Margaret River’s Vasse Felix winery is set to acquire the Watershed vineyard, in a bid to increase its Chardonnay production by as much as 30 per cent in coming years.

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Vasse Felix buys Watershed vineyard

This site is in the ‘golden triangle’ of Chardonnay production in Margaret River, with Leeuwin Estate, Voyager Estate and Xanadu Wines as neighbours.

The deal, which is expected to settle in July, includes an 80-hectare vineyard, winery, thermomass-built barrel room, restaurant and cellar door, on what is arguably one of the best sites in the region.

Watershed will continue to sell its wines under its own label and operate the cellar door and restaurant for a two-year period.

Vasse Felix chief executive, Paul Holmes a Court said no plans have yet been made for the buildings on the property.

‘We purchased a portion of the Watershed vineyard a few years ago as it produces excellent Chardonnay. This new acquisition allows us to increase Chardonnay production, while continuing to make wines at our original Vasse Felix site.’

The deal will see Vasse Felix’s vineyard holdings increase to over 300-hectares across four sites in the Margaret River region.

Once finalised, Vasse Felix will commence an immediate conversion of the vineyard, focusing on the existing Chardonnay and Cabernet Sauvignon vines that were planted in 2001. Other varietals in the 80-hectare vineyard, such as Merlot, will progressively be replanted with Chardonnay.

‘We have been converting our vineyards to organic practices in recent years and will continue that transition at this new site,’ Holmes a Court added.

‘Our focus at the new vineyard with primarily be Chardonnay. We cannot meet existing demand from the domestic and international market for our Chardonnay and this vineyard will allow us to progressively develop those channels.’

‘It’s naturally sad to be selling the Watershed vineyard, but we’re delighted a leading, local winery is taking it over,’ said Watershed managing director, Geoff Barrett.