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Singlefile Wines

Aimee Ralph
9 April 2024 | Singlefile Wines Blog | Aimee Ralph

Frankland River Sub-Region: Home of Powerful Reds

Many of Singlefile’s red wines hail from the Great Southern’s Frankland River region – it’s our most prolific red grape-growing area. In this article we dive into this sub-region and how its unique terroir contributes to making it one of the top environments for cultivating powerful red wines.

Tucked up high in the northwest corner of the Great Southern region, Frankland River is a productive farming area, bound by rolling hills and natural bushland coloured by native wildflowers. It’s the most northerly of the Great Southern sub-regions and the furthest inland, producing great climatic conditions for growing Shiraz, Riesling and Cabernet Sauvignon. Altitude ranges between 200 and 300 metres.

So why 'Frankland' – how did this sub-region come to be christened with this moniker? In 1829, Dr Thomas Braidwood Wilson, a surgeon and self-professed explorer, was travelling from Albany in the west to Sydney in the east. His purpose was to discover more about the inner stretch of our wide brown land. His explorations revealed the interior of WA was prime fertile farming land, and settlers soon began to move there in the hope of cultivating their fortune. In his travels, Dr Wilson named Frankland River and Mount Frankland after George Frankland, Surveyor-General of Van Diemen’s Land at the time.  

Ideal Grape-growing Conditions

The climate of Frankland River is cool and continental, with dominant winter and spring rainfall. The cool nights and warm days brightened by lengthy sunlight hours provide a true Mediterranean climate boosting the wines with fruit intensity, finesse, freshness and longevity. Frankland River’s highly productive fine, gravelly marri loam soils are derived from granite or gneiss outcrops, typically rich, red in colour and uniform in depth.  Wines produced in Frankland River display flavour that is derived from these ironstone-based gravel soils that line the river valleys and rolling hills.

Despite Frankland River’s distance from the coast, the typography of the land encourages a lovely sea breeze from the Southern Ocean, which finds its way inland and cools the late afternoon temperature creating a long, slow ripening season. 

While the Frankland River’s reputation was built largely on its Rieslings, the terroir and climate of the region have created ideal grape growing conditions for robust reds, particularly Shiraz and Cabernet Sauvignon.  It is now widely recognised as the premier shiraz growing sub-region of Western Australia and produces distinctive black fruit and black pepper characters.

Singlefile Wines from the Frankland River Region

Frankland River has flourished as a premier red wine growing region of Western Australia, and supplies fruit to a number of wineries based in the Great Southern, including Singlefile, and all over the country

Within this sub-region sits the highly regarded Riversdale vineyard. Planted in 1997 on deep gravel over clay soils, on a north-south orientation, the Riversdale Vineyard is located 7kms northwest of the Frankland River township.

Here at Singlefile, our Clément V red (GSM) blend, Shiraz, Grenache and Cabernet Sauvignon  (including our flagship The Philip Adrian Cabernet Sauvignon) are crafted from Riversdale Vineyard’s superb grapes. Due to its north facing orientation, this vineyard delivers exceptionally high-quality fruit.

Visiting Frankland River:Travel Tips

This sub-region is the quietest in the Great Southern family – it makes the perfect weekend getaway with loads of picnic spots and barbecue areas up for grabs. And in fear of pointing out the most obvious attraction, Frankland River’s namesake, the river, is the fishing destination of many a keen angler. The Frankland River flows into the Walpole and Nornalup Inlets, which also make great kayaking sites. Don’t forget to drop into one of the local olive groves to sample the golden olive oil made in the sub-region. 


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