It was a hot summer day in the Christmas holidays, and a day of little agenda when we could do as we wish, go where we fancied. Bliss.

Top Margaret River Wineries
Bunker Bay near Dunsborough

We drove to Bunker Bay for a walk on the beach before our thoughts turned towards food, lunch specifically, and Margaret River with its lovely wine estates and restaurants that always offer such a wonderful array of local gourmet produce.

Top Margaret River Wineries

Where should we go? Voyager, Vasse Felix, Leeuwin, Cullen, Aravina? Names of some of the top Margaret River Wineries dripped fast and furious, until we both looked up and said: “Watershed. That’s where we’ll go.”

Top Margaret River Wineries Watershed – Winery and Restaurant

Just south of Margaret River on the Bussel Highway you’ll find this modern contemporary winery at the end of a winding driveway that’s bordered by lavender and acres of vineyards, like an ocean as far as the eye can see.

Sitting in the open, light, airy restaurant with its floor length windows and wraparound balcony you can be forgiven for thinking that you’re on a ship sailing amongst a sea of vines.

Again. Bliss!

The word ‘Watershed’ means to go to a new or higher level of understanding, an awakening of sorts.

And at Watershed you might be inspired by new gourmet awakenings, such as tasting truffles, perhaps, which are harvested in Manjimup. The Oak Valley Truffle Project has 75 hectares planted to Oak and Hazel trees, and in truffle season from June to August you can expect several truffle dishes featured on the Watershed menu.

As we ordered our meals we had a lovely but unexpected visit from Dan, the new chef. We’d previously met him and tasted his innovative cooking at Silkwood Winery in Pemberton, so it was a big surprise when he came to our table and said:

“Jo, isn’t it? I met you several months ago.”

Dan Gedge started his career as an apprentice with TV celebrity Chef Rick Stein in Cornwall, working at Rick’s seafood restaurant in Padstow in England for 8 years. As I come from Devon, and have been to Rick Stein’s restaurant in Padstow, I was really interested in Dan’s story.

Rick Stein’s Senior Sous Chef

Dan progressed over the next 7 years to the position of Senior Sous Chef. During his time with Rick Stein Dan had the opportunity to work in the cookery school and alongside Rick in his various TV productions. More recently he worked alongside Rick during the recent Margaret River Gourmet Escape.

“I like to produce classical flavour combinations with little surprises,” he told me. “And I always use the best of the best – I also don’t like to over complicate things.”

Top Margaret River Wineries
Presentation and colour were really appealing. Here are the main courses we chose and my dessert.

When we complimented him on the starters – he chuckled.

“Our taste plates are designed to defer any ‘plate envy’ – we offer a selection of all the starters at once which prevents diners wishing they’d tried something else!”

Top Margaret River Wineries
We had a taste plate for starters, and our favourites were the cured salmon with nori seaweed, cucumber, miso ailoi, radish and puffed wild rice and the Esperance scallops with green papaya, Thai Basil, roasted penauts, chicken satay and lime.

For mains we had: Big Red Pork Scotch Fillet, with Macadamia nut puree, grilled Nannup peach, pulled pork croquette, and crackle wheel. Local Lamb Rump and Rib, with Medjool dates, pearl couscous, prserved lemon, eggplant and yoghurt puree, and pistachio nuts. Market Fish – pink snapper.

Top Margaret River Wineries
Sourdough bread and olive oil were brought out as we were ordering. The side dish we chose; rocket, pear, parmesan salad, pictured, was big enough for 3 people.

Wines we particularly enjoyed: 2014 Shades Sauvignon Blanc Semillon, 2012 Awakening Single Vineyard Chardonnay, 2011 Senses Cabernet Merlot.


Top Margaret River Wineries

What you need to know

Facilities: Restaurant, Cafe, Cellar Door, Playground, Weddings, Kid Friendly.

Watershed Website: Here

Address: 12 Darch Road, Margaret River WA 6285

Opening Hours
Cellar Door:
Mon – Sun,  10am to 5pm
Mon – Sun, 12pm to 3pm
Mon – Sun 10am to 4.30pm
(Coffee and Cakes)
12pm to 3pm (Lunch Service)Can’t wait to hear about your favourite Margaret River wineries.
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  1. Oh my gosh your meal looks and sounds so incredibly delicious, Johanna! That is so cool that you ran across Dan there and he made up that amazing selection of dishes for you. Gawd, I’m just drooling now as I haven’t eaten yet this morning. Yummy post and have a great day! 🙂

  2. Hello Mike, thanks for popping by today. It’s first thing in the morning as I read this and I forgot to eat dinner last night as I was blogging – you’re right, foodie posts shouldn’t be consumed whilst hungry. [Not Looking!] Have a great day over there in the States!

  3. I’m salivating here reading your meal descriptions! The taste plate looks sumptuous. How did I miss this winery when I was in Margaret River? I would love to wine and dine here – another one for the bucket list! 🙂

  4. I can see that a trip needs to be planned Kathy – one where we can go and Eat All The Food and Drink All The Wine 😉 lol!

  5. How weird! The last couple of posts I’ve read here feature you with a glass of wine in your hand!! Can’t wait to see what’s in the next one 😀

  6. Watch this space Red! We don’t live in this viticultious part of the world for nothing 😉

  7. It is a great taste plate, Jill. Now I just need your food photography skills to make it look even better 😉

  8. santafetraveler

    What a great combo: the beach and good food and fine wine. Sounds like a winner to me.

  9. The food looks delicious. Wonderful presentation. I love the lavender bordering the driveway to Watershed. I can imagine how great it smelled.

  10. We were discussing the other day how fortunate we are in Australia to have such wonderful variety in our food. Margaret River epitomises this in the choices of where to enjoy both food and wine. This looked amazing

  11. We had lavender that was near our porch at our home in Montana and I love your photos of the lavender lined driveway to the Watershed Winery. I’m closing my eyes to remember how lovely it smelled! I’m also taken with the variety of starters as I have experienced, too many times to count, “plate envy!”

  12. What beautiful plates and I loved the shared bites to stall ‘diners envy.’ Wonderful culinary things happening in Washington.

  13. Wow, I love wineries and restaurants like this and the food looks simply stunning as you do in your summer dress!

  14. What a civilized way of dealing with the dreaded Plate Envy! This would be my favorite thing to do on a Sunday afternoon, or any old afternoon for that matter. Beautiful.

  15. Watershed’s philosophy on plate envy is absolutely spot on, isn’t it Betsy!

  16. We are so lucky in Australia and modern Australian cuisine has really upped its ante in the last few years I think.

  17. The lavender is gorgeous, isn’t it Donna. It grows really well in WA as we have a Mediterranean climate here. Yes it smells divine too 🙂

  18. This part of the world puts on a show with so many world class beaches and so many world class wineries, Santafetravler 🙂

  19. As I’m sure I’ve mentioned before, in 2002, we decided to spend our last day in Perth before a late night flight on a Margaret River winery tour. We enjoyed lunch at one, but yours looks like it was unbelievably scrumptious in a beautiful place. If we ever visit our friends in Perth again (it’s a bit of a long trip from Philadelphia), I think we’ll again indulge in a Margaret River soiree with your blog close at hand for recommendations.

  20. Hope we see you back in Perth one day, with a nice long list of things to do from ZigaZag’s archives, for a wonderful trip to the south west Suzanne. Thanks for popping by 🙂

  21. How wonderful Johanna! I love the idea that the taste plates offer a sample of all the starters at once. You just can’t go wrong, can you? Thanks for sharing.

  22. Yes Wanda it’s so great to have All.Of.The.Starters! All at once 🙂 Thanks for popping by.

  23. Oh, I don’t know why that’s happening Carole, but thanks for persevering 🙂

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  25. Pingback: Fun Things to do in Margaret River – Dirty Detours Sip n’ Cycle Bike Tour – Eat Fun Love travel

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