Cape Grace Wines

281 Fifty One Road, Cowaramup   08 9755 5669

One of the little ones. With depth style and character the single estate grown wines have earned an impressive array of medals reviews and followers.

In Brief
  • Established: 1996
  • Vineyards: 6.25
  • Winemaker: Mark Messenger & Dylan Arvidson
  • Facilities: Cellar Door, Gallery
  • Grape Variety: Cabernet Sauvignon, Cabernet Shiraz, Chardonnay, Chenin Blanc, Shiraz, Cabernet Franc, Petit Verdot, Rose, Sauvignon Blanc Semillon
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In Detail

One of the great little wineries of Margaret River.  Cape Grace is a family affair, owned and run by Robert and Karen Karri-Davies with a fascinating local history.  In 1875 Robert’s great grandfather, M.C. Davies, built a timer mill at Karridale with jetties at nearby Hamlin Bay and Flinders Bay to ship timer to the old country.  Later, M.C.D established a livery stable and way station at the railhead, near the banks of Margaret River.

Today, Cape Grace is situated in a classic bush setting of Marri and Jarrah trees, amidst blooms of wildflowers each spring. The family spent a year looking for the perfect vineyard location, and when the farm that Dr Tom Cullity originally wanted for his Vasse Felix vineyard became available in 1996, they knew it would be prime grape-growing land.

From a first-vintage trophy for the 2000 Cabernet Sauvignon at the 2001 Sheraton Wine Awards, to the latest trophy for the ‘Best Chardonnay, 2006 National Wine Awards’, Cape Grace is producing wonderful, handcrafted wine, vintage after vintage.

In James Halliday’s, Australian Wine Companion (2004 edition), Cape Grace was included in Ten of the Best New Wineries, and it’s easy to see and taste why. Talking with Robert and Karen at the cellar door, enjoying the handcrafted wines, and getting an insight into Cape Grace is a completely satisfying and long lasting experience. Cape Grace is a 5 Star Winery rated by James Halliday.

Production is limited, only two thousand dozen cases are made which is sold primarily at the Cellar Door, you are assured of finding exclusive wines, which can be sent to you anywhere in Australia. The reds are hand-plunged and basket-pressed, matured in French oak for twelve months, with a further twelve months bottle age before being released.

With the Cape Grace  range of wines  which include a Cabernet Sauvignon, Shiraz, Cabernet/Shiraz, Cabernet Franc, Chardonnay ,Chenin Blanc  and a dessert wine Cane Cut Chenin Blance have received  an impressive collection of 3 trophies and over 165 medals and glowing wine reviews. 

Growing under the house flag of a pioneering South West family, located a stones throw from the stars of the Willyabrup Valley lies Cape Grace's carefully tended vineyard.

A great-grandson of timber baron M.C. Davies of Karridale, Robert Karri-Davies is handcrafting fines wines full of the flavour and character of Margaret River.

In 1996 Robert & Karen Karri-Davies planted their 15 acre vineyard.  From the start Robert & Karen set out to produce handcrafted, luxury wines at Cape Grace.  The fact that ‘great wine is grown in the vineyard’ was of vital importance, so when the farm on which Dr Tom Cullity originally wanted to establish Vasse Felix became available, Robert and Karen knew they had fifteen acres of prime grape-growing vineyard.
A precedent-setting win for “Best Wine at the 2001 Sheraton Wine Awards’ with their first vintage, the 2000 Cape Grace Cabernet Sauvignon set the uncompromising quality benchmark for all future wine.  This on-going challenge has been met with a splendid collection of over 100 medals.  Coinciding with Cape Grace’s fifth vintage, the 2004 Chardonnay gracefully earned an impressive 6 Gold Medals and the James Busby Trophy for Chardonnay at the National Wine Show of Australia.  Then the 2008 Shiraz won a Trophy for the Best Individual Vineayar Wine at the Wrest Point Royal Hobart International Wine Show.

In James Halliday’s, Australian Wine Companion, 2004 Edition, Cape Grace is privileged
to be included in the “Ten of the Best New Wineries” listing and  has a  5 star winery rating.

Cape Grace is a work in progress a long-term commitment to excellence. Its wine is as much about nuance and art as it is skills and passion.

The People
Cape Grace Wines is owned and operated by Robert and Karen Karri-Davies.
Robert has had a successful Commercial and Industrial Photography business for over 20 years, working in Australia, Asia and Canada. In addition he has had a varied background from a heavy equipment operator in northern Canada, to a welder and geological field assistant in Australia. Robert is a self-taught viticulturist and continues to keep up to date through extensive reading and attending seminars.

Our consultant winemaker is Mark Messenger (working at Juniper Estate) and Dyland Arvidson is the  'hands one winemaker'  at Cape Grace. Karen has over 15 years international sales and marketing experience in the hospitality industry. She has worked in Canada, Australia and Indonesia with three International 5 Star hotel companies.

Cellar Door
The Cellar Door is open daily 10am to 5pm where you'll meet Karen or Robert and get some insight into the trials and joys of being a small winemaker. Visitors stroll through the Barrel room, prior to entering the tasting area. Incorporated into the Cellar Door is a Photographic Gallery. Depending on the time of year visitors may see some action in the winery. If time is available a tour of the winery can be arranged and the wine making process explained. Outside, adjacent to the Cellar Door, is Robert's private collection of Australian parrots in a natural bush setting.  Rusty our winery dog will be there to greet you.

The Great Egret
The Great Egret, a frequent visitor to this tranquil bush setting with its splendid trees and harmonious maritime climate, is featured on the label of Cape Grace Wines.
Viticulture Practices
Estate grown in the Willyabrup valley the vines are nurtured under 'best practise' programmes. Minimum sprays, no insecticides. Wild ducks and introduced guinea fowls are effective insect eradicators. Canopy management is used i.e. hedging, east side leaf plucking and the vines are netted to avoid fruit damage by birds and kangaroos.

Wine Making
Estate grown fruit and vinification on the property, fermentation in new, one or two year old French Oak, free run juice and light pressing, minimal interference and strict temperature and hygiene controls are the hallmarks of a fine wine and all employed at Cape Grace Wines.
Red wines are hand plunged for 10 days in open fermenters, left on skins for an extendded period  and then basket pressed and matured in French oak  for 12 months.