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Cape Mentelle founder launches family business

David Hohnen, the driving force behind Cape Mentelle and Cloudy Bay, has launched a range of Margaret River wines.

Hohnen – who was with the pioneering wineries from their inception until he left in 2003 – has teamed up with his daughter Freya and brother-in-law Murray McHenry to launch a range of six wines from the Western Australian appellation.

McHenry Hohnen Vintners is a family-owned producer sourcing grapes from four family-owned vineyards in the area.

Eighteen grape varieties are planted across the four vineyards, including commercial quantities of formerly experimental varieties such as Mataro, Graciano, Tempranillo, Marsanne and Roussane.

‘If you look beyond the usual Bordeaux varieties and Chardonnay in Margaret River, there are opportunities you could never have dreamed of,’ said Hohnen. ‘If anyone’s going to give these varieties a profile, it just might be me.’

At the bottom of the range are two regional wines, a Shiraz and a Sauvignon Blanc-Semillon, blended from bought-in wine.

The grapes from the family vineyards are used in a Chardonnay (Calgardup Brook), Tempranillo-Cabernet Sauvignon-Petit Verdot blend (Tiger Country), and two Rhône blends under the 3 Amigos label.

Total production in the first vintage, 2004, was 1000 cases excluding the two regional wines. In the future Hohnen plans to add a Zinfandel to the range, and is currently working with seven clones of the variety.

Written by Amy Wislocki

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