The state of Western Australia was home to some of Australia's first winemaking, as early as 1834. Viticulture first took root north of the capital city, Perth, in the southwestern corner of the continent. Despite the region's proximity to the ocean, hot winds from the desert-like interior kept summers baking hot. So Western Australia winemakers were resigned to making some white wines and hearty, fortified dessert wines from super-ripe grapes.
In the 1960s, however, winemakers began exploring Western Australia’s coastal areas further south, where the cooler, damper climate allows grapes to ripen more slowly for a wider range of wine styles. Today Western Australia's premier wine regions, including the Great Southern and Margaret River appellations, are home to a growing number of ambitious and independent winemakers.