Blind Corner - Cellar Door Entrance

Finding a winery is hardly a problem in the Margaret River Region. But sometimes the sheer volume of incredible vineyards and hospitable cellar doors means the smaller or less visible wineries might be missed.

At 50 years of age, the Margaret River wine region now has many wineries that are globally recognised such as Vasse Felix, Leeuwin Estate and Cullen Wines. But that’s only part of the region’s story. There are close to one hundred cellar doors in the region, and many offer award-winning wines. Many are family-owned wineries where you’ll get the personal touch. Some have picture-postcard vistas where you can enjoy a scrumptious lunch with a local wine, so take the plunge and go off piste.

If you’re in search of something a little different on your wine adventure, you won’t be disappointed.

Stella Bella Wines Dog Friendly

Stella Bella Wines

Stella Bella head winemaker, Luke Joliffe, has been the recipient of enough wine awards by now to create his own pretty serious following within the wine industry. For those on the outside, however, Stella Bella is still something of a secret in the Margaret River region wine scene. Part of this is attributable to the winery’s cellar door location, off the main wine route, a short drive from the Margaret River township, in Rosabrook. This is the best kind of rustic bush landscape – orange dirt, green vines and big blue sky. Pack a picnic, throw your dog in the back and head out for an education into Margaret River wine as Stella Bella grows it.

Restaurant terrace at Hamelin Bay Wines

Hamelin Bay Wines

It’s very easy to stay focussed on the Caves Road wine arterial. But heading further south has its own reward, with a few lesser-known vineyards that offer a different view. Hamelin Bay Wines is a friendly little cellar door attached to an intimate and relaxed restaurant, overlooking a vista of dam and bush. At this vineyard, fresh approach to white grapes is expressed via some of the region’s better-known varietals – chardonnay, sauvignon blanc, and semillon sauvignon blanc. Reds also largely subscribe to the Bordeaux style of cabernet sauvignon, with a taste of shiraz and cab merlot also on offer. Discover a taste of your favourite Hamelin Bay wine, knowing that a waiting ploughman’s lunch takes on the added pleasure of a table with a view over vine.

Fishbone Wines Restaurant

Fishbone Wines

It’s not so much the Wilyabrup location that throws Fishbone Wines off the beaten track, but the winery’s approach to food and wine itself. An emphasis on Japanese food makes for a fresh approach to winemaking and food and wine matching: Fishbone is one of the region’s wineries opening the door to lesser known grape varietals that veer from the slightly more well-trodden chardonnay and cabernet sauvignon path. At Fishbone, this means your tempranillo, vermentino or pinot might make a match with Wagyu beef ribs or fresh sushi. The cellar door is intimate. Guidance on wine and food matching is freely offered. The outside terrace is primo summer dining territory.

Blind Corner - Quindalup
Blind Corner

Blind Corner

Cellar doors where visitors get the chance to speak to the winemaker are rare commodities. But it makes sense at Blind Corner, a small-scale winery in Quindalup that hangs its hat on being both approachable and of the environment. In this part of the Margaret River Region, that means a really human approach – where the vines and the soils are nurtured, and the intricacies of the winemaking process are demystified and opened up to all-comers. Certified organic and biodynamic, Blind Corner is family-owned and uses both new- and old-world winemaking techniques to produce sangiovese, cabernet, pinot grigio and even orange wines. There is lawn, trees, picnic benches, and a range of honeys, books and other local produce available for purchase.

Stormflower Vineyard

Stormflower Vineyard

Despite a location offering a relatively prominent position on Caves Road, there’s no doubting Stormflower is unique. The stylish and intimate cellar door is beautiful – think Martha Stewart’s guest house-meets-small scale farmhouse chic. Light and welcoming, the space is dominated by an elegant Marri tasting table made from a Marri tree blown down in a storm on the vineyard site. As furniture goes, it is a natural extension of the organic vineyard’s winemaking philosophy, priding itself on presenting the taste of the land in the glass. Wines at Stormflower are made with food in mind, ensuring that they are textural and structured. Chardonnay. Sauvignon blanc. Cabernet sauvignon. They’re all here. Bring a picnic, grab a rug from the cellar door, and take to the lawns with your preferred glass.

Windows Estate Organic Winery

Windows Estate

There are no airs and graces at Windows Estate. Intimate. Low-key. Not to mention that it can be a little easy to miss – slow down for the turn down Quininup Road, and journey up the driveway to land at a place where visitors are cared for as family. The door will be open. Browse local cheeses and olive oils. Wines are unique and beautifully constructed, from chardonnay to malbec, syrah to fume blanc. Classic Margaret River Region varietals among a few lesser-grown grapes. A giant chessboard is amusement. The grass lawn out front is quiet. This is a really lovely find.

Cape Grace Wines

A road, off a road – finding your way to Cape Grace Wines requires paying a little more attention to your maps, but the little bit of effort is rewarded by the house-in-the-woods vibe of this intimate cellar door. Most likely, owners Robert and Karen Karri-Davies will be there to greet you with one of the winery’s distinctive bottles – chardonnay and cabernet sauvignon are beautifully executed. The barrel room is visible from where you’ll stand to taste, and the friendly cellar door staff will have to compete with the noisy squawk of frequently visiting (and very rare) red-tailed black cockatoos.  This is a true, small family-run winery and a real taste of the hidden Margaret River Region wine experience.

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