Best Wine Tastings in Western Australia

Group of friends enjoying a wine tasting trip.

There are no other places to get the best wine tasting in Western Australia than the state’s wine regions themselves. They are nestled in the cooler and coastal areas, right at the southwest corner where the climate resembles Bordeaux, France. It’s no wonder that this location’s thriving grape varieties reflect this similarity.

In this blog post, we will give interesting facts about these areas – plus our top three picks in each of these beautiful wine regions:

 

1. Swan Valley

Wine production in Western Australia may have originated back in 1840. During that time, Sandalford was established, which is located here in the Swan Valley region. Although other sites may have popped up, Swan Valley remains a hot destination for all wine lovers with grape varieties, including Chenin Blanc, Chardonnay, and Verdelho. It also doesn’t hurt that it’s close to the capital city – only 45 minutes north. Grape harvest begins at the beginning of the year.

While in Swan Valley, try these places for some wine tasting:

  • Sandalford Wines: Arguably the biggest cellar door in the state, Sandalford Wines, as mentioned, is the one that started it all and has now become one of the most famous wineries in Swan Valley. It’s open daily from 10 AM to 5 PM. Enjoy two wine tastings – for free!

Sandalford Wines cellar door - one of the most famous wineries in Swan Valley.

  • Sittella Winery: It’s easy to get to Sittella from Sandalford. Just go north along the loop, and you’ll arrive within 10 minutes. This winery may be fairly new but has already captured wine lovers’ attention from Perth and beyond. The cellar door offers a traditional yet sophisticated experience. Sit-down tastings that overlook the vineyard are surely something you don’t want to miss. Wine tasting is not free, and prices vary, but you can redeem them all after purchasing.

Picking grapes for wine-making at Sitella winery.

  • Olive Farm Wines: Also, nearby (perhaps a three-minute drive from Sittella), you will find Olive Farm Wines. They have been in business since 1829 and never changed owners. It’s a large estate and considered to be the oldest in WA – maybe even Australia! This winery is great for everyone, even kids. There’s a vast lawn and children’s area where they are welcome to run and play. Pay only $5, and you’ll get to taste eight different wines. Have some cheeseboard, too.

Wine samples at Olive Farm Wines.

 

2. Margaret River

While wine production in the state may have started in Swan Valley, the Margaret River region was recognised as the fine wine capital of WA. In 1967, scientists, including Dr John Gladstones, saw the area as a prime location for producing premium wine. Because of this empirical perspective, vineyards and wineries began cropping up in and around Margaret River. These establishments eventually overcame WA’s geographic isolation, allowing it to become one of the most recognised states for wines in the world.

Margaret River is popularly known for its Chardonnay and Cabernet Sauvignon, along with Semillon or Sauvignon Blanc blends. While in the area, here are the best places to try for wine tastings:

  • Hay Shed Hill: It’s located on one of the region’s oldest vineyards in the region. And if you’re looking for an unforgettable wine tasting experience, Hay Shed Hill will not disappoint. It has over 25 wines that you can try, including Spanish Tempranillo and Cabernet Sauvignon. You can even sample one from their unique museum release collection. You can also dine here for some pizza and European cheeses.

Hay Shed Hill cellar door.

  • Howard Park: Just five minutes away from the beach, drive to Howard Park winery to unwind after surfing or swimming. Its award-winning architecture is sure to capture your heart. Don’t miss the chance to sample some of the handcrafted wines produced from locally-grown fruit. Wine Chapel is just nearby where couples tie the knot. Plus, it’s where you can taste some wine, particularly during private functions.

Sampling hand-crafted wines at Howard Park.

  • Hamelin Bay Wines: Another highly-acclaimed winery in the Margaret River region is Hamelin Bay Wines. You will find the Five Ashes Vineyard surrounding this place, along with Rusty Valley and tall Marri trees. We’re confident you will want to linger here after the wine tastings at the cellar door. Alfresco dining is truly a one-of-a-kind experience.

Hamelin Bay Wines alfresco dining.

 

3. The Great Southern

Although both Margaret River and Swan Valley regions have earned their mark in WA’s wine history, The Great Southern region is seeing rapid expansion over the last few years. It is now Australia’s biggest wine region, spanning 200 kilometres from east to west and 100+ kilometres from north to south.

Pinot Noir is proving to be very well-suited here, especially when it comes to the topography of the region. The vineyards spread lavishly throughout this diverse region, offering Shiraz, Malbec, Chardonnay, and Cabernet Sauvignon.

Try these wineries for a fantastic wine tasting experience:

  • West Cape Howe Wines: The Great Southern has many wineries to offer. However, if you’re in West Cape Howe, your visit is not complete unless you have tried the Hannah’s Hill Cabernet Malbec. It’s an intense blend, featuring the classic Cabernet Sauvignon Blackcurrant and is mixed with Malbec’s dark-plum flavours.

West Cape Howe Wine vineyard.

  • Swinney Vineyards: This winery may not be as old as other places, but it has won many wine aficionados’ interests. One of the things that make Swinney stand out is its collection of bush vines, including Tempranillo, Mourvèdre, and Grenache. These bush vines are non-trellised and do not yield as much. They are then “trained” to look like a bush through regular pruning. Taste some reds and wines here, too. You won’t regret it.

A view of Swinney vineyard

  • Castelli Estate: A small winery is becoming quite popular in the region. Owned by Sam Castelli, the property was originally intended to be a holiday destination for his family. But since wine has always been in his blood, he started the business. The fruits used to produce wines in Castelli Estate are from the best locations in WA, including Pemberton and Mount Barker. Sample their Riesling, Pinot Noir, Cabernet Sauvignon, and Chardonnay.

Castelli Estate wine tasting, Perth.

What are you waiting for? Try some wines from the list above. And while you’re at it, why not make this experience even more worthwhile while cruising in your gorgeous Cadillac. Book one of our classic cars (or both!) for an exciting journey you will not forget.

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