Margaret River Wines
As you’ll probably know I’m an Aussie girl in London, but as I reach the decade milestone as an ex-pat the days of calling Australia home feels further and further away.
One part of Western Australia that will forever feel like home is the Margaret River Wine Region. Margaret River is famed for its acres of vineyards, crystal clear beaches and rocky cliff faces, but most importantly a vast appellation of wineries and some of Australia’s most contemporary cuisine.
A trip to Margaret River is only complete with a self-conducted wine and food tour to take in the local tastings. And taste we did.
So, where were a few of my favorite tipples;
This was my first time visiting Willespie. How?! I have no idea how it took me 31 years to get here. The cellar door is beautiful, with a huge veranda overlooking the vines. The sommelier here was outstanding. He’d emigrated from France to Australia and had that excellent knowledge of the comparisons between new world and old world wines.
Leave with a bottle of Old School Chardonnay 2012
Arimia is a boutique winery that does things a little differently. The vineyard and restaurant which are both totally sustainable, are nestled in what can only be depicted as the great Australian landscape; straddling both ocean and treetops. The restaurant serves local modern Australian fare, made with the best ingredients grown predominantly onsite and never any further than the local region.
Leave with a bottle of 2018 Rosé.
Hay Shed Hill is one of the first wineries in the region. Once a group settlement farm for returned soldiers from the First World War, the property was originally a dairy farm before the late 70s when a family of wine makers moved in. Hay Shed wines never, ever disappoint. We bought a 2013 chardonnay on our last trip home in 2014 which sat in our cupboard for a year and genuinely did improve with age. We had the pleasure of trying that same vintage on this trip, which may well be remembered as the best chardonnay to pass my lips, ever. If that hasn’t convinced you, the in-house restaurant Rusitco offers an elaborate 12 course tasting menu with paired wines. The menu fuses local cuisine with Spanish influence for an explosion of delicious Aussie tapas.
Leave with a bottle of 2017 Block 6 Chardonnay
Ok, so we didn’t love Swings on our first visit, but this time were pleasantly surprised. Swings and Roundabouts has a more casual feel than many wineries in the area. They offer pre-packed picnic baskets and a fab outdoor area to enjoy it. The price points at Swings are great for taking home a selection of your favourite grapes.
Leave with a bottle of 2017 Cane Cut.
Ok, so not a classic winery but after all that wine tasting you’ve gotta eat right, and Barnyard 1978 is the number one place for doing that. Barnyard1978 is conservation concept creating a link between nature, landscape and ecological sustainability. The restaurant is casually classy style and the cellar door offers wine and honey tastings. The main attraction, the signature pasta dishes and delicious meat and vegetables, all farmed on the property.
Leave with a jar of Jarrah honey and homemade dried mushroom pappardelle.