Margaret River – On the edge of Australia

Producing almost a quarter of Australia’s premium wine, Margaret River wine region is a must visit destination for gourmet traveller.  The internationally renowned Margaret River Wine Region in Western Australia’s south west is home to more than 220 wine producers, 60 cellar doors.

Approximately 3 hours drive south of Perth city, Margaret River is a relatively new wine region from an Australian viticultural perspective.  Many of the ‘original’ wineries were started in the late 1960’s – early 1970 by surf loving winemakers.

Yallingup Beach

Yallingup Beach

A combination of sensational wines, amazing food and spectacular scenery has kept visitors coming back to Margaret River for years.  In the past few years a good range of sumptuous accommodation been developed and a number of outstanding winery restaurants have broadened the appeal for the luxury traveller.

Vasse Felix in Margaret river

Vasse Felix in Margaret River

The region does have the feel of a new location; new people, new roads, new buildings.  The region could be at risk of losing its genuineness and true sense of place as each producer seeks to outspend their neighbour.  With substantial amounts of money being invested in the buildings and infrastructure of wineries – and probably too much spent on sculptures where more could be invested in the vineyard or training cellar door staff.  It was refreshing to visit a number of down to earth passionate producers who realise they are involved in primary production and are making a product to be drunk and enjoyed.

Voyager Flag

Voyager Estate

Driving around the region you are enveloped in the natural bushland and Karri forests (not to be confused with Kauri) of the south west.  It provides the perfect backdrop for secluded accommodation and vineyard properties.  Not to mention an abundance of kangaroos – especially in the late afternoon after you have been to a winery or four.

While the wineries have become well known in a short time, Margaret River’s abundance of micro-breweries is impressive.   It is quickly establishing a reputation as Australia’s most well-regarded craft brewery regions. Cheeky Monkey Brewery and Cidery  recently opened its doors and offers a cosy, rustic feel and a range of beers, ciders and food.

Leeuwin Estate Art Gallery

Leeuwin Estate Art Gallery

Some of the other Margaret River wineries we would recommend include;

  • Vasse Felix – The original producer and an inspiring complete culinary package.
  • Cullen – Admired and revered for their wines as well as their philosophy.
  • PierroLeeuwin Estate – well established producer with the pedigree and a notable gallery.
  • Flametree – becoming a serious contender to be watched.
  • Pierro  - while the cellar door experience was underwhelming the wines continue to impress.
  • Voyager Estate – Yes they have the biggest Australian flag, but their wine room helps visitors understand the region.

This year Margaret River wine region has won numerous awards, including; one of the world’s Top 10 Friendliest Places by Conde Nast Traveler, Best Food and Wine Experience in Australia by Luxury Travel Magazine, and one of Australia’s Top 10 Places to Go in 2013 by Fairfax Media.  So check it out for yourself. More details here.

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