Burch Family Wines from Australia represent three different brands: Howard Park, Marchand & Burch, and MadFish Wines. Did you know that Denmark is in Australia? Neither did I, but read on to learn more about Denmark, Burch Family Wines, and the wines they will be pouring at the Vancouver International Wine Festival.
Since inception in 1986, Howard Park’s reputation of crafting balanced and elegant wines with uncompromising commitment and much pride and passion, has become internationally recognised. Originally established under the name Howard Park Wines, the Burch Family Wines umbrella brand was introduced in 2012 and produces three flagship brands; Howard Park, Marchand & Burch and MadFish. Originally based in the coastal town of Denmark, Howard Park was one of the original wine pioneers in Western Australia’s Great Southern region. Howard Park Riesling was the first release, followed two years later by the Cabernet Sauvignon Merlot. A vineyard was purchased in Margaret River in 1988 and a slow program of expansion as undertaken overtime to what you see today.
Jeff & Amy Burch
Jeff and Amy Burch’s passion for wine grew out of love of the South West region of Western Australia. A dynamic, creative couple, together they epitomize the spirit and qualities of Howard Park, living by a simple motto ‘that anything is possible’. As serious wine collectors, the Burch’s focused on cementing this passion following their purchase of a holiday home in the coastal town of Yallingup in the rural hideaway of the Margaret River wine region in the early 1980’s. Frequent visits to the region presented opportunities to interact with many great wine producers with whom they shared their passion for wine and hunger for knowledge.
In 1988 the Burch’s purchased a pastoral property in the Wilyabrup region – the heart of the Margaret River wine region with the intention of one day developing the property to vines. In 1993 they purchased Howard Park Wines and began a journey focused on sourcing exceptional fruit from specifically identified regions in Western Australia to create wines of individuality that demonstrate distinct regional character with extended aging potential.
Second Generation – David, Natalie & Richard Burch
David W Burch has had varied experience in the wine industry having worked in multiple areas of the business throughout the years from designing labels, winemaking, managing dispatch, cellar door and domestic sales, to setting up the online side of the business adding systems and ecommerce functions, along with the Burch Family Wines website, also setting up an additional rewards wine club site and building an online presence via social media and the wider web. David is currently on an extended period of leave.
Burch Family Wines sources grapes from Western Australia’s two premier growing regions, Margaret River and the Great Southern. In addition to sourcing grapes from selected growers, BFW is developing and operating specialist vineyards in each of these regions to under-pin the supply of grapes for its ultra-premium and super-premium labels.
This founding philosophy ensures that Howard Park only acquires the finest possible fruit from our vineyard and various distinguished growers from Margaret River and Great Southern regions of Western Australia. Recognising long ago that it would not be possible to source all varieties from a single area, especially with the quality levels demanded, Howard Park Wines have spent the last 20 years defining and clarifying vineyards of Western Australia for each variety. Today we are confident insourcing each variety from the region to which it is best suited. Put simply, we go to wherever the fruit grows best.
Howard Park’s largest winery is located just outside the small town of Cowaramup, the birthplace thirty five years ago of what is now the Margaret River Wine Region. The Margaret River wine region was founded in the late 1960s and is 300km south of Perth, set between the tranquil waters of Geographe Bay and the rugged beauty of Cape Leeuwin where the Indian and Southern Ocean meet, this is the perfect place to unwind and relax.
Blessed with a Mediterranean climate, the region has something for everyone. With ocean on three sides, there is plenty to satisfy water lovers; pristine beaches, world class surfing, diving, whale watching and fishing. Alternatively, one can explore hidden caves and dense Karri forest, or some of the numerous art and craft galleries. However you choose to enjoy this stunning area, make sure you partake in the wide range of delicious local food and of course, wine.
Best Grown Varieties
Margaret River is one of the world’s magical areas for Chardonnay, producing powerfully intense wines of great length and elegance. They take longer than their Australian peers to evolve, but when they do, they are universally agreed to be Australia’s finest. The region is perhaps even better known for its Cabernet Sauvignon and Cabernet blends. They are arguably the nation’s best and are renowned for their incredible depth of fruit flavour, layers of complexity, extraordinary length and performance in cellaring. Shiraz, a relatively rare variety in Margaret River, does particularly well in the more northern half of the region producing rich, powerful wines.
The Great Southern
The Great Southern is a very large region stretching 150 km from north to south and 100 km from west to east. The sub-regions of Albany, Denmark, Mt. Barker, Porongurup and Frankland all have distinctive climatic, topographic and soil differences.
Howard Park Wines has been based at Denmark, a small coastal town located within the Great Southern region, since its inception in 1986. Home of MadFish Bay and situated 450 kilometres south of Perth, the coastline at Denmark and along to nearby Albany (50kms east) rates among the most beautiful in the South-West.
With its numerous vistas of towering native eucalyptus, karri, marri and jarrah trees and beautiful Bays whose chilly winds blow all the way from the Antarctic, Denmark provides the playground for fishing, surfing, swimming, snorkelling and boating. Since the 1980’s this former timber town has grown steadily supported by new agricultural, horticultural, tourism, arts and crafts, and conservation-based industries. Today Denmark is the centre of a thriving, diverse community that is proud of its unique environmental heritage, a charming country town with a population of 4,300.
Best Grown Varieties
Crisp, racy Riesling and powerful, structured, age worthy Cabernet Sauvignon are the outstanding wines of the region. The area also produces elegant cool climate Chardonnay and the future for Shiraz in the region is very exciting.