Domaine Naturaliste by Bruce Dukes

By Halliday Promotion

10 Aug, 2023

Named after the region where winemaker Bruce Dukes honed his skill, after being dubbed Best Value Winery in 2020, Domaine Naturaliste in Margaret River has taken home the best Sauvignon Blanc of the Year at the 2024 Halliday Awards.

Domaine Naturaliste has been a pillar of Margaret River winemaking since it was established in 2012. Behind that pillar is winemaker and agronomist, Bruce Dukes.  

Domaine Naturaliste's Sauvage Margaret River Sauvignon Blanc has been crowned the very best in the country – it has been awarded Sauvignon Blanc of the Year at the 2024 Halliday Awards. "The Sauvage is the evolution of 33 years of wine growing and refinement. And more so a recognition of what the climate, soils and vines of Margaret River can offer," says Bruce.

Bruce's career spans more than three decades, and when he's not heading up the Domaine Naturaliste team alongside wife Wendy – including viticulturist Tim Byrne, senior winemaker Remi Guise, winemaker Sophie Ward, sales and marketing manager Sue Jackman and cellar door manager Jeff Harris – Bruce makes wines for a slew of other producers across Margaret River and Geographe.

Bruce Dukes in the vineyardBruce Dukes.

Bruce says the region's climate helps produce a Sauvage that is full of personality. "The gentle maritime climate of Margaret River, which sits over our decomposed granite soils, provides long and gentle ripening conditions which suits the biology of the sauvignon vines. The environ yields physiologically ripe and succulent fruit at moderate sugar maturities, which translates to naturally balanced wines with drive."

Domaine Naturaliste sauvignon blanc has undergone an evolution. The savvy bs that came before the Sauvage were fermented and matured in the 228L Burgundian oak with higher toast levels, which gave more oak impact and produced a more fumé-like style. 

Bruce in the vineyardDomaine Naturaliste's vineyard sits at the base of Cape Naturaliste in Wilyabrup in Margaret River.

"Sauvage is quite a jump from these older interpretations and is now enjoying its ninth vintage of evolution. It is more subtle and the fruit is farmed to give it a composition which is more sympathetic to the wine style. The subtleness seems to come from sur lie fermentation and maturation in 1/3 new, large format 500L oak puncheons for 10 months. The oak forests and toasting selections have also evolved to lighter toasting and tighter grained wood, which seems to favour subtlety, texture and white fruit lift."

The Domaine Naturaliste team are growers and winemakers. In the vineyard, the approach is growing using sustainable and holistic farming and winemaking practices. It's an approach that starts underground with a love of soil and farming, so the vines and fruit are able to express themselves. "We are conscious of not taking too much from the land and fruit," Bruce says. 

Range of Domaine Naturaliste winesThe Domaine Naturaliste by Bruce Dukes wine range.

The Domaine Naturaliste vineyard sits at the base of Cape Naturaliste (the inspiration behind the winery's name), in the Wilyabrup precinct of Margaret River. Cape Naturaliste is the northern and defining Cape of Margaret River – the south is bounded by Cape Leeuwin. 

"I feel blessed to be a Margaret River winemaker. It is the quality and vintage consistency of our raw produce which inspires my journey. When it comes to the future of Domaine Naturaliste, Bruce says he's looking to refine the basics. "I am purposely not seeking the introduction of new wines and styles, as I believe I need in depth focus on my craft to gradually improve on my abilities to farm and fine tune style."

Domaine Naturaliste Sauvage 2021 Margaret River Sauvignon Blanc

Domaine Naturaliste Sauvage 2021 Margaret River Sauvignon Blanc

Agronomist and winemaker Bruce Dukes on the Sauvage: Southern Margaret Sauvignon blanc exudes high level pear and nectarine aromatics, with hints of red currant and cassis flower emerging with sur lie maturation and time in bottle. The succulent natural acidity and 10-month maturation in large format, 500L French oak puncheons, creates a vibratory wine of tension and poise.

RRP $37 | Drink to 2026

Best enjoyed: The texture, flavour and succulent elements of the Sauvage make it a perfect friend to roast chicken, chargrilled veal chops, or fish of character. Serve lightly chilled, at 12–14 degrees, so the aromats are lively. 

For more information and to shop Domaine Naturaliste wines visit or visit the Domaine Naturaliste cellar door.