By James Atkinson
The next generation of the Burch family, founders of leading West Australian wine labels including Howard Park and MadFish, has acquired a premium Margaret River vineyard.
Burch Family Wines east coast brand manager Richard Burch told TheShout that he and siblings David and Natalie (pictured L-R) have purchased the Broomstick Estate vineyard in Margaret River's south.
"It's got mainly Chardonnay, a bit of Shiraz, a bit of Merlot and Sauvignon Blanc," Burch said.
"We've actually been sourcing fruit from the vineyard for about 14 years, so we're just cementing that. Now we've got a bit more control over the viticulture."
Burch said the trio is still deciding whether to reprise the Broomstick label or launch a new brand identity for the vineyard within the Burch Family Wines stable.
He said fruit from the Broomstick vineyard contributes to Howard Park's top Chardonnays, Icon and the limited edition Ellingham.
Under the management of winemaker Janice McDonald, who joined in late 2010, Burch said Chardonnay has become an increasingly important grape in their portfolio.
"We've noticed her impact on all the wines but especially our Chardonnay. She's adding in a lot more expression and finesse, making the wines a lot more approachable immediately," he said.
"We've got Chardonnay from two regions so we can offer both. We've got Margaret River, which is a very distinctive style, and then Great Southern which is a very mineral, cool climate Chardonnay – a lot leaner and sharper," he said.
Richard Burch is also set to launch Mon Tout, his own 'natural' wine label – to the displeasure of father Jeff.
"He laughs at me a lot of the time because he thinks natural wine is silly, but occasionally I'll be able to sneak a good natural wine in front of him and he'll begrudgingly admit that it's worth drinking," joked Burch.
"I've got a natural Shiraz from Margaret River and a natural Pinot Gris coming out from Great Southern."