Wood fires. Clear nights. Cold mornings. Winter is a series of environmental signposts that lead directly to the trailhead of sensory indulgence. As the barometer drops, so does the idea of restraint. In any case, puritanism has no place during these Margaret River region winter wine experiences.
An holistic approach to growing combines with a dedication to sustainable practice at Domaine Naturaliste, where Bruce Dukes joins the region’s winemakers in the chase for balance between palate, fragrance and texture. At the cellar door, settle in for a wine flight, including premium range wines, explained to you by the knowledgeable cellar door team. Pairing it up with a range of local and imported cheeses and cured meats is a way to add dimension to the glass. Wine is for drinking with food, and the experience of casual bites teamed with stellar wines is at the heart of the Margaret River region winter wine experience. Sophistication, ease, and a drinkable insight into the terroir of this place.
It’s winter wine tasting with a farmyard twist at Glenarty Road. Fifth-generation farmer, Ben McDonald, runs Glenarty Road with winemaker and wife, Sasha Foley, and a tight-knit team of dedicated staff who believe a true paddock-to-plate philosophy is worth working for. Taste their range of handcrafted wines in the renovated shed built by Ben’s grandfather before taking off on a tour that will lead you through the vines, macadamias and hop gardens to two tasting platforms where the vineyard’s Ground to Glass philosophy has the spotlight shone upon it. Along the way there will be plenty of insights into the McDonald’s dedicated approach to landcare, sustainable growing and ethical husbandry. Oh, and not forgetting a chance to experience an intimate taste of the Glenarty glass.
Five courses. Fine wines. Degustation matches are a dive deep down into flavour, and at Brookwood Estate winter offers the opportunity to sit back and enjoy the “Brookwood Long Lunch”. Food is seasonal and geared toward the estate’s wines, crafted by winemaker Bronnley Cahill, daughter of the vineyard owners, Trevor and Lyn Mann. The close-knit nature of the vineyard makes for close workings between kitchen and winery, which translates to an integrated experience for guests. And if the idea of moving from your table following a five-course experience seems like too much effort, there’s always the option of booking into Brookwood Cottage.
A fireside spot. Cheese. Wine. So far, so appealing. As one of the Margaret River region’s smaller-scale, family-owned wineries, Windows Estate knows how to create an atmosphere of intimate welcome. Owners Chris and Jo Davies understand the importance of flavour profiles, and food and wine matching, which means a board of cheese and charcuterie has been well-thought to flatter (and be flattered) by what the Windows cellar door team pour into your waiting glass. Want to take your experience one step further? Consider booking an in-depth, hour-long tour that includes tastings, but also a tour of the vineyard that takes in the driving philosophies that shape these wines.
Winter is the perfect time to retreat into the unexpected sanctuary of Voyager Estate. Go behind the scenes to discover the alchemy of their organically farmed wines with a barrel tasting in the barrel hall that was the scene for one of this year’s toughest MasterChef challenges, set by Voyager’s award-winning Head Chef, Santi Fernandez. Or cosy into the sumptuous dining room and experience Santi’s food first hand in a seasonal menu inspired by the estate’s hand-crafted wines. Santi’s wine-first philosophy gives guests the opportunity to taste seven dishes inspired by seven unique vintages. Wines here are elegant, delicious, and very grown up – ideal inspiration for food that blends the artistry of fine dining technique with philosophies of seasonal, local and delectable.
Evans & Tate
Creativity and ideas of artistry are interwoven into the fabric of Margaret River region winemaking. Evans & Tate take it one step further with an art studio and gallery that invites guests to meet the makers. It’s a lovely appendage to a winter experience of fireside tastings. Planted in 1974 in Wilyabrup, Evans & Tate has a long pedigree, not least of all the 1999 trophy for Best Red Wine at the Annual International Wine Challenge in London for the vineyard’s Margaret River Shiraz. Fast forward two decades and the awards have continued to pile up. But equal to the awards is the place – a simply elegant cellar door with views over some of the region’s oldest vines. Not a bad way to spend a winter’s afternoon.
Howard Park is well known for its elegant wines. Maybe this winter is the time to get to know the luxury of the Howard Park Wine Chapel. Built in 2014, this is an exclusive address where private wine and dining experiences are booked only via appointment. Architecturally designed, the Chapel takes its cues from the elemental beauty of the Margaret River region – completed in recycled oak, off-form concrete, naturally weathered cypress and chandeliers that take their form courtesy of 45-year-old vines cut from Howard Park’s oldest vineyard. The view is of the Wilyabrup Valley, and the experience is all yours. With the number of events annually limited, this is a winter experience worth cosying up to.
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Domaine NaturalisteEveryday 10am to 5pmGreat For: Cellar Sales,Grazing Platters & Hampers,Open for Business,Seated Tastings
160 Johnson Rd, Wilyabrup WA 6280, Australia
Glenarty Road | Kerfuffle WinesMonday: 10:00 AM until 5:00 PM
Tuesday - Thursday: Closed
Friday - Sunday: 10:00 AM until 5:00 PMGreat For: Cellar Sales,Child Friendly,Dine In,Dog Friendly,Open for Business,Seated Tastings
70 Glenarty Road, Karridale, WA 6288, Australia
Brookwood EstateTuesday to Saturday | 11am until 4.30pmGreat For: Child Friendly,Disabled Access,Indoor Play Area,Rainy Day,Sunny Day
430 Treeton Road Cowaramup, WA, 6284, Australia
Windows Estate10am to 5pm daily. Closed Christmas Day and Good Friday.Great For: Cellar Sales,Child Friendly,Dog Friendly,Fireplace,Grazing Platters & Hampers,Indoor Play Area,Open for Business,Outdoor Playground,Picnic Spot,Seated Tastings
4 Quininup Road, Corner of Caves Road, Yallingup WA 6282. T| 08 9756 6655 E|[email protected]
Voyager EstatePhase 4 Hours: 5 days a week, 10am - 5pm (closed Tuesday and Wednesday) Closed Christmas Day, Boxing Day and Good Friday.Great For: Dine In,Disabled Access,High Tea,Open for Business
1 Stevens Road, MARGARET RIVER
Evans & TateMonday - Sunday: 10:30 AM until 5:00 PMGreat For: Dog Friendly,Fireplace,Open for Business,Picnic Spot,Rainy Day,Seated Tastings,Sunny Day
Corner of Caves Road and Metricup Road, WILYABRUP
Howard Park & MadFish WinesMonday - Sunday: 10:00 AM until 5:00 PMGreat For: Cellar Sales,Child Friendly,Disabled Access,Dog Friendly,Fireplace,Indoor Play Area,Open for Business,Seated Tastings
543 Miamup Road, COWARAMUP