Prices do not include Consumption Tax. RRP= Recommended Retail Price.－8－Notes from the online tasting seminarWestern Australian Wine Mini Knowledge◆ Frankland River (Great Southern)Frankland River, the most northwest sub-region in Great Southern, is 185km southeast of Margaret River. It enjoys a continental climate with wider day/night temperature differences than other production areas in WA. What little rain falls is concentrated in winter. Cold air flows down the Frankland River Valley to the southern Antarctic Ocean in winter, and flows up the Valley from the Ocean when heat accumulates inland in summer, moderating the climate year-round. The region is characterized by iron-rich gravel soil, which gives wines, especially Riesling, a flinty mineral character.◆ Riesling and Frankland EstateFrankland Estate was established by Barrie Smith and Judy Cullam in 1988, and the second generation of this family-owned winery now lead the viticulture, winemaking and sales. They are recognized domestically and internationally as one of Australia’s leading Riesling producers, including as hosts of the annual ‘International Riesling Conference’. Frankland make several different Rieslings every year, and received certification for organic cultivation in 2009.Currently, Riesling accounts for 40% of total production. The uniqueness of Frankland Riesling comes, above all, from the ‘flinty’ minerality of soil with a high iron content. The estate’s Isolation Ridge vineyards are especially high in iron, and the soils are known locally as ‘coffee rock’ for their dark colour. Below the iron rich gravel layer is a water-retaining red clay soil, so irrigation isn’t required.Frankland Estate is very focused on the natural acid that is a product of the cool nights. The cooler climate enables them to keep Riesling grapes on the vine a little longer, and the natural acidity starts to change from being quite sharp to rounded and delicious, which is when they pick the fruit. They then carry this rounder, softer and generous acid profile through fermentation. In the flavour spectrum, this gives their Rieslings nectarine and stone fruit flavours, compared to the lemons and limes found in traditional Australian Riesling. Currently, as the quality of the fruit and the age of the vines increase, 10% of Riesling is fermented in large oak barrels. It gains complexity when it is aged on lees, both in stainless steel and in barrels. Riesling is a long-term aging variety, with a portion of each vintage at Frankland set aside each year for release at 10 years of age.Riesling is often associated with the so-called ‘kerosene aroma’, which can be a positive or a negative depending on personal preference. Frankland doesn’t see it as a negative, as it is an important factor in the quality and aging of wine, but it becomes a problem if it isn’t well-balanced with the fruit aromas. It is the product of a compound called TDN (1,1,6-trimethyl-1,2-dihydronaphthalene) which is naturally present in white grapes, especially in Riesling. It is more abundant in fruit exposed to long daylight hours and stressed by lack of water. To control this, Frankland prunes their fruit to grow in a basket surrounded by leaves (vase-shaped pruning) to protect the bunches from strong sunlight.◆ PembertonLocated 105km southeast of the Margaret River, Pemberton has a cool climate influenced by the Antarctic Ocean, with afternoon sea breezes providing consistent cooling, so it rarely exceeds 30°C even in summer, and gets cold at Among Western Australian wines, Chardonnay and Cabernet Sauvignon from Margaret River have a long-established international reputation. However, other wine-producing regions in the state such as Great Southern* and Pemberton, home to many small-scale producers that have been engaged in viticulture since the 1970s, are overlooked. With the recent boom in cool climate wines they are attracting attention for the quality of their wines.◆ A brief history of Western Australian wine Western Australia’s wine industry initially developed in the coastal areas near Perth, but it lagged far behind other Australian regions. It expanded dramatically when gold was discovered in the late 19th century, and the population grew exponentially. However, when the price of wool soared in the 1950s, many farmers turned their vineyards into pastures. In 1955, Dr. Harold Olmo released research that showed cool regions such as Margaret River, Mount Barker and Frankland River in the current Southwest Australia Zone had the potential to be premium wine regions. The report said a new wine boom could flourish across Western Australia, and on-going detailed data analysis by Dr. John Gladstones linking climate and viticulture reinforced this conclusion. ◆ Darling ScarpThe Darling Fault is a major ancient geological discontinuity running over 1,000km from Shark Bay in the north to Albany in the south of Western Australia. The Darling Scarp, a localized name for the Fault, is a plateau 230-400m in altitude descending towards the plains on the coastline, which extends from east of Perth to south of Pemberton. Many Western Australian wine regions, including Frankland River and Pemberton, are located on the Scarp at an average altitude of 250-300m. Frankland Estate is at an altitude of 280m and Picardy at 300m.In December 2020, to help broaden knowledge about the Western Australian wines available in Japan, the Western Australian Government planned and hosted an online tasting seminar with sommelier Taku Iguro as facilitator. The seminar focused on Frankland River’s Riesling and Pemberton’s Pinot Noir, with a tasting of Frankland Estate Riesling 2018 and Picardy Pinot Noir 2018.Notes from the (2nd) online tasting seminar connecting with local winemakersIntroducing Western Australian wine regions beyond Margaret River‒ Frankland Estate, Great Southern & Picardy, PembertonAUSTRALIASeminar speakersWatch the Seminar (edited recording)Photo: Tadayuki YanagiFrankland Estate: Hunter Smith (Director)Picardy: Dan PannellSommelier Taku Iguro (Winner of the 9th All Japan Best Sommelier Competition)Part 1: Frankland EstatePart 2: PicardyVillage Cellars YouTube Channel* Great Southern is Australia’s largest region, located at the southern tip of Western Australia, running approximately 200km east-west and 100km north-south. It has ve sub-regions: Albany, Porongurup, Mt Barker, Denmark and Frankland River, each characterised by distinctive geomorphic and climatic conditions.