History and Philosophy
The ocean strongly defines the climate in Margaret River, which is classed as 'west coast Mediterranean' featuring warm to hot summers and mild to wet winters. The region is surrounded by the Southern and Indian Oceans on three sides, meaning humidity, frost and extreme temperatures are rare. The majority of Margaret River's approximate 1100mm of rain falls between May and October, and the remaining six months of the year are relatively dry. Summer day time temperatures rarely move above 35 degrees Celsius and the influence of the ocean means nights are cool, providing perfect growing and ripening conditions for wine grapes. The dry summer and autumn and lack of humidity means diseases common to vines aren’t often a problem and come March the first white varieties are picked in the cool of night and early morning, with the last of the red varieties being picked in late April.
The original location of the Saracen Estates vineyard was in the famous Wilyabrup Valley which provided the excellent free draining laterite gravel loam known for producing the highest quality wines of the Margaret River Wine Region. The vineyard was planted with the classic varieties of Chardonnay, Cabernet, Semillon, Sauvignon blanc and Shiraz. Utmost care and attention was given to ensure the best quality fruit is produced. Work was done by hand wherever possible, yields were kept low and a rigorous canopy management programme followed to ensure maximum varietal expression and fruit flavour.
This philosophy continued in the winery where each step of production was carefully monitored and no expense spared in order to produce the highest quality wine. Traditional methods were applied and the latest technology utilized. In our short history our success in the vineyard and winery was reflected in the quality of our wines and the accolades we have received around the country from some of the most highly respected individuals in the industry. Our aim is still to produce in our wines a reflection that illustrates how the ideal climatic conditions, soil, viticultural and oenological practices can work together to create the highest quality wine. We hope you enjoy and love our wines as much as we do.
Our Name and Label
The Romans first used the term Saracen to describe the nomadic Arab tribes of the Syro-Arabian Desert and the Saraceni name is very well known as a result of those conquering tribes who settled in various regions of Italy. The Saraceni Family migrated from Abruzzi, one of the regions of Italy conquered by the Saracens, to Perth after World War II. They brought with them the Italian traditions of winemaking, sauce and sausage making and the production of home-made pasta, to name but a few.
When first establishing what was to become one of WA's largest and most successful privately owned property development companies, the Saraceni's delved into their family's history and settled on the name Saracen Properties.
In 1996 the Saraceni family bought land and planted vines in the Wilyabrup Valley of the Margaret River Wine Region along the scenic Caves road, and the search for a name and label for the vineyard began. With the Saracen name and the wonderful opportunity to use a Saracen warrior incorporating the associated colours of black, gold and red on the label Saracen Estates was born. The Saracen warrior on horseback not only graces each bottle of Saracen Estates wine but a life size casting in bronze once guarded the entrance to the Estate’s previous Cellar Door.
In the beginning years Saracen Properties heard through the 'grapevine' that the Duckstein Brewery of Swan Valley fame was interested in setting up a microbrewery in the Margaret River Wine Region. This then became the impetus to create the first combined cellar door and microbrewery facility in the region (2008-2013) with a large licensed capacity. Architect Edwin Bollig of Bollig Design was appointed to design the largest all purpose visitor facility of its kind in Margaret River. The Saraceni family's dream of a unique concept came to fruition.
Saracen Estates Cellar Door offered a family friendly and informative experience with something for everyone to enjoy. The superb range of Saracen Estates wines were on sampling and also an extensive array of merchandise and local artwork for sale, plus providing a great kid’s corner and playground to keep the children happy. There was also a “Wine Education Centre” where you could have absolutely any question about winemaking answered and on offer was an International Guest List of interesting wines other than our own for you to purchase and enjoy: for more information please see the “Wine Education” Section of this website.
The Cellar Door was constructed from beautiful natural products such as blackbutt and jarrah , most sourced in the local area. The Cellar Door was a warm and welcoming space: a stunning stone fireplace provided warmth in the chilly winter months where comfortable leather couches invited you to relax as you sampled our stunning wines. During the warmer months there was ample space to take in the view on the jarrah decking overlooking the lake and beautiful natural surroundings. The staff were knowledgeable, friendly and informative and were more than happy to answer your wine related questions: our aim was to provide an exceptional and unique experience for all visitors.