Margaret River vineyard Gralyn Estate at forefront of Fortified wine trend with trophy win

Taylar AmoniniBusselton Dunsborough Times
Gralyn Estate owners and winemakers Scott and Annette Baxter.
Camera IconGralyn Estate owners and winemakers Scott and Annette Baxter. Credit: Supplied

South West winemakers say it’s time for Australians to “rediscover fortified wines” after a Margaret River vineyard scooped a trio of national wine awards.

Hot on the heels of the 11th trophy win in the 2021 ANZ Boutique Wine Show for their Gralyn Estate Artizan Rare Muscat NV, Wilyabrup winemakers Scott and Annette Baxter have called for the community to embrace different wines.

With its intense flavours of raisin and toffee, perfumed with the likes of Turkish delight and rose petals, the local wine connoisseur’s muscat is not the only shining star in the Gralyn Estate line-up.

The team snapped up a double gold medal at the Global Fine Wine Challenge and Gold at the Melbourne Royal Wine Awards, further cementing it as one of the pre-eminent names in Australian fortified winemaking.

Established in 1975 by Graham and Merilyn Hutton, the pair’s legacy has been solidified by their daughter and son-in-law as Mrs Baxter encourages drinkers to discover the beauty of the region’s older wines.

Grayln Estate Artizan Rare Muscat NV
Camera IconGrayln Estate Artizan Rare Muscat NV Credit: Jessica Wyld

“We deal with a lot of avid fortified drinkers, and it’s quite natural for them to open a bottle of fortified,” she said.

“But I’d say it’s also being discovered by a new generation of wine lovers.

“You’ve got the Swan Valley who are very well known for their fortified wines and that history of being the second-oldest wine region in Australia.

“We’re inspired by that history, but we don’t see it as a purely historic wine style, it’s very much the present and future for us here in Margaret River.”

The win matches the local vineyard against some of the best drops in the country and among the rest of the world.

Wine writer and consultant Erin Larkin said the local winemakers were at the forefront of the resurgence of fortified wine in Western Australia.

“I think that fortified wines are like Riesling and Chenin Blanc in that everyone in the wine industry hopes they’ll have a resurgence because they see the beauty in the style,” she said.

“Gralyn Estate have been pushing the fortified cart for decades and I think that’s really significant and important.”

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