Mount Barker is an attractive, old-style town situated on three important tourist routes – Albany Highway from Perth to Albany, Muirs Highway linking the South West to the Great Southern and the Mount Barker-Porongurup Road.
The spectacular spring wildflower season attracts large numbers of tourists, while good road systems provide access to the south coast with the spectacular coastline near Denmark and Albany a comfortable half-hour drive.
The first experimental grapevine plantings in the Great Southern were at Tony and Betty Pearse’s Forest Hill property west of Mount Barker in 1965. These plantings provided the impetus for Tony Smith and Ernie Mead to plant vines on their properties at Denbarker in 1968 with other pioneers following soon afterwards.
Mount Barker experiences high daily temperature fluctuations and strong continental aspects. The growing season climate offers warm and sunny days providing important sunlight availability and excellent fruit ripening conditions, while the cool nights enhance and retain natural grape acidity.
The average annual rainfall of 600-700 mm is perfect to sustain grapevines, so many vineyards in the subregion employ only minimal irrigation at key times of the growing season. Some established vineyards are proudly dry grown.
Mount Barker soils are marri with lateritic gravelly and sandy loams derived from granite rock protrusions.
The subregion has an established reputation for producing high-class Riesling, Shiraz, Cabernet Sauvignon and Pinot Noir.