Houghton’s tawny port to sail with Duyfken on 400th anniversary voyage

Houghton’s tawny port to sail with Duyfken on 400th anniversary voyage

A BARREL of Swan Valley wine is an unlikely choice of passenger for a journey at sea, but chief executive of the Duyfken 1606 Replica Foundation Peter Bowman says it is a necessity.

A ‘pipe’ of Houghton Wine’s tawny port will set sail today for a three-month expedition along the WA coastline on replica Dutch sailing ship Duyfken, to celebrate the 400th anniversary of the landing of Captain Dirk Hartog at Shark Bay.

Last week, Mr Bowman turned up at the Middle Swan winery to collect a barrel wine to take on the replica sailing ship’s three-month journey up and back, which will reach as far north as Shark Bay in October.

The fortified wine, port, apparently originated when British merchants began to add a splash of brandy to the Portuguese red wine to give it the legs to travel by ship to London.

Houghton winemaker Garth Cliff agreed with the merchants’ theory that a shipboard journey would do no harm at all to his fortified wine.

“Unlike normal wines, which we’re a little more finicky about their treatment, the barrel of fortified wine would actually benefit from being exposed to the warmer temperatures,” he said.

“It should encounter warmer weather as the Duyfken travels north and then makes its way back home to Fremantle.”

Mr Bowman said the tawny would not be consumed during the journey.

“The barrel of tawny will travel over 2000kms on the Duyfken voyage,” he said.

The Duyfken set sail on Thursday from the port of Fremantle, stopping in Bunbury from August 22-September 4, Mandurah from September 5-14, Hillarys from September 15-27, Jurien Bay from September 29-October 3, Dongara from October 4-7, Geraldton from October 8-15 and Denham from Oct 19-24, where the Hartog Festival will take place.

At each of these ports, Duyfken will go on public exhibition with members of the general public invited to come aboard and discover the challenges experienced by the ‘Dutchies’ in their quest to grow the incredibly valuable spice trade from the East Indies.

Tickets available here.