Established in 1999 by Nigel Gallop, Fraser Gallop Estate is located in the Wilyabrup sub-region of Margaret River, 6 km from the southwest coast of Western Australia.
Tech entrepreneur, Nigel, has poured his heart and soul into Fraser Gallop Estate. Inspired by his love of the wines of Napa Valley, Burgundy and Bordeaux, he carried out extensive research into the ideal location and conditions to produce his own wines.
From the outset, everything possible has been done to ensure not just great quality, but wines that are true to the land. “From the selection of the property, through the recruitment of the best people and enormous attention to detail, we maintain that commitment,” says Nigel. “We do things the correct way, without compromise - never the easy way”.
The estate’s twenty hectares of vineyards are located on the highest point in Wilyabrup, so benefit from breezes off the nearby Indian Ocean, keeping the temperatures mild in summer.
Planted without irrigation, the vines have been challenged to find their own water, deep in the subsoil layers. This has created vines that produce smaller berries with heightened flavour intensity and a ‘slate-like’ minerality.
Winemaker Clive Otto has been with the estate since its inception and oversaw the design and construction of its state-of-the-art winery. His philosophy is to allow the fruit to speak for itself, striving to create wines showcasing balance and finesse on release, with the structure and pedigree to thrive with careful cellaring.
Hand picked and meticulously maintained, Fraser Gallop’s Estate vineyards occupy a unique location with a distinctive climate.
Comprising 20 hectares of vines on an elevated aspect of the Wilyabrup valley, Fraser Gallop Estate’s plantings follow the gentle slopes created by the tributaries that traverse the land to the Wilyabrup Brook.The Estate’s north-facing slopes are planted with Bordeaux red grapes, dominated by Cabernet Sauvignon (seven hectares) as well as Merlot, Cabernet Franc, Malbec and Petit Verdot.
The vineyard then falls away down a gentle south-facing slope planted with the Bordeaux white grape varieties of Semillon and Sauvignon Blanc, giving way to another seven hectares of Chardonnay vines. The vineyards are VSP (vertical shoot positioning) trellised, to allow for ease of management and ample sunlight penetration. The Fraser Gallop Estate team encourage maximum fruit quality and flavour by dry-farming; nurturing the soil with composted grape lees and controlling weeds and pests naturally.
The climate is moderate but warm Mediterranean, without extremes of temperature. The estate sits on the highest point of Wilyabrup, so benefits from cooling ocean breezes that moderate summer temperatures. Having the ocean on three sides of the region creates high annual rainfall, by viticultural standards, of up to 1,000 mm, a majority of which is received in the winter months.
This is conducive to successful viticulture, providing ample water supply during vine dormancy and keeping the risk of mildew low in the summer.Gravelly laterite loams over clay subsoil provide the ideal conditions in which to cultivate vines. The gravel subsoil ensures excellent drainage, while the high clay content enables water retention throughout summer.