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Manjimup, named after the only largish town in its area, is tucked away in the marri covered hills of South-Western Australia between the Margaret River and the Great Southern. It is one of Australia's newer wine regions in terms of GI status although commercial vineyard have been here since the 1980s.
Indeed there was some dispute between the growers as to whether they wanted their own region or to remain in the more established Pemberton wine region. The borders were finally resolved in 2005. There are valid reasons for making the distinction with its more coastal neighbor. Manjimup has a more continental climate with a bit more sunshine, less humidity.
The red soil from the erosive effects of the Warren and Donnelly Rivers is also more gravelly and sandy in contrast to Pemberton's heavier, more fertile black loam. Manjimup wine is most commonly consumed as an anonymous cool climate component of commercial blends but there are a growing number of boutique wineries and a few cellar doors.
The most well known winery is Chestnut Grove but there are other lesser known wineries such as Peos Estate, Fonty's Pool, Herriot Wines, Yanmah Ridge and Angelicus. Dr. Gladstone's 1963 study of south-western Australia found that the temperature and sunshine hours were similar to the southern Bordeaux. So it is no surprise that the classic Bordeaux varieties – Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot are dominant here. The Burgundy varieties - Pinot Noirs and melony Chardonnays are the next most common varieties. The region is noted for its intensely flavoured Verdelho. Fonty's Pool is also trying out Viognier.