Moss Wood estate was founded in 1969 by the husband and wife team Dr Bill and Sandra Pannell, when they planted the first Cabernet Sauvignon vines. It was the beginning of a peculiar trend in Margaret River, where the first wineries were started by people without an extensive wine background, curiously enough, many of them being doctors.
Perhaps it was this reason that led Sandra to define the 1975 release, which was a major success just two years after the opening vintage, a “little miracle”. The Pannells looked after the vineyards and the winemaking themselves, pruning the vines and handpicking the grapes at harvest, sometimes at moonlight.
In 1976, Keith Mugford was appointed as the new winemaker. Keith took the job with plenty of enthusiasm, because of the challenge represented by a new estate in a new wine region, as well as the pleasure of moving to an area with some perfect spots where he could cultivate his passion for surfing.
In 1985, Keith was joined by his wife Claire to Moss Wood, as they decided to acquire the estate from the Pannells.
In 1991, Moss Wood made it to the Langton’s classification of Australian wine. Since then, the estate has been described as “exceptional” and has maintained one of the highest statuses in the region.
In 2000, the acquisition of a further vineyard in Ribbon Vale extended the total surface of planted vines in the estate portfolio. The evolution of Moss Wood was certainly favoured by the series of outstanding vintages recorded in the region more generally, from 2007 onwards.
One of the most significant milestones of this development trend occurred when, in 2017, Ray Jordan assigned an astonishing 99/100 score to Moss Wood 2014 Cabernet Sauvignon.