The original Myattsfield was the family farm in Camberwell, London. Joseph Myatt established a market garden on land owned by the Minet family. He concentrated his efforts on improving and popularising rhubarb (then only used medicinally in ‘physic pies’) and strawberries for the nearby Borough Market in London. His success led to the purchase of another site of 80 acres called Manor Farm in Deptford. Here Joseph and his sons developed various strains of rhubarb, including Myatt’s Giant, Victoria (1837), Prince Albert (1840) and Linnaeus (after the famous Swedish botanist). By 1840, the Myatt family were Britain’s leading producers of rhubarb supplying 12,000 bunches of rhubarb a day to the London market and via the new railway system to other parts of the country. The original farm in Camberwell was engulfed by a growing London but in recognition of his significant contribution to horticulture, part of the farm was reserved as a public park bearing the family’s name. Myatts Field park still stands today in Camberwell, London.
More than 175 years later, as descendants of Joseph, we are farming in the Bickley Valley, Western Australia. The Bickley Valley is just a small sub-region of the Perth Hills Wine Region which stretches from Chittering to Jarrahdale. This region was recognised as having a unique set of geographical and topographical influences that influence the quality of wine produced in the region by the Geographic Indications Committee and awarded GIC status as a gazetted wine region in 1999.
The Darling Scarp protects the Valley from maritime influences making the climate more continental than Mediterranean in nature. This corresponds to cold nights and warm days. Valley walls reduce direct daylight hours resulting in the daily maxima arriving later in the day and for a shorter period. At 300-350m above sea level, the Bickley Valley is 2-3 degress cooler than Perth. Amongst the undulating terrain and aspects, site plays an important role in the valley. Elevated, northern facing slopes produce significantly warmer sites better suited to dry red varieties. Southern facing, lower sites produce cooler variations capable of producing better whites and lighter reds while elevated western facing sites are ideal for fortified production.
Meet the Makers
Josh was born and raised on a citrus orchard in the Bickley Valley. In 1997, after working summer holidays on local vineyards and completing his first vintage. At just 19 years of age he removed his fathers orchard and planted a small vineyard. This planting was expanded over the ensuing years and, in 1999, Josh bought the Carmel property with the aim of establishing more vineyards and a small winery. In 2000 he completed a second degree in oenology and began work as a cellar hand at the Sandalford winery in the Swan Valley. In between three vintages at Sandalford Josh also completed an overseas vintage in Sonoma Valley , Northern California. In 2003 Josh accepted the position of assistant winemaker at the Faber winery under John Griffiths. In the same year Josh and Rachael met at the nearby Lamonts Winery.
Rachael was born in the Victorian country town of Ararat. Her family had a shiraz vineyard in the Grampians region which supplied a number of local wineries with fruit. She completed an oenology degree from the University of Adelaide in 1999 and began work as a flying winemaker. Over the next 5 years she completed vintages in Italy, California, France, Portugal and New Zealand as well as the Australian regions of McLaren Vale, Grampians, Robinvale and Hunter Valley. In 2003 she accepted a position as winemaker at Lamonts in the Swan Valley. It was here she met Josh.
In 2006 Josh and Rachael decided they had had enough of working for other people and wanted to pursue their own winemaking interests. They now had mature vineyards in the Bickley and Carmel Valleys and considerable experience in wine production. Work on the construction of the winery began in 2006 and the 2007 was the first crush in this new facility.
In 2009, Josh and Rachael were married at the winery and now have two children, Mabel and Hugo, whom they hope will one day take the winemaking reins at Myattsfield.
Josh Uren joined Myattsfield as a winemaker in December 2012. He had a particular affinity for chemistry at high school and upon leaving took a cellar hand position at Millbrook winery in Jarrahdale, Perth Hills. He spent the next 7 years working at Millbrook, rising to assistant winemaker and completing an oenology degree in 2012 from Charles Sturt University by correspondence. Josh brings with him a great understanding of winemaking in the Perth Hills and particularly with the Viognier grape, which was a specialty at Millbrook.
MyattsField is a boutique owner/winemaker operation in the Bickley Valley. It produces a large range of wine styles from sparkling to fortified. Its winemaking philosophy revolves around the art of blending and working with warm climate varieties. MyattsField’s Carmel vineyard has the first planting of durif in WA. Sales are cellar door focused with limited retail and on-premise distribution.
OWNERS : Josh and Rachael Davenport WINEMAKERS : Josh and Rachael Davenport and Josh Uren ESTABLISHED : 1997 VINEYARD LOCATION : Perth Hills, Manjimup ANNUAL CRUSH : 55 tonnes VARIETIES : Chardonnay, Semillon, Merlot, Petit Verdot, Cabernet Sauvignon, Cabernet Franc, Verdelho, Tempranillo, Mourvedre/Mataro, Shiraz, Pinot Noir, Durif, Touriga, Pedro Ximinez, Brown Muscat
CELLAR DOOR : Union Road, Carmel OPEN : Friday – Sunday and public holidays, 11am – 5pm WINE PRICES : $22 – 45 PHONE : 9293 5567 EMAIL : firstname.lastname@example.org WEBSITE : www.myattsfield.com.au DISTRIBUTION : Cellar Door, Wholesaler, Online, Retail
Myattsfield chardonnay 2015 ($24)
Made from a combination of Manjimup and Perth Hills fruit. This is a chardonnay that screams out flavour and fruit intensity. It’s been worked in the winery to maximise the raw materials. Three months battonage (lees stirring) and a further nine months maturation. Creamy and intense with peach grapefruit characters and a nutty finish. Long sustained palate. Lovely wine. SCORE 92/100 CELLAR 6 Years
Myattsfield shiraz mourvedre viognier 2015 ($26)
An interesting combination from the Perth Hills. The viognier clearly brings an aromatic lift. It’s smooth and seamlessly integrated with spicy sweet berry flavours and well-weighted oak. Beautiful mouthfeel. Slightly gravelly tannins add just the right touch. SCORE 93/100 CELLAR 6 years
Myattsfield Left Field Club John Francis Reserve 2016 ($35)
This is a marvelous blend of merlot and cabernet franc – the famous blend of the Left Bank of Bordeaux. Beautifully seductive scented aromas coming from both these heady varieties. The palate is supple and generous with a silky slipper feel. Deep and rich with a spicy lift. SCORE 94/100 CELLAR 10 years
Myattsfield Joseph Myatt Reserve 2015 ($45)
This is made from the best barrels of the vintage which in this case happened to be cabernet sauvignon merlot and durif. Gosh it comes together so well. It’s thick and dark, but with a high degree of finesse and suppleness. Fine supporting tannins and beautifully-used oak enhances what is clearly some exceptional fruit. The oak is both French and American and it’s a combo that works well. SCORE 95/100 CELLAR 12 years
Myattsfield cabernet sauvignon merlot cabernet franc 2015 ($26)
Sourced from vineyards in the Perth Hills and Manjimup. It’s an elegant and most stylish wine that maximises the quality of these three varieties. It has structure but then there is a seductive softness through the middle palate. Scented and enticing on the nose with hints of red currant and raspberry. SCORE 91/100 CELLAR 7 years
We compare the warm elevated, continental climate of the Bickley Valley to inland areas of Spain and Portugal so it is natural that we look to these areas for inspiration when it came to selecting grape varieties to grow. These comparisons encouraged us to plant the varieties such as Verdelho, Mourvedre, Touriga, Brown Muscat and Durif alongside Shiraz, Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot and Petit Verdot. We are also fortunate enough to work with a group of dedicated growers that provide us with great quality fruit.
In the vineyard we have never subscribed to a single philosophy, choosing rather to utilise techniques from organic, traditional and modern management programs based purely on the results they produce in our vineyards. For example, we rely on a flock of guinea fowl and geese to control pest insect populations rather than pesticides but are happy to utilise conventional herbicides to control problem weeds.
Wine Making Process
Myattsfield Union Rd, Carmel Western Australia, 6076