With over three decades of experience, Howard Park is an expert in West Australia’s premier grape-growing regions: Margaret River and the Great Southern. Across 30 years, the viticultural team accumulated an intimate, encyclopaedic knowledge of vineyards, leading to the careful acquisition and development of four properties: Leston and Allingham in Margaret River, and Mount Barrow and Abercrombie in Mount Barker, Great Southern.
Though each site has a differing focus and personality, the overarching theme is control – to bring or keep the fruit, the handling, the expertise in-house. Great wines begin on the vine. Therefore, it is important to own and run the vineyards from which the wines are made, tailoring each rootling or bud.
The Leston Vineyard was Howard Park’s first, bought by the Burch family in 1988. It was named after Jeff Burch’s father, Leston, who helped plant the first vines in 1996. This Margaret River site is now the home of all Howard Park operations and a truly family affair, with Jeff’s brother David Burch managing the vineyard up until 2014.
In 2004 the purchase of the Mount Barrow Vineyard in Mount Barker coincided with the arrival of Chief Viticulturist David Botting. David had consulted for Howard Park many years prior, and his appointment saw an exciting venture come to fruition that enjoyed enormous success after a bespoke planting program was executed in 2005.
Ten years later, the Howard Park’s vineyard ‘stable’ was complete, with the acquisition of two more sites – the Abercrombie Vineyard in Mount Barker and the Allingham Vineyard in Margaret River. Howard Park’s winemakers had been sourcing fruit from each for a long time, but the purchases ensured fruit security and viticultural quality. The Abercrombie vineyard is one of the most historic in the Great Southern, planted with Houghton clone Cabernet Sauvignon in 1975. The Allingham vineyard is a source of Chardonnay of exceptional quality that contributes to the Icon wine of the same name.