Leeuwin Estate planted Margaret River’s first Chardonnay in 1976, swiftly becoming synonymous with the variety. Two parcels planted to the Gin Gin clone, Block 20 and 22, still produce the winery’s iconic Art Series Chardonnay today.
And from those nascent plantings, it didn’t take long for the wine to make a name for itself. The 1981 vintage – just the second release of Leeuwin Estate’s Art Series Chardonnay – was ranked top in a Decanter international Chardonnay blind tasting.
It was a remarkable result, particularly as Leeuwin Estate was a cattle farm when entrepreneurs Denis and John Horgan bought it in 1969. Not only were vines a relative unknown, so was the Margaret River wine region.