It may sound improbable, but it was a passion for the sea and for riding the wild surf of Western Australia’s remote Margaret River region that led Jeff Burch to discover his affinity for wine. Now serving as the proud owner of Howard Park wines, Jeff and his family aim to craft boutique wines with an uncompromising commitment to quality.
Howard Park is one of Western Australia’s pioneering family-owned wineries, specialising in the state’s premier grape-growing regions of Margaret River and the Great Southern.
Encompassing a 30+ year history and overseen by two generations of the Burch family, Howard Park is a multi-regional endeavour which has included the selection, acquisition and development of four exceptional estate vineyards across both regions as well as a winery and Cellar Door in Margaret River.
The winery is led by legendary winemaker, and winner of the 2018 Gourmet Traveller Wine Magazine ‘Winemaker of the Year’, Janice McDonald.
Howard Park is also a proud member of Australia’s First Families of Wine (AFFW), a collective of twelve multi-generational family-owned wine producers. Together representing seventeen wine-growing regions across Australia and forty-eight generations of winemakers.
The Howard Park insignia celebrates the creation of the vine and its forbidden fruits as in the biblical reference of Garden of Eden. With the union of it’s “Tree of Life” symbol and intertwined winged dragon, signifying the essential creative balance between the experience of temptation and ultimate enlightenment.
Location of Vineyard
Howard Park’s architecturally awarded winery is a “must-see” for any visitor to the Margaret River region. The winery stands on a hilltop flanked by tall Marri and Jarrah trees with commanding views over the magnificent Leston vineyard (named for Jeff’s father, Leston Burch) and parklands.
Margaret River is considered to be one of Australia’s most exciting winegrowing regions and is regularly the source of award winning Australian wines. The climate in Margaret River is more influenced by the sea than any other premium wine region in mainland Australia and studies on both soil and climate suggest a strong similarity to Bordeaux in France. As well as the ‘home’ vineyard of Leston, the Burch family own and manage Allingham vineyard located in the southern region of Margaret River.
Australia’s Great Southern region is considered an area of staggering promise for the future of Australian winemaking. In size, this region is the largest in Australia yet it is also the most remote. This region is home to a cool Mediterranean climate with maritime influence and a variety of elevations and vineyard exposures throughout the foothills of the Porongurup Mountains. The Great Southern has attracted talented winemakers from near and far for its ability to yield wines from cool climate grape varieties that show unparalleled elegance and finesse.
Howard Park has a very simple mantra when it comes to the production of its wines - premium wine can only come from excellent fruit. Since its foundation Howard Park has held the belief that each variety is best suited to particular climates and soil types within the two premium wine regions of Western Australia, Margaret River and the Great Southern.
Howard Park’s Margaret River vineyards (Allingham & Leston) and the winery carry certification from the Winemakers Federation of Australia’s EntWine initiative for environmentally conscious practices. Sustainability is at the very heart of their vineyard management and while not certified, they have carefully chosen organic and biodynamic principles from Australia and overseas, to best cater for each individual vineyard block and their nuances. Chemicals and pesticides are avoided in the Howard Park vineyards, the winemaking facilities are 100% water sufficient, using rainwater collected from the roof for both winery and irrigation needs. Vineyard pests are kept under control by roving guinea fowl and flocks of sheep serve as environmentally friendly weed management.