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Leeuwin Estate

Leeuwin Estate

In 1969 Denis and Patricia Horgan purchased the property in Margaret River in Western Australia, which had previously been used as a cattle station, as part of a deal to buy a plumbing business but they converted the land to vineyards in 1973. The late Robert Mondavi, the celebrated American winemaker, had contacted the Horgans's in 1972 to promote Margaret River as a wine region, having recognised the potential of their site for cultivating grapes for prime wine production and he was looking for investments. Margaret River is of course now famous, producing three percent of Australia's total grape production, and 20% of its premium wine. But it was only in 1967 that it was first planted with vines by Perth cardiologist Dr. Tom Cullity, influenced by a research paper by Dr. John Gladstone. So the Hogan's became one of the five founding wineries in Margaret River and, as recognition, were included in the honourable society of “Members of the Order of Australia” in 2001. Denis and Tricia's son Justin and daughter Simone have now joined them in the family business. Mondavi gave significant advice and mentoring in helping the couple to set up their estate, which they planted with Chardonnay, Cabernet Sauvignon, Shiraz and Pinot Noir, and their first commercial vintage was in 1979. Success followed rapidly and this catapulted them to global recognition when Decanter Magazine gave its highest recommendation to their 1981 Art Series Chardonnay. Since then the accolades have just kept on coming, and they are recognised as one of Australia's top wineries. Now nearly 49 hectares are under vine, and Riesling, Semillon and Sauvignon Blanc have been added to the plantings. They produce wine under three labels, Prelude Vineyards, Siblings and the Art Series range. Prelude Vineyards are expressive easy-drinking wines designed to be drunk young, Siblings celebrates family lineage and Art Series are their flagship wines, featuring labels designed by contemporary Australian artists. These are the most opulent and age-worthy wines.