If you’re not into wine before you visit Margaret River, you will be by the time you leave
I’d never been much of a wine drinker until I moved to Margaret River in early 2016. Oh, don’t get me wrong, I’d have a glass of Sauvignon Blanc or bubbly but I never really thirsted for wine. And I certainly wouldn’t drink red. I just couldn’t stand it.
Well, that was the case before I found a red wine that I now cannot live without.
Keep reading to find out what it is and where to get your hands on it. Also, I’ll share the best ways to drink wine around the Margaret River region. Cheers.
Have a glass of wine with lunch at a winery
A very civilised way to enjoy the wine of the area is to have a glass with lunch. And of course, if you choose to do this at a winery, you can do a tasting first, then order your favourite to have with your meal. This way you get the best of the region: fine wine and gourmet food enjoyed while overlooking sloping vineyards or nestled in the bushland of the south west.
Wineries with food:
- Leeuwin Estate
- Woody Nook
- Amelia Park
- Voyager Estate
Go on a wine tour around Margs
If you want to go full-tilt and experience 5-6 cellar doors in one day, the no-brainer thing to do is a wine tasting tour of Margaret River. Of course, this is the number one thing to do for singles and couples when visiting. It was a day with Margaret River Tours that turned me on to the region’s wine-making capabilities. On that day in November 2016, I found out just how skilled the wine-growers here are. I mean, before, I loathed Chardonnay. But now, after drinking the Chardonnay of Margaret River, I appreciate it. I even like it because it’s come a long way from the woody, deep yellow, bitter crap that made me into a Chardonnay hater back in the 90s.
And it was on a tasting tour with Cellar d’Or Winery Tours in May 2017 that I fell in love with red wine. Not just any red wine but the easy drinking Graciano from Woody Nook Wines on Metricup Road. Trying this cherry-hued and hinted wine opened my eyes to all the reds I was missing. Doing a full-day organised wine tour of Margaret River gives you a good introduction to the wine, the people and even the food (some tours include lunch). It’s a great day out (and no worries about drinking and driving).
Wine tours of Margaret River
- Cellar d’Or Winery Tours
- Margaret River Tours
- Wine for Dudes
- Bush Tucker & Winery Tours
DIY wine sampling
There are 5800 hectares of vines in Margaret River. That’s a lot of grapes and a lot of wine to taste. Doing a self-driven winery tour has its advantages and disadvantages. The obvious disadvantages is that you will need a designated driver OR you’ll have to limit your intake, which kind of defeats the purpose. And considering 5 wine samples equals 1 glass of wine, you won’t be hitting too many cellar doors if you have to get behind the wheel. The advantage is that you get to target the places you want to go to the most.
But there is another way. Buy a collection of wines, either from a bottle shop like Cellarbrations or Cape Cellars and cork them in the privacy of your own hotel or home for your own DIY wine tasting.
Top wines from Margaret River to try
- Graciano by Woody Nook
- Le Mongrel Sparkling by Mongrel Creek Wines
- Sauvignon Blanc Semillon by Vasse Felix
- Skuttlebutt by Stella Bella
Spend the weekend at a wine and food festival
If you want to experience the best of the best of wine and food that the Margaret River region has to offer, then defo plan a trip to the Gourmet Escape. Held every November, this wine and food festival attracts foodies, wine lovers and celebrity chefs from around the world. The four-day wine celebration is made up of several events spread around the region. If you can’t attend everything (some of the top events with celebrity cooks like Nigella Lawson are pricey and they sell-out fast), at least go to the Village. The Gourmet Village is set up at Leeuwin Estate and is spread over the Saturday and Sunday. It’s like a giant, top-end market for booze-hounds and lovers of fun, food and socialising. Start planning for the next Gourmet Escape now.
Have you sampled Margaret River’s wines? What’s your favourite way?