Happs Wines is a brand for the people. They fly in the face of convention in terms of how many wines they make and what varieties they make them from. Their pleasure is found in providing a wine for every palate and they have built a portfolio to achieve this.
Region: Margaret River
About Happs Estate
Happs Wines is a brand for the people.
They fly in the face of convention in terms of how many wines they make and what varieties they make them from.
Their pleasure is found in providing a wine for every palate and they have built a portfolio to achieve this.
In 1966 Professor John Gladstones predicted the potential of the southwest area of WA becoming a world class wine region by comparing it to the French appellation of Bordeaux. ‘The Margaret River region is appreciably warmer during ripening than the Medoc but similar to Pomerol and Saint Emilion. Sunshine hours during the growing season and ripening period are marginally more than in all Bordeaux areas, whilst relative humidities are probably about optimal. Summer and ripening period rainfall totals are very low. These are conditions which in Bordeaux would typify a great year”.
Margaret River has become known as the most versatile wine region in the world. With an extraordinarily long growing season (low latitude) and a relatively cool-temperate fruit maturation period (maritime influence) it is possible to produce flavoursome wines from a wide range of varieties. This is the strength of the region. It offers optimal grape flavour conservation and is extremely reliable from vintage to vintage.
Here at Happs we are fortunate to have access to fruit from both ends of the cape; Our northern Dunsborough site enjoys a warmer growing season of rich and ripe qualities while the southern ‘Three Hills’ property brings cooler climate elegance and finesse to the harvest each vintage.
“Margaret River is the closest thing to paradise of any wine region I have visited in my extensive search for knowledge.” - Jancis Robinson MW.
Pioneers of the flavour frontier:
Back in the 1970s two young teachers named Erl and Ros Happ were inspired to plant a wide range of grape varieties in the Margaret River region.This pioneering spirit has paid off; today the estate vineyards produce more than 30 grape varieties and a comprehensive portfolio of wines sold nationally and exported around the world.
A distinctive feature of the Happs winery history is the family’s artistic flair and ongoing patronage of the arts. Erl and Ros built the onsite workshop and gallery as a space to create in themselves as well as a showcase of local talent. Over the years many potters, artists, jewellers, sculptors and musicians have used Happs as a home for their creativity and talent. So many wonderful things have come out of one single location over the years; three remarkable children, five dogs, four cats, thousands of artworks and hundreds of wines.
To spend time with the Happs family is to experience a bright flair of imagination which is grounded in reality; a wonderful combination that is manifested in all that they produce.
Fruits of the flavour frontier:
Along with many, we are believers that great wines are made in the vineyard. Our entire range is produced from estate grown fruit and our two vineyard locations offer a diversity of soil type and climatic influence. Our northern Dunsborough site enjoys a warmer growing season of rich and ripe qualities while the southern ‘Three Hills’ property brings cooler-climate elegance and finesse to the harvest each vintage.
Both vineyards share a unique trellis system not seen anywhere else in the region, the “Up and Over Lyre”. The open, solar-effective vine canopy maximises aroma and flavour development while increasing air flow to reduce pest and disease pressure. This allows us to employ an environmentally sustainable management regime and the avoidance of herbicide use altogether. As a result, soil microorganisms thrive and the vines are better for it.
All fruit is hand-harvested by an army of backpackers who annually enjoy the warm hospitality of the Happs family and staff. The fruit arrives at the winery in perfect condition, requiring little or no addition of sulphite and can be cooled prior to crushing. Under these circumstances it is possible to produce wines that are low in, or entirely free of sulphite.
Our vines are dry-grown. It is our belief that the making of iconic wines requires soils that are sufficiently deep to sustain a mature plant without irrigation while being shallow enough to ensure the vine runs out of easily obtainable moisture in January. This essential feature forges wines that are rich in flavour, colour and natural tannins; wines that will drink well early in their life and further improve in the bottle.