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An Inside Look: The Way It Was

Published 24th October, 2017 in Behind the Book

Due to launch this November, The Way It Was by Ray Jordan and Peter Forrestal is a guided tour that takes you through the history of the Margaret River wine region. Here is an exclusive look at the early days of Margaret River.

Elijah Dawson was one of the original vineyard owners of Vasse. In 1844, where he planted vines on 1.2 hectares of his land. At the time, whalers were a key demographic that bought his wine, as well as a nearby timber venture in Wilgarup. His homestead, Westbrook, was built in 1844. This is where he sold his wine to the American whalers.

Duce’s vineyard was located in Boyanup. It was run by John Duce from 1902 to 1923, and then by his son Basil until 1956. Duce’s vineyard was the very first major commercial vineyard in South-West Australia. In its heyday, the vineyard was producing 90,000 litres of wine per year. It helped shaped the history of winemaking in Western Australia, with its influence reaching all the way to Margaret River.


About the Authors

Peter Forrestal has written about the wine and food industry for twenty five years; has judged some of Australia’s most important wine awards; is a past recipient of the WCA Wine Communicator of the Year, and the St Vincent’s Day Diplome D’Honneur from the Corporation des Vingerons de Champagne Diplome d’Honneur.

Ray Jordan is one of Australia’s most experienced wine journalists and has been writing about wine for almost 40 years.  He is currently Wine Editor of The West Australian and contributes two weekly columns to the paper.  He has been awarded the Jack Mann Medal for his contribution to the Western Australian wine industry.

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