The word ‘wagyu’ means ‘Japanese cow’.
All Wagyu is derived from Japanese cattle, initially used as draught animals and prized for their endurance. The intramuscular fat that meant these animals had a ready source of energy is the same marbled meat that later became prized for its eating qualities.
Wagyu cattle and genetics were exported in very small quantities between 1975 and 1997, when Japan banned the practice and declared Wagyu a national treasure. All non-Japanese Wagyu is derived from that short export period when just a couple of hundred Wagyu cattle were exported, mostly to the US.
Our Australian Wagyu derives from those US imports, bred, refined and crafted in pristine Australian conditions over more than two decades.
Our herd is derived from the finest Wagyu in the world but decades of breeding in Australia have resulted in a uniquely Australian Wagyu. Our three founding patriarch bulls are 001 Hirashige-Tayasu (from the Kedaka line); 002 Itomoritaka (from the Fujioshi line) and 003 Kitateruyasu-doi (from the Tajiri/Tajima line). Every Wagyu producer gestures towards these unimpeachable genetic lines; we can prove that we have all three. Starting with this heritage of distinction, our genetics team continues to improve on perfection with our Full-Blood bulls, refining the qualities of our patriarchs. Our Wagyu bulls are selected for temperament and fertility, and for their fine marbling and exceptional flavour. To create an F1 ‘first cross, the bulls are matched with Mitchell mothers. The Mitchell breed has been developed by us to thrive in northern Australia. Calm, sturdy cows with a strong maternal drive and fine eating qualities, they complement the Wagyu sires by nurturing our Westholme calves. This F1 of Full-Blood bulls and Mitchell cows is unique to Westholme. The result is a unique expression of Australian wagyu with signature marbling, tenderness and deep, complex flavour. Put simply, there is no other Wagyu like Westholme. Learn more here.
Fullblood means cattle that are 100% Wagyu and can be traced back to Japanese animals.
F1 are the ‘first cross’, that is Fullblood and/or Purebreds matched with a different breed of cattle. Westholme Wagyu is an F1 cross of Fullblood or Purebred males with our own breed of female cattle, known as Mitchell.
Purebred Wagyu must have at least 93.75% Wagyu genetics in them. This is achieved by crossing with Full-Blood Wagyu at least four times, which is why these animals are also known as F4s.
There’s no internationally consistent certification of Wagyu - the word just means ‘Japanese cow’ after all. When seeking quality Wagyu it’s important to purchase from respected suppliers who offer complete traceability.
Westholme is proud to stand behind its Wagyu products, which are traceable at every step from heritage to breeding to paddock to plate.
Marbling is the term for the fine seams of fat that run within the muscle. This intramuscular fat is distinguished from the fat that encases or caps a muscle. Wagyu is renowned for its marbling. Marbled fat melts as the meat cooks, bringing succulence, juiciness and rich mouthfeel.
See what our chefs say about the balance of meat and marbling in Westholme Wagyu.
That’s up to personal taste! The amount of marbling in meat is denoted by a marble score or MBS. The higher the score, the more marbling there is in the meat and the richer it is when eaten. Chefs will often look to a particular marble score depending on the result they’re looking for in a dish.
Westholme Wagyu generally ranges from a marble score of 4-5 to an extraordinary 9+.
See what our chefs say about the balance of meat and marbling in Westholme Wagyu.
We’re proudly Australian. We manage every step of the supply chain from breeding to paddock to plate, ensuring traceability and quality.
We are an Australian Wagyu brand with a unique approach to breeding, cattle welfare and caring for our pristine environment on the northern Australian rangelands.
We craft contemporary Australian Wagyu suited for professional kitchens: chefs love the unmatched deep, rounded flavours, mouthfeel and the fine, even marbling that is a Westholme signature. Read more here.
We’re proudly Australian. We manage every step of the supply chain from breeding to paddock to plate, ensuring traceability and quality. Our cattle graze wild and free for the first years of their lives, foraging native grasses in family groups, before moving to our own feedlots. We grow much of our own feed and make a bespoke mix for our herd.
Chefs tell us the results speak for themselves: our Wagyu has a refined balance of meat and marbling, is reliable and consistent, and has deep, lingering beefy flavours.
Yes, all of our meat is Halal certified.
Westholme wagyu are born wild and free on expansive rangelands stretching across northern Australia. Spanning Queensland and the Northern Territory, the region is a diverse mix of savanna grassland, channel country slashed with rivulets, and floodplains noisy with pelicans after seasonal rains.
Varying in size, terrain, climate and role, Westholme’s stations are run by small teams of devoted cattlemen and women. Some of our properties are incredibly remote outback expanses, others are closer to the tight knit settlements that are a feature of rural Australia. Wherever they are, every Westholme station’s primary role is to give our cattle the best life possible.
Learn more about our stations here.
In 1788, the first European settlers arrived in Australia with six head of cattle. Grazing is now an important industry across Australia from Tasmania in the south to large swathes of the continent along the eastern coast and across the top end.
Hallmarks of Australian beef production include open grazing in spacious fields, clean air and water, impeccable biosecurity and excellent traceability. Australian beef - and now Wagyu - is renowned worldwide for its quality and consistency.
Chefs love the fine, even marbling that creates deep, rounded flavours and delicate mouthfeel: the Westholme signature. We often hear that they appreciate the balance of meat and marbling, and the consistency and versatility of the product. Many chefs are drawn to our rigorous approach to animal welfare and landcare too.
Meet some of the chefs we work with.
Varying in size, terrain, climate and role, Westholme’s stations are run by small teams of devoted cattlemen and women.
Our cattle are born wild on the rangelands and stay with their mothers until they’re ready to wean. After two years grazing free, our cattle move to our spacious feedlots. For at least 270 days, they are nourished on a proprietary grain mix, much of which we grow ourselves.
Our cattle are our heroes. Everything we do is geared to ensure they have the best life possible. Cattle are born wild and free in an environment that’s closely monitored with clean water and nutritious food always being available. We keep animals in their family groupings so they stay relaxed. Calves stay with their mothers until they are ready to be weaned. Herds are kept together from rangelands to processing. If our animals require medical treatment, care is swift and diligent. When moving to our spacious feedlots, cattle are given a one-week orientation, ensuring they are calm in their new environment. They are checked twice daily and taken on regular walks to maintain condition and interest. Learn more here.
Westholme cattle eat a diverse diet of grasses and shrubs but it’s nutritious native Mitchell grass they turn to most. Our herd is free to forage and graze year-round. Our rangelands team ensures they always have access to high-quality drinking water and, when necessary, we supplement natural grazing with lick blocks, large black ‘boulders’ infused with nutrients and minerals. Our sensitive cattle are attuned to their own dietary needs and lick when required - it’s like a self-serve supplement store! After two years grazing free, our cattle move to our spacious feedlots. For at least 270 days, they are nourished on a proprietary grain mix, much of which we grow ourselves. Our approach to Wagyu breeding and animal care is uniquely Australian. We’re focused on the careful calibration of open grazing and grain finishing. This considered approach is reflected in a Wagyu of exquisite quality.
The Westholme herd feeds on native Mitchell grass on open rangelands. These hardy tussock grasses grow in vigorous tufts, sometimes reaching waist-high. Well-adapted to long stretches of heat and low rainfall, each plant can live as long as 30 years, with grazing making them more robust by promoting new growth.
Mitchell grass has a dual root system, making it especially well-adapted to the conditions. A shallow set of roots makes the most of light rainfall and a deeper set of roots penetrates up to 20cm seeking subsoil moisture.
Our cattle graze freely on grass for the first years of their lives, before moving on to our proprietary grain mix within our spacious feedlots. Chefs tell us they can taste the grass-fed characteristics in our Wagyu: they often speak of a clean minerality and a deep beefiness. Grain feeding promotes weight gain and the refinement of the marbling that is such a renowned characteristic of Wagyu. Our approach to Wagyu feeding is uniquely Australian. We’re focused on the careful calibration of open grazing and grain finishing. This considered approach is reflected in a Wagyu of exquisite eating quality.
Backgrounding is the period after calves are weaned from their mothers and commence open grazing. Westholme cattle graze on native grasses for the first years of their lives before moving to our own feedlots.
Kobe is a type of Wagyu that satisfies numerous rigorous criteria. It must be from the Tajima strain of Japanese Black Wagyu, and must be born, raised and processed in the Hyogo Prefecture of Japan. Its MBS (marble score) must be six or higher. Only a few thousand cattle are classed as true Kobe each year. Westholme Wagyu is not Kobe beef but our cattle do share some of the heritage.
Tajima is a hilly region in Japan’s Hyogo Prefecture and also lends its name to one of the most revered strains of Japanese Black Wagyu. Tajima beef must be born, raised and processed in the Hyogo Prefecture of Japan. When the meat has a MBS (marble score) of 3-5 these cattle are deemed Tajima beef. If they have a higher MBS (6+) they are considered Kobe beef.
Westholme cattle eat a diverse diet of grasses and shrubs but it’s nutritious native Mitchell grass they turn to most.