Margaret River the area of wine, cheese and chocolate. I’m not going to lie to you, the drive to Margaret River is long, straight and pretty boring.
Following the coastal road out of Perth you can take highway 1 or 2 which is either the central or the coastal road. We chose the central highway as it’s the slightly quicker route, stopping off at Bussleton a sleepy coastal town with white sand and good restaurants.
Busselton was a welcome stop from the monotony of the road and we stopped at The Goose Beach Bar + Kitchen, which is a great restaurant set on the beach overlooking the 1.8 km pier. The food is good and is very popular, so was nice to have a rest.
Arriving in Margaret River takes you through bushland, burnt from forest fires, to dairy land and then the vineyards. The area contains over 140 wineries ranging from the large established ones to the smaller and younger ones like The Watershed.
We arrived at our B&B Pinda Lodge, set outside of the main Margaret River area surrounded by large gardens. Our host wasn’t in but kindly left the keys for us so that we could freshen up before our wine tour began.
Our tour guide arrived on time to the B&B and we headed off in the mini van to pick up the other people who were joining us on the tour. We headed off to our first winery which is a large building styled in a dutch colonial style with exquisite manicured gardens and the largest privately owned Australian flag apparently. We tried 6 wines, although it felt a bit rushed before looking around the shop then heading off in the mini van to the next winery; The Watershed.
The Watershed is a ‘younger’ winery and has been going for about the last 15 years. The plot on which The Watershed is set is beautiful, walking through the small entrance you are greeted by a view over the vineyard and the lake beyond. The winery also has a restaurant that provides panoramic views over this area, although we didn’t eat here I’ve been told that it is good.
We were taken into a private room, where our wine tasting guide, a Canadian took us through the 8 wines including a great rose and a dessert wine.
The third winery was tucked away up a small drive where we were provided with another 6 wines but also ate some of their cured meats which was a welcome relief considering we hadn’t eaten anything since breakfast!
Getting back on the mini van we were provided with a lovely picnic style snack filled with olives, tomatoes, cured meats, cheese and crackers. The food was great and definitely helped to soak up the alcohol!
The final winery is one of the most established in the area, Vasse Felix. Walking up to the main building through the tidy gardens with the stream flowing on one side with ducks, reminded me so much of the UK but just with sun and heat. We sat in a well polished tasting room and had our own guide who took us through all of the wines.
BET tip * if you like any of the wines at Vasse Felix during the tasting or you want to try something else there is a tasting bar where you can try one more glass of wine* (if you needed any more!)
Dinner was by the beach watching the sunset having been driven there by a taxi man from Salford, where again the portions were huge but tasty. Heading back to the B&B in the pitch black before a bit of star and milky way gazing whilst standing near a huge kangaroo!