Geographe Bay Wineries

Fancy a raunchy red with dinner tonight? There are some amazing reds being produced at some of the Geographe Bay wineries in Australia’s south west region.

Geographe Bay Wineries produce reds that hit the spot

I love me a good glass of the good stuff, and the longer I live in the glorious South West of Australia, the more pernickity I get when it comes to wine.

I’m no James Halliday, but I reckon He Himself is in training, because the other day at the Donnybrook Food and Wine Festival he gravitated, like a sonic missile to the tasting tents of three wineries that make the most awesome red wines in the Geographe Bay wine region.

Interestingly, each one is inspired by the great wines of the Mediterranean.

Three Raunchy Reds of the Geographe Wine Region

Barrecas Wines

We started at the Barrecas stake-out and within a few minutes we’d bought a bottle of the Barbara 2011, which we cracked open and savoured with some flavoursome Aussie  lamb chops that evening.


Now He Himself is my wine tasting muse and he had this to say: “A  zesty red full of flavour. Made in the Italian style it’s fun fruity and flavoursome.”

I had to agree and enjoyed a glass (or two) very much.

Barrecas is  located 5 kms south of Donnybrook on the South Western Highway, 199km from Perth and 39km from Bunbury, and is managed by Fil and Kelly.

The winery was founded in 1994, and has a strong Italian heritage. Family based principles and traditional wine making skills are the basis of the Barrecas wine making philosophy: Family, Tradition and Innovation.

Iolanda Radcliffe makes the wine for Antonio and Fillipo Barreca on the picturesque site – where they also produce  ports and olive oil.

Tip: Go check out the new look cellar door at Barrecas and do try their Pinotage.

Bakkheia Wines


 Bakkheia Wines

 Bakkhei Wines strutting their stuff at the Donnybrook Food and Wine Festival

Next we met the very friendly Michael Edwards from Bakkheia, a winery with some eclectic wine labels.

Michael invited us for a private tasting (there is no cellar door) and so if you’d like a private tasting experience, then give the vineyard a call and arrange something on a weekend – how celebrity is that?

 “We only bottle about 350 – 600 cases each year,” he told us. “Small quantities and small batches keep us focused on quality and keeping the wines distinct, which means availability is limited and only available online or by phone or through the Frenzy Wine Club.”

Their labels are curious and when I looked up on the website, the reasons behind them were really interesting. Here are three and the reasons behind them:-

“There is no specific formula for our labelling.  We have have a number of themes that are either relevant to past or present lives or, the philosophy that we follow. The Groszman – the Bride’s family name.  Her father was the catalyst for the wine making journey. Tripartite – (French) – of three parts. Describing the inspiration and composition of our GSM. Priapus – Roman minor God of viniculture and sailors (what a combination!)”

On the day at the Donnybrook Festival, and after a few snifters, He Himself declared that the Tripartite 2011 would be the one to offer our guests on Sunday.

Tripartite is a blend of Grenache / shiraz / mourvedre and as He Himself said:-

 “It’s a blend of three wines made in heaven.”

In fact we both really enjoyed the balance and the different levels of the tripartite.

If you need something a little more sophisticated, here are the tasting notes from the Bakkheia Website :

“2011 – blend 10/65/20/5 (Graciano). Much like the 2010.  Limited blending opportunities reduced access to Grenache. Lighter weight red developing some great characteristics and will reward cellaring and breathing. Good wine to enjoy with food.”

Michael told us more about this year’s vintage.

“With the vines just coming into full maturity the flavours of the grapes are improving. The winemaker is very excited about this year’s vintage which he thinks could be the best yet.”

Mazza Wines

Mazza Wines

David and John Mazza explaining what their wines are all about. And very fine wines they are too.

Then we met the very busy and friendly David and John Mazza, who were pouring tasters of wine as fast as the river was flowing behind them.

David Mazza told me more about the vineyard.

“In 2002 we planted six Spanish and Portuguese wine grape varieties to see how they would grow in the Geographe Bay region. Our plantings were inspired by the fabulous wines of the Rioja and the Douro Valley.”

Sharp intake of breath as we remember back to our days in Europe and quaffing Rioja on long soft summer evenings.

“The varieties have thrived and in November 2010 we won a gold medal for our Tempranillo in the Australian Alternative Varieties Wine Show. Our ambition is to produce an Australian translation of these Old World heritage varieties,” David continued.

It was great to have a chance to sample these wonderful red wines from Geographe Bay wineries. I would suggest you contact them and organise a tasting when you’re  in the area.

Do you have a favourite red wine – Do tell us … what is it and where is it from?

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  1. Food and wine festivals are great places to try out local wines all in the one place. We always come away with a few. You can’t beat a good red from the South West of Western Australia. How lucky are we with the choices on offer!

  2. I agree Jill, and it’s hard to resist them at the food and wine fairs!

  3. Ha Ha, Red! That gotcha! Now, there’s nothing wrong with a beautiful red head from over East, nothing at all … but even so, when in competition with a beautiful SWA, Geographe Bay red of the Bacchus variety, hmmm, there’s just a little competition 🙂

  4. Lyn Mackaway

    Am enjoying reading your blog…which I’ve just joined. I have driven by the Bareccas Vineyard a few times when travelling back from a holiday “down south” & have thought that I will eventually stop there to try their wines. Thank you for your description of Bareccas wines. I will definitely pay the vineyard a visit soon.

  5. Great Lyn – hope you enjoy the Bareccas wines as much as we do 🙂

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