Voyager Estate
11 July 2024 | Voyager Estate


The 2024 vintage saw the return of a much-loved staff training initiative: the Team Winemaking Project. Over the last year, the Cellar Door team have nurtured four rows of heritage Grenache vines, originally planted in 1978, through every stage of the winemaking process – from pruning to bottling.

The journey began with enthusiasm and a thirst for knowledge. With guidance from Chief Winemaker, Tim Shand, our team immersed themselves in every aspect of viticulture and winemaking. This project provided an invaluable opportunity to translate their theoretical knowledge into practical skills while also enjoying the beauty of working outdoors.

The first task was pruning the vines over a couple of cool, sunny winter mornings. The team watched a professional pruning video first to learn the perfect technique, but among the vines, reality set in as they navigated the gnarly trunks out in the field. Despite the challenges, they forged ahead, perhaps with a few too many buds left behind. All part of the learning curve!

Throughout the growing season, the team regularly visited the block, monitoring and completing the manual tasks the vines needed. They extensively shoot-thinned to ensure even distribution of canes and fruit, lifted wires, plucked excess leaves, and removed lateral shoots. In mid-January, about 30% of the bunches were dropped as they went through veraison, allowing the remaining fruit to develop better flavour and ripeness.

As harvest time approached, ripeness was tested. The team carefully harvested a representative selection of the precious bunches. They then took the grapes to the winery, where they destemmed, hand-crushed, and began the fermentation process. After several weeks of testing and tasting, the grapes were finally picked before the rains came.

Following the harvest, the Grenache was processed, retaining whole bunches. The team foot-stomped, tested every few days as the wine fermented, and eventually basket-pressed the fruit. The wine was then racked to a concrete egg for a couple of months before bottling, capping, and labelling with striking artwork designed by team member and emerging artist, Rebeca Vonk Marins.

Many thanks are owed to Chief Winemaker, Tim Shand, for guiding the team from the very beginning, and to the Vineyard and Winery crew for their assistance throughout the project. The team gained a wealth of knowledge through the process, both in the vineyard, learning about the many tasks required to ensure the grapes reached ripeness and were harvested in pristine condition, and also in the winery, learning about the intricacies of whole bunch fermentation. The best part of course, was taking home their hand-crafted magnum of Grenache at the end – one of only 35 produced – a delicious and exclusive memento for all their hard work!

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Time Posted: 11/07/2024 at 6:36 PM Permalink to A LABOUR OF LOVE Permalink
Voyager Estate
19 June 2024 | Voyager Estate


To celebrate the release of our new vintages, Voyager Estate Sommelier, Claire Tonon, shares a few thoughts on what makes a glass of MJW so special.

In what ways do the MJW wines embody the ultimate expression of our land?

Our MJW wines, named after Voyager Estate’s Founder Michael J. Wright, reflect his love of the land and passion for farming.

Michael meticulously profiled the land, digging deep to understand the soil types, layers, and nutrients. He planted the most suitable varieties in carefully selected patches, sometimes creating irregular-shaped blocks that followed the lay of the land. Quirky, but functional, just like the man himself.

This careful matching of vines to their soils and micro-climates ensured consistency and distinct varietal expressions from each site. The subtle differences in the grapes become more pronounced as the wines ferment, mature in barrel, and age in bottle, capturing the ultimate expression of the land in every sip.

How does each bottle reflect Michael’s dedication to excellence?

Just as each vineyard planting involved meticulous soil profiling and clonal selection, Michael ensured every part of grape-growing and winemaking focused on excellence, a dedication he instilled throughout the business. Though Michael is no longer with us, his legacy lives on in these wines.

Organic farming, building soil diversity, hand-tending vines, selectively harvesting grapes, delicately handling fruit, and maturing in the finest oak are all part of our careful process. Each step in crafting MJW wines is deliberate and meticulous, showcasing purity of fruit, texture, complexity, and fine structure, which contribute to their quality and cellaring potential.

How does the terroir of our Stevens Valley site influence the sensory experience of our MJW wines?

The 2022 MJW Chardonnay is sourced entirely from Broadvale Block 5, which has very gravelly, nutrient-poor soil that ensures lower yields of more concentrated fruit. The shallow soil with a stony/clay base provides necessary water during dry summers. Planted on a gentle northwest slope and exposed to cooling breezes from the Indian Ocean, the vineyard's early growth is slowed. Established in 2003 with the Gingin clone, the vineyard balances fruit concentration with great acidity.

The 2020 MJW Cabernet Sauvignon benefits from vine age and blending. It is sourced from the Old Block (planted in 1978) and North Block (planted in 1995), both using the Houghton clone. The Old Block, with its orange clay and dark organic topsoil, produces rich fruit, sweetness, and fine tannins. In contrast, the North Block's gravelly slope and rocky ridge result in a more prominent tannin structure and vibrant dark fruit. The blend from these sites creates a wine with a balance of power, structure, elegance, sweet fruit, and savoury complexities.

What gives the MJW wines their ability to age so gracefully?

Structural balance in the wine is key. This comes from every aspect of the wine's life—from vineyard soils and pruning to ripening conditions, harvest characteristics, and winemaking techniques, including fermentation temperatures and barrel aging.

The MJW Chardonnay is at its best between 8 to 10 years, with softened acidity and well-integrated fruit and oak. It can hold strong past 10 years, developing honeyed, nutty notes with a softer mouthfeel into the late teens. The MJW Cabernet Sauvignon can age for over 20 to 30 years. At 10 years, it shows little evolution, with more noticeable changes in fruit character and minor sediment around 12-14 years.

How does a glass of MJW transform an ordinary moment into something really special?

Whether Chardonnay or Cabernet Sauvignon, there’s something deeply reverent about opening a bottle of MJW, and at the same time something delightfully convivial. Most think twice (or even thrice!) about opening one of these special wines. They’re an investment, after all, and everyone wants to capitalise on their investments. What makes this investment different from a piece of land or a few stocks and shares is that you can share it with your important people, enjoy it with your favourite foods, and take it along to your special occasions, to create memories that will last a lifetime.

Visit our online shop to purchase the 2020 MJW Cabernet Sauvignon. To add the very limited 2022 MJW Chardonnay to your collection, sign up to The Fold.

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Time Posted: 19/06/2024 at 5:36 PM Permalink to MJW MUSINGS Permalink
Voyager Estate
24 May 2024 | Voyager Estate


Vintage 2024 has wrapped and it's looking like a standout year for Cabernet Sauvignon. Chief Winemaker, Tim Shand, shares a few thoughts on how the season unfolded for Voyager Estate and the wider Margaret River region.

"The 2024 vintage was marked by an extended warm and dry period following reasonable winter rains and an early bud burst. From mid-September until early May, the region experienced warmer-than-usual temperatures, including three distinct heatwaves, which influenced yields across all varieties. The extended dry spell led to lighter yields but also promoted even and early ripening. Harvesting commenced historically early, with picking completed well before Easter. Despite the rapid ripening, it happened evenly, unlike the elongated ripening process seen in 2023.

Cabernet Sauvignon benefited from milder weather in March, allowing for extended hang time and optimal tannin development. The Cabernet showcased excellent fruit weight and freshness, positioning 2024 as one of the best years for this variety in recent times. Chardonnay was picked early to preserve flavour, freshness, and acidity. The season produced solid Chardonnay with generous fruit weight. Although Sauvignon Blanc and Shiraz did experience the brunt of the heatwaves, we carefully nurtured them to preserve their freshness, and we're delighted with the final result. Chenin Blanc thrived in the warmer conditions, resulting in great ripeness, fruit flavour, and vibrant acidity.

The increased organic matter and intelligent viticulture practices contributed to the vineyard's resilience, maintaining good health despite some challenging conditions. This year saw minimal botrytis pressure and low snail presence, though there was an increase in weevils due to the dry, warm weather.

The focus during the red wine harvest was on achieving tannin ripeness without compromising fruit condition. Both Cabernet and Shiraz needed careful timing to balance tannin development with fruit quality, a challenge that all producers in the region faced. Overall, the 2024 vintage, particularly for Cabernet Sauvignon, stands out for its fruit weight, freshness, and vibrancy. The wines exhibit significant tannins and flavours in the dark fruit spectrum, without signs of premature aging or over-ripeness, promising a quality that ranks alongside the excellent 2022 vintage. We're excited to see how these develop."

Time Posted: 24/05/2024 at 4:12 PM Permalink to 2024 VINTAGE REPORT Permalink
Voyager Estate
12 April 2024 | Voyager Estate


As part of our feature artist program, the Estate welcomed guests to the sold out launch of Margaret River painter Tamika Hogan’s solo exhibition, 'Colours of Kambarang', this past weekend.

Over 55 visitors hailing from various corners of Western Australia and beyond gathered in the Cellar Door for an evening filled with delicious wine and food, soulful melodies, vivid artwork, and creative musings from our guest of honour.

At the heart of 'Colours of Kambarang' is a collection of ten original oil paintings, each a reflection of wildflower season—a time of renewal and abundance along the Western Australian coastline. Tamika's bold strokes and vivid palette evoke the dynamism inherent in Kambarang, infusing her work with a sense of rejuvenation and hope. Emerging from a period of personal struggle, Tamika's art mirrors her own rebirth, a testament to resilience and the embrace of new beginnings.

As guests journeyed through the exhibition, savouring each painting with a glass of wine in hand, they were treated to an array of delicious bites from the Voyager kitchen, including a chickpea and avocado tart, a blini with sardine, pickles and labneh and a mini brioche roll with smoked lamb and capsicum.

Accompanying the food was the enchanting jazz vocals and keyboard prowess of singer-songwriter, Jinna Yang, whose music matched the energy and enthusiasm of the room. Tamika herself also offered intimate insights into her creative process, sharing the challenges and triumphs of balancing motherhood with her career as an artist.

Reflecting on her journey, Tamika spoke of the unwavering support of her family and friends—a community that has been instrumental in realising her dreams. Tears mingled with applause as her words resonated with all present, affirming the power of passion and perseverance.

Tamika said the evening was a great success, commenting "I heard someone say recently that the artist never sees their work for the first time. And I really felt that. We’re too close to our emerging art to ever feel its impact. But on these special occasions, we get a little glimpse into that experience through the lens of others. We get to see how our art impacts our audience."

Adam Elton, Cellar Door Manager, agreed saying that it was fantastic to meet so many visitors and locals in support of local and emerging Margaret River artists. “Tamika is a perfect reflection of the many wonderful creatives in the region that have committed themselves to their passion; to make a living doing what they love and that we get to enjoy! Walking down our hallway is like walking down the beach for a surf in the morning. Tamika’s work is so vivid and true to the beauty of our coastline and all that we love about it.”

Tamika’s collection will remain on display in the Cellar Door daily from 10am – 5pm, Monday to Sunday. We invite visitors to drop in and experience the exhibition until 12th May.

Images courtesy of Ovis Creative.

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Time Posted: 12/04/2024 at 12:13 PM Permalink to COLOURS OF KAMBARANG Permalink
Voyager Estate
19 March 2024 | Voyager Estate


In the lead up to her exhibition 'Colours of Kambarang', launching at Voyager Estate on 30th March, we chatted with celebrated Margaret River painter, Tamika Hogan, about what inspires her to put brush to canvas.

Was there a particular person or moment that first inspired you to begin painting?

To be honest art has always been a lifeline for me, but there was definitely a pivotal point in my early teens. I was going through a hard time with my parents' divorce and that was when I started to delve deeper into my creative explorations. Creating became a sanctuary or a refuge for me during that time, where no matter what was going on around me, I could create worlds of colour and beauty. My dad seemed to understand that. One day I came home from school to find a beautiful new easel and a fresh set of paints and brushes he’d bought me as a surprise. That was when I started really trying my hand at painting and family and friends started to order a commission here and there in return for pocket money. It kept me grounded and planted the seed that one day I could make a living doing what I loved most. 

Do you have any rituals or habits that aid your creative process?

Morning movement, always! I usually go for a beach walk and swim, which always sets me up for a motivated, inspired day ahead. But, my true inspiration comes from being out on country. Hiking into remote pockets of the coast, going on camping adventures as far away from the masses as possible. And surfing! Something about sitting out in the ocean in communion with the elements always gets the fire in my belly blazing.

What mediums do you prefer to work with, and what attracts you to them?

I work with oils and have done so since I was 16. Something about the idea of oil paints being the medium the masters used attracted me in the beginning. I came to love the thick consistency, the colour richness, and the fact that there is such a process to building layers. They always felt special and sacred to work with somehow.

Was there a particular artist or movement that influenced your style as a painter?

To be honest I always felt fascinated by the Dada movement. That always stood out as an interesting and pivotal era in art history. I wouldn’t really say that’s reflected in my art, so much as the way I think and view the world. My taste in art versus what I create are so infinitely different. What influenced my style and choice in subject matter the most is my immediate environment and the need I feel to recreate what I see.

What message or emotion do you hope viewers take away from experiencing your paintings?

I want people to be transported to a space that fills them with calm allure. I want them to feel the same awe and wonder that compelled me to recreate the experience in the first place. A huge part of my practice is getting out on country and immersing myself in the land, then communicating those experiences through painting. I like to think of my paintings like portals that can transport us to those far away places.

Could you give us a sneak peek into what guests can expect to see when you exhibit at Voyager Estate in April?

I’m really proud of this new collection. It’s some of my best work to date and I’m elated to be sharing it with the guests at Voyager Estate. It’s bold, it’s colourful, and it musters up all the feelings of joy that come with Kambarang season here in the South West.

For the last few years I have worked with a fairly subdued colour palette, so it’s been such a pleasure to work with unrestrained colour, and in many ways it feels very reflective of my own inner landscape and seasons. I’ve recently come out the other side of a really tough few years of my life. I feel like I’ve entered my own inner spring; a period of coming to life again. This collection really does feel like a celebration of new beginnings. I hope that the celebratory mood permeates through the canvas and leaves you feeling uplifted too!

Meet Tamika and delve into her artistic practice at our special evening exhibition on Friday, 5th April – book your tickets here.


Images courtesy of Bianca Kate Photography.

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Time Posted: 19/03/2024 at 6:18 PM Permalink to A CHAT WITH TAMIKA HOGAN Permalink
Voyager Estate
19 March 2024 | Voyager Estate


As we approached the final days of an early harvest, this past week has been all about Cabernet, with our Vintage Crew busy hand-picking certified organic fruit from our key Cabernet Sauvignon blocks, including our heritage V9 ‘Old Block’ and U12 ‘North Block.’⁠

Pictured are some highlights from our V9 hand-pick, with the crew kicking off from dawn on a beautifully clear autumn morning. Planted in 1978, these mature vines are naturally low yielding and consistently produce fruit with great concentration and layers of complexity, underpinned by a silky, superfine tannin structure.

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Time Posted: 19/03/2024 at 6:02 PM Permalink to CABERNET PICK Permalink
Voyager Estate
29 February 2024 | Voyager Estate


The red harvest has officially kicked off, with some of our best Shiraz filling up the buckets under sunny skies.

Planted in 2008, the W4 vineyard is graced with low, well-balanced canopies producing consistent and pristine bunches. The 1995 plantings in U11 are lower yielding, but produce fruit with greater density, finer tannins and complex, ripe flavours.

With eagle eyes, nimble fingers and some motivational tunes to boot, the crew moved through the vines, carefully hand-picking and sorting each parcel of fruit, before sending it off to the press.

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Time Posted: 29/02/2024 at 7:05 PM Permalink to SYRAH HARVEST Permalink
Voyager Estate
16 February 2024 | Voyager Estate


It's been a hive of activity in the vineyard and winery as our white harvest continued apace during week two of harvest.

There were plenty of early-morning starts as the first Chenin Blanc grapes came off the vines and into the winery, destined for our Sparkling Chenin Blanc, swiftly followed by our zesty Sauvignon Blanc and some golden Semillon (Chief Winemaker, Tim Shand's favourite juice to drink fresh off the press!).

Vineyard Manager, Glen Ryan, was also keeping a close eye on our legacy block V9, to ensure the fruit bound for our MJW Cabernet Sauvignon is of exceptional quality again this year. A quick bit of leaf thinning and selective bunch trimming had the vines humming along nicely, in preparation for picking in a few weeks.

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Time Posted: 16/02/2024 at 5:21 PM Permalink to A WEEK OF WHITES Permalink
Voyager Estate
14 February 2024 | Voyager Estate


We have officially welcomed a new season in our organic Kitchen Garden and with it, brand-new produce to feature on our BACCA menu.

The team have been on a mission to get their ducks in a row, focusing on low-maintenance produce that is slightly easier to grow, supported by a bit of rejuvenation and a goal to keep most of the bugs at bay. There was a moment where things were ticking along nicely, until they were greeted with heat waves and water woes, which have kept them very busy!

Snakes have come to visit, which is a little terrifying, though it's nice to know that they’re keeping guard, helping to scare away our small furry friends that like to eat the crops. Wasps have also been spotted flying about looking for a caterpillar snack. It has been incredible to witness organics in action, as they hide among the cabbages and carry off those pesky green bugs.

Planting started in December last year, a little later than usual, while the winter crops were drawing to a late close. Whilst the Belted Galloway cows (or 'belties' as they are affectionately known) enjoyed the remains of the brassicas, the team pondered what they would grow next.

An early heat wave delayed the decision-making and caused a reduction in soil moisture, however, this also meant that the purslane had a minute to grow! Purslane is a common 'weed' that produces an edible leafy, green vegetable. The team had differing opinions on what to do with it. It makes a great cover crop if you leave it in the ground, but it is also nutrient-dense, high in omega-3 and a great garnish, so definitely worth harvesting for dishes. Ultimately they opted to do both, and lucky too, as the purslane left in the ground proved helpful in the heatwaves, holding moisture in the soil. Not to mention, the belties like to have a little snack on it.

Along with the purslane, the team have planted all the usual summer suspects; cucumbers, pumpkins, rockmelons, zucchinis, corn and eggplants. A few different cucumber varieties have brought some different menu creations in the form of pickles and juices. A new dish of sardine, ajoblanco and cucumber has just landed on the menu paired with the 2023 Sauvignon Blanc Semillon. What a match!

The zucchinis come in different sizes, making them especially good at hiding from the team on harvest days. Head Chef, Travis Crane, thinly slices them, rolls them with goat’s curd and serves them next to Arkady Lamb. Red cabbages are also going strong and are currently featured as the vegetarian version of our chicken may see them on something new soon. Ivory eggplants are also cropping well and featured heavily on our vegetarian menu.

The Slim Jim eggplants are just starting to fruit and will go on the menu later this year alongside succulent local duck. Pumpkins and rockmelons are coming in thick and strong. It's looking like a potential 30 kg haul per week for the next little while but we're not counting our chickens (or our ducks!).

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Time Posted: 14/02/2024 at 5:55 PM Permalink to FROM THE GARDEN Permalink
Voyager Estate
12 February 2024 | Voyager Estate


It was all smiles this week as the team wrapped up another successful Chardonnay harvest under moody Margaret River skies.

Vintage ‘24 kicked off early and dry, with each day becoming a race to get the fruit in the bag before the summer heat set in. Fortunately, the team enjoyed some cooler mornings and nights towards the end of the pick, providing a welcome reprieve amidst the busyness of an action-packed week.

Judicious hand-picking and sorting in the winery have resulted in a slightly lower yield of Chardonnay fruit compared to last year, but the quality is looking exceptional. Stay tuned as Chenin Blanc and Sauvignon Blanc start to come off the vine very soon.

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Time Posted: 12/02/2024 at 4:18 PM Permalink to CHARDONNAY HARVEST Permalink