Smallwater, big wine: Donnybrook winery wins big

Nicolette BarbasBunbury Herald
Smallwater Estate owner John Small with a bottle of Shiraz 2019 which recently took out three awards at Geographe and WA Alternative Varieties Wineshow.
Camera IconSmallwater Estate owner John Small with a bottle of Shiraz 2019 which recently took out three awards at Geographe and WA Alternative Varieties Wineshow. Credit: Nicolette Barbas

Smallwater Estate’s 2019 shiraz was the star of this year’s Geographe and WA Alternative Varieties Wine Show when it was recognised as the show’s Best Wine of the Region.

Over the years, owner John Small has won various awards for his prize-winning wines.

His most recent success being the 2019 shiraz which also won Best Shiraz of the Show and Best Geographe Red Wine at the Geographe and WA Alternative Varieties Wine Show.

“It totally took me by surprise,” Mr Small said.

I went in there with absolutely no expectations and when they called my winery up for best of show I was honestly gobsmacked.

When asked what the key to a good wine was he said “it all starts in the paddock”.

“Good wine is grown in the field,” he said.

“You have to choose the best block of fruit in order to get the best wine and any good winery owner will tell you that.

“Wine making is so important and I have excellent wine makers, Bruce Dukes and Remi Guise, who know what they’re doing, have a great facility and are totally transparent in their wine making.”

Smallwater Estate won several awards at the Geographe and WA Alternative Varieties Wineshow.
Camera IconSmallwater Estate won several awards at the Geographe and WA Alternative Varieties Wineshow. Credit: Nicolette Barbas

Situated about 10 minutes out of the Donnybrook town centre, Smallwater Estate is home to a variety of wines.

“The vineyard was planted in 1993,” Mr Small explained.

“In 2006 we did our first vintage and slowly eased into different wines.

“We started with a zinfandel and of course when you have a red you have to have a white, so we then did a chardonnay and just kept adding to it.

“I think we are pretty lucky to be out here doing what we do on a daily basis and these awards really highlight just how hard work pays off and that Geographe wines are also getting recognised nationally.”

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