Guide by Emma Farrelly, director of wine, State Buildings
With its beaches, forest, vineyards and caves, Margaret River is a smorgasbord of scenery. A place as topographically blessed as our girl Margaret shouldn’t have to try so hard to please. But that doesn’t stop the Western Australian beauty from delivering a deeply satisfying array of food and wine goods.
Taking the scenic route, Emma Farrelly will take Caves Road for the most views between cellar doors. “It runs between Cape Naturaliste in the north and Cape Leeuwin in the south. Not only do you pass the A list of wine producers, but you get a real sense of the land, as the geography changes quite dramatically as you head south.”
She is a fan of Xanadu
for chardonnay and cabernet and always takes interstate visitors (when she can) to Cullen Wines
. “After a wander through the biodynamic gardens, I would be keen to show off the ‘Amber’ Sauvignon Blanc Semillon…a skin contact wine that is full in interest and complexity.” At McHenry Hohnen
she says Japo Dalli Cani’s Marsanne Roussanne blend is exceptional, as is his BDX Malbec blend, and the straight syrah. “Anyone who says Margaret River cannot produce great shiraz needs to try this.”
Cloudburst, Si Vintners, Windows Estate, Blind Corner and Glenarty Road are also on Farrelly’s radar.
As is LAS Vino
. “If you can get some time with Nic Peterkin you would be lucky,” and the Dormilona winery/disco space.
Food in Margaret River is just as rewarding especially if you nab a table at Vasse Felix
for lunch or Lady Lola
in Dunsborough for dinner. On the humbler side, a Saturday morning at Margaret River farmers markets is a lovely way to get acquainted with the area especially if you’re staying at one of the local privately owned holiday homes, which can be booked through a management company such as Private Properties. Farrelly says booking a house is the best way to experience Margaret with a group. “Otherwise, Smiths Beach Resort is delightful.”