Blackwood Valley

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Coordinates: 35°00′S 138°30′E / 35°S 138.5°E / -35; 138.5 Blackwood Valley is a wine region in the south-west of Western Australia, approximately 260 km (160 mi) south-south-east of Perth.[1]

The region was named after the Blackwood River, the longest continually flowing river in Western Australia.[2] The river passes through the towns of Bridgetown, Greenbushes, Nannup, Balingup and Boyup Brook within the region.[3]

History and industry[edit]

The Blackwood Valley region was settled in the late 1800s, and timber, horticulture, wool and other farming sustained the region.[2] Blackwood Valley extends approximately to Geographe Bay in the west and north, Manjimup in the south, and Great Southern in the south-east.[4]

It is part of the wine industry in Western Australia. The first vines were planted in the Blackwood Crest winery, located in the north-east of the region, in 1976 by Max Fairbrass.[4][5] The region produces mainly white wines, and the vineyards in the region number around 50.[2] The harvest time is between late February and early April.[5]

Climate and geography[edit]

The climate of the region is Mediterranean, suitable for the growth of white wine vines including Chardonnay and Riesling, as well as red wine grapes like Shiraz and Cabernet Sauvignon.[5] This climate is characterised by moderate temperatures, with rainfall more predominant in the winter months and relatively dry summer months.[5] However, winter frosts occasionally extend through into early spring, which can cause damage to the vines.[4]

The region varies in elevation, from 100 metres in the west to 340 metres in the east. The annual rainfall range is from 600 to 900 millimetres.[2][5]

The soil in the area is heavily dictated by the topography. A series of smaller valleys which run throughout the region, where the soil is thinner on the slopes than at the base of the valleys where alluvial-type sediment is found.[5] The topography and loamy soil promotes well-drained land suitable for vineyards.[2][4]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Blackwood Valley, Wine Lover's Companion (2003).
  2. ^ a b c d e Blackwood Valley Wine Region, Australia's South-West (2005).
  3. ^ Welcome to the Blackwood Valley Wine Industry Association, Blackwood Valley Wine Region of WA (2005).
  4. ^ a b c d Wine Regions: Blackwood Valley, Western Australia, Wine Australia (2007).
  5. ^ a b c d e f Wine regions Australia - Blackwood Valley Archived 6 October 2007 at the Wayback Machine., WineDiva (2002).