Friday, July 24, 2020
Top 10 winery experiences in the Margaret River region
Margaret River’s premium wine is revered all around the world, but the region’s winemakers and vineyard owners never, ever rest on their laurels. The trailblazers here are continually pushing the envelope and offering better produce and experiences for customers and visitors, so you’re almost guaranteed to discover something new on every visit to the region. Lucky you!
Whether you prefer to casually drop by the cellar door to for a quick tasting, or seek a full immersion event you’ll remember forever, the region offers experiences at both ends of the spectrum – plus everything in between. And if you like the idea of tours, read this piece about wine touring and about where to find the best of each varietal.
Here are ten Margaret River winery experiences you cannot afford to miss.
The iconic white building and manicured surroundings are a feast for the eyes. Choose the wine flight that suits you best: those suggested by the house, or your own selections (even the aged and limited releases are on the table). Or try the ‘Origins’ which is a celebration of Chardonnay and Cabernet Sauvignon – the varieties that put the South West on the global map. Or if you want to fill your stomach, there are tastings with a cheese board or a four-course lunch. Also check to see when the popular Behind the Scenes tour will be offered again.
Home of the annual Leeuwin Concert, and one of our pioneering vineyards, Leeuwin is something special that every wine lover must do at least once. Sit down for The Art of Wine Tasting with the most age-worthy wines from each vintage or, for a broad food-wine-history sesh, you’ll like the Immersion Experience. For this, you’ll arrive for morning tea, tour the gallery, and learn about the history and the concert before settling in for wine tasting. Leeuwin also offers exceptional experiences with mouth-watering degustations lunches.
The region’s very first vineyard and home to one of the most celebrated restaurants in the region, Vasse Felix is a perennial favourite for wine lovers. There are lots of options for guests, starting with drop-in tastings – and it only gets better from here. For something in-depth, book a private tasting with one of the sommeliers, while food and wine connoisseurs will love the Epicurean Tour. Vasse Felix have a wine museum that’s a must see and for an ultra-special experience, it’s their Cape to Vine Tour.
This rustic farm-vineyard is a lovely place to visit. Head to the bar for a tasting of up to six wines, complete with freshly baked sourdough bread and house-made cheese. Or there’s the private tasting option with a personalised tasting of the full collection, with snacks from the farm to nibble on. Also check back at a later date for the Farm Tours, where you can stroll amongst the vines and macadamia.
Howard Park Wines
Fans of sparkling wine will love it here, with Howard Park being the largest producer of champagne-method wines in the state. If this sounds appealing, sign up for the Methode Traditionnelle Tasting Flight (the entire Jeté wine range is named after the family’s history in professional ballet). For the cherry on top, the cellar door is an architectural pleasure to behold.
This is not your typical winery or wine experience. In fact, there’s not a lot of information to be found on Cloudburst. But don’t be fooled – that doesn’t mean it’s not worth visiting, because there are absolutely fantastic wines being created here. Meet owner/winemaker Will Berliner, a Californian maverick in the region who has a different take on how things should be done. You’ll need to make an appointment for a personal wine tasting in the vineyard with Will.
Halliday’s Best Value Winery of 2020 is run by Bruce Dukes, who earned his wine wings in the renowned Napa Valley. For your tasting, you’ll be seated just a stone’s throw away from the merlot grapes while you sample the wines, before a stroll out into the vineyards. Order a charcuterie or cheese board to round out your experience.
A gorgeous setting amongst the vineyards, complete with Tuscan-style buildings and beautiful tasting rooms. Choose from a standard tasting, or a premium tasting of the Ouvo Range or Varietals. You can also pre-order antipasto so you’re organised and ready to start sipping and grazing. Be aware that you must make a booking, even for a casual tasting.
Snake + Herring
This very cool outfit also has the most interesting wine names and labels. You can experience their produce in a few different ways: drop by the laidback cellar door in Wilyabrup, or book in for an incredible meal at Yarri in Dunsborough (one of the most in-demand restaurants in the region). Yarri’s Aaron Carr is in partnership in Snake + Herring, so don’t be surprised to see a big selection of these wines on the menu.
Cosy, quaint tasting rooms with your host, Ute. Drop by the cellar door for an understated and natural space in which to relax and savour the drop in your hand. Both the cellar door and the tasting table are carved from a marri tree that fell during a storm several years ago, which just adds to the charm of Stormflower.
While most wineries welcome drop-ins and offer free tastings, some do not. It’s best to check the winery’s website before you go.
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