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Friday 15 October 2021

A meeting of wine and indigenous art in Margaret River


Winemaker Rob Gherardi had a nice problem. No wine left to sell. 

That meant Gherardi had to close his Mr Barval cellar door in Margaret River. 

Now new vintage wines are available and the family-run winery will celebrate the occasion with a re-opening event on Friday, November 26. 

The cellar will open its doors for the summer season the next day with a 2021 chardonnay, Mistral (viognier marsanne blend) and rosé, along with the 2020 Vino Rosso which is a blend of petit verdot, merlot and malbec. 

Despite the 2021 Margaret River harvest throwing “a few curveballs” including 2020 being one of the wettest Novembers on record, Gherardi is confident about the quality of fruit. 

“Our model of leasing rows in high quality, well-established vineyards with outstanding viticulturalists really delivered this year," he said. 

Gherardi says the new release wines - especially the chardonnay - encapsulate Mr Barval’s minimal intervention approach, which includes no fining and filtering. 

The re-opening also marks the launch of a new art exhibition at the cellar door, featuring Aboriginal artists from the Northern Territory community of Wadeye, with which Rob’s wife Kellie has a personal affiliation, having spent time in the community as a remote area nurse. 

“This year we’ll be displaying some extraordinary works by artists who are part of the Thamarrurr/Wadeye Men's Shed and the Palngun Wurnangat Aboriginal Corporation (PWAC) Women’s Centre," Gherardi said. 

Ten Wadeye artists will be participating in the exhibition, including Robin Nilco (above) and two will be in attendance to meet with guests and talk about their artworks. 

The re-opening event will see wines paired with bites from Dunsborough’s Goanna Café. 

Tickets are $70 and include a glass of new-release wine, substantial canapés and entertainment from local folk duo Moon & Honey. Transport is available through the Margaret River Experience. 


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