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Firetail Winery: Lighting up Margaret River

Firetail wines are not available in any liquor store in Australia. We like that!

The owners, Jessica or Jessica came to Margaret River in 2006 to our property which is planted with vines now 40  years old with the plan to open a small boutique Cellar Door selling wines of exemplary quality.  The wines, since opening have been awarded Gold Medals at Wine Shows and the rate very highly in Halliday’s Australia Cabernet Challenge and the Halliday Wine Companion.  Jessica and Rob manage the viticultural and winemaking practices to create wines that have the characteristics of the region and more specifically our Rosa Glen site and our vines, most especially the Cabernet Sauvignon vines given the unique micro climate influenced by the Southern Ocean and the productive Treeton loam soil.

Jessica was awarded a Masters of Wine Technology and Viticulture at the University of Melbourne and Rob has Certificate in Wine Business Management from Curtin.  The best viticultural services are provided by AHA Viticulture and the wine is made by two winemakers, Bruce Dukes and Peter Stanlake, achieve results through others.  However we hold tight control from the vineyard to the glass of the end product.

The usual inhabitants around the Cellar Door are the resident flock of Guinea Fowl.  Firetail has a desire to reduce the use of chemicals and so the first area of progress was the total avoidance of pesticide use in the vineyard 10 years ago when we started to establish the Guinea Fowl flock.  The wander the property from shortly after sun rise to nearly sunset feeding on the insects and other pests.  There is nothing they like better than an aerial chase of a grasshopper.  

Avoidance of run off especially nutrients is important as we run off to the Chapman Creek that joins the Blackwood River at Warner Glen.  Runoff in winter from the vineyard has been dramatically reduced by not driving the tractor in the vineyard in winter.  Fertiliser is applied at the end of the spring rainfall when the ground is less saturated and has a greater chance of soaking in rather than running off.  

For those technical minded wine enthusiasts who love sustainably wines, here is some more information for you about the Firetail Wines:

The 2015 Firetail Sparkling Chardonnay, made in the traditional method, the primary ferment was partially performed in barrel, the bottled wine spent more than 30 months on lees before being disgorged.  The dosage was extremely low after disgorge, about 3.5 gm/L.   Brioche characters, with crisp citrus and white peach with a persistent fine bead. 

The 2018 Firetail Sauvignon Blanc, made in the style of a Sancerre, partial barrel ferment and batonnage in barrel for six weeks, then transfer to tank to the wine made in tank and further lees stirring for 6 weeks.  A multilayered wine, herbaceous, legumes, citrus and pip fruits with a long lasting palate.  

The 2013 Firetail Semillon, made by partial barrel ferment in new oak followed by full barrel maturation in used oak for several months with batonnage to lees stir.  Recently described as an amazing wine, toasty developments add intrigue to the flavour, texture and balance, gentle citrus and lemon tart flavours.

The 2019 Firetail Rosé, made from fully ripen Merlots grapes, 36 hours on skins to give a rich red colour, fill of fruits aromas with a hint of loganberry, slightly sweet to start but dry at the finish due to the 14% alcohol.  

The 2016 Firetail Cabernet Sauvignon, a pure Cabernet Sauvignon style rarely seen in Australia, exceptional fruit character with gentle use of French Oak, dark berry characters with cherry and hints of chocolate and coffee in an elegant Cabernet Sauvignon, 13.1% alcohol.