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Wine

Yarra Valley’s Best Cellar Doors and Wineries

Start planning your next trip to the Yarra Valley with our latest cellar door guide to this premier cool climate wine region. 

The Yarra Valley is an easy one-hour drive from Melbourne’s CBD – arrive there and you’ll find an almost endless choice of premium wineries, cellars doors, restaurants and exciting experiences. To help make the most of your time in this spectacular cool climate region, we’ve selected a collection of wineries that provide great cellar door experiences.

With a such a diversity of terroir, the Yarra Valley is able to produce a wide range of classic wine styles and is renowned for its Chardonnay, Sauvignon Blanc, and Pinot Noir, Sparkling wines and innovative savoury Rosés. You can find out more about the wines on offer in our Yarra Valley region guide here.

YARRA VALLEY MUST-VISIT WINERIES

Helen & Joey Estate

Established in 2010, Helen & Joey Estate is a family owned winery producing outstanding cool climate wines from their 85-acre vineyard located in the Yarra’s Gruyere sub region. Nestled in the Warramate foothills, a visit to their cellar door will leave you feeling like part of the family.

Senior winemaker Meg Brodtmann MW is the first female Master of Wine in Australia, and has many years’ experience making wine all around the world. Meg works closely with vineyard manager Jamie McGlade to produce sensational Pinot Gris, Semillon, Sauvignon Blanc, Chardonnay, Pinot Noir, Merlot, Shiraz, Cabernet Sauvignon and Cabernet Franc. 

Enjoy a wine tasting across their Inara, Layla, Alena, Late Harvest, and Wayward Child ranges whilst soaking in the stunning views from the Helen & Joey deck.

2-14 Spring Lane, Gruyere

Open 7 days a week (except Christmas day) 10am - 5pm

Visit the Helen & Joey Estate Website

Oakridge

While, the Oakridge’s vineyards and winery were established back in 1978, their contemporary cellar door was opened in 2013. With its sleek industrial lines, the striking, architect-designed building is in bold contrast to the surrounding vines.

Step inside to sample a superb range of award-winning wines including Pinot Gris, Semillon, Chardonnay, Pinot Noir, Shiraz, Cabernet and more. Treat yourself to lunch at Oakridge’s one-hatted restaurant where chefs Matt Stone and Jo Barrett serve seasonal menus based on fresh ingredients from the Oakridge kitchen garden, as well as wild produce they discover on foraging and fishing excursions around the region.

864 Maroondah Highway, Coldstream 

Open daily 10am to 5pm

Visit the Oakridge Website

Coombe Farm

Tasting Panellist and wine show judge, Trent Mannell says, “Coombe Farm is a remarkable winery and a destination with a real sense of history.”

The enchanting Coombe Farm cellar door is set within the grounds of the historic Melba House, constructed in 1912 by famed opera singer Dame Nellie Melba. The exquisite gardens, lovely restaurant, and Melba Gallery are not to missed. Melba’s Morning Tea is available from 9:30am Saturdays and Sundays, while a special high tea experience is at 2:30pm every Wednesday and Saturday through June and August. The estate grown, limited production wines are elegantly varietal and regionally expressive. 

673 Maroondah Highway, Coldstream

Open 9:30am to 5pm Tuesday to Thursday, 9:30am to 3:30pm Friday and Saturday, 9:30am to 5pm Sunday and public holidays

Visit the Coombe Farm Website

Soumah

Located down a country lane in the dress circle of the Warramate foothills, the Soumah cellar door offers, not only a fantastic tasting experience, but also spectacular views of the vineyards and the surrounding Warramate Hills.

“Our focus at Soumah is on making wine with the charm of Northern Italy, but with the provenance of the majestic Yarra Valley,” says Soumah director, Brett Butcher. “We’re best known for our Chardonnay and Pinot Noir, and are also gaining a good reputation for Viognier and Syarah, plus our passion for the Northern Italian varieties with our Nebbiolo, Brachetto, Pinto Grigio and Savarro ( Savagnin).

Along with its casual tastings, Somuah has a premium wine rooms where you’re treated to six exclusive samples selected from their reserve quality, limited production and museum release wines. You can also enjoy a glass of wine or two at their restaurant, Trattoria d’Soumah which serves up excellent Northern Italian cuisine like antipasti, pasta, wood fired pizza, cheese and dessert, seven days a week, with extra options offered on Saturdays and Sundays.

18 Hexham Rd, Gruyere

Open 7 days a week 10am to 5pm

Visit the Soumah Website

Punt Road Wines

The Punt Road Wines cellar door is the perfect place to sample a fine selection of single vineyard, estate grown wines. The Cabernet Sauvignon, Pinot Noir, Shiraz, and Chardonnay, in particular, are all exceptional. Enjoy a cheese platter, a glass or a full wine flight, chat with their team and experience why they spend every day here.

Relax outdoors on the back-garden lawn with a Gundowring ice cream or try your hand at bocce. Tasting Panellist, Adam Walls loves visiting the Punt Road cellar door – ‘It has such a warm and welcoming feel and the quality of both the wine and cider on offer is very high!”

10 St Huberts Road, Coldstream

Open daily 10am to 5pm

Visit the Punt Road Website

Domaine Chandon

Every Aussie Sparkling wine lover needs to experience the joie de vivre of Domaine Chandon.

In the mid 1980s, leading Champagne house Moet & Chandon established Domaine Chandon, considering the Yarra Valley as a leading location for the cool climate Sparkling grape varieties of Chardonnay, Pinot Noir, and Pinot Meunier. 

The stunning cellar door and winery melds traditional Champagne architecture with modern Australian design. Its cavernous 72,000 bottle climate-controlled riddling hall, stunning colonnade wall and restaurant overlooking their Green Point vineyard are all world class. As of course are the wines, including the Chandon Brut that was awarded Best Australian Sparkling Wine at the 2018 Champagne & Sparkling Wines World Championships.

The terrific self-guided tour of the winery allows visitors to examine up close the full winemaking process from the expansive winery, barrel and riddling halls, all with informative interactive guides.

727 Maroondah Highway, Coldstream 

Open daily 10:30am to 4:30pm

Visit the Domaine Chandon Website

Giant Steps

“Making wine is often done hidden in sheds in distant wineries. That’s no how we do it. We like our winemaking as transparent as the big glass wall between our winery and cellar door,” Steve Flamsteed, Giant Steps chief winemaker and 2016 Gourmet Traveller Winemaker of the Year.

Located in Healesville, the Giant Steps complex is a fantastic wine and food experience that shouldn’t be missed. The remarkable venue features a restaurant, café, private dining rooms and a cellar door built directly within their working winery separated by floor to ceiling glass. Visitors are surrounded by the winemaking process with tastings held in the barrel hall tasting room allowing further insight into the happenings of vintage. 

All day grazing plates are available with a new menu of beautiful and seasonal dishes on offer Friday and Saturday evenings.

336 Maroondah Highway, Healesville 

Open 11am to 7pm Monday to Thursday, 11am till late Friday and Saturday, 11am to 7pm Sunday

Visit the Giant Steps Website

Dominique Portet

When you visit the gorgeous Dominique Portet Winery, you’ll be enjoying wines crafted by 9th generation winemaker Dominique Portet and his son Ben, who is the family’s 10th generation winemaker.

Their cellar door is absolutely charming with a Mediterranean-inspired terrace cafe overlooking the rolling vineyards. Take time to sit and relax while sampling their exceptional Rosé, Sparkling, Shiraz and Cabernet Sauvignon. 

870 Maroondah Highway, Coldstream

Open daily 10am-5pm

Visit the Domonique Portet Website

Rob Dolan Wines

A Yarra Valley winemaking stalwart of over 25 years, Rob Dolan launched his label in 2010 and in 2014 was awarded the James Halliday Best New Winery. His farmhouse cellar door combines welcoming spaces where you can taste Rob’s premium wines, plus sample the delicious Stone & Crow cheeses that are matured at the winery by cheesemaker and founder Jack Holman. Enjoy a platter of local produce including pâté, terrine, olives, and a fantastic range of Rob Dolan pickles, pastes, relishes and jellies.

Located in Warrandyte, just 30 minutes from Melbourne’s CBD, this charming cellar door makes for the perfect start or conclusion to any visit to the Yarra Valley.

21-23 Delaneys Road, South Warrandyte

Open Daily 10am to 5pm

Visit the Rob Dolan Wines Cellar Door Website

De Bortoli Yarra Valley Estate

One of Australia’s iconic wine producers, De Bortoli Wines  was established in  Griffith, NSW in 1928 by Italian immigrant, Vittorio De Bortoli. Even in his wildest dreams, he never imagined he would establish an Australian winemaking dynasty.

The baby of third generation Leanne De Bortoli and her husband Steve Webber (who is De Bortoli’s chief winemaker), the Yarra Valley vineyard was established in 1987. The vineyard has produced excellent wines with De Bortoli winning the coveted Jimmy Watson Trophy in 1997.

The cellar door is set in a stunning location with vines in every direction. Along with their wide range of wines, what makes De Bortoli a particularly nice winery to visit is the marriage of wine with cheese. The extensive selection of local and imported cheeses in this friendly cellar door is outstanding and perfectly complements De Bortoli’s excellent cool climate Yarra Valley wines and those from their other regions.

Upstairs, The Locale Restaurant offers an authentic Italian dining experience with the menu reflecting the best local seasonal produce and featuring veggies from their garden, homemade pasta and delicious authentic Italian risotto. 

58 Pinnacle Lane, Dixons Creek 

Visit the De Bortoli Yarra Valley Estate Website

Yering Station

No visit to the Yarra Valley is truly complete without a visit to Yering Station. This winery is a destination in and of itself with an exceptional architect designed restaurant and bar, historic cellar door, art space, underground barrel room, local produce store, monthly farmers market and stunning grounds. The first vineyard in Victoria was established on this site in 1838, and that history is enshrined in the old winery that now serves as the cellar door and gallery. 

Choose from several different tasting experiences to enjoy the excellent range of wines (including Chardonnay, Rosé, Shiraz, Pinot Noir and of course, Sparkling wines) crafted by chief winemaker Willy Lunn and his talented team.

Open seven days from 12pm, the Yering Station Restaurant serves a superb French-inspired menu under the leadership of executive chef, Maxime Croiset.

The monthly farmers market held in Yering Station’s historic barn is the oldest farmers’ market in Victoria and is a must if you are fortunate to be in the area. Be sure to check the Yarra Valley Regional Food Group’s page for more details on the market.

38 Melba Hwy, Yarra Glen 

Open daily Monday to Friday 10am to 5pm, Saturday and Sunday 10am to 6pm

 Visit the Yering Station Website

Seville Estate

One of the oldest continually operating wineries in the Yarra Valley, Seville Estate was named the Winery of the Year at the 2019 James Halliday Wine Companion Awards.

“Our philosophy at Seville Estate is to capture the fruit expression of this unique vineyard, in wine styles that show cool climate complexity and finesse,” says Dylan McMahon, winemaker.

Their famed Shiraz and Pinot Noir are excellent examples of the region’s terroir. “Seville Estate is a Yarra Valley icon, the higher elevation of the estate’s vines allows the grapes to ripen slowly to produce elegant cool climate wines perfect for Pinot Noir,” explains Trent Mannell, Tasting Panellist.

Situated further southwest towards Yellingbo and with a charming casual aesthetic overlooking a classic Australian bushland setting, the Seville Estate cellar door makes for the perfect place to spend a lazy afternoon. The newly opened restaurant offers lunch on Friday through Sunday, and dinner Friday and Saturday nights.

65 Linwood Rd, Seville 

Open daily 10am to 5pm

Visit the Seville Estate Restaurant

Tarrawarra Estate

“There are so many great cellar doors in the Yarra Valley, but TarraWarra must be on your short list,” says Trent Manell, Tasting Panellist. “Situated on 400 hectares of prime land beside the Yarra river, TarraWarra’s wines are meticulously grown, handpicked, vinified and aged on the estate,” he says.

The spectacular TarraWarra Estate cellar door is built into the earth of the wineries’ rolling hillside and is a stunning place to sample their premium-quality wines.

Serving delicious dishes inspired by the estate’s kitchen garden and prepared by head chef Mark Ebbels, the renowned restaurant further cements TarraWarra as an exceptional Yarra Valley winery experience. 

311 Healesville-Yarra Glen Road, Yarra Glen

Open Tuesday to Sunday, 11am to 5pm

Visit the TarraWarra Website

Helen's Hill

Nestled at the bottom of its eponymous hill, Helen’s Hill is a 100% family-owned and operated vineyard and cellar door, and a must-visit for those interested in the inner workings of the winemaking process.

The cellar door reveals floor to ceiling views of the winery and barrel hall, providing a real sense connection to the wines that are hand crafted by winemaker Scott McCarthy and his team. Enjoy tasting of Helen’s Hill cool climate regional range including premium Arneis, Fume Blanc, Chardonnay, Pinot Noir, Cabernet Sauvignon and Shiraz.

Don’t miss The Wine Deck for a casual snack or lunch and tasting in the garden. For beer lovers there’s another treat – a fantastic range of carefully brewed small batch craft beers. A tribute to the family’s furry members, the Caesars Pale Ale, Brutus’ Amber Ale and Archie’s Pale Ale are all easy drinking styles that go really well with food.

16 Ingram Road, Lilydale 

Open daily 10am to 5pm 

Visit the Helen's Hill Website

Yering Farm

Owned and operated by Alan and Vicki Johns, Yering Farm is located on the original site of the Yeringa Vineyards once owned by the Deschamps family in the 1800s.The Johns family, who are fifth generation orchardists, resurrected the property in 1980 with the replanting of the 30-acre vineyard starting in 1989.

The original Yeringa Vineyard sign adorns the entrance of the rustic cellar door and the whole property exudes charm and commanding views of the Yarra Valley. All of Yering Farm wines, including Chardonnay, Sauvignon Blanc, Pinot Noir, Shiraz, Merlot and Cabernet Sauvignon, are produced on site from estate grown fruit.

Enjoy a tasting and a Yering Farm 'Pruner's Platter’ by the fire or out on the large verandah where you can take in the gorgeous views. You can also bring your own picnic or use the BBQ facilities for a small fee (bookings essential).

A tasting at Yering Farm wouldn’t be complete without trying Alan's Farmyard Apple Syder (cider), it's delicious!

19-21 St Huberts Rd, Yering 

Open 7 days a week from 10am to 5pm 

Visit the Yering Farm Website

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Wine
Following the Prosecco Road - Your Guide to Australian Prosecco
Australian Prosecco   is a vibrant sparkling wine style taking over Australia from the Prosecco Road in Victoria’s King Valley to the Adelaide Hills . Internationally, it is now the world's most popular Sparkling wine, overtaking Champagne in sales. Learn more about its long history, how it’s made and where to find the best Australian Prosecco with this helpful guide and infographic.   Firstly, what is Prosecco? Prosecco is a style of Sparkling wine made from the Glera grape variety. This historic variety is believed to hail from the ancient Slovenian village of Prosek, now part of Italy. There are records of  Julia Augusta drinking wine from the Prosek region as early as 79 AD . But, what we now know as Prosecco hails from the North-east Italian province of Veneto and Friuli-Venezia Giulia near Treviso enshrined in the Prosecco DOC, or the designated production zone. The characteristic ‘fizz’ of Prosecco is classed as either Spumante, the most exuberant, as a more moderate Frizzante or with no fizz at all as a Tranquillo. Prosecco is a late-ripening variety and is harvested once the varietal flavours of white peach, white pear and lemon peak and the acidity has softened. Cool climate and high altitude regions like  King Valley     or the  Adelaide Hills  are well suited to this variety. Prosecco vs Champagne and Sparkling Wines  Apart from featuring different grapes, it’s the way Prosecco is made that plays a large role in the difference between Prosecco,  Champagne  and  Sparkling Wines . Whereas Champagne is fermented in its bottle using Methode Champenoise, Prosecco is fermented pressurised steel tanks in a process known by much of the world as the “Charmat” method. However, mention the word Charmat to an Italian winemaker and there might be trouble. In Italy, it’s known as the “Martinotti Method”, invented and patented in 1885 by Fedricco Martinotti, seven years before the French winemaker Eugène Charmat filed for his take on the method. The Martinotti method involves conducting the second fermentation in large autoclave steel tanks before clarification and cooling. This forgoes the need for fermentation, riddling and disgorgement inside individual bottles required in the Champagne method. This method is a very efficient process lowering the resources required by the winemaker. However, it shouldn’t be viewed as an inferior process, as it allows for increased control, scale, filtration and the ability to lower the required yeast lees contact during the winemaking process. This is the key difference. Methode Champenoise wines have complex and rich autolytic textures from this process with restrained fruits. Martinotti method Prosecco wines are all about lightness, freshness and fruit, designed to be enjoyed at any occasion. Joy in a bottle. A further, often neglected fact is that  we owe the Bellini cocktail to Prosecco , invented by Giuseppe Cipriani when he combined white peach puree with Prosecco in Harry’s Bar Venice close to the Prosecco DOC, or designated production zone. Dal Zotto brings Prosecco to Australia Victoria’s King Valley can lay claim to planting the first Glera vines in Australia.  The wine history of the King Valley  starts in the 1880s in the regions’ tobacco plantations, established by Chinese settlers seeking new opportunities as the Victorian gold rush stagnated. By the 1940s Italian migrants had arrived to the region working on the tobacco farms. Yet, in the 1960s, the local tobacco industry was starting to decline. Otto Dal Zotto, born in the Prosecco di Valdobbiadene DOCG region, where Prosecco vines carpet the hillsides, came to Australia in the late 1960s. Like many Italian migrants before him, Otto was drawn to the region to work in the tobacco fields. But, as the work dried up he moved into the region's emerging wine industry planting Chardonnay, Merlot and Cabernet Sauvignon. Gradually, the region began to plant classic Italian varieties, expressing the passion of the winemaker’s collective Italian heritage. Then, in 2000 Otto planted the first Glera grapes and the rest, as they say, is history. The Rise of King Valley and the Prosecco Road
The road that traverses the valley from  Milawa’s Brown Brothers  to Chrismont in Cheshunt is known as the Prosecco Road. Along the way, visitors pass Dal Zotto Wines , Pizzini Wines and Sam Miranda Wines. These five wineries are among the best wineries in the region, all famous for this variety. As a result, the King Valley, long known for Italian and other alternative varieties such as Arneis, Sangiovese, Nebbiolo and Barbera, is now most famous as the home of Australian Prosecco. We recently caught up with Ross Brown from Brown Brothers to talk Prosecco and Christmas  in this recent article. Sam Miranda is the third generation of a prominent winemaking family who moved from Italy to Australia in the 1930s. Since making the King Valley home in 1996, and drawing on a proud Italian heritage and a love for innovative winemaking, Sam Miranda Wines have been instrumental in the rise and collective promotion of King Valley Prosecco into the legend it is today. The Adelaide Hills and other Prosecco Regions
Glera vines are starting to gain momentum in other cool climate regions such as the Adelaide Hills and Yarra Valley. With wineries including Innocent Bystander, Tempus Two and Coriole Vineyards leading the charge. As consumer demand continues to increase for Australian Prosecco this will only continue. Tasting Notes Prosecco is a light, fresh, creamy and fruit focused Sparkling wine.  Tasting Panellist Adam Walls  notes that Prossecco generally presents with a “pale lemon colour and a fine bead collar. Abundant in pear, apple and citrus fruits with creamy soft texture, it’s little wonder that Prosecco is proving to be a favourite with drinkers across the country”. Prosecco Food Pairings
Prosecco is a style that’s wonderful to enjoy on its own as the party’s getting started or with appetisers such as savoury canapes of cured meats or fresh fruit such as  Lyndey Milan’s stuffed figs wrapped in bastourmar . This Italian-style Sparkling is also the perfect match for light seafood or Mediterranean dishes. As the temperature rises it’s ideal with fresh, zesty Asian inspired salads like this  Vietnamese summer salad recipe . Explore more of our  recipe ideas now. Try Prosecco Today At its heart, Prosecco is designed to be enjoyed with friends. This light refreshing style has no pretence, and is made to be served immediately and not saved for a special occasion like Champagne. Instead, all moments are celebrations. With this ethos, it’s little wonder that it’s taking over the world.
Wine
Margaret River’s 50th
Words by Danielle Costley on 12 Nov 2017
As WA’s Margaret River wine region celebrates its 50th anniversary, we celebrate the pioneers who brought it all to fruition. A hundred years ago, a couple of Italian immigrants arrived in the south west corner of Western Australia with some cuttings of a little-known grape variety called Fragola. These vines produced the first wines to be sold in Margaret River for the hefty price tag of two shillings a flagon. Fondly dubbed ‘red dynamite’ by the enthusiastic community, this wine was in high demand at the local dance halls where it was sold from the back of a truck. And it was said to pack quite a punch. Times have certainly changed since then and while other growers produced small batches of wines in the ensuing years, it wasn’t until the mid 1960s when agronomist Dr John Gladstones published a report identifying Margaret River’s vast potential for viticulture, that the region, as we know it today, was born.
The Gladstones report attracted the attention of budding vignerons and medical practitioners, Thomas Cullity and Kevin and Diana Cullen. In mid 1966, the Cullens organised a meeting in the Margaret River township of Busselton inviting Dr Gladstones to speak. It was the final push those attending needed. Soon after, the Cullens, in partnership with Tom Cullity, and Geoff and Sue Juniper, planted vines in Wilyabrup, which unfortunately didn’t survive. It was left to Cullity, who in 1967 purchased a mere eight acres of land, to plant Margaret River’s first commercial vines – Cabernet Sauvignon , Shiraz , Malbec and Riesling . He named his venture after French sailor, Thomas Vasse, who had drowned in Geographe Bay. Hoping for better fortunes than the Frenchman, he added the Latin word for happiness – Felix. His first crop, too, was all but a disaster, decimated by birds and succumbing to bunch rot. Undeterred, but determined, Cullity persevered. In 1972, Vasse Felix won a gold medal at the Perth Show for its Riesling. The following year, gold for its Cabernet. Happy days, indeed. The Cullens also persevered. In 1971 they planted vines on their own land where their current vineyard still thrives. At this stage, Moss Wood had been established for two years and within another two years, Cape Mentelle, Leeuwin Estate, and Woodlands had also been established. In what was a fledgling industry at the time, these founding wineries worked tirelessly to forge the region’s reputation as a premium wine producer. “I pay tribute to the winemakers and grape growers of Margaret River,” says Dr Gladstones, who is still a proud member of the Margaret River community today. “It’s one thing to have an idea and put it forward, it’s another this to be brought to fruition. The work and financial commitment that had to go into it has been a big factor in bringing Margaret River to its present world-class status.”
Left: Bob Hullock. Right: Cullen Wines co-founder Diana Cullen  An American influence While the pioneering wineries may have simply dreamed of making good wine, there was a certain Californian who knew of Margaret River’s enormous potential – Napa Valley wine baron, Robert Mondavi. As the story goes, Mondavi was searching the globe for the next great wine region. His search took him to Margaret River and a patch of land owned by Denis Horgan, a chartered accountant, and his wife Tricia. Today, it is Leeuwin Estate. “Mondavi arrived on our doorstep wanting to buy the place,’ says Denis. “We weren’t the selling type, so he became our mentor in setting up a winery. He and his son and winemaker, Tim, came out on numerous occasions to advise on what varieties we should plant, where to plant them, about oak treatment and so on.” Mondavi’s advice was also greatly accepted by Cullity and Kevin Cullen, who Denis befriended and met up with regularly to discuss all things wine. “You would have sworn you were in a dog fight,” Denis says of the trio’s rendezvous. “They used to swear and curse and talk about one another’s wines, and then we’d all sit down and have lunch like we were the greatest of friends.  “They were fabulous guys. It was the best education I could have had because they didn’t pull any punches. They set out to make wines that ranked with the best in the world, and they damn well did it.” A region evolved
Three generations of Credaros in their Woolston vineyard Fifty years on, Margaret River is indeed a world class wine region. While it only produces three percent of Australia’s wine, it contributes 20 per cent of our premium wine production. It is recognised internationally for exceptional Cabernets and Chardonnays, and also produces a stylish signature blend of Sauvignon Blanc and Semillon. The handful of wineries have now boomed to over 200 with most of them producing the flagships, while also experimenting with other varietals and blends that suit the Mediterranean climate, cooling sea breezes and rich gravelly soils. In the northern districts lies the family-owned Credaro Wines, where some of the region’s first vines were planted by the pioneering Meleri and Credaro families to produce the ‘red dynamite’. These days, they have over 140 hectares of vines spread across five vineyards and alongside the legendary Fragola, and Chardonnay, Cabernet and SBS, they are doing well with Pinot Grigio, Shiraz and Merlot. Thompson Estate is renowned for its Chardonnays and Cabernets, but is also finding favour with its Cabernet Merlot, Malbec and famed Four Chambers Shiraz. The 20-year-old vines are organically grown and produce impressive wines under the watchful eye of Bob Cartwright of Leeuwin Estate acclaim.
Hay Shed Hill, Margaret River At Hay Shed Hill, whose vineyards were first planted in the 1970s, the Block 6 Chardonnay is the star. Dry grown and located on a steep south facing slope, it is lean, light and fresh, but also has “flavour, aroma, body and textural interest,” says winemaker and owner, Michael Kerrigan. In concert with the Block 6, he is also giving plenty of attention to a stunning Cabernet Franc, as well as an intoxicating Shiraz Tempranillo blend. In the cooler, southern parts of the Margaret River, Sauvignon Blanc really finds voice as a single varietal. In close proximity to the Indian Ocean, you will find Redgate Wines, a winery that takes its name from a nearby property that once had a prominent red gate and was known for the production of a rather powerful moonshine. This estate, established by the Ullinger family in 1977, produces a sublime Sauvignon Blanc that is layered with gooseberry and lime. Their Cabernet blends are also beguiling, and they have a Chenin Blanc that is also turning heads. Even further south lies Hamelin Bay Wines, a quaint winery with a simply breathtaking outlook. It produces one of the region’s finest Sauvignon Blancs – fresh, vibrant and tropical, while their Rampant Red, a blend of Shiraz, Merlot and Cabernet, is winning fans. Something Totally New When Moss Wood winery was sub-divided in 1982, architect Bruce Tomlinson purchased the land and established Lenton Brae winery. Putting his talents to use, he built a striking rammed earth winery and cellar door with two towers that are home to quintet bells from Westminster and chime on the quarter-hour. A few years ago, the Tomlinsons introduced a new varietal to the region, Pinot Blanc. This unassuming grape is a mutation of Pinot Noir, yet genetically similar to Chardonnay. Winemaker, Edward Tomlinson, says he was drawn to the subtle charm of this early ripening variety. “Essentially, it is a Sauvignon Blanc for grown-ups,’ he says. “The decision to plant Pinot Blanc was a big call. Having seen my father wrestle with the implications of uprooting two hectares of Pinot Noir in the early days, I was amazed at how supportive he was for me to take a punt on Pinot Blanc.” And these are not the only newcomers to the region. There’s been an influx of plantings of Mediterranean varietals in recent years, with Fiano, Vermentino, Nebbiolo and Sangiovese finding favour amongst the growing band of winemakers. A Fitting Half Century
As the 50th celebrations kick off in earnest, it is heartwarming to see much love given to the traditions of the pioneers. Vasse Felix’ s ‘tractor bucket’ party recreated the spirit of founding producers who celebrated each of those crucial early vintages in style with tractor buckets turned into eskys, filled with ice and wine and enjoyed out amongst the vines, even serving as a bed on some occasions. “Anniversaries such as this are an opportunity to share with the world just how special Margaret River is. It is a wine paradise,” says current Vasse Felix owner, Paul Holmes a Court. The single remaining bottle of the 1972 Cabernet Sauvignon Malbec is on display in the Vasse Felix vault and to celebrate the winery’s 50th anniversary, they have released a Tom Cullity Cabernet Sauvignon Malbec made from those original vines. I am sure the good doctor would approve. And while he would be astounded to see how big the region has grown, he always knew how good the wines were going to be. “I knew because Mondavi told me so,” says Denis Horgan. “He always said that Margaret River was going to make wines that ranked with the best in the world. It was his catch cry.” The best is still yet to come says Dr Gladstones, who fittingly gets to have the last word. “I strongly believe that we’ve only seen the beginning,” he says. “This region has tremendous natural advantages for grape growing to produce top quality wines. “With its environments, experience and now increasing vine age, Margaret River is undoubtedly ripe to walk with the greatest.”
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!
Two Blues Sauvignon Blanc 2014
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