The Ultimate Guide to Viognier – 5 Facts Worth Knowing
By Cathy Howard • 12.12.2021
By Cathy Howard • 03.07.2020
As a winemaker who gardens, I am immensely proud of our Wine Sensory Garden. In 7 years it has transformed from a corner of what was once a dairy cow paddock into a magnificent garden that delights the senses and is a unique wine educational experience.
It is best experienced in the early morning and in the late afternoon when the fragrant aromas from many of the herbs and flowering plants fills the air. The Garden is set-up to encourage visitors to wander, to pick herbs and sip on a glass of wine, to smell and taste both, and to learn something new.
I have themed sections of the Garden specifically to a grape variety that we make our single vineyard selection wines from here at Whicher Ridge, so there are 7 distinct sections. (Riesling, Sauvignon Blanc, Chardonnay, Shiraz, Cabernet Sauvignon, Malbec and Viognier). Each of our wines has been carefully matched up with a selection of different plants that have similar aromas and flavours to that grape variety.
As Neil and I both enjoy cooking, the Garden also reflects this with sections devoted to food and wine pairing, the ‘Affinity’ beds with plantings of vegetables, herbs, fruiting vines and trees which have flavours and textures that match well with each of our wines.
The Pick and Sip Tour, a combined guided garden tour and wine tasting experience with the winemaker (and gardener), opens up a whole new world of sensory experiences for our visitors. The Wine Sensory Garden is open for visitors to wander around at their own pace, have a picnic, and relax in a peaceful garden environment.
By far, the best way to get the most out of a visit is to book in for a Pick and Sip Tour with Cathy. The Tour goes for 1 hour, and covers in depth, the growing, making and flavours of 4 different wines while moving around the Garden. The Tour takes in both how the flavours in each wine can be described using herbs and fruits from the Garden as examples, and how this relates to the pairing of a wine with a dish by using the flavours and textures that herbs, vegetables and fruiting plants provide.
Our Wine Sensory Garden was planted in 2014 is now 7 years old. It continues to improve, and change and develop as the years go by, and deserves to be on your wine experience bucket list!
I am a winemaker with over 30 years of winemaking experience. I moved to South Australia from Tasmania in 1995, after working for Pipers Brook Vineyard and Cascade Brewery. I worked at Orlando Wines, then St Hallett Wines in the Barossa Valley, and in 2002 I moved to Margaret River in Western Australia, to work as Chief Winemaker for Watershed Wines. I have gained a solid reputation for making high quality premium wines, most notably Riesling, Sauvignon Blanc, Semillon, Cabernet Sauvignon and Shiraz. I also enjoy writing, and every blog on our Whicher Ridge website is my own!
Favourite Pastimes – owning horses and dogs, gardening, farm life
Whicher Ridge acknowledges the Wadandi people of the Noongar Land and recognises their connection to culture, community and Country. We pay our respects to their elders, past and present. Whicher Ridge supports the Uluru Statement.