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Xanadu was established in 1977 by the pioneering Irish-born Dr. John Lagan, in Margaret River, one of the region’s first vineyards. Lagan was a literary enthusiast and drew parallels between the vision of utopia portrayed in Samuel Taylor Coleridge's imaginative poem Kubla Khan and his newly adopted home – so he named his winery Xanadu. The unique maritime climate here, just 4 kilometres from the coast, and rich free-draining soils are perfect for the cultivation of quality grapes. The Rathbone family (who also own Yering Station in the Yarra Valley and Mount Langi Ghiran in the Grampians) acquired Xanadu in 2005. The philosophy is that everything starts in the vineyard and the focus is on expressing the true personality of each site in the finished wines with the hallmarks of Margaret River fruit intensity – they want the loudest voice in the glass to be the vineyard. Xanadu are located within the Wallcliffe subregion of Margaret River, where they have three key vineyards.
The Lagan Estate is the original vineyard planted in 1977 by Dr. John Lagan. The original varieties planted include Cabernet Sauvignon and Semillon, closely followed by Sauvignon Blanc, Chardonnay, Cabernet Franc and Merlot. 17 hectares are under vine here on deep gravelly loam over clay soils.
The Boodjidup Estate, planted in 1999, is situated next to the Lagan Estate and has 23 of its 47 hectares under vine with Cabernet Sauvignon with Sauvignon Blanc, Semillon and Shiraz completing the plantings.
The Stevens Road Vineyard was first planted in 1989 and has 24 hectares under vine with a variety of grape varieties, including Chardonnay, Petit Verdot, Malbec Merlot, Shiraz, Muscadelle, Graciano and Cabernet Sauvignon on shallow sandy loam soils over deep, well-drained gravels. The Cabernet Sauvignon comes from 21 rows of Houghton clone, and in 2010 Xanadu took cuttings from these and planted 4 hectares on an exceptionally hilly site on the south side of the Boodjidup Creek, on ironstone gravel soils with a granite influence. The wines from the Stevens Road vineyard are made in limited quantities.
Winemaking employs whole bunch pressing, native yeast fermentation and only a portion of new French oak and lees stirring for the Chardonnays. Xanadu is one of Australia's most acclaimed wineries, accumulating a staggering amount of trophies and gold medals, including the coveted Jimmy Watson Memorial Trophy, and they have won Australia's best Cabernet for the last seven years. Xanadu's impressive portfolio of expressive regional wines are of uncompromising quality. They embody all the region has to offer and you don't have to go “through caverns measureless to man” to appreciate them, although you may feel you have “drunk the milk of Paradise”!