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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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Coonawarra - the Cult of Consistency
Words by Nick Ryan on 29 Sep 2017
While other Australian regions may have caught up to Coonawarra in the red wine stakes, the commitment of this region’s passionate locals will see it shine well into the future. Coonawarra is an enigma wrapped in a red dirt riddle. We all think we know Coonawarra because it seems like it’s always been there. When you set out on the journey to discover Australian wine, Coonawarra Cabernet Sauvignon is one of the first checkpoints you reach, a foundation stone for building an understanding of what this country can do with its vineyards. But does familiarity breed contempt? And where do the classics sit when the market seems obsessed with the cool cutting edge? Is it enough to continually do a few things well when the consumer has the all the loyalty of a stray cat and the attention span of a goldfish? Is Coonawarra’s glorious past impeding the region’s push into a bright future? A famously close-knit community
Coonawarra is a place where many of the names on the bottles have been there for generations. While its biggest players are corporate, Wynns most notably, the majority of producers are family owned, including names like Balnaves and Bowen Estate. Vineyards are tightly held and rarely change hands and its comparatively small size – just 5,500 ha – ensures the region’s prized fruit is all taken up by those domiciled there and virtually nothing is available for winemakers from other regions to have a crack at making Coonawarra wine seen through outsider eyes. There are obviously benefits in a strong sense of community. “There’s certainly a combined sense of purpose,” says Peter Bissell from Balnaves, a transplanted Kiwi and relative newcomer, having arrived in Coonawarra in 1989. “There’s also a long collective memory of winemaking traditions going back to the 1950s and beyond, that gives us as winemakers a real sense of carrying on something important.” Dan Redman is as Coonawarra as they come, having joined the family business exactly a hundred years after his great-grandfather made his first wine from grapes grown in the famed terra rossa soil. It’s been his nursery, his playground, his backyard, his home. “To me, this community is a source of great friendships and some pretty good times with people I’ve known all my life,” he says. “One of the real strengths of this place is the shared common goal we all have to promote Coonawarra. There’s a united front when any of us talk about the region.” But Redman is not totally blinkered. “It’s probably fair to say that some of the ideas and thinking from the wider wine world might take a bit longer to get here than some other places,” he admits.
That’s pretty understandable in a way. You can’t talk about Coonawarra without considering its physical isolation. It’s halfway between Adelaide and Melbourne, but not on the direct route to either. New blood flows through Coonawarra the way it does through a statue. Kate Goodman is uniquely placed to comment on the region’s uniquely singular focus. She makes wine under her own label in the Yarra Valley and was appointed consultant winemaker at Coonawarra’s Penley Estate a couple of years ago. “The Yarra is vast with a huge diversity of sites, while  Coonawarra is a small area with a tight focus on carefully defined vineyards,” she says. “I’m not saying one is better than the other, I’m just saying the diversity of the Yarra’s landscape lends itself more easily to a diversity of winemaking approaches.” Goodman relishes the opportunities Coonawarra presents, and has quickly learned what makes the place special. “Dear God, the fruit this place can produce is just bloody sensational,” she says. Evolution, not Revolution
​ It would be wrong to see Coonawarra as a wine region trapped in amber. There has been significant change over the last decade, but those changes have been subtle and have taken place within the well-established framework of the classic Coonawarra style. Most notable of these has been the widespread reworking of the region’s vineyards, a sustained exploration of how best to manage its most valuable assets with fruit quality the singular aim. This focus certainly underpins winemaker John Innes’ philosophy and, he says, he spends time in his vineyard, “continually tasting the fruit for optimal flavour and textural ripeness.” The minimal pruning regimes that dominated the region in the 1980s have given way to practices more conducive to vine health and various flirtations with both over and under ripeness have given way to a more comfortable middle ground. A wider clonal mix is now present in the region’s vineyards, offering new angles from which to view the Coonawarra Cabernet picture we think we know so well. Coonawarra has so far been immune from invasion by hipsters who harvest while howling at the moon, so remains untouched by the outer extremes of winemaking methodology, but that doesn’t mean the place is all ‘set and forget’ when it comes to winemaking approach. But it’s all about refinement rather than re-invention. Concrete fermenters are back in vogue, larger format oak and softer fruit handling are helping shape red wines that are more medium-bodied and supple, yet still retain the region’s famed capacity for ageing. Nick Zema explains it best. “We’re always looking to improve, but we never forget what this place has always done best,” he says. “You can go chasing market trends and change up everything you do, but by the time those changes come through to the wine in the bottle, the market’s moved on and you’re just chasing your tail. When you’ve got something that’s considered a classic, you just keep polishing it.” Looking into the future
So where does the famed terra rossa fit in the Australian landscape? The status Coonawarra once had as arguably Australia’s finest red wine region has slipped – more through the competition catching up than Coonawarra going backwards – but the core of what has made this place great remains and, if anything, the future looks brighter now than it has for a long time. Coonawarra’s biggest challenge is making the market fall in love with Cabernet again, and with the ongoing refinement of the style – small, considered steps rather than radical reinvention – the region’s winemakers are set to take that challenge on. Once that’s been done, the story of the region’s outstanding Shiraz, hugely underrated Chardonnay, and affinity with other members of the Bordeaux brotherhood like Cabernet Franc can be told, too. It will always be a place of traditions and tightly woven community ties and may that always be the case. In a world that flutters on the fickle winds of fashion, some certainty, classicism and Cabernet Sauvignon can prove to be welcome respite.
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Top Adelaide Hills Wineries and Cellar Doors
The stunning Adelaide Hills region sits in the centre of South Australia’s famous wine growing regions, located only a short drive from the city of Adelaide. Famed for its premium cool climate wines, especially its distinct take on Sauvignon Blanc and Chardonnay, the Adelaide Hills region is winning awards at a record rate. One of the largest geographic wine growing regions in Australia, there are over 90 wine labels and 48 cellar doors to choose from. Go for lunch or stay for the whole weekend, our cellar door guide will help you to get the most of your next visit to this spectacular wine lovers and foodie haven. Mt Lofty Ranges Vineyard The Mt Lofty Ranges 5-star Cellar Door and chef hatted restaurant are set at the one of the highest points in the Adelaide Hills. 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Sample delicious cool climate varieties, considered among the best single estate wines in Australia, while seated at Geoff’s wooden tasting bench, hand-crafted from 400-year-old red gum. For an extra special tasting experience stay on to try a selection of the museum or reserve stock for a small fee that is redeemable on any purchase. 159 Tynan Rd, Kuitpo Open daily 11am to 5pm Visit the Wines by Geoff Hardy website Shaw + Smith Shaw + Smith specialise in growing and perfecting the classic varieties that the Adelaide Hills region is known for: Sauvignon Blanc, Riesling, Chardonnay, Pinot Noir and Shiraz. Grandiose in size and sleek in style, the modern tasting room operates like a restaurant, with table service and guided wine flight and cheese options starting at $20 per head. Lunch is available on Fridays only where groups are treated to a selection of wines matched with a delicious meal, and a ‘behind the scenes’ tour of the impressive vineyard. 136 Jones Road, Balhannah Open daily 11am to 5pm Visit the Shaw + Smith websit e The Lane Vineyard With magnificent views across the vineyard from the bright and stylishly modern tasting room, the Lane’s knowledgeable and friendly staff are on hand for table service style wine tastings. Wine flight options start at $5 for simple wine-only selections, or $20 for options that include wines paired with delicious treats from executive chef James Brinklow. For those in need of more than a bite-sized snack, enjoy a leisurely lunch paired with wines from the same single estate vineyard you can admire from the comfort of the beautiful restaurant. 5 Ravenswood Lane, Hahndorf Open daily 10am to 4pm Visit The Lane Vineyard website Howard Vineyard The beauty of the gum trees, terraced lawns and rolling vines that surround the family-owned Howard Vineyard impress visitors before they even sample the award-winning wines. Try cool climate Cabernet Francs, Sauvignon Blancs, Pinot Gris and Sparkling wines before settling in beside the roaring fire with your favourite glass. Active guests can take a walk around the manicured gardens or play a spot of croquet on the lawn. The family friendly Clover + Stone restaurant is open from Wednesday – Friday, with a special set menu on offer for Sunday lunch.  Head Chef and former MasterChef contestant, Heather Day creates a fantastic South-East Asian inspired menu, perfectly complementing Howard Vineyard’s best wines. Lot 1, 53 Bald Hills Road, Nairne Open Wednesday to Sunday 10am to 5pm Visit the Howard Vineyard website Bird in Hand Visit the Bird in Hand winery to taste some of the very best wines South Australia has to offer while dining at award-winning restaurant The Gallery for lunch. Relax at the gorgeous cellar door to sample a superb range of premium traditional varieties such as Chardonnay, Sauvignon Blanc and Shiraz, through to sensational alternate varieties such as Nero d’Avola, Montepulciano and Arneis. Wander through the original barrel hall, enjoy the carefully curated artworks and luxury retail experience, or linger longer to sample local cheeses and antipasti platters with your favourite glass of wine in hand. Bird in Hand Rd & Pfeiffer Rd, Woodside  Open daily (Mon to Friday 10am to 5pm, Saturday to Sunday 11am to 5pm) Visit the Bird in Hand website Deviation Road Husband and wife team Hamish and Kate Laurie are the owners of this divine boutique winery. The cellar door deck that overlooks the wine garden and home block vines is the perfect place to relax outdoors in the sunshine and sample their great range of wines. Taste from their range of artisanal premium cool climate wines; from Sparkling and aromatic whites to basket pressed red wines. Winemaker Kate trained at Lycée Viticole d’Avize in Champagne, no doubt helping them to perfect their award-winning Sparkling wine! Book in for a tutored wine flight or master class or simply sit and enjoy your chosen wine with one of the delicious tasting plates on offer daily. 207 Scott Creek Road, Longwood Open daily 10am to 5pm Visit the Deviation Road website For more cellar door guides, visit our dedicated Wine Regions section.
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Mornington Peninsula must visits
The Mornington Peninsula is a haven for holiday makers hungry for food, wine and adventure. Here’s our list of the best places to visit in the region.
Crittenden Estate The Crittenden Wine Centre offers a unique way of experiencing wine on the beautiful Mornington Peninsula. Originally the home of the Crittenden family, it has recently been renovated to a stylish, purpose built Wine Centre where knowledgeable staff guide visitors through carefully designed wine flights. Sample Crittenden’s exquisite range of traditional styles and unique alternative varietals with views over the lawn, lake and some of the Peninsula’s oldest vines, and just a short stroll to the Stillwater at Crittenden restaurant. Crittenden Estate is a true family operation with founder and living legend Garry overseeing the vineyard, son Rollo making the wine and daughter Zoe running the marketing. 25 Harrisons Rd, Dromana Open daily 10:30am – 4:30pm crittendenwines.com.au 
Yabby Lake Vineyard Cellar Door + Restaurant The Yabby Lake Vineyard offers a relaxed cellar door, restaurant, and wines of exception. Home of the history-making Block 1 Pinot Noir, winner of the revered Jimmy Watson Trophy, Yabby Lake has built a reputation for wines of great purity and character, uniquely crafted by renowned winemaker Tom Carson. Visitors to the striking cellar door marvel not only at the natural bush setting of the vineyard, but their incredible collection of artworks. Chef Simon West’s seasonal and local fare; often picked fresh from the kitchen garden, is best enjoyed on the outdoor deck, taking in stunning views of the vineyard and beyond. 86 Tuerong Road, Tuerong Open daily, 10am-5pm  (03) 5974 3729   yabbylake.com
Two Blues Sauvignon Blanc 2014
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