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A Top Margaret River Wine Tour visiting Iconic Wine Estates

If you’re looking for a top Margaret River wine tour taking in some of the most iconic wineries in the Margaret River Region, including a gourmet lunch, and an afternoon food platter, then you shouldn’t be disappointed if you book with Margaret River Tours.

Margaret River Tours

A few weeks ago we’d been put in touch with Adam from Margaret River Tours by a good friend of ours, so we called him up and booked a midweek, all day wine tasting tour with Andrew (above) as our guide.

A pioneer of wine tasting tours

Adam gave us a rundown of the history of his business. He actually pioneered wine tasting tours in Margaret River 23 years ago and his insights about the region back then and how much it’s changed in the ensuing period were fascinating.

Adam hails originally from northern New South Wales and came to WA chasing the big waves as a keen surfer. He planned to return in around 2 years, but loved it here so much that he stayed, and realised that he could make a life here.

“I thought I could be up surfing at dawn and then do a day job,” Adam told us with a smile.“I love meeting people from around the world, and 23 years ago I was becoming interested in the region’s burgeoning wine industry and realised that nobody was offering wine tours. I was lucky to get backing from some mates and started up the first wine tour company in the region. It changed my life completely.”

A top Margaret River Wine Tour. One of the best in the South West (Australia). Top wines, iconic wineries, gourmet lunch.

The Margaret River Wine Tour

We joined the tour at around 10am and met Andrew our guide for the day. Andrew’s also a stalwart of the Margaret River wine industry, having been in the region for more than 20 years. It was a privilege to have him look after us for the day and we learned so much about the places we were visiting and the history of the area.

Margaret River Wine Tour

Because of their long standing history within the region Margaret River Tours has access to some of the most well established and renowned cellar doors and their connection to the flagship wineries is a differentiator when it comes to wine tours.

The tour company is all about quality wine and quality food, and with this in mind we were lucky enough to visit; Stella Bella, Leeuwin Estate, Watershed, Voyager, McHenry Hohnen and Vasse Felix.

Margaret River Wine Tour

After visiting acclaimed wineries and enjoying a gourmet lunch at Watershed, we were served a complimentary vineyard platter between destinations onboard the bus. We also visited the Margaret River Dairy Company and the Margaret River Chocolate Company for some free tastings and gift buying opportunities.

Read more about what to do in Margaret River and more about this wine tour here : Why a Short Mid Week Break is good for you.

Why take a wine tour?

Taking a wine tour is really a great way to visit the cellar doors – much better than doing it alone.

Travelling with Margaret River Tours we had excellent access to the wineries, we didn’t have to watch how much wine we tasted as we didn’t need to worry about driving, and we learnt so much as we travelled around the area.

But really, for us, one of the great pleasures was to spend the day with a group of interesting and vibrant people (there were 11 of us on the tour). We think it’s often so much more pleasurable to share explorations and enjoyment with a group of new found friends.

Margaret River Wine Tour, Voyager

I could wax lyrical about each and every cellar door we visited and all the the wines we tasted and I mean ALL! We really did sample some of the very best of the region.

But this is my snapshot of our fantastic day wine tasting and touring with Andrew, and Margaret River Wine Tours.

Stella Bella

Something you might not know

You might think Stella Bella is named after the Italian translation – which means ‘bright and beautiful. But you’d be wrong. Stella Bella is named after the owners’ 2 Irish Wolfhounds – Stella and Bella.

Margaret River Wine Tour, Stella Bella

Why Visit

Stuart the owner has a Monty Python-esque sense of humour which is evident from the labels and the names of the wines. The wines are high quality and the cellar door is just outside Margaret River on Rosa Brook Road. Friendly cellar door staff. Marvellously whimsical wine display (You just have to go and see it).

Margaret River Wine Tour, Stella Bella

The Wines

The wine labels are whimsical.

Heart and soul of the range is the Stella Bella. The core brand.

Entry level wines are the Scuttlebutt range, made to be enjoyed.

The more serious single vineyard, estate range is called Suckfizzle which is purportedly named after Lord Suckfizzle a character from a 15th Century novel.

“Fortunately not named after his companion Lord Lick My Ass,” joked Andrew as we approached the estate.

Our Fave

Stella Bella Sauvignon Blanc which is really a superb example of the region’s Sauvignon Blancs.

Leeuwin Estate

Something you might not know

Although this is one of the flagship wineries in the region it’s still relatively new when it comes to wine in a worldwide sense. It started out in 1960’s as a cattle farm. 1974 saw the first planting of vines and 1978 witnessed the first vintage. There are now around 200 hectares under vine.

 

Margaret River Wine Tour, Leeuwin Estate

Probably everyone knows about the marvellous concerts at Leeuwin –  iconic stars have been hosted at Leeuwin – such as Diana Krall, Brian Ferry, Tom Jones, Sting and more. But did you know that their premium wine, the Art Series has its label changed every year? There’s also a Sibling Range which is named after the owners grown up children, who now run the estate.

Margaret River Wine Tour, vines

Why Visit

Leeuwin has the most beautiful grounds, and the MR Gourmet Escape is hosted here on the vast lawns each year. Book a ticket for the annual concert. Have lunch – The restaurant looks out over the manicured lawns and tall trees.

Our Fave

Art Series Chardonnay – we think this is the best Chardy in the region. Think Nashi pears, limes, white peach and fig. But of course wine is very much a personal taste.

Watershed

We had lunch at Watershed in their cafe at a long table with our new found friends on the tour and between us we sampled the whole menu. Dave turned to me and said: “Wow I would have been happy with any one of these dishes!”

Margaret River Wine Tour, Watershed, lunch

I’d chosen a delicious House Smoked Salmon, with potato salad, horseradish, chives, apple and soft boiled egg while Dave chose grilled haloumi, freekeh, roasted pumpkin, nuts and seeds, turkish bread and tahini yoghurt.

Margaret River Wine Tour, Watershed winery

Something you might not know

Watershed is situated between two river basins in Boodjidup Brook and like the Margaret River it flows west to the Indian Ocean. Watershed overlooks the valley with beautiful views from the restaurant over the vineyards, but did you know that in 1896 there was a gold discovery and a small rush of claims in the area.

Margaret River Wine Tour, Watershed view

Why Visit

Watershed has a bright, contemporary restaurant with stunning views across the vineyards –  expect a great cellar door experience with branded merchandise for sale.

Margaret River Wine Tour, Watershed

Our Fave

Apart from the classics we enjoy their Senses Sangiovese, and Senses Zinfandel.

Voyager

Something you might not know

Flying outside you can’t fail to notice the flag which is allegedly the third biggest flag in the southern hemisphere and the size of a tennis court.

Margaret River Wine Tour, Voyager Estate

When you walk up to the cellar door and restaurant you might think you’re walking into Stellenbosch or Cape Town on the Cape of Good Hope, for the owner was so taken with Cape Dutch architecture, he modelled the building on Groot Constantia in Cape Town.

Top Margaret River Wine Tour

Why Visit

Visit for the beautiful architecture, the degustation menu, incredible displays of roses in season, and the fantastic gardens at any time of year. The estate often hosts some wonderful events – we’ve been fortunate to watch Shakespeare plays here on the lawns and have had the most memorable evenings.

Our Favourite

We really enjoy Girt by Sea Cabernet Merlot which is a really pleasant everyday drinking wine.

McHenry Hohnen

Something you might not know

David and Sandy Hohnen established Cape Mentelle vineyard and winery in the 1970s, developing it into one of Margaret River’s most iconic wineries.

Why Visit?

Situated close to the coast on the sharpest bend of the Margaret River the wines are grown using bio dynamic principles. There’s also a tasty selection of home cured meats for sale. Cute and farm style cellar door experience.

Margaret River Wine Tour

Our Fave

The Amigos Red, an SGM – blend of Shiraz, Grenache, Mataro. This is  a drink-me-now red with attitude!

Margaret River Wine Tour, Amigos

Vasse Felix

Something you might not know

This was the first commercial vineyard and winery in the Margaret River region. It celebrates its 50th anniversary this year. As we drove in we passed ‘Tom’s block’ a vineyard of 50 year old Shiraz vines. Tom Cullity is known as the pioneer of the Margaret River Wine industry and planted the first vines in 1967. But the first vintage was a disaster when the fruit was mostly destroyed by birds.

Margaret River Wine Tour

Why Visit

There’s a fantastic restaurant offering great views and delicious food. Service is super. Spacious art gallery which is also a venue for functions, plays and concerts. Friendly and efficient cellar door beyond gracious grounds.

A Top Margaret River Wine Tour

Our Fave

The Tom Cullity Cabernet Sauvignon – a special treat and a great example of the very best Cabs of the region.  Also loved the Blanc de Blancs sparkling which is made in the traditional method, from a tiny block of Chardonnay in the cooler Karridale vineyard.

 

Visiting wineries on Margaret River Wine tour

And last but not least

We visited the Margaret River Chocolate Co. for a few handfuls of complimentary chocolate drops and to stock up on chocolate treats for presents,, and then to the Margaret River Cheese Co. where we tasted a selection of cheeses and bought a fantastic mature cheddar and some delicious relish.

Chocolate Factory, Margaret River

 

What a fabulous day we’d had!

Iconic wineries, top wines, fantastic food, an all day educational and humorous commentary by Andrew, and great new friends were made too.

Margaret River Wine Tours

Disclaimer: My Margaret River wine tour was complimentary. But all views and opinions are my own.

To book a tour visit Margaret River Tours. Telephone details are on the top photo of this post.

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Comments

  1. I love wine tours! The Margaret River Wine Tour looks like a real gem. Thx for sharing.

  2. The Margaret River Wine Tour looks wonderful. Sounds like a perfect day, topped off with cheese and chocolate!

  3. I have to confess I’ve yet to do a wine or food tour but this one looks wonderful! You’ve got me thinking now that I’m really missing something. And Stuart, the owner of Stella Bella, sounds like an owner who would be especially fun to meet!

  4. Hi Anita, definitely a wine tour is a great way to experience not only the wines but also gain an insight into the region too. Yes, you’re so right – the Stella Bella branding is wonderfully quirky.

  5. Hi Donna, yes 🙂 couldn’t have been better!

  6. Hello Doreen, wine tours are great – but I know You would have loved the chocolate factory too!

  7. Although I don’t drink, I enjoy learning about the business and history of wine and wineries. I really enjoyed your post!!

  8. Thanks Marilyn 🙂 Yes, there’s so much more to a wine tour than slurping, although I do enjoy the slurping 🙂

  9. Sounds like you had a fabulous day Jo. I’d never thought of taking an organised wine tour, but it sounds like a great way to meet new people, hear some of the background of the wine industry, and visit some fabulous wineries. That lunch at Watershed looks delicious.

  10. It’s such a great way to learn a little more about the region Jill. And to have a little fun and laughter along the way too.

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