I have a little trouble finding Happs Wines. A forgotten phone means no GPS and, on the drive from Margaret River, the details of how to find the Dunsborough-based cellar door of this near forty-year-old winery get a little blurry. It takes a stop-in at nearby Flametree winery to set me right.
“Left at Commonage and then up the hill,” is the directive.
Ten-minutes later and I’m there. It’s a beautiful twisting, turning arrival. A meandering road lined by gums that is the perfect introduction to a winery whose relaxed approach to wine has become a hallmark.
“Our philosophy is that we want to have a wine for everyone,” explains Leah Clearwater, Manager at Happs Wines as she talks me through some of the 30-plus styles the vineyard carries under its three separate labels: Happs Estate Range, Three Hills and iSeries Wines.
“It’s one thing to say that the Margaret River Region produces the best Chardonnay or Cabernet, but what if those aren’t styles you enjoy drinking?” For Leah and the Happs family, the answer is simple – expand to become the winery that has something for everyone.
It is a welcoming ethos, and one that makes for great food and wine matching – another Happs speciality; along with an elaborately stocked cellar door, the winery sells an impressive range of charcuterie, cheeses, crackers, treats, chutneys and relishes from the region’s best local producers.
With autumn bringing pleasant sunny days and milder winds, the time is right to plan weekend picnics. And with Happs famed for its DIY picnic hampers, there’s no better place. Take a trip to Dunsborough, explore the Happs pottery centre and then find a shady spot in the vineyard gardens to enjoy these perfect pairings.