Welcome to OLD KENT RIVER Vineyard

Premium Boutique Wines

The Old Kent River vineyards are located in the Great Southern wine region of Western Australia, where they receive the cooling influence of the Southern Ocean 50 km to the south.

The temperatures during the crucial growing period of the grapes are the coolest in the Frankland River wine region and only slightly greater than that of Burgundy. The soil on which the vines are planted consists of a light to medium silty loam, overlying a porous clay mixed with some rock. The excellent draining qualities of this soil, together with the cool climate of the region, are particularly well suited to that most difficult of grape varieties Pinot Noir. Not surprisingly, these climatic and soil characteristics are also ideal for Chardonnay the other and less fickle Burgundian grape variety. The wines made from Pinot Noir and Chardonnay, which also include an excellent sparkling wine, have been responsible for rapidly establishing the name of Old Kent River as a producer of high quality wines.

Your hosts,
Mark and Debbie Noack

Origin of OLD KENT RIVER Wines

Old Kent River wines derived its name from the river that flows close to the property of its owners, Mark and Debbie Noack.

Mark was brought up in Rocky Gully, where his father owned a property that was mainly used for sheep grazing. He went to the Denmark Agricultural School, which provided him with the training that he later required to run his large property.

Debbie was born in Sydney and worked as a computer operator before becoming restless and deciding to spend a period travelling

through Europe and North Africa. She eventually returned to Australia and ended up in south-western Australia, working for Mark Noack’s sheep-shearing business. Work extended into friendship and eventually to marriage in 1983.

Mark and Debbie worked hard to save sufficient money to place a deposit on the 1270 acre property that was owned by Mark’s father. The property , which was purchased in 1985, contains 720 acres of cleared land, part of which was used for rearing sheep, and a further 550 acres of native bush.

Choice of Grape Varieties

When Debbie became pregnant in 1985 and decided to stay at home, she planted some Pinot Noir and Chardonnay to keep
herself occupied. These plantings were also aimed at diversifying the activities on the property. Such a policy proved highly bene-
ficial when the bottom dropped out of wool prices and sheep rearing thus became a far less profitable business.

The initial plantings of grapes were supplemented by further plantings in each subsequent year, with the fruit being contract

sold. Some idea of the extraordinary quality of the Pinot Noir can be gauged from the fact that Domaine Chandon was prepared to truck the Noack’s fruit all the way from Western Australia to Victoria, where it played a crucial role in their top of the range sparkling wine.

In 1991, Debbie and Mark decided to make their own Pinot Noir and to use the Chardonnay, together with some of the remaining Pinot Noir, to produce a small amount of a high quality sparkling wine. This wine was named Diamondtina, derived from the term for sparkling water. The first Chardonnay was produced in 1992 and, by the 1994 vintage, both the Pinot Noir and Chardonnay were receiving accolades from wine writers in both Western Australia and the eastern states.

In 1994, the Noacks decided it was time to increase the number of their wine styles by producing a further white and red wine. Debbie thus chose Sauvignon Blanc and Mark selected Shiraz. These choices were carefully made so that they complemented rather than duplicated the styles of their Pinot Noir and Chardonnay. The Noacks had always liked the fresh peppery aromas and flavours that characterise Shiraz grown in cool areas and thus reasoned that this great Rhone variety would provide these characteristics in the cool climate of their Rocky Gully property. They also felt that Sauvignon Blanc was ideally suited to their cool region and that as, at that time, there were few good examples of wines from this variety in Australia. It would fill a niche in the national market. The quality of the resulting wines clearly vindicate the choices made by Mark and Debbie.

At the present time, the Noack’s vineyards contain 10 acres of Pinot Noir, 10 acres of Chardonnay, 10 acres of Shiraz and 4 acres of Sauvignon Blanc.

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