Moss Wood is one of the pioneers of the Margaret River region of Western Australia. Established in 1976, it is today widely regarded as one of the best wineries here. Despite the fame of its wines, it remains a small, down-to-earth family-run business where development has been driven by passion and pursuit of excellence rather than the desire to constantly meet changing consumer tastes.
Since 1984, Moss Wood has been owned by husband-and-wife team Keith and Claire Mugford. It was sold to the couple by the pioneer founder Bill Pannell who had selected the property in the late 1960s for the suitability of its soils and its aspect. Keith Mugford was a young winemaker at the estate at the time and Pannell saw in him the enthusiasm and passion that would be needed to drive Moss Wood’s future. Together Keith and Claire have bravely continued Pannell’s founding philosophy, ensuring and furthering Moss Wood’s success as a specialist winemaking operation that remains close to its roots.
Still best known for its exceptionally fine yet powerfully structured flagship cabernets which age tremendously well, Moss Wood also produces elegant and generous semillion, chardonnay and pinot noir. Nearby Ribbon Vale vineyards have been bought to create another range of wines in the portfolio. There is a real sense of honesty in the wines which often reflect the characteristics of the growing season, for better or worse.
The estate has functionality at its heart and, whilst members are warmly welcomed by phone appointment, there is nothing ostentatious about the winery or surroundings, reflecting the down-to-earth nature of Keith Mugford himself. But this unassuming jewel in the Margaret River crown is one of Australia’s truly great small producers.