Become a Margaret River Wine Expert
Wednesday, May 17, 2017. Written by Benson Holland.
There is no place anywhere in Western Australia more appropriate for wine aficionados than Margaret River. The area is awash in 5 star rated wineries that offer a variety of world class white and red wines. This is not just a brag from a Margaret River native, because our wines, from dry to sweet, have been tasted, tested, and rated by some of the world’s top wine experts from across Australia, Europe, and America.
Our highly praised wines come from both large and small vineyards; where the owners and staff take the utmost pride in producing the finest wine they possibly can.
What Makes the Grapes of Margaret River So Special?
In two words, the answer is the ideal environment. Our grapes are grown in the perfect soil with the precise balance of nutrients that grapes adore, and in the perfect climate for exposure to sun, rain, and temperature. The results are some of the most desirable white Chardonnay, red Cabernet Sauvignon, and Margaret River signature red Shiraz wines found in the world. The Margaret River wine industry is young in years compared to the other major wine countries of Europe, but during its 50 years of harvesting and producing wines it has rapidly acquired an amazing reputation for top quality, highly rated, much sought after wine.
The Margaret River wine region grows a mere 3% of all the grapes harvested in Australia, while producing more than 20% of the wines enjoyed throughout the country. Come visit, chat with the residents, indulge in a few wine tours, give your taste buds a real holiday, and then try to decide which of our celebrated wines you’ll want to take home to continue the experience.
Which Varieties Does the Region Produce?
Whether you prefer a white or red wine, a rosé or sparkling wine, or one of the other specialty wines (port, Madeira, Marsala, or dessert), you’ll discover your new best favourite wine at one or two of our numerous wineries. Did I mention that there are some 300 wineries lining the Margaret River landscape? Depending on your point of view, this will make your winery selection either very easy or somewhat difficult. But, if you are open to exploring new tastes and jaw dropping scenery, Margaret River is where you want to be.
We proudly recommend a number of local wineries, for their variety of wines, parking space, wine cellar tasting and sales, knowledgeable staff on hand to help with your wine selections, and convenient hours of operation that are open to the public. Some wineries have a small fee for wine and food tasting while some wineries offer complimentary wine tasting. Some wineries also require a reservation. In addition to our personal list of wineries, we have listed below some of the best, 5 star rated, 2016 Margaret River wineries mentioned in the James Halliday’s “Australian Wine Companion”. Mr. Halliday is Australia’s most relied upon wine connoisseur.
Margaret River’s Best of the Best
Some of the many wineries we (and Mr. Halliday) recommend include:
For additional research on specific details about the top Margaret River wineries that lets you know the types of grapes, the colour of the grapes, the finished style of wines (whites, reds, etc.), the estimated price ranges, and their star quality ratings, check out the Snooth website. Yes, this is an online shopping site, but it is a good all-in-one reference that can help you narrow down all of the wineries that you would like to visit that will be within your interest and spending allowance.
Visiting Wineries in the Region
Whether you prefer a good wine all on its own, with a meal, or only drink wine on special occasions, wine tasting is a totally different experience. Yes, there are actually tips of the trade on how to get the most flavour and enjoyment from wines during a tasting. Since we are never too old to learn something new, you can read some advice from wine experts on the art of wine tasting here. And no, you don’t have to commit this information to memory because the winery staff will gladly help you through the experience if you want guidance. But, if you are anticipating an extraordinary adventure, then you will not be disappointed. Let your taste buds be the determining factor on what is a good or great wine for you. After all, that is why you are going to a wine tasting, right?
Discovering the bounty of wines only found in Margaret River is as easy as touring the area for a day, or visiting a winery or two during a weekend holiday, or adding several tours to your schedule when you’re planning on staying in the area for your seasonal holiday. One tip for planning the easiest way to get the most out of your wine adventure is to consider joining one or more regional wine tours during your visit. There are a number of local touring companies that specialise in either a one day tour of one particular winery or an all day tour of several wineries. These tours can include field excursions of the grape fields, learning how the grapes are grown and harvested, seeing how the wines are processed, enjoying a tasting session in a wine cellar, and discovering how to pair the wines with complementary foods. Most tours also include a scheduled midday or early evening meal at a vineyard restaurant. We highly recommend McLeod Tours. You can see their range of tours here.
Another tip for winery visits is to add one or two winery stops to your itinerary when exploring the area’s various outdoor activities in a private vehicle. A number of the wineries also offer evening dining and entertainment. So, whether you prefer to start out early in the morning or stay out late in the evening, there is a winery waiting for your visit. It is not unusual for wine lovers to visit Margaret River to immerse themselves in the vineyard ambiance, and then to leave as a Margaret River wine expert.
Explore Margaret River
In addition to the nearly 300 local wineries, there are a number of other attractions perfectly suited for the entire family. You can enjoy surfing, hiking, boating, fishing, cave explorations, evening entertainment, and food tastings at our local cheese and chocolate emporiums. There is something here for every member of your party, from the youngest to the oldest.
When you have the time to relax and explore, there is no place like Margaret River. You’ll be planning your next trip here before you even leave. Come for the wine experience and stay for the awe inspiring scenery, the relaxing atmosphere, the outdoor activities, and the opportunity to interact with some of the friendly locals.