In partnership with the legends behind Snake + Herring Wines, Your Margaret River Region is giving away the ultimate food lover’s experience along the region’s iconic Caves Road.
The winner will receive a personalised tasting and tour for two at the Snake + Herring cellar door, followed by a cruise down Caves Road in a 1965 Valiant to a five-course degustation lunch at Yarri, their award-winning restaurant and bar in the heart of Dunsborough.
Snake + Herring and Yarri Restaurant + Bar
Snake + Herring started life in 2011, when Tony “Snake” Davis and Redmond “Herring” Sweeny became friends at an Auskick game in Margaret River. The pair soon realised they shared dreams of quitting their day jobs and starting a wine label. And, well, that’s exactly what they did.
Davis, the winemaker of the duo, shed light on his alter-ego while speaking with Fleur Bainger for the Your Margaret River Region podcast, Wine Unearthed.
“It’s an old rugby nickname from Adelaide University days,” he says. “I wasn’t a particularly great player, but I could wriggle my way through a small hole in defence.”
Sweeny’s nickname was born from a University surf trip up the north west coast of Western Australia. He shared the full story with Bainger.
“On that trip pretty much everything I took kept breaking – leg ropes, boards, camp gear, you name it,” he says. “It was a bit of a disaster, so my friends kept saying, you know, what’s the next red herring that you’re going to pull out?” By the end of the trip, the name had stuck.
Fast forward to 2020, and their wines continue to garner awards and five-star reviews in the Halliday Wine Companion – not to mention a cult following of local and international wine lovers, who appreciate the duo’s unique approach to wine making (more on this to come).
Not content with turning heads in the wine industry alone, Sweeny and Davis took a second leap of faith, launching Yarri Restaurant + Bar in 2018, in collaboration with award winning chef Aaron Carr and his wife Kym, as well as Rachel Sweeny and Sal Davis, who are also co-owners of Snake + Herring. The group wanted to create a beautiful space where people could enjoy the produce of the region and pay homage to the people and place who call it home.
Here’s why you need this prize in your life
1. It’s a personalised tasting and tour – just for you
The winner of the Ultimate Food Lover’s Giveaway starts their adventure with a personalised tasting and tour of Snake + Herring’s cellar door, paired with a cheese platter and 25 percent off any wines purchased on the day.
When asked what the winner can expect from their tasting adventure, Sweeny says it’s all about being pleasantly surprised.
“You want someone to have a light bulb moment when tasting our wines,” Sweeny says. “We also like to change people’s perception about chardonnay – winemakers today are making chardonnays with such flair, poise and precision. It’s not what mum was drinking.”
Davis and Sweeny describe Snake + Herring as a “wine obsessed road trip”. The pair adventures all over Western Australia searching for lesser-known viticultural sites that yield premium varietals, typically overlooked by more conventional winemakers.
Their 2018 “Dirty Boots” Cabernet Sauvignon is one such example, hailing from the warmer and drier climate of Yallingup, in the South West of Western Australia. Then there’s Karridale, where the cooler, wet weather yields Sauvignon Blanc, Semillon and Chardonnay for the duo.
Being free to source grapes from all over WA allows Davis and Sweeny to discover underappreciated styles and regions and bring them to life, using grape growers who share their passion.
Snake + Herring wine is created with minimal influence from the winemaker, to ensure each drop boldly embodies the particular site it originates from. Winners will get to experience these unique wines for themselves.
2. Music + road trip = best time ever
Taking inspiration from the pair’s “wine road trips”, your personalised tour and tasting at Snake + Herring’s cellar door will be followed by a road trip of your own. You and a friend will be chauffeured down Caves Road in a 1965 Valiant to Yarri Restaurant + Bar, for a five-course degustation lunch. Along the way you’ll be able to choose a soundtrack for the drive, or let your chauffeur pick the playlist for you.
“There have been many favourite road trip songs for us,” says Davis. “But right now, while I’m pulled over on Muir Highway, it’s “This Is All Yours” by Alt-J.”
Sweeny says he listened to a lot of music on the road in the early mid-nineties, while working on the wheat bins in the Great Southern during uni break.
“Compact discs were just taking off, but weren’t available in a 1977 HX Holden Ute,” he says. “Pearl Jam, The Pixies and Soundgarden were the bands that kept getting fed into that cassette deck.”
Davis and Sweeny’s love for music extends to the wines they create, with each bottle named after a song close to their heart. There’s “Vamos”, a 2017 Tempranillo from the Margaret River region which was inspired by cult-rockers the Pixies, and “Perfect Day”, a punchy 2018 Sauvignon Blanc Semillon a la the Lou Reed classic.
Whatever your jam, you’ll be sure to discover a number of wines that make your palate sing. And if you’re stuck for music ideas on the drive to Yarri, why not make a playlist of all the songs Snake + Herring have named wines after?
3. Food with heart tastes better
The final stop on your adventure is Yarri, a locally-loved restaurant and wine bar established by the amazing team behind Snake + Herring. Your five-course degustation lunch, prepared by award-winning chef Aaron Carr, will be paired with three Snake + Herring wines.
Carr’s lauded menu is based loosely around the six Noongar seasons, while also drawing on Japanese influences, and of course, fresh local produce sourced from sustainably-minded farmers in the South West region, whom the team have forged close connections with.
Acknowledging the rich and diverse history of the region is important to Carr and his team. The name of the restaurant itself pays homage to the traditional custodians of the land: Yarri is the Aboriginal word for the blackbutt tree, which is native to the area.
Yarri’s co-owner and restaurant manager, Sal Davis, says the restaurant’s current menu is one to behold for food lovers.
“There’s a choux pastry éclair that gets piped full of a duck liver parfait, and a hibiscus powder that brings a perfect acidity to the dish,” she says. “I also love the ceviche scallops, which come with a macadamia milk, roasted macadamias, compressed cucumber, lemon balm and pepi leaf oil and salt. It’s gobsmackingly delicate, innovative and flavoursome.”
4. Bring your favourite human
It’s no secret that dining and drinking experiences are a thousand times better with friends, that’s why the prize is for two! Enter below and start planning your getaway.
Entries close on Friday April 3rd 2020 (5pm WST).
Of course, you don’t need to win to get a taste of Snake + Herring’s cellar door, so swing by next time you’re cruising Caves Road, cranking your favourite road trip playlist.
The Ultimate Food Lover’s Giveaway
This competition is open to Australian residents only and will close on Friday April 3rd 2020 (5pm WST).
Terms and Conditions
- Entries to The Ultimate Food Lover’s Giveaway (the “Competition”) close Friday April 3rd 2020 (5pm WST). The winner will be announced on Monday April 6th.
- Prize is a morning tasting at Snake + Herring Cellar Door, plus a cheese platter and 25% off any wine purchased on the day. Then transport to a five-course degustation lunch, paired with three wines, at Yarri Restaurant + Bar in Dunsborough.
- Prize must be redeemed on or before 31 December 2020.
- Pick up and drop off is within the Margaret River region.
- By entering this Competition you are indicating your agreement to be photographed on the day, and for these images to be used for marketing purposes.
- All entries to the Competition will be added to the electronic database of Snake + Herring and Yarri.