"Cape Mentelle wines reflect
the unique sense of place
of Margaret River

in their freshness, fruit purity and vibrancy of character."

Rob Mann, Estate Director

A MARGARET RIVER ICON

A MARGARET RIVER ICON
ESTABLISHED IN 1970

As one of Margaret River’s ‘founding five’ wineries, Cape Mentelle pioneered many of the region’s renowned wine styles and today is a benchmark for the quality of the region’s wines.

The Cape Mentelle Heritage

The winery takes its name from the nearby Cape, named by the French ‘Baudin Expedition’ which charted the coast of Western Australia in 1801. They named the Cape after two notable French scientists, geographer Edmund and his cartographer brother Francois-Simon Mentelle, who lived in Paris in the early 1700’s.

Wine industry pioneer David Hohnen and his brothers Mark and Giles established Cape Mentelle Vineyards in 1970. Our phenomenal Cape Mentelle journey started small with just 16 hectares of vines planted on what is now referred to as the ‘Wallcliffe Vineyard’.

In the early years David Hohnen experimented with grape varieties including shiraz, cabernet, zinfandel, sauvignon blanc and semillon. Many of these original plantings are the source of the distinctive wines that have come to characterise Cape Mentelle. The winery’s flagship Cabernet Sauvignon is sourced primarily from the original Wallcliffe Vineyard.

In 1983 Cape Mentelle won the coveted Jimmy Watson Memorial Award for the best one year old dry red wine, and cemented its position as a premium wine maker with another win in 1984. Our Cabernet Sauvignon is now widely regarded as one of Australia’s leading cabernets.

Another wine to become a core part of the winery’s portfolio was the distinctive
Zinfandel. David Hohnen had studied wine at Fresno State University in California and was captivated by this robust variety. The 1972 plantings at Cape Mentelle were one of the first commercial vineyards of the variety in Western Australia.

At first the focus was on red wines, including a gutsy Shiraz. A turning point for the production of white wines came in 1985 when David Hohnen established Cape Mentelle’s sister winery, Cloudy Bay, in New Zealand. Cloudy Bay won world recognition with its Sauvignon Blanc. Cape Mentelle meanwhile developed a stylish Sauvignon Blanc Semillon blend that was to become another benchmark of the Margaret River region, and a Chardonnay sourced from vineyards outside the estate.

Throughout the 1970s and 1980s wine making at Cape Mentelle was characterised by experimentation to improve quality, understand the potential of the fruit from each particular vineyard and develop a distinctive house style. The character of the grape varieties and the special attributes of the regional terroir are part of the style that evolved.

The area under vine increased with the establishment of the 23 hectare Trinders Vineyard in 1988 followed by the Chapman Brook Vineyard in the early 1990’s. By this time Cape Mentelle had a well established reputation in the Australian market. A partnership with Veuve Clicquot enabled Cape Mentelle to take the next step, further developing the winery with a new cellar and modern equipment and an expansion into the international market.

Today Cape Mentelle, as part of Estates & Wines (owned by Moët Hennessy Louis Vuitton), continues to build on its solid foundations. There are more than 150 hectares under vine and the winery crushes about 1,700 tonnes of fruit from the estate vineyards and contract-grown fruit sourced from within the region.

 
age gate background
Cape Mentelle

Your Country

Date of birth

By entering this site you acknowledge that you accept its Terms and Conditions

Please enjoy responsibly.

To enter our website, you must be of legal alcohol drinking age in your country of residence. If no such law for responsible drinking exists in your country you have to be over 21 to visit our site.

Cape Mentelle supports the responsible consumption of wines and spirits, through Moët Hennessy, member of the European Forum for Responsible Drinking (www.responsibledrinking.eu), Discus (www.discus.org), Entreprise et Prévention, and CEEV (www.wineinmoderation.eu).

Licensee: Cape Mentelle Vineyards Ltd. License number: 6180025494. Type of License: Producer's License