The Frankland River wineries offer sweeping views, aromatic whites and rich plummy reds.
Regarded as the birthplace of the Great Southern Wine Region, Alkoomi first planted their vines in Frankland River in 1971. The area now boasts over 26 vineyards, three of which are fully operational wineries.
The Great Southern wine growing areas are the coolest in the State with a Mediterranean climate characterised by mild summer and wet winters. While Denmark and Albany have a reasonably temperate climate thanks to the maritime influences, inland areas like Frankland River tend to have much lower temperatures at night allowing the grapes to cool, lengthening their growing period. Subsequently, alcohol levels tend to be slightly lower in styles produced in Frankland River and aromatic whites such as Riesling and Sauvignon Blanc perform particularly well. If you're partial to Chardonnay, Cabernet Sauvignon, Malbec and Shiraz, these styles also thrive in the region.
Located approximately 11km west of the Frankland township, Alkoomi and Ferngrove Estate are the only two vineyards with cellar door facilities, although Frankland Estate, who have been producing wine in the area for many years now, happily show visitors through their winery by appointment. The vineyards in the area are concentrated on the western slopes of the Frankland River because of the excellent deep gravelly soil. While these don't offer cellar door facilities, there are excellent picnic spots along Wingebellup and Ferngrove Roads that take in breathtaking vineyard views.
Those who are yet to pick up one of Alkoomi's black labelled bottles from their local are missing some excellent wines. Fortunately, if you're in the Frankland River Region you can visit the cellar door and taste almost all of their 12 styles. Their Blackbutt wine is one of the region's best, made from premium Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Malbec and Cabernet Franc. The winery has stunning vineyard and rural views, best enjoyed from the barbecue and picnic area outside the cellar door. Other facilities include a function space and two fully self contained chalets, perfect for those who'd like to spend less time driving and more time sampling Alkoomi wines. The cellar door is open from 10am to 5pm, seven days a week.
If you're travelling with the family, Ferngrove Estate also has two chalets that sleep up to six people each on their property. Once you've tasted all 11 styles in their rustic, rammed earth and jarrah cellar door, you can enjoy your favourite bottle in the picnic area overlooking the vineyard and across to the Porongurup Ranges before crashing for the evening. The cellar door is open from 10am to 4pm, seven days a week.
The Frankland River area is perfect for a quiet weekend away. There are many great picnic and barbecue areas in the town of Frankland, and you're located just a stone's throw from Mt Barker, Albany and Denmark. Make sure you taste the locally grown olive oil while you're in the area as they're good enough to rival imports from Italy and Spain.