One of the leading regions of the Australian wine world, Margaret River is a holiday haven for wine lovers. Today I am sharing an introduction to seven of the top Margaret River wineries, so you know exactly where to go and what to drink while you’re there. So what are you waiting for? It’s time to look for flights and search for accommodations in Margaret River today!
Cape Mentelle Vineyards
One of the first vineyards of the Margaret River region, Cape Mentelle has been winning national and international awards since it was established in 1970 by the Hohen brothers. The winery largely credits the location, soils and winemaking expertise for its continued success. Today’s winemaking team is now headed up by the innovative Robert Mann, who continues to push the boundaries to move the business forward. Try the cabernet sauvignon, which is considered an example of what Aussie cabernet sauvignon should be.
Another one of the region’s original wineries, Arlewood Estate is a medium-sized operation of 90 hectares. With a humble philosophy in regards to business and winemaking, the company prides itself on having a warm and welcoming atmosphere. Two of their top drops include the 2007 cabernet sauvignon and the 2009 La Bratta Rosso.
A premium winery with over 300 hectares of vineyards, Clairault was established in 1976. The age of the vines and the quality of the soils has resulted in a strong portfolio of award-winning wines. The cellar door is set upon a pristine property of beautiful bushland, so park up with your favourite drop at their onsite café. In terms of recommendations, their hand-harvested mid-tier label, Clairault Estate, is particularly noteworthy.
A winery with a huge resume of accolades and awards, Brookland Valley is one of the best Margs has to offer. In 2009, it was named “Winery of the Year” in the annual James Halliday Australia Wine Companion, and has been named a front-runner in latter editions. If you have time, stop for lunch at the winery’s stunning Flute restaurant and sample the “Flutes Trio” consisting of three kinds of fish (Pemberton marron, Tassie salmon and Cook Bay barra) served with a goat cheese and macadamia crumble. Delicious!
Michael Wright established Voyager Estate’s vineyards in 1978. Although he passed away in 2012, his daughter continues to manage the operation and remains true to Michael’s philosophy that a wine is only as good as the conditions its grapes are grown in. Because of this, there is a strong emphasis on viticulture. If you get the chance, try one of the wines from their premium label, Tom Price.
Owning the title of being the first vineyard and winery established in Margs, Vasse Felix will not compromise on their wine’s quality for any amount of money. It is this mentality that has guaranteed their international success. Their numerous accolades include being named as a “Top 100 International Winery” in 2012 by Wine & Spirits USA, alongside head winemaker Virginia Willcock earning the title of “Australian Winemaker of the Year” in 2012 from Gourmet Traveller WINE. Vasse Felix’s renowned cabernet sauvignon, chardonnay, semillon and sauvignon blanc wines are exported to over 25 different countries.
One of the biggest brand names in the Margaret River region, James Halliday once described Leeuwin Estate’s Art Series Chardonnay as being “Australia’s finest example” of chardonnay. A great example of new-world wines, Leeuwin boasts one of the most modern wineries in Margs, equipped with the latest in wine-making technology. The winery is still owned by its founders, Denis and Tricia Horgan, with their son Justin taking care of day-to-day operations. As well as the chardonnay, make some time for the cabernet sauvignon!
Margaret River is high up on my places to visit so I have to thank Samantha Moore for this wonderful story on the regions vineyard. Samantha is an independent wine writer and food reviewer who considers Margaret River as one of the best wine regions in Australia.