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CLIVE AND DIANE HADDOW ON THE MOVE

THE WINERIES OF MARGARET RIVER.

THE WINERIES OF MARGARET RIVER 

Welcome to this page which is dedicated to “THE WINERIES OF MARGARET RIVER“.

Margaret River is located approx 3 hours south of Perth – the region has a great climate and is home to some 105 wineries. Margaret River is also known world wide for its surf breaks. The whole area is very charming and has just about everything that one could want from great beaches, beautiful clear water to world class wineries with world class restaurants.

On this page we are going to try and visit all the wineries here over the next 6 months (about 105 wineries)and do a short summary on our visit. HOPE YOU ENJOY…..

THE BEGINNING……………..

THE GROWERS.

1071 Wildwood Road Yallingup

http://www.thegrowers.com/home.html

 Traveling down from Busselton through Vasse and then a right turn into Wildwood Road Leads you to a number of wineries – at the end of this road you join the Caves road and can either turn right towards Yallingup or left to go down the Caves road towards Margaret river.Our first stop was a winery called “THE GROWERS” Lovely venue looking out onto a lake, with a nice verandah. This tasting venue was well set up and had a nice feel about it. We were welcomed by some very friendly guinea fowl. Unfortunately the person who was doing the wine tasting was not very good at all – there certainly was not real welcome and although she appeared knowledgeable she was very unfriendly to say the least. Information about the winery had to be extracted from her like pulling teeth.

THE GROWERS is really just a CO-OP where a number of people have formed a company and pool resources and reserves. Their labels are all over the place with no real recognizable image. The wine itself overall can be described as easy drinking BBQ style wine. Stock standard wine is very cheap, at around $7.00 per bottle if you bought a case. Overall the wine was very easy drinking and perhaps they might have done better to go the cheaper route of putting the wine in “Casks” although the wine itself was not anywhere as bad as Cask wine. This winery has so much potential with the venue etc but loses it with the hosting. Also what was so strange is that the guinea fowl could so easily have been used in the labels to pull the wines together and also to be able to make more sales around keep sakes.Anyway purchased a case of the Rose and at around $7 per bottle great value!

RATINGS (1 poor and 10 Fantastic)

Plus – Great venue/real potential

Negative – Hosting of tasting/lack of recognizable label/poor use of local opportunities/Missing out on the potential.

Wine – cost  5 overall taste 6

Venue – 7

Feel  – 7

Food  – none

OVERALL – 6

Would we go back – Yes

Why? – Only to buy some more cheap wine.

  RIVENDELL

Wildwood Road Yallinguphttp:

http://www.rivendellwines.com.au/docs/home/index.aspx

 Only a few kilometers down the road you find RIVENDELL. This winery and restaurant has an extremely poor entrance – From the parking lot we had to walk around looking for the entrance. Once inside the small entrance we had a good size tasting room that lead on to the restaurant. Limited wine for tasting, but not bad again similar to THE GROWERS as the wine was very good value. We again purchased a case of wine and only paid around $5.00 per bottle – how do they make money? Their 2008 Chardonnay was nice and only $18.00 per bottle. The current owners have now sold out and are concentrating on something called “PURE” which is a droplet container and you put around 1-3 drops in your glass of wine and you do not get any hangover at all. Interesting……The restaurant looked nice with a good outlook – this was a Friday and the place was only about 30% full which is not a good sign. The menu did not look bad but like everywhere in WA far too expensive. The wine itself (considering the price of the meals) was just a laminated piece of paper with the menu typed on it. Not a real good look when you are charging these prices.

RATINGS (1 poor and 10 Fantastic)

Plus – Overall a nice winery but nothing special. Nice venue/good potential/accommodation on the premises/cheap reasonable wine.

Negative – Ordinary hosting/entrance very poor/poor PR from the restaurant. Again the menu is expensive mains $35 to $40

Wine – cost  7 overall taste 5

Venue – 6

Feel  – 6

Food  –  6

OVERALL – 6

Would we go back – Maybe

Why? – Only to buy some more cheap wine or maybe have a meal.

 CAPE NATURALISTE WINEYARD

Caves Road 

 Looked nice we spent some time in the Tasting room but nobody was there!!!!!

Small and nice outlook – the wines appear to have won a number of medals but unfortunately we did not get a chance to taste.

Pricey wines – all over $25 a bottle.

Would we go back – PERHAPS NO.  

 WISE WINE

Lot 80 Eagle Bay roadEagle bay

http://wisefood.com/

 

 Situated about 30KM from Busselton going toward Bunker bay, turn off into Eagle Bay road and only about .5km down the road opposite the Eagle Bay Brewery.

Now this is a winery – good entrance and parking and a fantastic view from all the grounds back to the sea on an elevated site.

Great patio area outside the tasting room and the restaurant has fantastic views. The menu is also pretty expensive but the view and feeling makes it worthwhile.

The lady doing the tasting was very good – listening to what we like and trying to match our taste with the wines. They have a lovely “Chardonnay 2007 Pemberton reserve” at $28, a little pricey but very good. Also a “2009 Geographe Viognier” which was also very nice.

Again a little pricey at $28 per bottle. They also had a 2010 Verdelho which was nice and well priced at $18. If you like a sparkling shiraz then they have a deep color, very nice sparking shiraz called “NV Black Bead Sparkling Shiraz”.($18)

RATINGS (1 poor and 10 Fantastic)

Plus – Good hosting in tasting room, lovely venue with great views and really nice feel.

Negative –Again the menu is expensive but the venue is fantastic

Wine – cost  5 overall taste 8

Venue – 9

Feel  – 9

Food  –  8

OVERALL – 9

Would we go back – Yes

Why? – Great views to the sea and lovely feel to the place

 

Clairault

Caves Road Willyabrup

http://clairaultwines.com/  

 This winery is not far down the Caves road going south from Yallingup. The overall look and feel was nice but the wine tasting hosting skills was again poor.

The person doing the wine tasting was on the phone, clearly a personal call and we had to wait about 5 minutes before he would acknowledge us. The winery supplies “MARKS AND SPENCER” in the UK – They obviously think that entitles them to charge crazy prices for Wine and Food.

Di and I found the wine ordinary across the board. I am sure that Marks and Spencer could do so much better at a fraction of the cost. The Winery appears to be “up themselves” why I do not know as the wine is really not that great.   

RATINGS (1 poor and 10 Fantastic)

Plus – Nice Venue, Restaurant, tasting and overall feel.

Negative –Again the menu is expensive and the cellar door hosting is poor.

Wine – cost  3 overall taste 5

Venue – 8

Feel  – 8

Food  –  7

OVERALL – 6

Would we go back – Maybe as the venue is nice but just put off with the hosting skills and cost of food.

Why? – Just to make sure.

 SWINGS AND ROUNDABOUTS

 Caves road (About 5km south of Yallingup)

http://www.swings.com.au/ 

 

Nice venue with great outdoor area. They do wood fire pizzas for lunch which is a welcome change from all the other food wineries who are trying to be so “up market” that they lose the everyday visitor. Good idea they serve lunch only being wood fire pizza which is nice – great area outside to sit and enjoy the view – pizza’s are still expensive but certainly not as bad as some of the other winery venues.   

Their wines are ok nothing really special but the venue is good.

RATINGS (1 poor and 10 Fantastic)

Plus – Nice Venue, Restaurant, tasting and overall feel.

Negative –Nothing really maybe just a lack of soul.?

Wine – cost  3 overall taste 5

Venue – 7

Feel  – 7

Food  –  7

OVERALL – 6

Would we go back – Yes

Why? – To have pizzas for lunch

 DEEP WOODS ESTATE

Commonage Road

http://www.deepwoods.com.au/main.htm

This winery is very close to Rivendell winery – nice outlook but small tasting room – no food but you can sit outside and enjoy the view. The Lady hosting was well versed in the wine and professional. Nice lady – we found the wines ok but again you just do not need to spend more than $20 per bottle of wines for Red or White.

RATINGS (1 poor and 10 Fantastic)

Plus – Nice Venue, tasting and overall feel(small tasting room but with a nice view)

Negative – Wines ok, but again you really should not have to pay more than $20 to get a great bottle of wine

Wine – cost  3 overall taste 6

Venue – 6

Feel  – 8

Food  –  None

OVERALL – 6

Would we go back – Maybe as the venue is nice.

Why? – Maybe not as there is nothing really to draw you there.

 OCCY’S BREWERY

Close to Busso

http://www.urbanspoon.com/r/338/1542410/restaurant/Perth/Occys-Brewery-Busselton

Something different – very close to Busselton (7km) on the road to Vasse and Margaret river. Very rustic but nice choice of beers – inspired by the surfer  MARK OCCOLOPO known as Occy. Good outdoor venue with music on the weekends only opened 11am to 6pm everyday so very much a day time venue.

 Knotting Hill Estate 

http://knottinghill.com.au/

Metricup road (either off caves or Bussell hwy)

You walk over a bridge to get to the tasting room. Lovely venue looking out over the lake. The tasting room was a little soulless and was only saved by the view over the water. Wines are very much every day but can be a little sharp. Fantastic venue but only does platters which you can buy and sit looking out over the lake.

RATINGS (1 poor and 10 Fantastic)

Plus – Nice Venue.

Negative – Wines were not great and tasting room a little soul less.

Wine – cost  3 overall taste 4

Venue – 7

Feel  – 7 (only the view)

Food  –  Only platters which did not look very enticing.

OVERALL – 5

Would we go back – Maybe or maybe not.

Why? – Wine is not great and we are over the platters!!!

 WILLS DOMAIN

http://willsdomain.com.au/one/index.asp

Abbey farm Road

Lovely Winery great food and lovely views – what more could you want.

The wines are nice but the venue is fantastic.

Di and I had lunch – the lunch was about $30 to $35 for a main more for seafood or steak but they have lunch specials. This is what I am talking about. ! Nice food nice wine and fantastic view.

The pick so far.

RATINGS (1 poor and 10 Fantastic)

Plus – Great Venue.

Negative – Nothing really

Wine – cost  6 overall taste 4

Venue – 10

Feel  – 9 (only the view)

Food  –  Really nice food – little pricy but the venue and feel make up for it.

OVERALL – 9

Would we go back – Yes, YES and Yes

Why? – Lovely place for lunch

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