Vasse Felix Chardonnay is this historic estate’s signature style Chardonnay. It is made from a selection of premier Chardonnay parcels from Vasse Felix’s Vineyards in a modern Margaret River style with elegance, power and restraint.
Vasse Felix was founded in 1967 in Wilyabrup by Cullity. It was the very first winery to be established in the Margaret River wine-growing region of Western Australia. The winery is considered a true pioneer of the region. Dr Cullity had searched widely for his first vineyard site and eventually selected 8 acres in Wilyabrup which remain at the heart of the estate today.
The winery was purchased by the Gregg family in 1984. The Holmes à Court family then purchased the estate in 1987 and set about a period of expansion buying more vineyards but staying true to Cullity’s initial vision “to make the best possible wine.” The current owner and management of the estate is Paul Holmes à Court, the second generation of the family to rum Vasse Felix. Paul took over General Management of the Estate in 2005 and became the sole owner of Vasse Felix and its parent company, The Heytesbury Group in 2008. Virginia Willcock has been the winemaker since 2006 and since then she has twice been nominated for Australian Gourmet Traveller ‘Winemaker of the Year’ and was awarded the trophy for ‘Winemaker of the Most Outstanding Red or White Wine in Show’ at the 2011 Royal Adelaide Wine Show. There is a wide range of wines produced from icon wines like the Tom Cullity Cabernet Sauvignon / Malbec and the Heytesbury Chardonnay through to the Premier, Filius and Classics tiers.
Vasse Felix Chardonnay is produced from various parcels of Margaret River fruit. 50% of the fruit was hand-harvested, gently whole-bunch pressed and transferred to French Oak Barriques as unclarified juice for wild fermentation. The remaining 50% was Selectiv harvested and direct pressed, with high solids juice racked to barrel and fermented with wild yeasts from the vineyard. Each parcel was left on lees in barrel for 9 months of maturation with battonage. The premier Chardonnay sections were a mix of approximately 66% Gingin clone, 16% Bernard clones 95, 96 and 76, and 18% Clone 1. The majority of the fruit was sourced from Vasse Felix’s Wallcliffe and Wilyabrup vineyards with a small portion from their Karridale vineyard. 100% Chardonnay aged in French Oak Barriques (43% New, 57% 1-3 year old) for 9 months prior to bottling.