The Margaret River Wine Association (MRWA) Board says it is relieved to be notified of the Geographical Indications Committee’s (GIC) decision not to make a final determination of Wilyabrup as a Geographical Indication (GI) within the Margaret River GI.
GIC Presiding Member Dennis Mutton said, “The decision was influenced by the fact that there was still no agreement on the exact boundaries or attributes of the proposed Wilyabrup region and that the Margaret River Wine Association had commissioned The Margaret River Region Project – an ongoing project to map the entire region of Margaret River to potentially identify discrete viticultural areas within that GI that may meet the criteria for determination as separate GIs.
Mr Mutton noted that producers in the Wilyabrup area can continue to label their wines with Wilyabrup (with or without the GI Margaret River) provided such a claim is not misleading as to the origin of the wine.
The MRWA Board holds a unified belief that the region is not yet in a position to scientifically validate where, or to what extent, uniqueness or uniformity occurs within the Geographical Indication.
“The MRWA is working on a study, The Margaret River Region Project, to evaluate the links between landscape, mesoclimates, soil types and variations within wine produced in the Margaret River GI, particular in relation to the region’s signature varieties Cabernet Sauvignon and Chardonnay,” a Board statement says.
The project has been assisted by the Department of Primary Industries and Regional Development, CSIRO, soil scientists, climate analysts, academics and experienced viticulturists and winemakers.
The study will also include trained panel sensory analysis to identify areas which are distinct in climate or soil characteristics that could set them apart from the remainder of the Margaret River region.
“It is with much relief that the GIC has reached this decision, allowing time for the necessary scientific work to be completed and for any GI’s within the Margaret River wine region to be granted on a thorough scientific basis.”
The GIC has published a Statement of Reasons which is available here.