About Woodlands Wines
RAY JORDAN WINE GUIDE 2016-
Winemaker of the Year – Stuart Watson
A Margaret River winemaker who uses what he calls a “pretty simple approach” has claimed the top award in the The West Australian Wine Guide 2016.
The newly released Woodlands Thomas cabernet sauvignon 2012 was judged wine of the year in the annual guide, which hit bookstore shelves this week.
“I like to spend as much time in the vineyard as possible, tasting the grapes, crunching the seeds and basically looking after the fruit so we can pick it at the time we believe is just right,” Woodlands winemaker Stuart Watson said.
“After that, we basically try to make the wines that we like to drink.”
Simple it may be, but the results have been outstanding.
As well as wine of the year, Mr Watson was chosen as Winemaker of the Year for the Thomas and other impressive wines in the Woodlands portfolio.
Earlier this year. the Woodlands Margaret 2012 was deemed best red in the annual Fresh Top 100 Australian red wines under $40 in _The West Australian _.
Since taking over at Woodlands, Mr Watson has pushed the boundaries of excellence with wines that are breathtaking in quality, with the attention to detail and exceptional style management.
“A lot has to do with the vineyard,” he said.
“I reckon dad (Stuart’s father David) got it right back in 1973 when he saw this spot and just had to buy it.”
Though Mr Watson was very happy with the 2012 Thomas, he said the quality was “hardly surprising” given the other great Margaret River cabernets made in the same year.
My view is that the Woodlands Thomas cabernet sauvignon is among the best half-dozen Margaret River reds ever.
The shoot-out for the guide’s best wine was as tough as ever, pointing once more to the exceptional quality in WA.
The Woodlands wine pipped Vasse Felix’s Heytesbury chardonnay 2014, with a number of other outstanding wines close behind.
Extraordinary wines from all WA regions continue to make tasting for the wine guide thrilling and rewarding.
Welcome to Woodlands!
Established in 1973 by David and Heather Watson, Woodlands is one of Margaret River’s first five wineries.
Woodlands produces wine from its two vineyards, both located in the Wilyabrup Valley of Margaret River.
Woodlands’ Vineyards are dry grown and maintained by hand. Wines produced include Cabernet Sauvignon, Cabernet Merlot blends, and Chardonnay. All Woodlands wines are made on site by the Watson family.
Woodlands vineyard was established in 1973 by David & Heather Watson on Caves Road in Wilyabrup, and was one of the first five vineyards to be planted in the Margaret River Wine Region. David and Heather aimed to create wines to emulate the great vineyards of Bordeaux.
Woodlands came to fame early on with the release of our 1981 ‘Andrew’ Cabernet Sauvignon. This wine won trophies for ‘Best Red Wine’ at the Perth Wine Show, the Mt Barker Wine Show, and the National Wine Show. This wine was the first from Margaret River to achieve a National Red Wine Trophy.
Subsequent Cabernets made by David Watson won trophies and critical acclaim across the country.
In 1992 Woodlands production virtually ceased while David and Heather brought their children up in private schools in Perth, and fruit was sold to other high profile producers in the region.
In 1999, with the children out of school, Woodlands began to produce wines again, making the most of its fully mature vines.
Stuart Watson took the reins as Winemaker in 2002 and Andrew Watson joined Woodlands full time in 2005. Stuart and Andrew (pictured right) carry on the family love for Cabernet Sauvignon and Cabernet blends.
In 2007 the Watson family purchased the Woodlands Brook vineyard, located on Puzey road in the Wilyabrup Valley. With Woodlands Brook, the Watsons see a great opportunity to plant more Cabernet Sauvignon on free-draining, south facing Wilyabrup soils.
Woodlands now has an annual production of 12000 cases, specializing in red wine, and remains owned and operated by the Watson family.
In 2010 David and Heather were awarded the Lifetime Achievement Award by the Margaret River Wine Industry Association.
Woodlands’ premier wine, the Cabernet Sauvignon, is still made from the same planting originally made by David and Heather in 1973. Woodlands Cabernet Sauvignon continues to garner awards and critical acclaim, including being listed in the Langtons Classification of Fine Wines.