The climate and soil conditions of the Porongurup Ranges make them a perfect location for some very productive – and very scenic – wineries
The ranges are situated inland so, while the climate is described as mediterranean, conditions are sunnier and humidity levels are lower than coastal locations. In a nutshell, cooler climate grape varieties such as chardonnay, semillon, riesling, cabernet sauvignon, cabernet franc and shiraz thrive.
Unlike the winding roads and off-the-beaten-track locations of wineries in areas like Margaret River, those in the Porongurup Ranges tend to be on or near the Mount Barker-Porongurup Road, allowing access easy.
Cellar door visitors will be met by friendly, knowledgeable staff and most wineries are open daily.
One of the area’s oldest and most popular vineyards is the picture perfect Jingalla Wines, on the Bolganup Dam Road, just east of the Porongurup townsite. Jingalla boasts an award-winning list featuring quality reds and whites for all palettes, as well as a couple of fortifieds. The 2005 Riesling Reserve and the 2005 Sauvignon Blanc Verdelho have recently received recognition, with two silver and three bronze awards.
Food lovers will enjoy Jingalla’s famous vineyard platters of quality cheese and fruit. Depending on your mood (and the weather), you can relax at a picnic table in the lush, shady gardens or enjoy tea or coffee in the sheltered cafe area. Jingalla is also happy to host your function and can prepare a menu to wow your guests.
Castle Rock Estate, on the north-east face of the ranges, is also worth a visit. Guests sample the Castle Rock range while admiring the stunning views over the vineyard to the Kalgan Catchment and Stirling Range National Park.
When the stomach starts rumbling, ask for a Castle Rock picnic hamper – an Italian-inspired spread including pate, olives and salami. Quiche, ham and caesar salad for mains and dried fruit, nuts and cheese for dessert follow this gourmet appetiser. Hampers are available most days and bookings are appreciated.