About McHenry Hohnen Vintners

“If the grapes are grown right from the start, the wine will essentially make itself.” David Hohnen

Welcome to McHenry Hohnen Vintners!

With the wisdom of three generations of vignerons and winemakers we take a purists approach; focussing on single vineyard wines, biological farming and a “hands off” philosophy to winemaking.

McHenry Hohnen was founded in 2004 by pioneering Margaret River winemaker and 3rd generation biological farmer David Hohnen and his brother-in-law, grape-grower and wine retailer Murray McHenry.

Our team is headed by winemaker Julian Grounds and viticulturalist Mike Sleegers.  Julian is a winemaker who eschews technology in the winemaking process and Mike employs a bio-dynamic approach to the vineyard. Collectively McHenry Hohnen incorporates pre-industrial practices which exemplifies a new generation of winemaking.

With an ethos of quality over quantity, we create small lots of expressive, authentic, fine wines.

We endeavour to engage and educate wine drinkers on the merits of pre-industrial wine growing and grape handling via the unadulterated quality of flavours in our sustainably produced wines.

In our portfolio you will see hand-picked alternative varieties, wild ferments and full flavours.

Our Team

Making beautiful wine requires the perfect mix of luck, art & science.

We are a passionate team of talented agriculture professionals, cellarhands and winemakers working hard to create beautiful wine.

Our viticulture team are all about biological farming; birds, bees, sheep, cattle, geese and vines. The idea is to recreate a harmonious ecosystem where all things thrive.

Winemakers and cellar crew live and breathe holistic winemaking. Paring it right back to the good ol’ days of handcrafting their wares with the use of indigenous yeasts and concrete tanks.

Here, you’ll find minimal intervention and a hands off approach where we assist nature in doing her thing.

A little bit simple? A little bit crazy? If you ask us, it pays off!

Our team are committed to creating ecologically sustainable wines, that can be enjoyed at any occasion and tell the story of the vines we farm!

David Hohnen

 “If the grapes are grown in the right way from the start, the wine will essentially make itself.”

A 3rd generation farmer, David Hohnen studied winemaking and viticulture in California in the 1960’s where he refined his interest in biological farming.

David returned to Western Australia in 1970 to establish a small vineyard on the outskirts of Margaret River. This was to become Cape Mentelle Vineyards.

1976 saw the first release for Cape Mentelle and in 1985 David had also established Cloudy Bay in Marlborough, New Zealand.

As Chief Executive, David guided the growth of Cape Mentelle and Cloudy Bay until 2003, at which time he left to create McHenry Hohnen; a concept of biological farming, grape growing and winemaking.

David’s wealth of knowledge and experience, his grassroots approach to winemaking and his love of biological agriculture have guided the foundation and winemaking objectives of McHenry Hohnen wines.

His focus has always been on creating top quality wines through natural, organic and biodynamic methods.

David’s philosophy is that “if the grapes are grown in the right way from the start, the wine will essentially make itself.”

Murray McHenry

Murray McHenry was born into a hotelier family, and created a successful chain of fine wine stores across Perth.

He has since developed their Nedlands Hotel Steve’s into a Perth landmark, complete with an extraordinary array of the greatest wines from Australia and overseas for purchase or consumption at the large restaurant.

In 1984 he planted his first vines in Margaret River at our Burnside Vineyard, selling grapes for many years to then Hohnen owned Cape Mentelle.

In 1994 he and partner Brian Sierakowski began the development of the 30-hectare Calgardup Brook Vineyard, planting chardonnay in 2006.

McHenry’s vineyard developments continued in 1998 with the purchase of a 75-hectare farm on Rocky Road, planting chardonnay, zinfandel and cabernet sauvignon, making single vineyard wines from those three varieties.

All of our wine is created from our family-owned vineyards. Each site has been hand-selected for its individual site characteristics and aspect to sunlight.

Today Hazel’s Vineyard on our Rocky Road block south of Witchcliffe is home to McHenry Hohnen’s winery.

Mike Sleegers (Viticulturist)

“We aren’t managers … vines can do a much better job of that themselves …”

He was amongst the first to formalise the organic movement in the region by achieving biodynamic accreditation for one of the founding vineyards.

Mike Sleegers has over 23 years of experience growing premium quality fruit in a variety of WA regions, including the Swan Valley, Donnybrook and Margaret River.

We aim to manage our vineyards sustainability using a range of practices that are not only ecologically sound, but also economically viable and socially responsible.

The vineyards are managed using the principles of biodynamic agriculture. Biodynamic is similar to organic farming in that both take place without chemicals, but biodynamic farming incorporates ideas about a vineyard as an ecosystem, and also accounting for things such as astrological influences and lunar cycles.

All our viticultural practices nurture the biodiversity within the soil that surrounds the vines.

 

Julian Grounds (Senior Winemaker)

Hailing from Albany in the Great Southern, Western Autralia, Julian graduated Dux of Viticulture and Oenology and won the Leeuwin Scholarship to do vintage in the Southern Burdgundy region of increasing presence, Pouilly Fuisse.

After the obligatory post-study “apprenticeship” at Leeuwin Estate, Julian left Australia to work for one of the founding families of the Oregon wine region – the Ponzi family. Combining this experience with further vintages in Central Otago, Julian honed his craft of low intervention, cool climate winemaking.

Eventually, Julian was coerced back to Victoria’s Yarra Valley region where, after a short stint at Medhurst Wines, he became Senior Winemaker for Giant Steps, helping shape some of the most respected single vineyard wines in Australia.

Julian sees site expression and vineyard/winery sustainability as the most imperatives elements to crafting quality wines.

“For me every wine should be the purest expression of the site from which the fruit is grown. All elements of that site (biological activity, soil type, prevailing winds etc) are critical at giving a wine its personality, and it’s our responsibility to ensure that these elements shine through”.

 

Biological Viticulture

“A better environment gives you better wine.”

Philosophy

We aim to manage our vineyards sustainability using a range of practices that are not only ecologically sound, but also economically viable and socially responsible.

All our viticultural practices nurture the biodiversity both within the soil microbiology that surrounds the vines and the insects and animals which are attracted to the healthy crops.

McHenry Hohnen’s vineyards are managed using 100% biodynamic methods which are designed to improve the vitality and health of the soil.

Biodynamic is similar to organic farming in that both take place without chemicals, but biodynamic farming incorporates ideas about a vineyard as an ecosystem, and also accounting for things such as astrological influences and lunar cycles.

Over time, methods and preparations create deeper topsoil, increase root mass and depth, increase carbon capture and water holding capacity of soils – thereby improving plant health and dramatically improving the plant’s resistance to pests and disease.

McHenry Hohnen’s vineyard manager Mike Sleegers is an experienced advocate of biodynamic farming and believes its the only way to grow the best quality grapes.

Natural composts and manure teas are made onsite, no chemicals are used and in the main, lunar cycles are observed in administering the biodynamic regimes. As Mike says, “A better environment gives you better wine.”

Viticultural Practices

Biodynamics revolves around an environmental equilibrium. We select variety for our climate, vine vigor for our soil types, and match crop size to canopy.We constantly work toward achieving balance; the key component to producing quality wines which are distinctive and sustainable. Harmony in the vineyard ecosystem includes all the viticultural practices we utilise; pruning, shoot thinning, leaf pulling, crop thinning, and irrigation.

The more balanced our vines, the more sustainable we are.

Compost

Each year, we compost all our grape mark with cattle manure for a year, when we spread it on our vineyards after harvest to feed the soil which feeds our vines.

Between Row Crops

We use several between row crops, depending on our goals and the existing growth in each of our vineyard blocks. These include soil-building legume and grass mixes to encourage nitrogen and organic matter to keep the vines healthy, attract insects and control erosion.

Pest Control

Biodynamics uses an approach to pests and diseases that combines a wide array of farming practices by carefully monitoring pests and their natural predators to prevent crop damage. The overall goal is to reduce or eliminate pesticide use of both organic and synthetic chemicals.

Insects

Instead of using chemical sprays to control destructive insects, we use the natural predation method of introducing or encouraging beneficial insects to reduce their populations.

The Birds & The Bees

Biodynamic vineyards create the optimum living environment for native birds and bees, who help with insect and rodent control.

McHenry Hohnen Vintners

McHenry Hohnen is a winery that unites two iconic Margaret River families, the McHenrys and the Hohnens, who have been growing grapes and making wine in the region since 1970. They employ biodynamic growing practices and natural winemaking to produce exquisite wines that display outstanding varietal integrity and character, typical of the quality of wines produced in Margaret River.

OWNERS : Murray McHenry and David Hohnen

WINEMAKERS : Julian Grounds

ESTABLISHED : 2004

VINEYARD LOCATION : Margaret River and Forest Grove

ANNUAL CRUSH  : 200 tonnes

VARIETIES : Chardonnay, Semillon, Malbec, Merlot, Petit Verdot, Cabernet Sauvignon, Tempranillo, Mourvedre/Mataro, Shiraz, Sauvignon Blanc, Grenache, Marsanne, Rousanne, Zinfandel

CELLAR DOOR : 5962 Caves Road, Margaret River
OPEN : Monday – Sunday, 10.30am – 4.30pm
WINE PRICES : $20 – 90
PHONE : 9757 9600
EMAIL : cellardoor@mchenryhohnen.com.au
WEBSITE : www.mchenryhohnen.com.au
DISTRIBUTION : Cellar Door, Wholesaler, Online, Mail Order, Other, Retail

McHenry Hohnen Hazel’s Vineyard chardonnay 2016 ($60)

There is a pristine character about this precise and delicately poised chardonnay. White peach and vanilla pod aromas. The palate has a cutting precision and lancing finish with a light charry oak and white peach character. Terrific mouthfeel. A modern style of Margs chardonnay.
SCORE 94/100 CELLAR 7 Years

McHenry Hohnen Calgardup Brook chardonnay 2016 ($60)

A slightly more restrained and reserved chardonnay than the previous vintage. Having said that, it still has a deep concentration of fruit. So supremely balanced with fine chary and nectarine characters on the nose and palate. Builds effortlessly to a long finish, with a flinty charry middle core of fruit. Excellent wine
SCORE 96/100 CELLAR 8 years

McHenry Hohnen Burnside Vineyard chardonnay 2016 ($60)

Another cracking good chardonnay from this marvelous vineyard. It’s once again my pick of the McHenry Hohnen chardonnays after a year off last year. Has that deeper textured palate character that I love, but still with a controlled linear feel in the mouth that gives it length and sustained power. Slightly flinty with a nectarine white peach character.
SCORE 97/100 CELLAR 10 years

The first vineyards in Margaret River were planted in the undulating landscape created by the water courses of the ridge that connects Cape Leeuwin in the south and Cape Naturaliste in the north.

The streams of the ridge flow to the west, hence a significant influence on these vineyards is the late morning thermal winds in summer that drift on-shore from the Indian Ocean.

This breeze funnels up the creek lines and cools the vines.

The major creeks of the ridge, from south to north are the Boodjidup, Margaret River, Ellen Brook, Willyabrup Brook and Yallingup Brook.

Later in the region’s development, vineyards were planted in the deeper soils of the flood plain of the Vasse and Carbunup Rivers.

These northward flowing streams empty into Geographe Bay and enjoy good exposure to summer radiation.

This is the region known as Jindong but also includes Carbunup and Marybrook. Higher in the catchment of these two streams, at Treeton and Cowaramup, the vineyards still enjoy a strong northerly exposure.

More recently, the southern half of the Margaret River region has had significant areas planted. For the most part, the vineyards lie in the headwaters of the southerly streams that flow to the Blackwood River as it empties into the Southern Ocean at Augusta.

These southern streams are the Chapman, Upper Chapman, McLeod and Glenarty. The ‘Southerly Buster’ blowing in from the cold Southern Ocean has an influence on these sites.

A summer thermal, this wind starts early in the day and can blow hard until dusk. Dependent upon exposure, it can mean much later ripening.


Hazel’s Vineyard

Hazel’s Vineyard is named after Murray McHenry and Sandra Hohnen’s mother. It was developed in 1998 when Murray McHenry purchased an old farm south of Witchcliffe and planted 40ha of vines. The vines are planted on a north facing slope of ironstone gravels on a tributary of the Upper Chapman Brook. This northern exposure, with some southerly cooling influences, makes this a great site. Of note are the Bordeaux varieties, which form the major parcel of fruit allocated to McHenry Hohnen’s super premium ‘Rolling Stone’ blend. Also exceptional is the Chardonnay from this site. Hazel’s is home for the Vintners, with a stunning state of the art winery built overlooking the northern slopes of the vineyard.


Burnside Vineyard

The property was purchased in 1976, at the time a run-down farm on the sharpest bend of the Margaret River. Located close to the coast with views of the Indian Ocean, the name Burnside has its origins in Ireland where it means one who lives by a burn or stream. Eleven hectares have been planted on a number of aspects, as dictated by the contours of the rivers bend. It has proven to be an exceptional vineyard, the growing site of our flagship Single Vineyard Chardonnay. The Burnside block is now home to our Cellar Door.


Calgardup Brook Vineyard

Planted in 1995 in partnership with Brian Sierakowski. Calgardup Brook Vineyard is the home to 40ha of our vines. The vineyard lies on the south side of the Calgardup Brook just south of Witchcliffe. With a gentle northerly aspect allowing less direct sunlight and the westerly influence this is a very good vineyard and produces outstanding parcels of Shiraz and Chardonnay. The Calgardup Brook Vineyard lies just inland from the coast. Its sandy, schisty soils are well weathered. The vines run east-west with a slightly sloping northern aspect. Calgardup Brook is a westerly flowing stream; hence the site is open to the sea breezes that have a significant influence on the vineyards of the Leeuwin Naturaliste Ridge, the hills that connect the two Capes on the south and north of the region.

Wine Making Process

Winemaking follows simple, traditional principles where soil health and vine vitality are king in the vineyard and minimal handling in the winery with minimum additives make the genuine characters of the wine sing.

Varietal characters are pre-eminent and complemented by the aromas, flavours and textures that evolve during the maturing of the wine.

These are derived from indigenous yeast, malolactic bacteria, yeast autolysis and grape solids.

The most simple and forgotten approach; allow the grapes to become wines.

McHenry Hohnen Vintners

5962 Caves Rd, Margaret River Western Australia, 6285

CONTACT

Phone 9757 9600
info@mchenryhohnen.com.au

Website

http://www.mchenryhohnen.com.au/

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5962 Caves Rd, Margaret River, Western Australia, 6285

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RAY'S WINE GUIDE 2017