IT’S a brave man who decides to hock the successful 90-year old family farm and put the money into buying 70ha of virgin land to grow grapes and dream of hopefully launching his own premium quality wine label.
But Murray Burton, a West Australian south coast farmer did just that in 1996, and after mortgaging the family beef and dairy property, started his new wine venture on the Frankland River, 360km south of Perth.
He’s not looked back: not only did his Frankland River Vineyard thrive in the temperate Mediterranean climate, a couple of years later he bought another 155ha nearby that he named Ferngrove and there built his dreamed-of winery.
Murray brought in highly-respected Kim Horton as Senior Winemaker and saw his 2000 harvest turn into his first Frankland River wine: he’s now released four new reds from the 2005 and 2006 vintages under the Ferngrove Symbols label, the must-buy amongst them for red devotees the 2006 Shiraz Viognier.
Murray and Kim were inspired by the wines of the Rhone Valley to create this 93% Shiraz and 7% Viognier blend, that combines loads of ripe mulberry and raspberry flavours from the Shiraz component, with the Viognier’s aromaticity.
Outstanding value at $14.99; and with its soft, juicy fruit characters, how better to enjoy than with a wood-fired gourmet pizza.