We have observed that the Margaret River Wine Region can be divided into three geographical sub-regions, based within the landforms that connect the two Capes and the Whicher Range which divides the Cape region into north and south.
The first vineyards were planted in the undulating landscape created by the water courses of the ridge that connects Cape Leeuwin in the south and Cape Naturaliste in the north. The streams of the ridge flow to the west, hence a significant influence on these vineyards is the late morning thermal winds in summer that drift on-shore from the Indian Ocean.
This breeze funnels up the creek lines and cools the vines. The major creeks of the ridge, from south to north are the Boodjidup, Margaret River, Ellen Brook, Willyabrup Brook and Yallingup Brook. Later in the region's development, vineyards were planted in the deeper soils of the flood plain of the Vasse and Carbunup Rivers. These northward flowing streams empty into Geographe Bay and enjoy good exposure to summer radiation.
This is the region known as Jindong but also includes Carbunup and Marybrook. Higher in the catchment of these two streams, at Treeton and Cowaramup, the vineyards still enjoy a strong northerly exposure. More recently, the southern half of the Margaret River region has had significant areas planted. For the most part, the vineyards lie in the headwaters of the southerly streams that flow to the Blackwood River as it empties into the Southern Ocean at Augusta.
These southern streams are the Chapman, Upper Chapman, McLeod and Glenarty. The 'Southerly Buster' blowing in from the cold Southern Ocean has an influence on these sites. A summer thermal, this wind starts early in the day and can blow hard until dusk. Dependent upon exposure, it can mean much later ripening.
The property is named after a property bought by Sandy McHenry who is married to David Hohnen. In 1976 she spent her entire inheritance buying a run-down farm on the sharpest berm of the Margaret River. Located close to the coast with views of the Indian Ocean the name Burnside has its origins in Ireland where it means one who lives by a burn or stream.
Eleven hectares have been planted on a number of aspects, as dictated by the contours of the rivers bend. It has proven to be an exceptional site.
In a partnership with Brian Sierakowski, Murray McHenry has developed 40ha of vines since 1995. The vineyard lies on the south side of the Calgardup Brook which is a westerly flowing stream just south of Witchcliffe.
With a gentle northerly aspect and the westerly influence this is a very good vineyard.
Murray McHenry has developed 40ha of vines on a farm he purchased in 1998. The vines are planted on a north facing slope of ironstone gravels on a tributary of the Upper Chapman Brook. This northern exposure, with some southerly influence, makes a great site.