A brief history
The land now occupied by Woody Nook Wines' single vineyard estate was formerly home to a sawmill and sleeper cutters. In 1978 Jeff and Wynn Gallagher purchased the property with a vineyard in mind and began the arduous task of clearing and preparing the land. The first cuttings were planted in 1982 and the first crush took place in 1987, the first winery building having been built the year before. The Gallaghers constructed this and their new home from timber and mud bricks, both materials being available on the property. There are still about 60 acres of jarrah and marri forest forming a magnificent backdrop to the winery and restaurant.
At the end of 1999 when Jeff and Wynn decided to retire to Busselton and put Woody Nook on the market, Peter and Jane Bailey became the proud new owners in May 2000. Jeff and Wynn's son Neil stayed on as Winemaker/Viticulturist until his retirement in 2020. Jeff passed away peacefully in Busselton in March 2019 at the age of 89 followed by his wife Wynn in May 2021.
Although Peter and Jane had lived in WA for almost 20 years, at that time they were resident in the USA. Thanks to modern technology they were able to become deeply involved with the day to day running of the winery and were regular visitors (for extended periods in Jane’s case). In September 2007, after almost 15 years overseas, the Baileys returned to Western Australia permanently.
Woody Nook now has some 17 hectares of vines, half of which in the original vineyard are non-irrigated and handpicked and include Cabernet Sauvignon, Shiraz, Merlot, Sauvignon Blanc, Chenin Blanc, Chardonnay, Semillon and Cabernet Franc. The new 8 hectare vineyard, planted with rootlings in 2007, produced its first sizeable vintage in 2010 with more of the same varietals but also two Spanish ones, tempranillo and graciano. These blocks will be irrigated until the vines reach greater maturity and are currently machine picked. From a 4-5,000 case production for the past ten years, this figure had almost doubled by 2012. However, with a 75-100 tonne crush, Woody Nook will still be well within the definition (250 tonnes) of a genuine boutique winery.