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Wine

The Best Margaret River Wineries & Cellar Doors 2019

Located around three hours' drive south of Perth, Margaret River is not the easiest Australian wine region to access, although it's absolutely worth the journey. Combining two of our favourite pastimes – wine tasting and surf - Margaret River offers over 200 world-class wineries and hundreds of kilometres of explorable pristine coast. It's the type of place that warrants repeat visits. 

Margaret River has a Mediterranean-style climate that doesn't experience extreme temperatures during summer and winter, ensuring superb growing conditions. Paired with the expert winemaking practices, what you have is an abundance of wineries producing consistently high-quality fruit, resulting in many award-winning wines.

Principal grape varieties are closely split between red and white, with Shiraz, Cabernet Sauvignon, Chardonnay and more of your favourites produced within the region.  

To help plan your trip to the internationally-renowned Margaret River, we've curated a selection of wineries that deliver the best cellar door experience.

Swings & Roundabouts Cellar Door and Taphouse

Swings & Roundabouts blends modern décor and traditional cuisine. Stunning views of the winery complement the cellar door tasting experience. From Margaret River favourites to Western Australian blends, there's something here to suit every palate. 

The good times continue back in the heart of Margaret River at the Swings & Roundabouts Taphouse. Sunday sessions, dinner dates, family events and evening drinks. It's the same great wine with the added benefit of being located closer to your accommodation.

Cellar Door 

2807 Caves Road, Yallingup

They are currently closed for renovations.

Tap House

85 Bussel Hwy, Margaret River

Open Monday - Thursday 3pm – 9pm, Friday - Sunday 11am – to late

Visit the Swings & Roundabouts website

Hay Shed Hill

Hay Shed Hill is situated on one of Margaret River's oldest vineyards, and the cellar door has an extensive range of over 25 wines for tasting. Try the Cabernet Sauvignon, Spanish Tempranillo or sample something extra special from the rare museum release collection. 

For dining, a six-course tapas degustation menu at Rustico is matched with premium Hay Shed Hill wines for what is bound to be a delectable feast. Also, the winery serves pizzas and possesses what could be the largest collection of European cheeses in Margaret River. 

511 Harmans Mill Road, Wilyabrup

Open daily from 10am till 5pm

Visit the Hay Shed Hill website

Howard Park

Less than five minutes' drive from the beach, Howard Park winery is the perfect place to unwind after an early morning surf or swim. The award-winning architecture that houses the cellar door comes from a Feng Shui expert known for designing traditional temples across China.

Here, you'll have the unique opportunity to sample handcrafted wines produced from quality, locally-grown fruit. The nearby Wine Chapel is where happy couples go to tie the knot, and it’s also a high-end tasting room perfect for private functions.

543 Miamup Road, Margaret River

Open daily 10am to 5pm

Visit the Howard Park website

Hamelin Bay Wines

Close to the summer activities of coastal Augusta, the multiple trophy-winning Hamelin Bay Wines is surrounded by stunning vistas of the Five Ashes Vineyard, Rusty Valley and forest of tall Marri and Karri trees. It's the sort of place you will want to linger following wine tastings at the cellar door. Thanks to alfresco dining at the winery restaurant, it's possible to do just that. 

199 McDonald Road, Karridale

Cellar Door

Open daily from 10am to 4:45pm

Restaurant 

Open daily from 12pm to 3pm

Visit the Hamelin Bay Wines website

Redgate Wines

Back in 1977, the Margaret River locals were finding it near impossible to source a drink. So, farmer Bill Ullinger began secretly producing illegal moonshine on his property. Those in the know would visit the infamous farm identified by its distinctly-coloured entrance to ask if there was any 'red gate' available.  

Today, the highly awarded and very legal operation produces Shiraz, Chardonnay and Sauvignon Blanc among other wines which can be sampled at the cellar door. The picturesque vineyard is also a popular venue for weddings and events. 

659 Boodjidup Road, Margaret River

Open daily from 10am to 4:30pm

Visit the Redgate Wines website

Credaro Wines

Nestled on the ridge of Yallingup and only 10 minutes from the coastal town of Dunsborough, the Credaro Estate Tuscan-style cellar door is the perfect place to immerse yourself in the 90-year history of the winery and to taste its premium range of award-winning wines. Pack a picnic lunch and dine on the surrounding terrace while enjoying any cellar door purchases. You might even catch the highlights of a Mediterranean-style wedding.

2715 Caves Road, Yallingup

Open daily from 10:30am to 5pm

Visit the Credaro Wines website

Vasse Felix

Perched beside Margaret River's oldest vineyard, Vasse Felix offers wine lovers an elegant selection of entertainment. The cellar door and tasting room take care of the wine. The art gallery and wine museum instil a sense of local culture, and the acclaimed restaurant showcases the best regional, seasonal produce to complement the wine over a long lunch.

Cnr Caves Road and Tom Cullity Drive, Margaret River

Cellar Door

Open daily 10am to 5pm

Restaurant 

Open daily 12pm to 3pm 

Visit the Vasse Felix website

Voyager Estate

The Dutch farmsteads of South African settlers inspired the design of Voyager Estate's stunning cellar door and surrounding gardens. Once you've taken in this unique scenery, head inside and take a "Wine Flight" of the Estate's suggested wines, or create your own and sample some of the aged and limited releases. Be sure to reserve a table at the Voyager restaurant to experience the 7-course Discovery Menu curated by 2018 Regional Chef of the Year Santiago Fernandez. Up to 90% of the produce is grown on-site within the kitchen's garden.

41 Stevens Road, Margaret River

Cellar Door

Open daily 10am to 5pm

Restaurant

Open daily 11:30am to 2:30pm

Visit the Voyager Estate website

Arimia

Tucked away within a quiet bushland setting, Arimia is a boutique winery in Margaret River's famed Wilyabrup region and home to a cellar door, restaurant and guesthouse.

There's a great range of wines available for tasting including both Margaret River classics and distinct styles like Mourvedre and Zinfandel. The restaurant serves seasonal dishes with many ingredients, including pork, olives and honey sourced from the property itself. The self-contained guesthouse offers a unique family or couple's escape.

242 Quininup Road, Wilyabrup

Open Thursday to Monday 10am to 5pm

Visit the Arimia website

Juniper Estate

Enjoying a picturesque location surrounded by rolling hills and vineyards, Juniper Estate is home to a welcoming cellar door that features both unique wines and a museum room where vintages may be purchased then enjoyed outside on the grass beside Wilyabrup Creek. The relaxed and friendly staff are more than happy to pass on recommendations regarding accommodation and dining within the region and were recently awarded ‘Best Large Cellar Door in Margaret River’ in the 2019 Gourmet Traveller Wine Awards.

98 Tom Cullity Drive, Cowaramup

Open daily 10am to 5pm 

Visit the Juniper Estate website

For more great cellar door and winery guides, head to our 'Wine Regions' section!

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Wine
Cycling the Clare Valley Riesling Trail
Words by Elliot Watt on 6 Nov 2017
Discover the fun of cycling the Clare Valley Riesling Trail with Wine Selectors Membership Consultant, Elliot Watt, as he shares all his tips for touring through this spectacular wine region . Exercise and wine don’t usually go together, but, when you think about it, it's actually a genius combination. You are essentially cancelling out the damage done by one with the other. Well, in theory, anyway. Now a word of warning. We’re in no way suggesting you empty a bottle of wine into your drink bottle and hit the gym. There are far more attractive and much more appropriate places to achieve this symbiotic activity. A leisurely two-hour drive north of Adelaide will see you in Australia’s epicentre for Riesling , the Clare Valley, where you’ll find the Riesling Trail. This 35-kilometre-long cycling and walking track follows the path of the old rail line that sliced through the hills before it was irreparably damaged by the 1983 Ash Wednesday Bushfires. Today, the trail takes you past some of the region’s finest Riesling producers, so get ready to sip, sweat and cycle your way through the Clare Valley.  Clare
It all begins with a visit to the Riesling Trail Bike Hire to collect your trusty steed. Kent will size you up with the perfect bike and give you the local lowdown on the trail. Once in the saddle, an easy 12-minute ride north on the trail will take you to your first destination, Knappstein Enterprises Winery and Brewery . Originally established as the Enterprises Brewery in 1878, the current winery was installed by Clare Valley icon Tim Knappstein in the late 1960s. In 2006, 89 years after the original taps went dry, the brewing of beer started up once again in this heritage building. For Riesling lovers, definitely look to the Single Vineyard range, which is a perfect expression of the diversity in Clare Riesling. However, if you prefer a beer, then the delicious Knappstein Reserve Larger will quench your thirst and replenish the tank for the next leg of the journey.  Sevenhill and Penworth
Now you need to put in some hard yards and work off that wine and/or beer. Head south, 6km from Clare, and you’ll arrive in Sevenhill where it’s time to take a detour. John Horrocks Road is off the trail and runs through some seriously beautiful countryside, which will take your mind off the fact your legs are on fire. More importantly, it leads you to one of the jewels of the Clare Valley, Mitchell Wines . Andrew and Jane Mitchell established their winery in 1975 and have created something really special, showcasing a true Australian family-owned and run winery. On arrival, Jane welcomes you like you’re one of the family and you can tell her and Andrew are proud of their wines and vineyards and so they should be. Within their quaint cellar door, they present stunning single vineyard Rieslings, as well as Shiraz, Cabernet Sauvignon and Semillon. Now, it’s awfully hard to transport wine on a bike, trust me, I ride to work at Wine Selectors and constantly attempt to juggle wines home. However, not to worry, Jane will personally deliver any purchases direct to your accommodation that very same day.  Watervale
Departing Mitchell Wines, with a few more turns of the cog, you’ll be off the detour and back on the trail. This is where things start to go downhill, literally, not figuratively, as you’re now over the incline and can give the legs a rest as you glide through the rolling hills towards Watervale. As soon as you arrive, it’s essential to restore your energy with some carb loading and there’s no better place to do so than the Watervale General Store . It’s one of those charming country icons that is part café, part grocery store, part post office. The food is simple and delicious, but heed my warning, it's not wise to consume a full pizza and then carry on the trail as if you are riding in Le Tour De France. That pizza will come back to haunt you. Leasingham
With a full stomach and renewed energy, it shouldn’t take long to reach the next town of Leasingham and the home of Claymore Wines . Here you can wash down lunch with a glass of Dark Side of The Moon or Bittersweet Symphony . No idea what I’m talking about? Cleverly, the majority of their wines are labelled after hit songs from a bygone era . However, there are no gimmicks when it comes to the wines with some seriously good juice going on here. Sing your way through the range, find your favourite and sit down with a glass accompanied by a board of local South Australian Cheese. For a second in time, you will completely forget about your aching muscles and the fact you still have to ride home.  The Riesling Trail comes to an end a further five clicks south at the town of Auburn. Unfortunately, I cannot tell the tale of Auburn as Leasingham is as far as my legs would carry me. Some say, namely my wife, it was the pizza that lead to my ultimate demise however that’s neither here nor there.  Now begins the journey home, although it's not over yet. As any good bicycle wine tour strategist knows, you’re going to get thirsty, so Stone Bridge in Sevenhill is the perfect rehydration stop. Crafting not only exceptional Riesling but another 14 wines from 7 different grape varieties, Stone Bridge has something to quench any thirst. The aftermath Once off the bike if you stop moving things begin to hurt, the wine wears off and the lactic acid sets in. The only solution is to manoeuvre yourself directly to Seed Winehouse and Kitchen in Clare . Immersed in the simplistic stone and natural timber of the old chaff mill, you begin to imagine you are somewhere in rural Italy about to dine on local rustic cuisine. However, Head Chef Guy Parkinson is no Nonna, he may be better. Offering sophisticated A la Carte and degustation options, the menu highlights local produce with a wine list to reflect. Nearly 200 local and international wines will make the decision hard, add in 47 Gin choices and the mind begins to boggle. Whatever your decision there is no doubt any indulgence is guilt free. You have literally burned off three Big Macs during the ride so sit back, reward yourself and reflect on the beauty of the Clare Valley and the amazing wines it has to offer. Your Quick Guide to the Clare Valley Riesling Trail Wineries Knappstein Enterprises Winery and Brewery Mitchell Wines Claymore Wines Stone Bridge Restaurant Seed Winehouse and Kitchen in Clare Watervale General Store Bike Hire Riesling Trail Bike Hire
Wine
Fruits of the Forest
The produce of Western Australia’s Southern Forests is world renowned, the wines of the region are starting to follow suit. It’s hard not to be intoxicated by the Southern Forests region, with its towering forests, cascading waterways, sprawling valleys dotted with vineyards and orchards quilted with blossoming fruit trees. This special place is a leisurely three-hour drive from Perth and winds through some of the most fertile land in the world – home to a tapestry of fresh produce. While this quintessentially Australian landscape was historically timber-milling and tobacco country, today it is Western Australia’s third largest wine region – and one of the nation’s richest agricultural districts. Situated in the lower south west corner of WA, the Southern Forests has over 80,000 hectares of prime agricultural land and includes the Manjimup , Pemberton and Great Southern Geographical Indications (GIs). With its high altitude, cool climate and rich, loamy karri soils, the region is suited to the production of Burgundy-style wines with Pinot Noir and Chardonnay simply thriving in this lush environment. More recently, Sauvignon Blanc, Semillon, Verdelho, Riesling, Shiraz and Cabernet Franc have also emerged as important varieties. And with Margaret River as its neighbour, it is not surprising that this district is forging a solid reputation for its premium cool climate wines to match its world-class produce. The Southern Forests’ reputation as a top culinary tourism destination has grown exponentially since the introduction of the Genuinely Southern Forests campaign and now the vignerons want their wines to share that international platform. As a result, the Manjimup and Pemberton wine associations are in the process of amalgamating to create a unified brand to further promote their wines to the world. If approved, it will be known as the Wine Industry of the Southern Forests. “This move will allow us to operate more efficiently in association with the Southern Forests Food Council (SFFC) and effectively benefit all of the membership with the administration and distribution of funds from the recently established Agricultural Produce Commission,” says Mark Aitken of Woodgate Estate. “For WA to be acknowledged as one of the premier wine growing regions in the world, it needs a critical mass of strong regional brands each with a unique identity in the same way the rest of the great wine regions of the world now operate.” According to Vic Peos from Peos Estate, this move will allow Southern Forests winemakers to achieve this recognition and continue evolving their styles in the international domain. “We aim to grow the value of agriculture and give educational opportunities to future generations so they can live, work and have a quality lifestyle within the area. This will also create vibrancy and jobs within the community,” he says. While the Peos family have been in the region for 80 years, it wasn’t until 1996 that Vic and his three brothers created Peos Estate as a legacy to their late father and grandfather who cultivated grapes in Macedonia a century ago before migrating to Manjimup in the 1950s. Over the years, the Peos family has farmed dairy cattle, potatoes, cauliflowers and beans so it was no great leap for their farming pedigree to be put to use to cultivate wine grapes. “Manjimup is one of the coolest regions in WA which allows for distinctive fruit flavours to be enhanced and the sustained ripening period gives some varieties the ability to age and slowly mature. “Our single vineyard Shiraz is a perfect example of this with its medium-bodied, savoury and complex flavours which are powerful, yet elegant. It is also a great match with food to give you a wonderful culinary experience,” explains Vic. Epicurean Delights To say these vignerons are spoilt for choice when it comes to food matching selections to pair with their wines is a huge understatement. It is a melting pot of flavours here with these privileged winemakers having a bountiful choice of seafood, dairy, meat, fruit and vegetables at their fingertips to enhance the gastronomic journey. Silkwood Wines is one such establishment that has opened a restaurant at its cellar door, showcasing its range of wines and locally harvested produce. All it takes is one afternoon of sitting on the deck overlooking the lake whilst enjoying a glass of their vibrantly fresh Sauvignon Blanc and a tasting plate to become immersed in this region. At Chestnut Grove, winemaker David Dowden is undertaking wild ferments with his Chardonnays and Pinot Noirs to create an extra layer of complexity, texture and finesse in his wine stable. And not content with wine production alone, the winery is now making a verjuice from its deliciously fruity Verdelho, as well as an extra virgin olive oil. Whilst most produce will flourish in this fertile land, Monica Radomiljac from Pemberley of Pemberton, says living in ‘karri country’ can be challenging. “The soil here is too good and too rich. In order to prevent the vines from growing as huge as their famous neighbours, the karri trees, we have to stress the plants using techniques such as minimal or no irrigation and hard pruning,” says Monica. “This results in grapes that are vibrant with flavours and alive with freshness when they are harvested for crushing from February to April each year.” Living in Harmony This symbiotic relationship between the soils and vines extends to something devilishly smelly that also grows here and has gourmands around the world salivating for its pungent, earthy flavours. I am referring to the elusive black Perigord truffle that originated in France and has now, somewhat surprisingly, found a new home in Manjimup. So firmly are their spores entrenched in these soils that the Truffle and Wine Co. is now the largest producer of black truffles in the world. The marriage of food and wine is such an intrinsic part of any culinary journey and it is at this trufferie where you can experience a truffle and wine degustation lunch with a range of wines that have been specifically created to enhance your truffle experience. “The fresh produce is a result of committed farming families who aren’t afraid to push the boundaries,” says the Truffle & Wine Co.’s Amber Atkinson. “A prime example is the new Bravo apple. Research, development and thinking outside the square led to the introduction of truffles to Manjimup. Wine production is no different and wineries from this region continue to gain momentum, which is reflected by wine show accolades across the country.” As I leave the truffles in my wake, I pass many roadside stalls and open farm gates. There are native finger limes, apples, chestnuts, berries, stone fruit, avocados, cherries, brassica beef, dairy, potatoes, broccoli and cauliflower, to name but a few. You can even throw a fishing line in the river for trout and, at certain times of the year, you can snare freshwater marron, endemic to this wonderful region, from one of its many watercourses. “We aim to celebrate the people, place and produce by creating exceptional culinary experiences,” says Southern Forests Food Council GM, Jayme Hatcher. “This pristine part of the world still remains relatively undiscovered with its complementary offering of produce and wines, which makes this region a genuine foodie’s dream.”
Wine
Behind The Vine At Helen's Hill
To celebrate the  Helen's Hill Ingram Road Pinot Noir 2015  being our April Wine of the Month, we caught up with Allan Nalder from  Helen's Hill . What makes the Ingram Road 2015 Pinot Noir so appealing? To answer that I need to take a step back. All of our wines are 100% single vineyard and are all made at my winery. Only fruit that we grow on our vineyard goes into the wines that we make. It's not that we don't trust anyone, it's just that we don't trust anyone. We think this is super important. Come visit and I can take you to the very vines that make the wine you are going to enjoy. Call us "control freaks". I'll take it as a compliment. The  Ingram Rd 2015 Pinot Noir  benefits greatly from this approach. Pristine  Yarra Valley  single vineyard fruit, French oak maturation, careful "hands-off" winemaking and a great vintage all combine to produce a wine that expresses hallmark  Pinot Noir  characteristics. And its price point is extremely compelling. You have over 50 acres of Pinot Noir, what makes you so enthusiastic about this often-difficult grape? You're right, Pinot Noir is a difficult grape to grow and can really only grow well in specific, little tucked away corners of the world. The Yarra Valley, and the little patch of dirt I call home, is one of those places. It also helps to be a bit of a Pinot Noir fanatic. To me, it is one of the most remarkable red wines in the world. I once saw a quote about Pinot Noir growers from a wine writer: "its makers are lunatic-fringe, questers after the holy grail…" - Marc de Villiers wine writer. We fit that mould. Who is the Helen of the hill? We bought the property from Mr. Fraser in the mid 90s. He had owned the pasture land from the early 1950s. The reason he bought the land was because he fell in love with a woman called Helen, who wouldn't marry him unless he owned a farm. True love prevailed and he bought the farm. Sadly, Helen passed away some 6-7 years after their marriage. Mr Fraser never re-married and throughout the property inspection, he recalled many stories of Helen and her time there. From his stories, it was obvious that she had a passion for the land. We share that passion and thought it appropriate to name the vineyard after her. What makes Scott McCarthy a standout winemaker? To be blunt, the fruit. We live by the very old, well used, but absolutely true saying: "great wine is made in the vineyard". The most important decision we make in the winery is deciding when to pick the fruit. The rest of the process is relatively simple. Pristine quality fruit allows us to rely on natural fermentation, minimal filtering and minimal winemaking intervention. Our ethos is not to describe "perfection" as when there is nothing left to add, but rather, when there is nothing left to take away. We feel this is the key to winemaking. Ensure that we do as little as possible so we can deliver mother nature in the bottle. You also  make a range of beers  - why did you decide to go into brewing and what do you think makes a top beer? It gets pretty hot and sweaty picking grapes. Added to that, I ain't getting any younger, so after a big day in the fields a nice, cold craft beer is a perfect tonic. As winemakers and vignerons go, we drink a lot of beer, so it wasn't that hard to come up with the idea of brewing our own. Getting the recipe right, the choice of hops and quality malt is critical and keeping the fermentation process under control. The rest depends on what you like. We serve our brews at Cellar Door and luckily our customers reckon they're pretty tasty. What are the top 3 attractions you'd recommend to a first-time Yarra Valley visitor? The great thing about the Yarra Valley is the diversity. You can visit the  YV Dairy  and sample a variety of cheese, the Chocolate Factory, world class art museum, on-farm produce stores for things such as apples, strawberries, etc, 6 top golf courses, mountain biking, bush trails, historic buildings, micro breweries, gin distillery and of course the odd cellar door and vineyard restaurant. The valley really has a huge range of things to do. Obviously, a great place to start is Helen's Hill. Full al-carte restaurant on top of the hill with sensational views or our Cellar Door and casual dining nestled down in the winery amongst the vines.
Two Blues Sauvignon Blanc 2014
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