Vines 2700 x 600

A place we chose

 

Alkoomi

The original 1220 hectare property was purchased by Sandy's grandparents, Vic and Netta Lange, in 1946 and initially operated as a mixed grain and livestock farm. It was grandma Netta who chose the name "Alkoomi" for their rugged property, on land over two million years old – a local Aboriginal word meaning "a place we chose".

Their son, Merv Lange took over the property on Vic's retirement, but it wasn’t until 1971 that Merv and his wife, Judy, made the bold decision to plant just one hectare of Cabernet Sauvignon, Riesling and a little Shiraz and Malbec. Following their initial vintage of just 4 tonnes in 1976, the vine worked its magic on the Langes and, instead of just selling their grapes, they decided to make the wine themselves, building a winery in time for the 1979 vintage. Soon Merv and Judy began to taste success with many awards at wine shows around Australia, becoming ambassadors for the emerging Frankland River wine region. In 2005 both Merv and Judy were awarded the WA Wine Press Club's coveted Jack Mann Memorial Medal for their outstanding contribution to the wine industry and for pioneering the Frankland wine region.

The year 2010 saw a change of hands at Alkoomi, and with that some changes in direction. The business is now in the capable hands of Sandy and Rod Hallett, (Merv and Judy's daughter and son-in-law), both of whom have been instrumental in the successful running of the vineyard and winery for many years. Their enthusiasm and passion for Alkoomi, their inherent knowledge of the business, together with far reaching plans and ideas for the expansion of the company, augurs well for the future. Their three daughters, Laura, Emily and Molly have a similar respect and love for Alkoomi and together the family will ensure that the business continues to grow on the strong foundations laid by Merv and Judy some forty years ago.

Our location

Alkoomi Wines is situated in the most isolated wine-growing region in Western Australia - 330km south of Perth and 80km inland from the far south coast, just outside the tiny town of Frankland River.

Our environment

In recent years, Alkoomi has embarked upon a journey to minimize its carbon footprint. The installation of a 30kW solar energy panel on the roof of the winery, together with a major upgrade to the tank refrigeration system has certainly enhanced its sustainability and bodes well for the future of this family business. The wall-to-wall grass policy, using select clover and rye grass between rows and under vines, has a three-pronged outcome. These plantings naturally outcompete weeds, sustainably manage soil microbiology and improve water retention by mulching. Weed control in the colder months, during vine dormancy, is left to sheep grazing. The routine minimal spray program is close to organic status and the on-site dams are used efficiently to prevent vine stress during extended dry periods, without sacrificing the naturally low yields that produce concentrated flavours.

Winemaking

In the lead up to Alkoomi’s harvest, samples from each block of fruit are brought into the winery laboratory to monitor acid and sugar levels. However, every picking decision is only made after walking up and down the rows of vines, tasting the fruit in the vineyard. The grapes are harvested in the cool, early morning with the aim of retaining the primary fruit freshness from juice, through fermentation, to bottle.
In the winery, each individual parcel of fruit can be fermented separately, from the old vines planted in 1971 through to the anticipated fruit from new vines planted in 2014. This allows the wines to truly show their inherent regional personality and depth of varietal character.

The vineyard

In 1956 Dr Harold Olmo, the renowned Californian viticulturalist, had highly recommended the Frankland region for the planting of vines and the legendary West Australian winemaker, Jack Mann, had concurred. Dr Olmo had identified that the climate and deep, well-drained soils (gravelly loams) were similar to those of Bordeaux in France. The long, cool ripening conditions were perfect for the production of grapes of intense varietal character. With this in mind, Alkoomi's initial planting in 1971 of just one hectare under vine has been successfully transformed into 105 hectares (259 acres) of estate vineyard. The ethos of Alkoomi’s vineyard management has always been to favour quality over quantity, and to manage the property in an environmentally sustainable manner. The wall-to-wall grass policy, using select clover and rye grass between rows and under vines, has a three-pronged outcome. These plantings naturally outcompete weeds, sustainably manage soil microbiology and improve water retention by mulching. Alkoomi also produces high quality Olive Oil from 14 hectares of premium estate grown Olives. The Oil can be purchased from both Cellar Doors or online through our website.

 

Our Team

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Sandy Hallett

Owner

Having been born and raised on the Alkoomi property, Sandy Hallett is the heart and soul of this family company. She has been involved with her family's business since 1994, but it wasn’t until 2010 that she, together with her husband Rod, took on the considerable task of overseeing the general running of Alkoomi. A standard day for Sandy involves being Alkoomi’s function coordinator, payroll officer, in-house chef and CEO, as well as continuing to build on the legacy created by her parents, Merv and Judy.

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Rod Hallett

Vineyard Manager / Owner

Rod Hallett initially joined the Alkoomi team in 1994, just as the Australian wine industry began its heady ascent, with an increase in the export market becoming a fundamental part of Alkoomi's business. Rod has been an integral part of the growth in this family-run company, from winery extensions through to planting new vines in the vineyard. In 2005, Rod used his expertise to assist in the establishment of several other vineyards within the Frankland River region and beyond, before taking over as Alkoomi’s owner and vineyard manager in 2010.

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Andrew Cherry

Chief Winemaker

Andrew Cherry had a degree in chemistry from the University of Western Australia, but it wasn't until he was working in a Michelin starred restaurant in the heart of London, that he had his winemaking epiphany. He promptly completed his oenology post-grad at the University of Adelaide before setting out for a vintage in Beaujolais. He worked for several years in the beautiful Clare Valley and enjoyed a vintage in Tuscany, before joining Alkoomi in 2008. He took on the role as senior winemaker in 2010.

Nicole Puttick

Nicole Puttick

Assistant Winemaker

Tim Penniment

Tim Penniment

Vineyard Manager

Laura Penniment

Laura Penniment

Admin and Logistics

Marco Pinares

Marco Pinares

Bottling and Warehouse Manager

Frankland River

P: (08) 9855 2229

F: (08) 9855 2284

1141 Wingebellup Road, Frankland River WA 6396

E: info@alkoomiwines.com.au

Hours: 10am – 4:30pm Daily Sales and tasting

 

Albany

P: 0409 543 714

225 Lower Stirling Tce, Albany WA 6330

Hours: 11am – 5pm Monday to Saturday sales and tasting

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