Tour Highlights, Suggested Stops & Further Info
The Margaret River district features pristine white sandy beaches, spectacular coastline and amazing surf. It is surrounded by majestic karri forests and nestled within picturesque farmland, enjoying a temperate climate. This top quality wine region is complemented by fine restaurants, art galleries and boutique luxury accommodation. Margaret River is one of the world’s most dynamic and innovative wine tourism industries.
The quality wine estates here make outstanding Bordeaux blends, varietal Cabernet Sauvignon, elegant Chardonnay and herbaceous aromatic Semillon. Please see below for our suggested best estates to visit, interactive map and further sights & hotels in this region.
Xanadu has a long history of producing wines of distinction. One of the leading wine producers in the iconic Margaret River region, the quality and styles of their wines reflect their history, terrior and simple yet true wine making philosophy; “grow great fruit, pick it at the right time and guide it through to the bottle without as little intervention as possible.”
Try their restaurant for a decadent meal, the setting and service is second to none. The award winning restaurant focuses on seasonal and fresh produce sourced from the Margaret River region. Open Wed-Sun, reservations are recommended.
Located in Stevens Valley, just a 10 minute drive from Margaret River town, where the gravel soils, microclimate, aspect and consistent maritime influence make up the foundations of the distinctive Voyager Estate style.
The Estate range of wines are their core focus, with the Cabernet Sauvignon and Chardonnay that sit among the region’s best. They select only the varieties that consistently bring out the best in their site. For each variety, they have located particular pockets in the vineyards that produce exceptionally pure fruit and as a result, the Estate range wines have become recognised as excellent expressions of their variety and wine style.
A variety of tasting options are available at Voyager Estate, from a simple taste at the Tasting Counter, through to a self-guided (with a specially designed iPad App) tasting, guided seated tasting by their knowledgeable staff, and for the more experienced taster, or single varietal enthusiast, in-depth educational tasting session with Voyager’s own Sommelier. These special tastings focus on either their Chardonnay or Cabernet Sauvignon wines, some of which being single block project wines which have never been released onto the market.
Voyager Estate has beautiful grounds that are well worth a leisurely stroll. The stunning gardens and lawns are in keeping with the Estate’s South African Cape Dutch style.
Wine is a voyage – of exploration, discovery and enjoyment. And it is most enjoyed when accompanied by wonderful food. Voyager Estate’s restaurant does not disappoint. The chef and his dedicated team draw inspiration from their elegant, site-specific wines to assemble dishes that complement their wine styles. The menus are influenced by seasonal produce and reflect the perfect marriage of food and wine. Ingredients are sourced from local food producers, who not only offer the season’s best, but match Voyager’s passion and integrity. They regularly feature Indian and Southern Ocean fish, Pemberton Marron, Vasse asparagus, Margaret River venison and Mount Barker free range chicken, amongst others, as well as produce from their herb garden.
Leeuwin Estate is one of the founding wineries of the now famous Margaret River district. In 1972, legendary Napa Valley winemaker, Robert Mondavi, first identified the future site of the Leeuwin vineyard as being ideal for the production of premium wine and provided early mentorship to Denis and Tricia Horgan who founded Leeuwin Estate in 1974. The initial vineyards were planted by hand over a five year period from 1975.
Famed for its “Art Series” wines which represent Leeuwin’s finest wines from each vintage. The winemakers have always selected the optimum fruit, transforming it into Leeuwin’s highest quality and age-worthy wines. They are identified with paintings commissioned from leading contemporary Australian Artists. “Art Series” wines are designed to age and ultimately to be the most opulent.
Full winery tours are each day at 11am, booking is essential, and end with a flight of wines paired with a food tasting match created from the Leeuwin Restaurant seasonal menu.
The highly acclaimed Leeuwin Restaurant is open daily for lunch and Saturday evenings for dinner. It combines fine wine and food in a picturesque setting, and truly does celebrate the art of living well! The menu is international in style, but makes the very most of fresh local ingredients. The excellent table service, large natural timber tables and sweeping veranda that overlooks a meadow surrounded by a forest of majestic karri trees makes for a relaxed yet special dining experience.
David Hohnen is the iconic winemaker who was responsible for founding both Cape Mentelle and Cloudy Bay. This enterprise, set up with his brother-in-law, is all about exploiting the great terroir in their family owned vineyards. His focus has always been on producing top quality wines whilst adhering to natural, organic and biodynamic methods of grape growing and winemaking. David’s philosophy is that “if the grapes are grown in the right way from the start, the wine will essentially make itself.”
The Burnside Chardonnay is the pick of their range, with a subtle use of oak, citrus freshness, and a long, mineral nuanced finish. They also make an intense Bordeaux blend called Rolling Stone great quality Semillon Sauvignon Blanc, Chardonnay & Cabernet Sauvignon from their Rocky Road vineyard.
Dr Kevin and Diana Cullen first planted a trial acre of vines at their farm in Wilyabrup in 1966. The encouraging results of this trial led to the planting of 18 acres of vines on their sheep and cattle farm in 1971, including their first Cabernet Sauvignon vines. Sauvignon Blanc, Chardonnay, Semillon, Merlot and Cabernet Franc vines followed and were planted between 1976 and 1978.
The estate is very well known for its excellent Diana Madeline Cabernet Sauvignon and Kevin John Chardonnay, these flagship wines named in honour of the estates founders.
Diana Madeline Cabernet Sauvignon
Colour: Deep red garnet
Bouquet: Violets, rose, cassis, chocolate and red peppers
Palate: Rich chocolate, plum mulberry cassis, concentrated and lingering ironstone mineral finish. Loaded up with everything cabernet, depth of flavour length and persistence. Fruit purity is what really stands out in this wine complexity and layering of flavours
Cellaring: Will certainly cellar well.
Kevin John Chardonnay
Colour: Brilliant light gold.
Bouquet: Intense elder flower, lime, citrus and apricot kernel fruit aromas are complemented by the perfect oak treatment.
Palate: Powerful and complex, combining fresh rich pear, grapefruit, lime, pineapple and saffron flavours. Leaves a wonderful lingering taste.
Cellaring: Drinking superbly on release, but can also be cellared with confidence for at least 15 years.
Vasse Felix was established in 1967 by pioneer Dr Thomas Cullity and is the founding wine estate of Margaret River.
Vasse Felix is situated in the Wilyabrup sub-region of Margaret River, with vineyards also located at northern and southern sites of the wine appellation. The first vineyard blocks were planted in August 1967, the very first in this region.
Margaret River experiences the unique combination of a Mediterranean climate, maritime influence and perfect soils for viticulture. Together, these conditions are ideal for growing Cabernet Sauvignon and Chardonnay.
The estate is recognised as one of Australia’s top winery destinations and includes a Cellar Door, Restaurant and Art Gallery.
“Pierro is one of the few Australian wineries that could claim to have established a trend that many others have followed. Since the mid-1980s Mike Peterkin has crafted a Chardonnay of not only monumental power, but of simultaneously smooth and silky delivery.”
“Pierro Chardonnay is the role model for so many of Australia’s more opulent and hedonistically proportioned chardonnays and is a stunning expression of Margaret River Chardonnay.”
Innovation and location have been the key factors in developing the quality of the Pierro chardonnay.
Dissatisfied with the first three vintages of Chardonnay (1983-85), which were carried out following standard Australian winemaking practices, Mike decided to make some radical changes and the Pierro Chardonnay style was born in the 1986 vintage.
Today there are three distinct blocks of chardonnay on the property. About 95% of the Pierro Chardonnay is the Gin Gin clone, which produces the best quality wine, and one that has been particularly successful in Margaret River.
Each block features high-density narrow rows on rocky soil that slope down to the Willyabrup Brook and are orientated to the west and north. The vineyards are managed to maximise fruit, leaf and cane exposure to sunlight; minimise wind damage in the often blustery southern spring; and to heighten flavour development in the summer ripening period.
Irrigation at Pierro is different from other vineyards in Margaret River. Mike attempts to reproduce natural rainfall patterns when watering, giving the vines a good drink when they need it, rather than trickle or drip-feeding. This mimics a typical summer shower.
Vine management at Pierro is designed to achieve maximum balance with good leaf vigour supporting just the right amount of fruit. Such techniques result in healthy, highly flavoursome grapes arriving in the winery for processing.
In the winery Mike puts his Chardonnay through one hundred per cent malolactic fermentation which helps achieve superior texture, mouth feel and a more refined and persistent flavour.
The result is a world-class white. The wine has won many awards over the years and is well entrenched in the top three Chardonnays of Australia. No mean feat for a chap who at one stage of the vineyard development was regarded as a crank for his innovative practices in vine planting and canopy management.
This is a white of great finesse yet impressive power, tight structure yet generosity of flavour; ripe melony, peachy characters yet noticeable restraint and subtlety; an unctuous mouth-feel yet with taut, fine acidity on the finish.
Planted 1969, 1st vintage 1973; Moss Wood is an important, founding estate of the Margaret River wine region, located in the northern sub–region of Wilyabrup, Western Australia. Chief winemaker & viticulturalist Keith Mugford has been making wine and tending the vineyard at Moss Wood since 1979. In 1984 he was joined by his wife Clare.
Their exacting viticulture ensures the production of grapes of excellent quality. They have created a stable of fine wines distinguished by their consistency over each vintage and their ability to age superbly. The Moss Wood and Mugford names are synonymous with uncompromising quality.
In 2000 they increased their admirable viticultural holdings by purchasing Ribbon Vale vineyard and winery. The 6.36 hectare vineyard, situated in the heart of Wilyabrup, was first planted in 1977 by then owner John James. It is planted on a southwest facing slope and its soils are the classic gravelly loam over a clay sub-soil. The vineyards plantings are an interesting mix of Cabernet Sauvignon, Semillon, Merlot and Sauvignon Blanc. Sauvignon Blanc is not planted at Moss Wood and they only have a very small number of Merlot vines, so the varieties provided new winemaking challenges. They were also useful additions to enhance the portfolio of wines because they had proved to be of significant quality, with the Sauvignon Blanc being a wine show trophy winner.
Another interesting point about the vineyard was that the Cabernet Sauvignon clone at Ribbon Vale is different to that grown at Moss Wood. This would ensure that the wines from the two properties would remain individual and distinctive.
The Ribbon Vale vineyard is now run under the Moss Wood program for all aspects of vineyard management, including pest and disease control, weed control, pruning and picking. In addition, the vineyard was re-trellised to the “Scott Henry” system, to improve fruit exposure and ease of pruning and harvesting. This program was completed in the winter of 2001. Finally, they have introduced the use of bird nets to protect the crop from birds. This has allowed us the luxury of leaving the fruit to ripen longer, an important contributor to improved wine style.
Screw Cap Closures – With the 2000 vintage of Moss Wood Cabernet Sauvignon they began trialling the use of screw cap closures. For many years they had been frustrated with the high rate of cork taint and random bottle oxidation caused by the use of cork. They are now pleased that the standard of the screw cap product and the method of application will provide a much more consistent product than that they can provide when sealing with cork.
The program of using screw cap closures for Moss Wood wine continues and so far, they are very pleased with the results. They arranged tastings in Sydney and Melbourne, where they compared the same wine under cork and under screw cap. Please note that these were not blind tastings.
“In comparing Moss Wood Cabernet Sauvignon and the Ribbon Vale Vineyard Merlot and Cabernet Sauvignon Merlot, we found that the screw cap closed bottles are very consistent and taste virtually identical. On the other hand, cork-closed bottles vary enormously. This excludes bottles that were directly tainted by cork, which were rejected before each tasting. Bottle variation has been noted in the past but put down to causes other than cork taint. However, we are now very suspicious that many corks do not seal well at all and the wine under those corks is ageing far more quickly than it should.”
“Another interesting point is that after having tasted approximately 150 bottles of closures, cork and screw cap, there was only one cork bottle which was better than the screw cap. In every other instance, the screw cap was preferred. Occasionally, the cork bottles nearly matched the screw cap but mostly they were significantly lower in quality.”
Pullman Resort Bunker Bay
Nestled on the white sands of Bunker Bay the 5* Pullman Bunker Bay Resort boasts an absolute beachfront location with 150 luxuriously appointed bungalow-style villas in contemporary Australian architectural style. Villas offer beach access via boardwalks through immaculately landscaped grounds and are complemented by award-winning world class dining and recreation facilities.
The resort is one of the largest conference and event venues in the South West of Western Australia. The hotel is very child friendly with a kids club and the beach on the door step. The stylish restaurant and bar feature modern Australian cuisine underpinned by a Mediterranean feel and overlook Bunker Bay and the sweeping Indian Ocean, this is a perfect spot for that romantic evening.
Hidden Valley Forest Retreat
A boutique property offering unique and world class self-contained accommodation in an incredibly diverse and pristine pocket of bushland in the celebrated Margaret River Wine region. The retreat currently offers four accommodation options that reflect a contemporary statement about innovation, design, texture, shape and colour and combine to capture the spirit of the environment and bring guests face to face with the land around them.
All the self-contained retreats are designed just for two with sumptuous king size bed, magical double spas with candles, spot lit enchanting forest views, romantic log fire and underfloor heating. Each have a sun deck where you can relax and take in the beauty of the forest, or have a massage under the trees. Be touched by nature in an Eco Lodge or Wilderness Cabin, or experience the Deepwater Retreat with its own timber jetty on crystal watered lake with magical winter morning mists.
The fully equipped lodges include your own European kitchen and gas BBQ enabling guests to cater for themselves, with the retreat able to deliver groceries or gourmet platters to your door. Or, for those looking for the ultimate service, the retreat’s very own gourmet personal chef can cook a wonderful meal for you.
Total privacy between all the retreat lodges ensures the ultimate romantic and secluded couples escape. Enjoy the tranquillity, seclusion, natural bush and forest views. It is totally romantic and magical. All you may hear would be the odd kangaroo, possum or other wild life passing through.
Sitting on its own secluded vineyard in the heart of the Margaret River Wine Country is one of Australia’s Finest Vineyard Lodges. This intimate country estate was voted Best Boutique Hotel in Australia and listed in Condé Nast Traveller’s Gold List 2012.
Located in the heart of Margaret River Wine Country and surrounded by stunning forest, lake and parkland scenery Cape Lodge is also only minutes away from the spectacular coastline and pristine beaches of the sparkling Indian Ocean and the great Margaret River Wine Estates of Mosswood, Vasse Felix, Cullen and Pierro.
Described as one of Australia’s finest generation gourmet establishments Cape Lodge features a multi award winning restaurant, 22 rooms and suites, a five bedroom luxury Private Residence, an all-weather tennis court and a beautiful free form swimming pool.
The menu features seasonal local and home grown produce plucked from nearby oceans, local farms and our kitchen garden to create fresh innovative cuisine. The wine list is extensive and features both back vintages from Margaret River’s great wine estates and other Australian and international wine regions.
Dine in the lakeside restaurant or for something a little more casual enjoy a seasonal Harvest Produce Platter in the comfort of our Guest Lounge or the privacy of your suite.
Cape Leeuwin Lighthouse – a truly beautiful place at the most south westerly point of Australia, where the Indian Ocean meets the Southern Ocean.
Redgate Beach – A secluded coastal sanctuary, situated close to Margaret River.
Margaret River Gourmet Escape – Friday 21 to Sunday 23 November 2014. A festival devoted to fine food & wine, with the hub a Gourmet Village hosted at the Leeuwin Estate winery showcasing a delicious array of boutique food and wine producers. Also many satelite events happening around the region including; long lunches in private family wineries, beach BBQ’s, feasts in the forest and exclusive intimate collaboration dinners.
Pemberton is one of Australia’s newer wine regions, located in the South West of Western Australia. The first grapes were planted in 1977, with commercial plantings expanding throughout the 1980s.
Pemberton is an excellent region for viticulture because of its combination of southern latitude and high altitude, which create a relatively cool climate. This provides the grapes with a sustained ripening period. Pemberton’s loamy, gravel soils and cool climate will prove it to be one of the best regions in Australia for the growing of Pinot Noir and Chardonnay. The region is also well suited to the production of refined Bordeaux style wines.
The Picardy vineyard is situated on a gentle north facing slope at an altitude of 300 metres and 35 kilometres from the Southern Ocean. The site was specially selected by Bill Pannell for its well-drained loam/gravel soils. Bill felt that this site would be perfectly suited to the production of high quality cool climate wines; in particular Pinot Noir. The Pannell’s believe the wines should be a true expression of the vineyard’s terrior and potential, not winery manipulation (or winemaker’s ego), hence their great wines are made in the vineyard and are only finessed in the winery.
Salitage is a premium fine wine producer located in the beautiful and spectacular viticultural region of Pemberton. The Salitage vineyards are planted on elevated ironstone gravelly soils and together with the cool and even temperatures during the ripening period, contribute equally to enable them to produce wines which have structural complexity and intense fruit flavours. The Salitage winery has been designed with a minimalist approach to both juice and wine handling. Elevated fermenters, spanning three levels in the winery, enable the winemaker to move the wine under its own weight. They use French oak barriques exclusively for the barrel maturation of the wines. Traditional wine making methods have been retained and these are complimented by the technological advances in modern day plant and equipment.
The Karri Valley Resort in a uniquely tranquil location on the edge of Lake Beedelup and surrounded by majestic Karri Forest. Each self-contained chalet has a private balcony with lake or forest views. Guests at Karri Valley Resort can enjoy a range of leisure activities including trout fishing, sailing, mini golf, tennis, archery and mountain biking. Guests are also invited to feed the animals on the farm. The resort is a 3.5 hour drive from Perth and 154 km from Margaret River, while Pemberton is 22km away.
With the climate tempered by the Antarctic currents, the Great Southern wine region offers some of the coldest and wettest terrain in Australia. The region is divided into the sub regions; Albany, Denmark, Mount Barker, Frankland River and Porongurup, each with their different strengths and subtly individual micro climates dictated in part by their distance from the south coast and the cooling influences of those Antarctic currents.
Albany is the oldest permanently settled town in Western Australia, predating Perth and Fremantle by some two years. Albany’s history is founded on its natural deep-water, port which had a place of eminence on shipping services between Britain and its Australian colonies and served as a gateway to the Eastern Goldfields in the late 19th Century. Later the port served the timber and whaling industries. The whaling station was the last operating station in the southern hemisphere and the English-speaking world at the time of its closure in 1978. The station has now been converted into a museum of whaling.
Just 200 metres from Middleton Beach, Dolphin Lodge offers self-contained apartments with a private balcony or courtyard and free WiFi. The lodge features BBQ facilities, a fitness centre, wireless internet access and free parking.
Dolphin Lodge is located within 3 minutes’ walking distance of a number of shops and restaurants. The Middleton Beach city centre is a 3-minute drive away. The renowned Whale World Museum is a 30-minute drive.
The Spa Apartments are modern fully self-contained apartments, with king sized bed. Suites have a private balcony upstairs and private court yards downstairs.
Montgomery’s Hill Vineyard
Montgomery’s Hill is situated near Albany, on the South Coast Highway (East). The property is set on approximately 100 acres with the vineyard taking up 25 acres, or 10 hectares. The vines are planted on a north-facing slope on the banks of the Kalgan River, which is ideal for premium wine production, as has been shown by the accolades given to the wines, especially their Chardonnay, Sauvignon Blanc, Shiraz & Cabernet Sauvignon.
Denmark is blessed with splendid natural attractions and a year-round mild climate. The rugged coastline, beautiful beaches, inlets, rivers, national parks, and towering karri forests offer visitors unforgettable scenery and plenty of activities. Denmark is also nearby to the Valley of the Giants Tree Top Walk at Walpole-Nornalup National Park.
Denmark is one of the most interesting of the cooler climate wine regions of Australia with a wide range of grape varieties grown to high acclaim.
Howard Park Wines & Mad Fish Wines
Surrounded by spectacular Karri and Marri forest, the winery & cellar door in Denmark is a place to welcome wine lovers and appreciators of natural beauty. A stylish modern cellar door has made special use of glass, concrete, stainless steel and timber features in its architectural design – creating a glassed ambience overlooking the native forest. A place of tranquillity and the perfect setting to enjoy the natural surrounds while tasting the award winning range of wines.
Howard Park’s philosophy is to craft outstanding wines of great subtlety, character, balance and elegance with an uncompromising commitment to quality. The Icon Wines are premium hand-crafted wines capturing the essence of each variety. The iconic Howard Park Abercombie Cabernet Sauvignon is rated Excellent in Langtons Classification of Australian Wine and the Howard Park Riesling is the fourth most collected Riesling in the world, in a survey conducted by WineArk.
The Lake House Denmark is a family owned cellar door, restaurant, function venue, gourmet food emporium and winery located in Denmark, Western Australia. The property is 91.5 acres and consists of 13 acres of established vineyards (planted in 1995) with varieties including Pinot Noir, Merlot, Chardonnay, Sauvignon Blanc, Semillon and Marsenne. They also lovingly produce an award winning gourmet range of chutneys, relishes, jams, sauces, mustards, jellies and sweet treats.
The Lake House Denmark has a strong passion for gourmet food and hand crafted premium wine and deeply care about the quality of the experience that customers encounter when visiting their cellar door and restaurant.
A pioneer vineyard planted by the Wood family in 1976 and now owned and run by the Stonehouse family. Tinglewood offers a selection of cold climate wines crafted from the estate grown Riesling, Shiraz and Cabernet. The vines are still hand-pruned, hand-picked and dry-grown to give the wine that special character.
This picturesque vineyard established by Russell and Linda Hubbard is situated 19kms along the scenic Scotsdale Road Tourist Route in Denmark. Its valley aspect with rich Karri loams and gravely soils combined with the north facing slopes of the Bennett Ranges makes this site an ideal location for growing cool climate wine grapes. The vineyard planting was completed in 2000 containing the varieties; Merlot, Riesling, Chardonnay and Pinot Noir.
The Hubbard’s believe there is middle ground between organic and contemporary viticultural practices. They prove that by combining both disciplines sensibly, they can produce stunning fruit. The combination of their passion, hard work and total commitment to viticultural excellence is evidenced by their ultra-premium Reserve Range of wines which are exceptional.
A winery based in Denmark receiving grapes from the notable Forest Hill vineyard near Mount Barker. Boutique wines from the oldest cool climate vineyard in Western Australia, 42 years of Riesling production.
Home to one of the Western Australian wine industry’s historic landmarks, the first cool climate WA vineyard, Forest Hill Vineyard, which was first planted with vines in 1965.
Mount Barker is known for its high quality wines, especially pure fruit driven Riesling and peppery Shiraz.
Frankland River is the coolest and most isolated wine-growing region in Western Australia. Over millions of years the Frankland River has cut through the region’s ancient surface rocks to create gravel-loam soils of moderate fertility that are ideal for growing grapes.
The river valley also has a crucial influence on the region’s climate. In winter and spring it sucks cold air down to the Southern Ocean during the night creating air circulation between land and sea that minimises the danger of vine-damaging frosts. In summer it funnels cool and humid air north from the ocean moderating the afternoon heat to provide a long, slow ripening period for grapes.
Frankland Estate – well regarded for it’s Riesling (now made in three very impressive single vineyard offerings; Isolation Ridge, Poison Hill and Netley Road) and a Bordeaux blend known as Olmo’s Reward, in recognition of the Californian professor who first suggested back in the 1950’s that the area would be suitable for viticulture.
Frankland Estate demonstrate with their 3 single vineyard Rieslings the unrivalled sensitivity of Riesling grapes to the environment in which they are grown enables them to transmit a sense of terroir into the bouquet and palate of a wine more distinctly than any other white wine variety. The 3 vineyards are all located within 25 km of each other close to the Frankland River. All benefit from the cool breezes off the Southern Ocean that flow up the river valley in summer moderating the afternoon heat, which provides long, slow ripening conditions for the grapes. In addition to growing in very similar climatic conditions, each of these wines is made by the same winemaking team at Frankland Estate. Yet despite having so much in common, they are each distinctively different and demonstrate the diversity of flavours and styles possible within the Riesling spectrum.
Alkoomi Wines – The name Alkoomi is taken from a local aboriginal dialect and translated means “a place we chose”. Alkoomi’s red wines enjoyed success early on and Alkoomi has continued to produce elegant Cabernet, Shiraz and Cabernet blends. The quality of Alkoomi Riesling has helped establish the reputation of Frankland River as one of the best areas for this variety in Australia and the Sauvignon Blanc is also regarded as one of the best in the country.
Porongurup boasts many small, family-owned wineries, where you can meet the people who grow the grapes. Porongurup is a distinct, cool climate sub-region of the Great Southern, renowned for its intense fruit flavours that make exemplary wines. The vineyards are located in spectacular mountain scenes.
The Porongurup Mountains are well known for their diverse range of flora, during spring they are covered in vibrant splashes of colour with Wattles, Southern Cross, Hoveas and 20 species of Orchids.
Castle Rock Estate – Named after a prominent nearby landmark, Castle Rock Estate is nestled high on the eastern end of the Porongurup Mountain range, giving it a unique aspect. The vineyard has a cool and elevated northerly aspect, resulting in intensely flavoured wines.
Walpole-Nornalup National Park – The Valley of the Giants Tree Top Walk features a stunning walkway positioned 40 metres above the ground amid the dizzying heights of the tingle forest canopy. Experience walking in the Tree Top canopies of tall karri trees with views over core wilderness and then venture into the Ancient Empire of 400 year old red tingle trees along a boardwalk that meanders across the forest floor.
The Walpole-Nornalup National Park is just 50km from Denmark, or if you are travelling from Albany it is nearly 120 km to the west, allow one and a half hours for this scenic drive.
A cosmopolitan city with plenty of charm, Perth has a typical Mediterranean climate with hot dry summers and mild wet winters. It is situated on the sunset coast of the Indian Ocean and blessed with superb white sandy beaches.
The gleaming skyscrapers of the CBD line the banks of the Swann River estuary, underlining a city of wealth made from the mining boom. To the west of the CBD lies Kings Park, 4 sq miles of parkland, which act as the city’s lungs. From here you will be given some of the best views of the city and the Swann River estuary.
Perth has a laid back café and pub culture, typified by it’s “Sunday sessions” where locals catch up with friends for lazy Sunday afternoons. Just north of the centre is lively Northbridge, full of restaurants, pavement cafes and entertainment venues, and frantically busy at weekends as a result.
The beaches out to the west coast are easily accessible from the city and provide welcome relief during the hot summers, with Cottesloe one of the most popular. The beachside city of Freemantle is not to be missed with its buzz of the cafes and markets.
City centre shopping is dominated by the vast, open-air, pedestrianized shopping precinct known as the Perth City Malls, which offers the usual modern retail experience along with some attractive, older arcades. Popular markets are also available in the trendy suburb of Subiaco at weekends and in Freemantle.
Fine dining can be found at the Opus Restaurant (at the Richardson Hotel) with its inventive cuisine from French origins and modern Australian fresh flavours. Alternatively for those looking for an authentic Italian restaurant we would recommend the family run Perugino’s in West Perth, or for a great lively wine bar with innovative modern cuisine try the Print Hall in St Georges Terrace.
Richardson Hotel & Spa
The Richardson is Perth’s leading five star boutique hotel. Spacious and elegant, the 74 rooms and suites at The Richardson provide luxury accommodation – ideally located within walking distance from Perth’s CBD, Kings Park & Botanical Garden and the cosmopolitan suburb of Subiaco. 2 & 3 bedroom suites are also available at this hotel, providing an ideal base for a family’s stay in Perth.
The highlights of a stay at The Richardson are the pampering ESPA treatments designed especially for The Spa and innovative dining in the celebrated Opus Restaurant. Opus is Perth’s most glamorous dining experience, expect inventive cuisine with French origins and modern Australian fresh flavours.
This modern and stylish 5* hotel has recently been renovated, earning it a World Luxury Hotel Awards Nominee in 2014. It is situated across the Swan River in Burswood (so a little out of the city, but handy for the airport), within the Crown Casino complex. Hence all the Crown Perth amenities including; casino, 9x restaurants, several bars & nightclub are all readily accessible.
We recommend a Spa room at this hotel, which will allow access to a lounge area on the 9th floor where complementary pre-dinner drinks and canapes are served.
Centred around Bunbury on the west coast, roughly 100 miles south of Perth, the Geographe wine region is a recommended stopping point on the drive south from Perth to Margaret River. It has 2 distinct areas of interest, the first being the coastal area between Bunbury and Busselton, which is dominated by Capel Vale’s large operation, and secondly the area inland around Donnybrook, with its cooler nights, small but dedicated producers and incredible hand crafted wines.
Capel Vale is a pioneer within Western Australia and amongst the first to be established with vines planted in 1974. The initial winery was built on the Stirling Estate in Capel in 1979 and was followed shortly thereafter with the first vintage produced in 1980. Capel Vale today have vineyards not only in the Geographe region, but also Margaret River, Pemberton & Mount Barker, and hence a very extensive range of wines from the whole of WA.
Today’s modern winery building has all the commercial facilities for the passing customer, including; cellar door, shop and restaurant with stunning views over the vines. The restaurant focuses on serving Match Plates, which specifically match their award winning wines. The Match Plates are designed to take you on an individual journey with each wine, with every specially selected item highlighting a different character in the wine. Open for lunch Thurs – Mon.
Known as the apple capital of the South West, Donnybrook is fast becoming recognised for its hidden depths of taste, texture & visual splendour and especially for the incredible array of individual wines which are winning critical acclaim.
Set in a backdrop of seasonal displays such as spectacular spring blossoms, splendid displays of wildflowers, lush native forests & extraordinary autumn overtures, Donnybrook hosts a smorgasbord of colours, flavours, textures and unique boutique wineries.
A small, family-run vineyard located near Donnybrook in the Geographe region of South West Western Australia. In 2002 they planted six Spanish and Portuguese wine grape varieties to trial how they would grow in their region. The varieties have thrived and in November 2010 they won a gold medal for their Tempranillo in the Australian Alternative Varieties Wine Show. Their plantings have been inspired by the fantastic wines of Rioja and the Douro Valley. Their ambition is to produce an Australian translation of these Old World heritage varieties.
This boutique vineyard evolved from a dream to grow and market marron (pictured) into a contract wine growing yard, which then saw the potential of its superior Zinfandel grape as its premium flagship wine. They also make a rose from the Zinfandel and a highly awarded Cabernet Sauvignon called Rob’s Block. Cellar door & restuarant open Fri-Sun 10am-4pm.
A boutique winery, with limited production and an emphasis on making premium quality wines. This estate was originally apple and stone fruit orchards before its potential for producing premium wines was realised by the present owners, Wayne and Ria Hammond, in 1997. Today the property supports the winery and cellar door, vineyard, a plantation of sustainable blue gum trees, and beef cattle.
The vines were first planted in 1997 on mostly light gravel over loam soils, and the first commercial vintage occurred in 2002. Since 2003 they have consistently won awards at the Geographe Wine Show for their wines, including; Best Red Varietal for their Reserve Merlot and Best Wine in Show for their Unwooded Chardonnay.
Most of their grapes are grown on the cool summer slopes of the Capel River in the district of Paynedale, near Donnybrook, but they also source other grapes from the Geographe and Swan Valley regions of Western Australia.