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Margaret River Podcast Series Launches ahead of Gourmet Escape Festival

Margaret River Podcast series launches

A new Podcast celebrating our magical Margaret River wine region is now live.

Wine Unearthed explores the lauded Margaret River region. It gets beneath the region’s skin and helps listeners understand why Lonely Planet named this special part of Western Australia as a top destination in the Asia Pacific for 2019.

The free-to-listen series reveals how wine connects to Aboriginal custodians, big wave surfers and mountain bikers, shares local love stories that have led to surprising collaborations, investigates family dynamics, celebrity interactions and the human instinct to succeed, and looks at the pivotal role the area’s extraordinary natural environment plays. Led by food and wine journalist, Fleur Bainger, and joined by wine connoisseur and author, Peter Forrestal, the stories focus on the locals who live and breathe winemaking every day in the much-loved South-West region of Australia.

Ms. Bainger says story telling with audio moves listeners in a way print, television and online can’t. “By purely listening, you sense a person’s feelings – be it passion or pain, laughter or tears – you hear their characterful personalities, and even detect their physical movements. To me, it’s so powerful.”

“The sounds of Margaret River itself create really rich mind pictures. The crash of waves, the snap of vines, the wind rushing through tall, native trees and the glug of wine being poured are all incredibly evocative. If I close my eyes, I’m right back there, capturing them all with a microphone in hand” Ms Bainger says.

In the podcasts, listeners learn that wine isn’t just about flavours, varietals, and food-pairing. It’s about the blood, sweat and tears that go into every vintage season, and the broader landscape surrounding that perfect drop. The factors making Margaret River a unique location for growing grapes is also explored.

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Ms Bainger says the listening experience reflects the fun she had making the series. “I genuinely loved recording these podcasts. Watching Virginia Wilcock’s eyes well with tears as she remembered Tom Cullity; chewing on native bush foods along the Cape to Cape Track with Gene Hardy; laughing about an incessantly vocal rooster pushing itself into the interviews at Glenarty Road; and posing pop quiz questions to barflies at Settler’s Tavern are all favourite moments – and ones I reckon podcast listeners will find similarly entertaining.”

Episode Summaries

Margaret River’s sense of place

Is it a smell, a taste or just a feeling? Get to know Margaret River’s arresting natural environment through an Aboriginal cultural custodian who explains human’s sense of connection to the land (and gives a leaf-blowing demo). Also, learn what drives a biodynamic winemaker to nurture soil, and a hiking guide walks us along an ancient mountain ridge.

Romance between the vines

From plans to plough the vineyard to getting married between the grapevines: how one couple’s meeting saved a winery. Also in this podcast, when a bromance leads to rock songs being bottled and the love story of two adventurous winemakers.

Surf’s up, winemakers disappear

For many winemakers, Margaret River’s epic surf is as thrilling as its grapes – when the waves are curling, the lure of the ocean wins every time. Hear about a big wave surfer’s brutal wipe out, why one winemaker swapped surfing for extreme mountain biking, and find pro surfing royalty in the region’s Surf Gallery.

Back in the very beginning

Meet the eccentric cardiologist who moonlighted as a vigneron, giving birth to the Margaret River winemaking region in 1967. We look into the captivatingly complicated Tom Cullity, and what he’s left behind.

The power and the passion of winemaking families
How do you get Ray Charles, Sting and Jack Johnson to sing at your far-flung winery? How does a Rhodes Scholar end up running a vineyard? The family threads that travel through Margaret River viticulture have led to some astonishing happenings. Hear about them in this podcast.

You can listen to Wine Unearthed below, or download from Apple Podcasts or Spotify.

The Margaret River Wine Unearthed podcast is supported by the International Wine Tourism Grant funded by Wine Australia, Margaret River Wine Association, Margaret River Busselton Tourism Association, South West Development Commission and Australia’s South West. It has been scripted, recorded, and presented by Fleur Bainger of White Noise Media, with sound design by Tom Allum and produced by Sophie Mathewson.

We acknowledge the Wadandi (Saltwater and Forest) people as the traditional owners of this region and remind you to walk softly on Country.

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