Hamelin Bay Wines in the Margaret River wine region was established by the Drake-Brockman family in 1992. The family-run vineyard near Karridale is now also home to a cellar door and restaurant.
Margaret River’s world-class wine region is located in the South West of Western Australia. Surrounded by ocean, the area is blessed with a maritime climate; wet winters and mild, dry summers. Fine wines, abundant local gourmet food, pristine beaches and majestic forests combine to make the region a favourite tourist destination.
Ancestral ties with the area date back to the first European settlement. Owner Richard Drake-Brockman is the great grandson of Grace Bussell, whose family first settled in the Margaret River region in 1830. Grace is famous for her courage as a 16 year old when in 1876, with aboriginal stockman Sam Isaacs, she rescued the survivors of the ‘Georgette’ shipwreck at Redgate Beach. Richard’s great grandfather Frederick Brockman, known for his exploration of the Kimberley, read about Grace’s feat in the newspaper and was so impressed he rode 300km on horseback to meet her! This romantic tale ended happily when they married in 1882. In a stroke of serendipity, Hamelin Bay’s vineyard and winery is fittingly located at the intersection of the Brockman and Bussell Highways, which were named in honour of these two pioneering families.
Dr John Gladstones, Margaret River’s founding father and Australia’s leading viticultural research scientist, was approached by Richard to seek his opinion, prior to him acquiring the property. Dr Gladstones said Karridale showed great potential given its cooler location and the availability of well drained gravel soils. He said he now preferred the southerly areas of Margaret River to the northerly Wilyabrup region having realised that the nearby Southern and Indian Oceans give the southern subregions such as Karridale a moderate maritime climate year round. As awareness of rising climatic temperatures grows, there is increasing recognition of the cooler southern Karridale sub-region of Margaret River.
Our unique Five Ashes vineyard is one of Margaret River’s most picturesque vineyards. The moderate maritime climate and a north facing ridge of prime gravely loam soils are ideal for premium quality grape growing. The exceptional wine produced reflects these superb natural attributes of our 26 hectare vineyard. The Whites are positioned on a cool Easterly slope with soils varying from prized Forest Grove gravels to Karri loams, whilst the Reds are situated on a warmer North-facing slope beneath the cellar door on deep, dark gravel loams. The Whites exude freshness and elegance, and the Reds have restrained power and depth, both with distinctive and intense characters specific to each particular variety, block and site. From our very first vintage, our wines have won awards thanks to the outstanding terroir influenced by perfect gravel soils, select aspects, and cool moderate maritime microclimate.
Winemaker Julian Scott has been making Hamelin Bay Wines since 2000. Julian’s philosophy is that a winemaker’s primary role is to protect and maintain what we are given by nature; “it’s all in the vineyard”! Every vintage, he captures in a glass the unique Five Ashes terroir. Julian has a double major Honours degree in Chemistry and Environmental Science and a Bachelor of Applied Science [Wine Science] where he graduated with Distinction. Julian has worked throughout the wine world, including two vintages in California and he has made Sauvignon Blanc and Chardonnay in the French Gers Region and Grenache, Syrah and Tempranillo in the Calatayud Mountains in Spain.
The wyvern: the Drake-Brockman’s family crest is a legendary winged creature with a dragon’s head, tail and wings, a reptilian body and two legs. The wyvern rampant or wild wyvern is a separate crest and our Rampant Red and Rampant White wines use a stylised rampant wyvern on the label. Labels also feature the Latin “esse quam videri”; our motto “to be, rather than seem to be” signifying our aim to make great wine wines that live up to expectations.