Are the any award-winning wine and gourmet food in Western Australia? Travel to Margaret River area and the answer is a resounding “Yes”. Like a fine wine, the region is a blend of slow-paced country living with a definitive note of urban vibe.
The town of Margaret River bears the name of the river on which it lies and is 5 miles inland from the Indian Ocean. Margaret River’s emergent international standing as a fine wine producing area is gaining traction in North America. Although the first vines were planted less than fifty years ago, the Mediterranean-style soil and weather conditions have allowed the wines and the region’s reputation to grow exponentially. Leading varietals include chardonnay and full-bodied cabernet sauvignons, shiraz and semillon blancs. But newer varietals such as viognier are beginning to gain notoriety, as well as preservative free wines.
With close to150 wine producers in the area, there are more than enough opportunities to tempt even the most discriminating palates. The area produces roughly three percent of the total national production but commands almost a quarter of the Australian premium wine market. Not only will your wine palate be satiated, your taste buds will be tantalized as many of the estates boast award-wining restaurants or casual dining rooms. And to compliment the experience, there are many artisan shops, galleries and boutiques to tempt your wallet.
There’s more to Margaret River than just wining and dining. Situated adjacent to the ocean, the area boasts pristine beaches at nearby Prevelly, whale watching, game fishing and major surfing spots. On land, get ready for an explosion of color each spring as the landscape blooms with wildflowers. A spectacular trio of caves, Mammoth, Jewel and Lake, provide for a unique, guided underground experience.
One of the fastest growing tourist destinations in the area is Busselton, located approximately 30-minutes drive north of Margaret River. The town sits on the shores of Geographe Bay and boasts the Busselton Jetty, which extends over a mile into the bay. The Heritage listed, all wooden jetty is the largest such structure in the Southern Hemisphere and home to giant Underwater Observatory.
If you wanted to tick another box on your Bucket List, then visit nearby Cape Leeuwin. The adjoining active lighthouse marks the most southwest point on the continent and is situated above the roaring waves where the Indian and Southern Oceans meet. While the adrenalin is flowing, you might to get out and try a 4-wheel drive tour, walking, hiking or biking the many picturesque trails in the area or kayaking back on the Margaret River.
The suburb of Wilyabrup is located a short 15-minute drive from the town of Margaret River. It was here, less than half-a-century ago, that the first vines were planted in the region. Aside from wines, Wilyabrup, along with nearby Metricup township, has the largest concentration of boutique breweries in the region.
So whether you fancy wines or beers, or a bit of both, travel to Margaret River to quench your thirst.