Q&A with Joanne Bradbury – owner of 3drops winery

Joanne Bradbury, owner of the award winning 3drops winery will be working the room at Firefly next Wednesday night for our Wine & Spit Roast dinner. We sat down with her to understand what goes into running a successful winery.


What led you to start your brand 3drops?
My family emigrated to Australia in 1973 and purchased a farm at Mt Barker in the Great Southern of WA. My father who was the Captain of a submarine in the British navy, had decided he wanted to become an Australian sheep farmer. I grew up on the family sheep farm and then left home to pursue a career as an Occupational Therapist. When my parents were retiring I decided to develop the family farm. Initially this involved the planning of 2000 olive trees for the production of olive oil, but by the following year, 1999,  we commenced planting of the vineyard. In 2006 we purchased an old vineyard called Patterson’s – planted in 1982. We named our wine business 3drops – to reflect wine, water and olive oil.


What is the philosophy behind the brand?
To make wines that reflect the cool climate wine growing of the region. Wines that are distinctly varietal, elegant and approachable, but that also have the ability to age and develop.


What grape varietals do you make? Are they all sourced from you own vineyards?
We currently produce eight wines:
Riesling – the variety which is the regional hero of the Great Southern
Sauvignon Blanc – fresh, vibrant and tropical
Nebbiolo Rose – a new addition to our range, pale in colour with fresh, crisp acidity.
Chardonnay – medium oak, balanced with distinctive stone fruit characters.
Pinot Noir – produced from the 1982 planted vineyard.
Merlot – elegant, distinctly varietal and a reflection of our vineyard site.
Cabernets – a blend of Cabernet Sauvignon and Cabernet franc.
Shiraz – a cool climate style with hints of pepper and spice.


Which is your favourite?
I love our Cabernet blend. We first produced it in 2001 and have been working on the style since that time. The percentage of the blend varies each vintage – but always just the two varieties


Your wine is made in the Great Southern region of WA. Why is this a great region for wine making?
Great Southern has recently celebrated 50 years of wine growing. During that time the region has demonstrated success with many varieties. The cool climate and slower ripening is increasingly recognised as being the key to producing wines with finesse and elegance.

The region is large (150kms from East to West), isolated and ‘clean and green’. These characteristics are becoming increasingly important as the world becomes a more crowded place.


Your wines consistently achieve high rankings from James Halliday. What’s the secret?
The secret is two fold. One is the terroir – the farm which has been in the family for 44 years.
The second is the people who have a role in producing our wine. Ray Williams our viticulturist planted the vineyard in 1999 and continues to undertake all the day to day management. Rob Diletti, our winemaker has just completed his 16th vintage for us. It takes time to become familiar with all aspects of the vineyard and to maximise its potential.


3drops wine maker Rob Diletti was named Winemaker of The Year in 2015. What sets Rob apart from the average winemaker?
I think Rob’s approach to wine making is the perfect balance between creativity and science.
Technically the wines are as they should be, but Rob’s natural flair and passion gives them a creative edge.


What’s your number one tip for tasting wine?
Be adventurous ……. Taste, savour, remember!


Get to know Joanne better at our Wine & Spit Roast Dinner on Wednesday 13th September. To purchase tickets, visit the book page on our website and locate the grey bookings widget. Select Wednesday the 13th September from the drop down calendar. You will notice an orange dot – this represents the special. Select it and then follow the prompts to purchase your tickets and complete the booking.