Higher Plane is a family owned vineyard located in the heart of the Margaret River wine region. It was established in 1997 with the planting of the first vines on the Wintarru Road site, in the Forest Grove sub-region.
The property was founded by Craig and Cathy Smith, and its discovery was the result of an extensive search to find a site to create handcrafted, precise wines, which are a genuine expression of their origin. Their passions lead them to assess over a hundred properties across the region for soil quality and aspect, of which thirty two were visited before the Wintarru Rise site was selected.
The early developments on the site included the construction of a 60 megalitre dam and the planting of Cabernet Sauvignon (the Houghton clone), Merlot, Petit Verdot, Malbec, Cabernet Franc, Chardonnay (the Gingin clone), Sauvignon Blanc and Semillon.
In 2006 the vineyard was purchased by the late Roger Hill and his wife Gillian Anderson.
Progressive plantings have included Chardonnay (including the tradtional Burgundian clones 76, 95, 96 and 277), Tempranillo (five different clones), Shiraz and Fiano. By 2008 the area under vine expanded to 16 hectares.
Australian wine producers have arguably embraced the notion that ‘more is better’ (more ripeness, more alcohol, more weight, more oak…) whereas at Higher Plane we are more inclined to the belief that ‘less is more’; winemaking with delicacy, elegance and complexity as the aim.
The property selected has ideal exposure and gravelly duplex soils (and adjoins the Devil's Lair vineyard). The varieties planted were carefully selected clones and closely-planted to produce low yields and increase fruit intensity, with defined varietal expression.
Higher Plane's aim is to produce the highest possible quality wine from this exceptional vineyard site.
To assist in this, the management of the vineyard is sympathetic to preserving the pristine nature of this unspoilt environment by utilising natural practices wherever possible.