When you visit one of Australia’s premium wine regions, what better way is there to see it than on a winery tour?
When Trading Plates hit Perth last week, we didn’t waste any time heading to the Swan Valley to taste some delicious wines, cheeses, beers and other local produce.
We started the afternoon with a stop at the iconic Sandalford Winery, where we tried a selection of wines in the beautiful cellar door while learning a bit of history about the region.
A lot of Mediterranean winemakers originally settled in Australia and brought their vines and winemaking techniques with them. Consequently, a lot of the wines are similar in style to bold Italian wines you may find if you holiday in Europe.
Some of the signature wines of the region include fortified wines such as Muscat, or warmer, old wines like a Shiraz and Grenache. The hot weather that lends itself to these styles also makes a cracking sparkling wine, which is dry but so fresh.
The next stop was Ugly Duckling Wines, which was a lot more low key than Sandalford, but no less charming. Essentially a rustic looking shed, set up café style right on top of the vines, we were able to sip wine and enjoy a tasting plates of olives outside in the fresh air.
From there, we made our way to the third and final winery (but not the final stop of the tour!), Swanbrook. Currently owned by a Portuguese couple, this is one of the older wineries in the Valley, where all the wines certainly err towards old-style Mediterranean. Here we also sampled some delicious local cheeses, such as a triple cream brie, a chilli cream cheese and a bitey cheddar just to name a few.
The winery component of the day may have been over, but the fun sure wasn’t. Next stop was Elmar’s Brewery, a traditional German beer maker right in the heart of the Swan Valley. Not only do Elmar’s do beer, they also specialise in smoked meats. If you head out for brunch anywhere in Perth or greater WA, chances are you will see some Elmar’s bacon on the menu at some cafes!
After sampling a beer or two, it was off to the Margaret River Chocolate Factory and Swan Valley Providore for a feast of relishes, jams, chutneys and of course, as much chocolate as we could stuff our faces with!
If you are short on time, but want to see what the Swan Valley has to offer, a winery tour is the perfect way to cram a lot into one afternoon.
For more information about Swan Valley winery tours, visit http://www.dvinetours.com.au/