Wrights Vineyard ‘reincarnates’ family wine industry legacy

Warren HatelyAugusta Margaret River Times
Ian Wright with daughters Rio and Sara and wife Yuka, centre.
Camera IconIan Wright with daughters Rio and Sara and wife Yuka, centre. Credit: Daniela Tommasi

A Cowaramup man who revived his parents’ winemaking legacy is set to launch the region’s newest wine label in coming months.

Wrights Vineyard will release its first hand-picked single-vineyard Family Release Chardonnay in 2024.

Ian Wright’s parents Henry and Maureen were among the first to plant vineyards back in 1973 on land now belonging to Juniper Estate and once called Wrights Wines.

Ian Wright grew up in the business and produced his first variety at just 15 years of age on a plot his father offered him.

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His passion for wine led to professional training and now with his family aimed to honour his parents’ winemaking legacy on a separate 33-hectare plot based between Cowaramup and the coast.

The vineyard includes a heritage block where vines grown from cuttings from the original 1973 plantings in Wilyabrup were now producing chardonnay, cabernet sauvignon, shiraz, sauvignon blanc and semillon.

“I felt as though I’ve never really left,” the winemaker said.

“However, it’s been a few years now since my parents passed away and I really felt the urge and the need to continue their legacy in whatever way I could.

“So, this whole reincarnation of Wrights Vineyard is to fulfil that dream.”

Wright engaged veteran viticulturist Colin Bell and champion winemaker Julian Langworthy in the new venture.

Bell said the Wrights Vineyard site offered the “perfect combination” of conditions that distinguished Margaret River wines.

“This is one of Margaret River’s little treasure vineyards,” he said.

“It has a wonderful balance of sun exposure, soil conditions, water sources, clear air, cooling summer breezes off the ocean, and undulation which allows for natural drainage.

“It also has a really cool natural yeast supply to allow for wild fermentation.”

Wright himself said the venture helped him appreciate the challenges his parents faced as “pioneers of the wine industry”.

“That’s what has made me more passionate about doing it,” he said.

“One of the things my father always said was ‘Great wine is made in the vineyard’,” Wright said.

“There’s no question that that’s absolutely correct.”

For more information, visit wrightsvineyard.com.au

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