The 2022 Western Australia vintage

By Tyson Stelzer

6 Apr, 2023

Here's your snapshot of the 2022 vintage season in Western Australia.

The 2022 Western Australia vintage

The 2022 vintage season in Western Australia was warmer than the rest of the country. Xanadu's Glenn Goodall says the season was "a cracker", Frankland River in the Great Southern experienced its driest growing seasons on record, and in Pemberton vintage was late thanks to a very hot summer.

Margaret River

In Margaret River, wet and windy weather around fruit set impacted yields, particularly chardonnay (though a bumper year for Marri tree blossoming keeping the birds at bay). Summer arrived early and was fine and warm with a few very hot periods. Classic Margaret River weather of crisp, clear days and cold nights prevailed through mid to late April to end the harvest. Whites ripened later and reds earlier than usual, the latter harvest punctuated by some minor rain events. To Glenn Goodall, winemaker at Xanadu, "a cracker." And to Tim Lovett of Leeuwin Estate "an epic vintage!"

Fraser GallopFraser Gallop Estate in Margaret River.

Great Southern

The Great Southern saw extremes in all directions this season. In the north, Frankland River experienced one of the driest growing seasons on record with a hot January. A cooler February gave whites and especially reds a chance to gain flavour, with shiraz a particular highlight. In the south, Albany experienced a challenging season, with the latest budburst ever, amidst the driest and warmest summer on record (exceeding 44 degrees on one day in February). Pinot noir and chardonnay were the highlights with later-ripening reds variable. By contrast, Denmark enjoyed a mild ripening season of healthy yields, leading to a late harvest of good flavours at low sugar levels. Bushfire smoke gave the region a scare in early February, but to date no smoke taint has been reported. Mount Barker experienced a late harvest, in spite of brutal summer heatwaves, moderated by significant rainfall and a dramatic drop in temperature in April. Whites, and riesling in particular, consequently upheld great acidity. 


In Manjimup a hot summer saw white harvest kick off in late February, with good flavour and acid levels. A dramatic drop in temperature and sunlight around mid-March slowed the red harvest, furnishing promising pinot noir and elegantly styled cabernet sauvignon and shiraz of low alcohol. 

FerngroveFerngrove in Frankland River.


Vintage was unusually late in Pemberton even after a hot and dry January and February. With the pandemic impacting labour, Picardy called upon local grey nomads for their picking team. Whites showed flavour, texture and balance. And in his 52nd year of winemaking, Bill Pannell suggested the pinots looked "as good or perhaps better than we have made to date."


In Geographe, a long and warm summer allowed all varieties to achieve ripeness in the absence of disease or bird pressure (though yields were low for chardonnay and shiraz). 

Cullen WinesCullen Wines in Margaret River.

Swan Valley

Summer was extremely hot and dry in the Swan Valley, so much so that vines shut down and suspended grape ripening in the mid-January heat. Smart growers harvested at lower than normal baumes rather than leaving fruit to hang out and dehydrate instead of ripening – though this proved to be a challenge with picking crews in short supply. Whites were full and bold. Early-harvested reds we more lighter-bodied than usual and fortifieds were the highlight of the season.

Perth Hills

Perth Hills was subjected to similarly severe extremes. The region saw relentlessly scorching conditions from the start of December until late February, including 17 days over 40 degrees.

Discover more regional insights from the 2022 Australian vintage with the Halliday Vintage Chart.

Top image credit: Wine Australia.