Winner of 2019 Young Gun of Wine People's Choice Award
South by South West is a small-batch artisan winemaker based in the Margaret River wine region of Western Australia.
We craft wines of excellence and difference that combine respect for the land, with innovative viticultural practices, and both traditional and contemporary winemaking techniques.
We want to excite and inspire people to enjoy and respect the terroir of the south west through contemporary interpretations that celebrate classical methods, resulting in balanced and approachable wines that we enjoy drinking ourselves.
We purchase fruit from a loyal network of pioneering growers. It’s important to us that we can explain the origins of our wine and why we have created that style, the story behind each wine.
Each wine is given the opportunity to develop its own personality in a small batch where it receives the right amount of attention; personality that is founded on the fruit, and realised through the way it is produced, bottled and labelled. In keeping with the traditional aspects of winemaking, our style is focused on minimal intervention to showcase regions, varietals, and vineyards in their rightful form.
We are lucky to live in the south west and play a part in the continuing growth of wine styles and practices within this region. Our vision is to combine the terroir of the south west with passion, contemporary philosophy, and refinement, to create premium regional, varietal wines that celebrate the south west, while acknowledging international styles and trends.
Our mission is to produce simple wines using great fruit and minimal intervention, to demonstrate the complex characteristics and values that best represent the south west.
South by South West is a contemporary, meandering négociant working in an age-old profession. We make the art of winemaking current by delivering the best possible expression of the south west through the fruit we source, and the wines we produce.
Our fruit is sourced independently from a loyal network of pioneering growers and carefully managed innovative winemaking team. The results are small batches of unique and ever-changing styles, varietals, and blends that highlight the charm of the south west region.
The wine négociant (pronounced ‘Neh-go-see-ahn’ and loosely translating to wine merchant) is nothing trending; nothing new. It’s a profession that has existed since the early 1600’s. Négociants buy grapes or grape by-products and complete the steps of vinification on their own, essentially becoming the winemaker and producer with no involvement in the growing stage.
Another French word we feel represents the South by South West mode is, éleveur, from the word élevage. It means ‘bringing up’ or ‘raising’ during the progression of wine between fermentation and bottling (using such techniques as blending, barrel aging, fining, filtering, and bottling). We strongly believe it is during the élevage stage that wine achieves its full potential.
South by South West is therefore a contemporary négociant-éleveur. We add the ‘meandering’ to the moniker as a representation of how we acquire the grapes.
Long story short, South by South West was created by us – Mijan Patterson and Livia Maiorana (or as most people know us Mij & Liv).
A little about us…
We have a passion for wine (that’s obvious), a desire for adventure (that is how we ended up here), and a constant drive for creativity and expression (hence the small batch thing). Oh, and we’ve been dreaming about doing this for a long, long time.
We’ve been told our backgrounds complement nicely for this sort of business. Mij is the creative behind the brand, marketing, packaging, and sales. Liv heads up winemaking and production. We both pick grapes, wash barrels and tanks, activate yeast, rack, plunge, pump, and shovel. And we have a tonne of fun doing it.
Wine is what drives us, but it’s not our only enterprise. We both run businesses outside of South by South West – Mij a design business, and Liv an engineering consultancy. It gives us the freedom to make wine the way we want, without conditions or limitations. We are not in this to compromise.
In between bottling and harvest, and our ‘day jobs’, we love to travel – whether that’s road trips searching for remarkable grapes, or to different countries taking in the local cultures and wine.
And how did we get here…
It was ultimately from travel that South by South West was born. In 2013 we embarked on a “Wine Safari” of sorts. Our objective was to study the life cycle of winemaking in different wine regions of the world. We learned from masters of the craft at some of the biggest and smallest players in California, Italy, France and British Columbia. We learned about terroirs and varietals, viticultural practices, cultural winemaking tricks and techniques. We drank a lot of wine. Although we were mainly based in the cellar, we learnt more than winemaking. We also worked with the vines and grew our knowledge and appreciation for the viticultural aspects of the wine business. All in all, we had an unbelievable time doing it.
In 2016 preparation met opportunity, and South by South West was the result. We chose Margaret River as our home, in the heart of the south west and quite simply a cracking place to live and make fabulous wine.
Everything we have learned and enjoyed about winemaking in various parts of the world has shaped how we make wine today. From traditional to contemporary techniques, things we loved and those we didn’t, ideas that challenged us, and those that surprised us. More than anything, these experiences have opened our minds to the potential for small batch wines to tell a story about their region of origin.
So, it’s not surprising that since establishing South by South West our focus has been seeking true expressions of the south west. We want to capture the essence of the various terroirs of this remarkable region. And we want every bottle to celebrate a little of what we love about living here – from lazy beach days, the seasonal produce, the wildlife, never ending road trips, forests, hikes, good food, better company… and of course, great wine.
But hey, if you really want to get to know us, grab a bottle and pour a glass…
The best things come in small packages, and we are no exception, with a few very hard workers making all of our beautiful small batch wines.
Pulling the strings – from selecting grapes, to production and bottling – are Mij and Liv. They own every choice, every blend, and every decision (and the occasional mistake).
Supporting Mij and Liv, in ways large and small, are an extended family of growers, friends and collaborators. We firmly believe that great wine comes from close collaboration and our wines are as much a result of their support as our hard work.
Firstly, to the growers. The quest for high-quality fruit is always our first step, sourced from pioneering growers with whom we have established strong relationships throughout the south west. Our growers ensure we get the fruit that best reflects the individuality of each site – it is individuality we want, after all.
From here, our job is to bottle each region’s personality. When we need inspiration, mentoring, or extra hands on deck, we lean on some trusted, creative winemaking friends who ensure we maintain our focus throughout harvest and vintage by questioning our motives, sharing ideas, and giving us a little nudge in the right direction if it’s ever called for.
South by South West is also supported by a network of family and friends. They play a vital role every day by keeping us honest and reminding us why we chose this lifestyle. Their guidance and assistance have been simply integral to South by South West getting, and staying, off the ground.
Finally, we must give a shout out to Meeka and Orbie.
Meeka is our wine dog and official Winery Morale Officer. Meeka is a rescue dog who traded the streets of Meekatharra for the cellars of Margaret River and has never looked back. Meeka’s distractions include stealing barrel bungs, checking sugar levels on low hanging grapes and cleaning up spilt wine lees.
Orbie is a car. Let’s call him our wine wheels. He’s an orange, 1972 BMW 2002 Series and in charge of distribution around Margaret River – you might have seen him cruise by. Like a good wine, Orbie just gets better and better with age.
Collectively, this team are the brains, brawn and driving force behind South by South West. Together we are excited to share our passion with you.
Travel influences and charms us to the magic of creating one-off, uniquely-crafted small batch wines that we love to drink and most of all, share.
When we say the south west, we are referring to a geographical area with a northern boundary of Perth, a Southern Boundary of the Southern Ocean, a Western Boundary of the Indian Ocean and an Eastern Boundary of the Darling Escarpment down to the Stirling Ranges in Western Australia.
The south west is one of just 34 biodiversity hotspots around the world, and the only one in Australia. Almost 80 percent of the plant species in the south west are found nowhere else on earth. The diverse range of wildflowers, forests and native animals found in the south west all contribute to the rare and unique nature of the region.
Separated from the rest of Australia by desert, the south west does its own thing without influence.
The south west’s thousand kilometres of coastline vary from tranquil bays and bright blue lagoons to limestone cliffs and rugged granite headlands. Inland you’ll find granite outcrops in the darling scrap and Stirling ranges, heavily forested areas of karri, marri and jarrah, and quality agricultural areas. The region has a predominantly Mediterranean climate with cool wet winters and hot dry summers, with rainfall decreasing and summer temperatures increasing with distance from the sea.
The south west is also the home of the Noongar People and we would like to acknowledge the following traditional custodians of the land in which we produce wine from, and pay respect to the Elders past and present. The Balardong, Kaneag, Koreng, Minang, Wardandi, Whadjuk, Wilman, Pibelmen, and Pindjarup People.
The south west’s oldest wine region. Wine growing in the region dates to the early 1800’s when both wine and fruit was the horticultural currency of the time. The region is of historical relevance as it helped develop the reputation of Western Australian wines.
The Swan Valley has more sunny days than any other wine region in Australia and has been noted as one of the hottest viticultural regions in the world. The regional specialities are Verdelho, Chenin Blanc, and Fortified wine and Liqueurs.
- Coordinates -31° 50’ S 116° E
- Rainfall 830mm
- Altitude 45 m
- Harvest Jan - March
This region is scattered by the forested valleys and granite outcrops of the Darling Ranges. It is a new region, granted official status in 1999. Its location on the escarpment helps to moderate daylight hours, shield vineyards from maritime influences, increase winter rainfall and provide a myriad of topographical aspects.
The soils of the region range from sandy to gravely loams situated over dense clay. The valley slopes are comprised of ironstone and gravel loams; while to the north, brown clays are more predominant. The most successful varieties of the region are Viognier and Shiraz, although Verdelho, Cabernet Sauvignon and Sauvignon Blanc thrive there too.
- Coordinates -32° 14’ S 116° E
- Rainfall 1010mm
- Altitude 400m
- Harvest Feb - March
This region stretches along the southern Darling escarpment to Pinjarra, and west to the coastal playgrounds of Mandurah, and includes more than 200 hectares of vineyards.
The regional specialties include Shiraz and Chardonnay.
- Coordinates -32° 31’ S 115° E
- Rainfall 690mm
- Altitude 5 - 290 m
- Harvest Feb - March
The Geographe is one of the South West’s most exciting emerging regions and home to many diverse styles of wines.
There are four districts in the region: Harvey, Donnybrook, Capel and Ferguson, each with unique terroir and topography. It is the cool sea breeze from Geographe bay that helps create the local style of wine and a stable growing season that’s ideal for crafting award-winning Shiraz, Semillon and Sauvignon Blanc.
- Coordinates -33° 18’ S 115° 57’ E
- Rainfall 760 - 920mm
- Altitude 5 - 70m
- Harvest Feb - March
This premier region is surrounded by water on three sides with the eastern boundary, known as the Gladstone Line, 27km from the coast. This region receives its temperate climate from the cooling influence of the Indian Ocean. There are six distinct soil types which form sub regions – Yallingup, Carbunup, Wilyabrup, Treeton, Wallcliffe and Karridale. Sub Region Map here.
The Margaret River Region produces 3% of Australia’s wine, yet over 20% of Australia’s premium wines. Predominant grape varieties cultivated include Cabernet Sauvignon, Chardonnay, Merlot, Sémillion, and Sauvignon Blanc.
- Coordinates -33° 57’ S 115° 08’ E
- Rainfall 950 - 1130mm
- Altitude 40 m
- Harvest Feb - April
The Blackwood Valley is the South West’s newest wine region with the first vineyards planted in 1976. It was officially gazetted as a wine region in 1998 and there are now over 50 vineyards. This region covers a huge area wedged between the Geographe and Manjimup wine regions on the Darling Ranges plateau, including Bridgetown, Balingyup, Boyanup Brook and Nannup. The climate is continental bringing winter rains and warm, dry summers.
The regional specialities include Cabernet Sauvignon, Shiraz, and Merlot.
- Coordinates -34° 00’ S 116° 13’ E
- Rainfall 219mm
- Altitude 100 - 340m
- Harvest Feb - April
In the heart of karri tree country lies the Southern Forests wine region. The cool climate and rich soils of this region are particularly suited to producing refined, Bordeaux-style wines. Pemberton, Manjimup, Northcliffe and Walpole are the main towns within this region.
Although small and new on the viticultural scene, there’s no doubt that this is an exciting region producing world class wines, particularly Pinot Noir, Merlot, and Chardonnay.
- Coordinates -34°27’ S 116°05’ E
- Rainfall 1150 - 1350mm
- Altitude 170 m
- Harvest March - April
The Great Southern wine region is the south west’s coolest viticultural region and the most naturally diverse. It is Australia’s largest wine region – a rectangle stretching 200km east to west, and over 100kms north to south.
This region has five nominated sub-regions for viticulture, namely the Porongurups, Mount Barker, Albany, Denmark and Frankland River. The vineyards of the region have significant variations of terroir and climate among some of the world’s most diverse National Heritage landscapes. This region is well known for Riesling, Shiraz, Pinot Noir, and Cabernet Sauvignon.
- Coordinates -34°30’ S 117° 07’ E
- Rainfall 600 - 950mm
- Altitude 600 - 950mm
- Harvest March - April
RED, WHITE & GREEN
We aren’t referring to the Italian flag; we’re letting you know that we care as much about being green as we do about our whites and reds.
Not only do we consider and try to minimise environmental impacts in respect of what we produce, we care about our social responsibility within the south west. In short: South by South West is all about sourcing the best fruit. The best fruit grows in the best environment, so we want to protect that by limiting our environmental footprint where possible.
We think our wine would look pretty dam sexy in big heavy bottles, but we know that if we do that, the extra weight means more carbon emissions. We are prepared to sacrifice being sexy for the environment.
We love our trees and our beaches in the south west, so it also makes sense for us to show some love to the community groups that work wonders to protect them and make a positive difference.
We are members of the Conservation Council of WA and we also support the Western Australian Forrest Alliance, Save our Marine Life, and Surf Life Saving Australia.
We also support local charities who are making a difference through our Wine Club.