Worldwide recognition

Margaret River Chardonnay is often referred to as the Queen of Margaret River wine. Margaret River Chardonnays have won countless awards on the world’s wine stages. In the recently published 2024 Halliday Wine Companion Awards, Xanadu Wines 2021 Reserve Chardonnay and 2021 Stevens Road Chardonnay were both rated 97 points. Leeuwin Estate’s Art Series Chardonnay is included in wine auction house, Langton's, prestigious classification. With point scores as high as 98/100, US Wine Spectator has included Leeuwin’s top Chardonnay in the annual top 100 list on numerous occasions. Wine connoisseurs can pinpoint Chardonnays produced in the region because of a distinctive style, often described as elegant and precise. This article explores the factors that contribute to making Margaret River Chardonnays so unique.


Margaret River wine region enjoys a maritime climate which means consistent cool breezes from the Indian and Southern Oceans. This provides ideal conditions for slow and even ripening of Chardonnay grapes. The result is the development of intense flavours and the retention of fresh acidity. Margaret River Chardonnays typically display ripe stone fruit flavours like yellow peach and nectarine, with citrus notes of grapefruit and lemon. Margaret River Chardonnays have even been hailed as having an "iron-clad structure with great length on the palette and ageing potential. They are frequently acclaimed for combining intense fruit concentration with bright acidity. Iconic wines such as Leeuwin Estate Art Series Chardonnay, and Voyager Estate’s Broadvale Chardonnay are a delight to behold and can age gracefully for 5-20 years, developing rich, nutty, buttery complexity.


The soil profile of Margaret River consists of well-drained gravelly soils with low levels of nutrients and clay. The widespread use of the Gin Gin (Wente) clone contributes to the concentrated, grapefruit-like fruit characteristics. Combined with the maritime climate, this fruit is juxtaposed against salty and savoury mineral flavours, which adds complexity.

Exceptional techniques

The Margaret River Wine Region has evolved from humble pioneers who learned by trial and error. These pioneers were able to attract winemakers from all over the world, many of who stayed for the long term. This further contributed to the refinement of the region’s winemaking styles. Generally speaking, today’s Margaret River’s winemakers aim for a refined, elegant style with judicious oak usage. Many use aged barrels or a combination of barrel and tank fermentation to avoid excessive oak flavours. British wine critic, journalist, and wine writer Jancis Robinson writes a weekly column for the Financial Times and provides advice for the wine cellar of the British monarchy. Robinson sums up Margaret River’s Chardonnays as having “all the tension and precision...but, unlike many...from the rest of Australia...enough fruit to counterbalance the acidity and austerity."


Another factor that contributes to Chardonnay being known as the Queen of Margaret River’s wine region is its versatility. It is a white wine that can be consumed all year round and in summer it is a wonderful accompaniment to a cheese board or seafood. In winter Chardonnay pairs perfectly with roast chicken and roasted vegetable such as pumpkin. It can also follow with you through an entire meal, from the cheeseboard entree to a dessert such as crème brulee or lemon cheesecake. As a general rule, Chardonnay matches well with foods that are light and a little rich such as white meat or seafood and buttery sauces.

How to taste the best Margaret River Chardonnays

So how do you get your hands on some of this amazing Chardonnay action? You can taste the latest Chardonnay vintages from outstanding Margaret River estates on both the Half Day Gourmet Wine Tour and Full Day Gourmet Wine and Dine Tour with Margaret River Tours. We recommend buying a few bottles to drink now as well as a few to age a little. To book your Margaret River Tours experience click here to go direct to our booking page, or here to read more about the services we offer.







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