potential. The first two wines were produced by founding winemaker, John Wade, who left a prestigious posting in the Coonawarra after seeing enormous promise in the budding Great Southern wine region. John had seen enormous success at Under the Howard Park label, he crafted a Riesling and Cabernet Sauvignon to stand the test of time. His friend and fellow wine lover, Jeff Burch, joined in partnership seven years later, purchasing cornerstone land parcels, constructing a winery and cellar door, and entwining his family with Howard Park’s future.
A Three Decade Search for Fruit Perfection
Howard Park had humble beginnings with a visionary winemaker, a shed and two powerful, elegant wines that form the backbone of the range to this day.
The subsequent 30 years were meticulously spent discovering quality fruit producers in both Margaret River and the Great Southern. Over time, the Burch family and their winemaking and viticultural teams built an intellectual database of regions, vineyards, blocks and clones on their hunt for optimal fruit quality.
Today Howard Park is the proud owner of 4 distinct vineyards, each identified for allowing specific fruit varieties to flourish to their full potential.
Growing pristine fruit in two regions will be forever woven into Howard Park history. The duality distinguishes Howard Park from all other Australian wineries, with exceeding acknowledgement on the world stage. No other winery has committed the last 30 years to developing their vital fruit source in the same way.
- The Howard Park story begins. While working at Plantagenet Wines, John Wade makes a Howard Park Riesling and Howard Park Cabernet Sauvignon. He names Howard Park after his father.
- The Burch family purchases a 138-hectare property in Wilyabrup, which will become the Leston vineyard. John Gladstones’ seminal study of the Margaret River had marked this particular property as suitable for growing Cabernet Sauvignon and Chardonnay.
- Amy and Jeff Burch join John Wade in partnership.
- Release of the first Howard Park Chardonnay, a blend of both Great Southern and Margaret River fruit.
- The historic ‘Park Head’ property in Denmark is purchased to become Howard Park’s first winery and cellar door.
- Chardonnay, Merlot and Cabernet Sauvignon grapes are planted at the Leston vineyard in Margaret River.
- David Burch, Jeff’s brother, joins Howard Park to manage the Leston Vineyard.
- The Denmark winery and cellar door opens.
- John Wade leaves Howard Park and the Burch family take sole control.
- Michael Kerrigan becomes Chief Winemaker.
- Lesley Scogna, Jeff’s sister, joins Howard Park as a Brand Ambassador.
- Release of the Distinguished Sites range with the Scotsdale Cabernet Sauvignon and Leston Shiraz.
- The single vineyard range (which is later renamed as the Distinguished Sites range) is completed with the Scotsdale Shiraz and Leston Cabernet Sauvignon.
- The new Howard Park winery and cellar door opens in Margaret River for the 2000 vintage. Architecturally designed with Feng Shui principles, it wins several awards.
- Another 63 hectares of Cabernet and Chardonnay vines are planted at the Leston vineyard.
- Screwcap trials begin with some batches of Howard Park Riesling, Chardonnay and Cabernet Sauvignon.
- All Howard Park and MadFish wines are bottled under screwcap.
- Release of Howard Park Sauvignon Blanc.
- Purchase of the 200-hectare Mount Barrow vineyard in Mount Barker, Great Southern.
- David Botting joins Howard Park as Chief Viticulturist.
- Several clones of Pinot Noir and Chardonnay are planted at the Mount Barrow vineyard along with Riesling and Sauvignon Blanc.
- The 20th vintage of Howard Park Cabernet Sauvignon is renamed ‘Abercrombie’ after Jeff’s great grandfather, Walter Abercrombie.
- Natalie Burch, Jeff and Amy’s daughter, joins Howard Park.
- Howard Park celebrates its 20th anniversary.
- First release of the Howard Park Museum Riesling.
- No Abercombie Cabernet Sauvignon is made due to adverse vintage conditions.
- Howard Park hosts the Tropfest film festival in Margaret River for the first time.
- The first international Riesling tasting is held at the Margaret River winery.
- Tony Davis becomes Chief Winemaker.
- Expansion of the Margaret River winery – additional red fermenters, additional press, and additional storage capacity.
- Allan Stanbury becomes Bottling Manager. Installation of still and sparkling lines at Margaret River winery.
- The first Howard Park sparklings are tiraged.
- Howard Park joins Australia’s First Families of Wine.
- David Burch, Jeff and Amy’s son, joins Howard Park.
- First release of the Howard Park Porongurup Riesling.
- Janice McDonald becomes Chief Winemaker.
- First vintage of Allingham Chardonnay (which ultimately becomes part of our Icons range).
- The Howard Park methodé traditionnelle sparklings are launched.
- Burch Family Wines is named as the umbrella brand of Howard Park, Marchand & Burch and MadFish.
- Richard Burch, the youngest of the Burch clan joins Howard Park.
- Purchase of the Dennis vineyard in Mount Barker, which is renamed the Abercrombie Vineyard. The vineyard was planted in 1975 and has provided fruit for our Icon Cabernet Sauvignon since 1986, now called the Abercrombie.
- Purchase of the Broomstick Vineyard in southern Margaret River, which is renamed the Allingham Vineyard. The fruit has been in Howard Park Chardonnay since 2004.
- Expansion of Margaret River winery: additional crusher and press, additional small tanks to enable small batch processing.
- The Wine Chapel is opened as an exclusive tasting room at the Margaret River winery.
- The Howard Park Great Southern Riesling becomes the Mount Barker Riesling sourced from our Mount Barrow vineyard.
- The Leston nursery starts propagating Chardonnay clones for Allingham and Mount Barrow vineyards.
- Howard Park celebrates 30 years.
- Howard Park NV Jeté Brut Blanc wins ‘Best Australian Sparkling’ and ‘Best in Class – Australian NV Brut Blend’ at the Champagne & Sparkling Wine World Championships in London.
- Janice McDonald, now Director of Winemaking, is named Gourmet Traveller’s Winemaker of the Year.
- Investment in and expansion of sparkling wine production.
- Petit Jeté sparkling wine launched.
- A.S.W. Cabernet Shiraz launched as part of the Icons range. The aim was to create a top shelf Margaret River example of the iconic Australian wine blend.
- Nic Bowen appointed Chief Winemaker.
BECOME A PART OF THE FAMILY
Our Wine Club delivers your favourite Howard Park wines straight to your door and includes a range of additional benefits.