Over the past 30+ years, Howard Park has become a specialist in the premium grape-growing regions of Margaret River & the Great Southern. Over time the viticultural team has built up an intimate, textbook-like knowledge of vineyards across those regions, leading to carefully selected acquisition & development of four vineyards – Leston & Allingham in Margaret River & Mount Barrow & Abercrombie in Mount Barker, Great Southern.
Though each has a differing focus & personality, there are some overarching themes, the most important being control. Great wines begin on the vine. Therefore, it is important for us to own & run the vineyards from which our Howard Park wines are made, to tailor them from 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 & a truly family affair, with Jeff’s brother David Burch managing the vineyard until 2014.
The second vineyard bought by the Burch Family was Mount Barrow, in Mount Barker. Its purchase in 2004 coincided with the arrival of Chief Viticulturist David Botting, although he had consulted for Howard Park for many years prior & had an intimate knowledge of the Mount Barrow vineyard. It was an exciting venture that enjoyed enormous success after the planting of its first vines in 2005.
Ten years later, the ‘stable’ of Howard Park vineyards was completed, with the acquisition of two more sites – the Abercrombie (formerly named Dennis) vineyard in Mount Barker & the Allingham (formerly named Broomstick) vineyard in Margaret River. Howard Park’s winemakers had been sourcing fruit from each for a long time, but the purchases ensured fruit security & 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.