There are some things in life that get better with age – income, life choices, your demanding 5 year-old kid, and well – wine. More so if it’s the elegant, fruity variety that has its origins in Western Australia.
From the Great Southern rectangle that produces some of the finest Riesling, Chardonnay and Shiraz, the historical Swan Valley with its liqueur inspired wines, the charming family owned vineyards at Perth hills to the unique concoction of Sauvignon Blanc and Semillon at Margaret river, this is truly a wine lover’s paradise. Yes, we know Oktoberfest is right around the corner but if you aren’t much of a beer person, we know just what you need to rejuvenate yourself on a short break – a vineyard holiday.
Where, what, and how? Here’s everything you need to know.
- Swan Valley
It’s hard to believe that a nature’s retreat as stunning as Swan Valley is nestled at just a 25 minute drive from bustling Perth.
This is one of the oldest wine regions of Western Australia and its stories of the yore are vintage, just like the wine it produces. From picturesque walking trails, award winning vineyards, wineries, a sought after art scene to wildlife, Swan Valley is a tourist’s (and a wine connoisseur’s) delight.
What to do
The much loved ‘Food and Wine Trail’, a 32-km loop that takes you through scenic vineyards, restaurants, art galleries, and markets selling fresh produce is a must-see. Along the way, you can visit the Whiteman Park, a unique reserve that covers around 4000 hectares of natural bushland and includes native flora and fauna attractions like Caversham Wildlife Park where you can interact with Koalas, Kangaroos, and Wombats for an unforgettable experience. While you do that, you can enjoy a boat ride, create your own wine and sign up for a chocolate factory visit that gives you, hold your breath, free samples! How is that for a sugar high?
What to taste
Swan Valley nails the Verdelho but that’s just the tip of the iceberg. As one of the most popular ‘cellar door hopping’ destinations, that includes boutique vineyards, organic wine makers and large scale corporations, a trip here is sure to quench your thirst for wine and knowledge. Premium Chenin Blanc, Chardonnay, Shiraz and Cabernet Sauvignon are the other incredible varieties on offer in this region. Love cheese platter and wine? We recommend Olive Farm Wines. For organic lovers, Harris Organic Wines, with its famous vodka and brandy is the place to be.
- Perth Hills
Around 40 minutes drive from Perth CBD lie the picturesque Perth Hills that have it all – stunning mountain views, trails, waterfalls, recreational activities, and of course vineyards. Comprising Chittering Valley, Bickley Valley, Serpentine Valley and Mundaring, this wine trail across boutique and family owned vineyards, promises to be exciting.
What to do
The ‘Heart of the Hills’ wine trail in Mundaring is one of the most picturesque locales you will witness. Walk into the fresh mountain air and visit boutique vineyards to get a close look into how your favourite wine is made. Another crowd favourite is the Bickley Valley wine trail that makes for a breathtaking sight with its winding roads, forests, and orchards. Admire the outdoors at the Bibbulmun Track that is an example of world class infrastructure. Or you can check out the Weir View Walk, a 1.2-km loop trail that overlooks the Mundaring Weir Dam, the perfect place for a picnic. Like to ride mountain bikes? The Forsyths Mill Mountain Bike Track is where you should be. Finally, catch a great view of the region’s wild flowers at Lake Leschenaultia, which is also the ideal place to camp.
What to taste
Order a bottle of Shiraz or Cabernet Sauvignon and you won’t be disappointed. But this region is also a springboard for alternative varieties so don’t forget to sample unusual flavours like tempranillo, mourvedre, and zinfandel.
The Plume Estate in the Bickley valley with its famous Pinot Noirs and the Myattsfield Vineyards with its Methode Champenoise are our top picks.
Locales as inviting as Perth Hills and Swan Valley warrant an equally welcoming HomeAway. Explore all the beautiful choices here.
- Margaret River
Surfing and wine – that’s the blood that runs through the veins of this river town. Picture perfect forests, caves, beaches, beautiful trails, adventure sports and a dynamic wine and food scene make this a top tourist destination. With a Mediterranean-style climate, the region has just what it takes to produce quality grape varieties used to make both red and white wines. Located at a two and a half hour drive away from the South of Perth, Margaret River promises a rich variety to whet every traveller’s appetite.
What to do
That’s a long list! We suggest a climb atop the Cape Leeuwin lighthouse for panoramic views of the town and the sunset. This is also a great place to indulge in some whale watching during the months of May to September. Go to Meelup Beach whose crystal clear waters are just perfect for a dip. This region is as spectacular underneath as it is on the outside. Visit the Leeuwin Naturaliste Ridge and explore the fascinating limestone crystal caves. Take a personalized tour, off-piste for the daredevils, or the simple Mammoth cave tour and be amazed at nature’s wonders. Enroll for a climbing tour or try your hand at surfing. There is so much to do! Oh, and the wine, that’s divine!
What to taste
To put it simply, everything! Over the years, the Margaret River region has gained a reputation for producing top notch red wines like Cabernet Sauvignon, Shiraz and Merlot and luxurious white wines like Sauvignon Blanc, Chardonnay, Chenin Blanc, and Verdelho. For an immersive wine tasting experience, visit Vasse Felix, the area’s first vineyard. Love cellar doors? Do try out the Amelia Park wines for their world class offerings in a rustic setting.
A near 3-hour drive is sure to tire you out, and the comforting cocoon that these HomeAways provide is just what you’ll need to kick back and relax.
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