Despite being renowned for unspoiled coastlines, a spectacular inland river, migrating whales from June to November, and some of the finest cuisine on offer, it’s the award-winning vineyards of the Perth and Margaret River region that steal the spotlight from what is already a very full itinerary. With Cabernet Sauvignon, Chardonnay, Shiraz, and Semillon vintages that rival the best in the world, no trip to the region is complete without a visit to these magical wine producers.
With over two hundred wineries in Margaret River alone and so many different experiences to be had – from cellar door tastings to behind-the-scenes tours and all-out degustation menus – narrowing it down to just ten is no mean feat. However, if you add these to your itinerary, you won’t be disappointed. Here’s where to swill and sip with the best:
Established in 1967, Vasse Felix is considered the matriarch of Margaret River wineries, and it’s a matriarch that has aged gracefully. With world-class Cabernet Sauvignon and Chardonnay on offer, a stunning cellar door, a contemporary art gallery, and a much-lauded restaurant on site, it’s easy to while away a sunny afternoon at the region’s oldest vineyard.
Source: Vasse Felix
This charming Spanish-style estate features good wine, a barrel room for private tastings, delectable antipasti platters, and a dose of swank like no other vineyard on the shores of the Margaret River. Cherubino started from humble beginnings – releasing their first wine from a spare room in 2005 – to a winery offering multiple ranges praised by respected wine critics James Halliday and Matt Skinner.
As another one of the founding estates of the Margaret River, Moss Wood is a must-visit for wine aficionados. Owners Clare and Keith Mugford have been with Moss Wood since the early 80s, and welcome members only to the winery for an unhurried, personalised private estate tour and tasting experience that is unique to Moss Wood. It’s free to become a member, and you’ll get other benefits like discounted online wine purchases and delivery. Sign up here and reap the rewards!
One of Australia’s most recognised wineries, this powerhouse multi-generational operation is so much more than just a winery. With a cellar door, art gallery, and fine dining restaurant on-site, Leeuwin is also the home of regular alfresco concerts, (local guidelines permitting) and has even drawn a swag of A-list artists such as Sting, James Taylor, and Carole King. Famous for the Leeuwin Estate Art Series Chardonnay, international accolades have led to Leeuwin now being exported to 30 markets around the world – sample it for yourself on one of their famous Art Series Chardonnay Tasting Flights.
Source: Perkins Builders
Quickly becoming a not-so-secret gem of the Margaret River region, it’s the relaxed and unpretentious atmosphere of boutique, sustainability-focussed winery Arimia that gives it a unique charm. With a spectacular bushland setting, this off-the-grid property walks the sustainability talk with organic certification and a restaurant serviced by produce sourced on the property or from local producers. Best of all, you can stay a while at their Guest House – beautifully located in the heart of the vineyard overlooking the Indian Ocean.
Take a moment out from the mass-produced and visit Mandoon Estate for a ‘made from scratch’ experience. From the winemakers to the brewers and chefs on-site, Mandoon Estate is a small village of makers and doers that truly delight in their craft. With a sleek cellar door, the Wild Swan restaurant, a casual bite at the Homestead Brewery, or a riverside picnic on The Llawn all on hand, you’d be wise to book one of the luxurious rooms at The Colony so you can experience it all!
Olive Farm Wines
This award-winning cellar door run by fourth-generation winemaker Anthony Yurisich features a diverse range of over forty premium wines available for tasting. Whether you choose a simple tasting or a tour and taste experience, the knowledgeable team will have you swilling like a connoisseur.
Source: Olive Farm Wines
As down to earth as they come, Lancaster Wines is unbeatable for a tasting experience that is light on the ceremony and pomp. Their high-end wines are served up within the walls of a rustic tin shed, which sets the tone for an experience that is firmly focussed on flavour. But don’t be fooled by the tale of the tin shed – Lancaster Wines also features in Vogue Australia’s 15 most beautiful wineries in Australia. A visit to Lancaster isn’t complete without sampling their extra special dessert wines – be warned, it’s hard to leave without a bottle or two!
Promising the perfect family-friendly day out, Oakover Grounds has it all in one location – award-winning wines, artisan coffee roasted onsite, relaxed dining, and plenty of activities like fishing and paddle boating to keep the kids entertained. With sprawling grounds and lush lawns, cricket and croquet beckon, as does lazing under one of the many huge shady trees.
Dubbed as the best Australian winery within 30 minutes of a capital city, since opening in 1840, Sandalford has upheld its reputation for putting the Swan Valley wine region on the map. It’s a large winery located in a beautiful setting – making it the perfect place for lunch under a leafy canopy of ancient vines. If you want to do more than sip fine wines over lunch, book a tour for some more educated wine appreciation.
Source: Sandalford Wines
Worried you can’t fit all the wine tasting in? To sample the best of the region, mark the Unwined Subiaco in your diary for later this year. Taking place from 14 – 23 October 2022 (restrictions permitting), the festival showcases over 250 wines from more than thirty-five wineries, combined with local beers and spirits, live music, and amazing food.
What about wine-free moments?
While wine shines in Margaret River and Perth’s surrounds, the region has plenty of other activities on offer to curate a fun, diverse getaway. There’s the famous Margaret River Farmers Market every Saturday, epic surf spots suitable for beginners to salty shredders, Sunflower Animal Farm with over 350 farm animals to feed and pat, snorkelling at Perth’s shore-based shipwreck Omeo, or out of this world chocolate to sample at The Margaret River Chocolate Co. For more itinerary inspiration, check out 50 of the best things to do in Margaret River and The bucket list – 50 of the things to do around Perth before you die.
Remember to check with the Health Authority in your state or territory before planning any travel locally or interstate. COVID restrictions may impact your travel plans and we always recommend putting your health and the health and safety of our communities first.