Aerial shot of Gralyn Estate and Caves Road Winter 2021

The Margaret River Region has many great little wineries to check out. Here are three to try who do things a little differently. 

Row of Windows Estate wine bottles with illustrated labels.
Family is at the heart of Windows Estate.

Windows Estate

Certified Organic/Critically Acclaimed/Petit Eco Cabin 

Windows Estate routinely gain stratospheric wines scores from Halliday and Ray Jordan and also run an award-winning cellar door. But behind the accolades Windows Estate is a young family (Chris and Jo Davies) farming organically.

“Our lifestyle is very much based around leaving a small footprint,” Jo tells me. She feels organic winemaking flows through to the quality in the glass “one of the comments that we hear most is how clean and pure our wines are.”

Windows Estate wines are distinctive with lots of detail and complexity. Jo attributes their quality to Chris’s meticulous work in the vineyard. “There are no shortcuts,” she says.

Many of their wines sell out quickly. While their racy Chardonnays have gained a lot of attention the quality of the wines across Sauvignon Blanc, Chenin, Semillon and the classic Bordeaux red varietals is jaw droppingly impressive.

Singles and couples can get off the grid and stay at The Petit Eco Cabin. Made from the fallen trees on the family farm, the cabin captures views of the trees, vines and night skies.

Picnic baskets, Organic Farm & Vineyard Tours and Cheese & Wine Tastings are some of the options for visitors to Windows Estate.

Our lifestyle is very much based around leaving a small footprint

Pouring Blind Corner wine into two glasses.
Blind Corner offers a range of unique white blends.

Blind Corner

Experimental/Biodynamic/Indie

Blind Corner was set up Ben Gould and wife Naomi. Ben tells the origin story “Naomi and I dreamt up Blind Corner while travelling around Europe in a red builder’s van. We were trying to visit every wine region and surf break in Western Europe. When we came home it was to blend the old-world techniques we’d learned with new-world knowledge to create more ‘real’ wines.”  

‘Real wines’ meant organic and biodynamic. “For us, organics and biodynamics is about building a healthy ecosystem. We don’t manage our vineyard to just get grapes. We want to regenerate and constantly improve this land and believe you can taste the life in the glass.” 

Blind Corner have an ‘indie’ and experimental approach to winemaking. “The range of flavours and wine styles you can get from the humble grape is incredible. We love playing around in the winery with different techniques to create wines that are interesting and often unexpected,” he tells me. 

Some favourites include their skin contact whites-  Governo, their Sauvignon Blanc, their Pinot Grigio and the ‘Orange* in Colour’, a blend of white varietals. 

The cellar door is a rustic and relaxed place to hang out.  Apart from tastings you might even get a tour with Ben of the winery, veggie patch, Hippie Chicks (chickens) and beehives.

We want to regenerate and constantly improve this land and believe you can taste the life in the glass

Gralyn Artizan Rare Muscat Barrel Room
Gralyn Estate is one of the oldest wineries in the region.

Gralyn Wines

Great Fortified Wines/Region’s First Cellar Door

Gralyn Wines are the product of Western Australia’s most famous fortified winemaker but also make table wines focussed on Cabernet, Shiraz and Chardonnay. 

Gralyn was established in 1975 is now run by the second generation- Annette Baxter and husband Scott.  Annette laughs “I started young, Mum (Merilyn) would often present me with a flight of dry reds or fortifieds in the morning to do a sensory evaluation with her with my breakfast. I was renowned for never making the school bus on time!” 

Winemaker Scott explains how fortified wines are made differently- “We add spirit to the base wine which in turn stops the ferment and ‘fortifies’ the wine. The two main styles of fortifieds are our Tawny/Muscat which age in barrels and our Vintage Port style, which is made from fruit from one particular year and is bottled early to age.”  

 “It’s official, there are no rules. Our White Chocolate and Coffee Fortified are served chilled, and sometimes poured over a favourite desert.  Anything goes!” Scott laughs. Bartenders are using fortifieds in cocktails.  

“Fortifieds are so versatile and can be enjoyed whilst young and fresh or can be cellared to reach their full potential.” 

Apart from regular tastings, there are bookable experiences including back vintages of fortified and table wine, including birth year wines. Treat yourself! 

The two main styles of fortifieds are our Tawny/Muscat which age in barrels and our Vintage Port style, which is made from fruit from one particular year and is bottled early to age

Aerial photo of a group standing amongst the sensory garden at Whicher Ridge Wines
The sensory garden at Whicher Ridge is a unique experience.

Looking For More?

Other small wineries to taste at include Whicher Ridge, with their unique Sensory Garden and Mr Barval, tiny production but sky-high standards.

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