The Margaret River Area is the premier wine producing area in Western Australia and is well-known amongst wine buffs the world over. In the shape of an ice cream cone, it extends over a vast area throughout the Margaret River Area.
Margaret River Area Travel Deals
Margaret River Wine Region
Margaret River Wine Region begins a few kilometres southwest of Busselton, across to the western coast then down south along the coast covering an area about 30km wide until Witchcliffe, about 10km south of the Margaret River Township. This area is known as Willyabrup Valley and is characterised by the soil and climate specific to the Margaret River Area and is quite a young wine-growing region.
Margaret River Wine History
Perth doctor, Dr Kevin Cullen and his wife Di the first lady of wines in Western Australia, planted the first successful vines in the late 1960s. The Cullen Diana Madeline cabernet sauvignon merlot 2001 named by the family for the grand dame is superlative - in her honour.
Wine production has increased exponentially since the early 1970s when Margaret Rivers potential was first realized and the Victoria Hotel in Subiaco was the first place in the world to actively promote Western Australian and Margaret River wines to its discerning diners.
Margaret River Wine Today
The wineries are concentrated in two main areas the first between Cowaramup and Yallingup north of the Margaret River Township and another smaller area between Margaret River Township and Witchcliffe about 10km south.
The region has absolutely boomed, its 200 or so vineyards and 70 plus wineries continue to attract worldwide attention and acclaim.
The Mediterranean climate with cool, frost-free winters, low summer rainfall and long dry periods for ripening and harvesting, combined with its good soil that retains moisture provides the foundation for one of the purest wine growing environments in the world.
The Margaret River Wine Growing Region produces Rhine Riesling, Chardonnay, Semillon, Sauvignon Blanc, Cabernet Sauvignon, Pinot Noir and Shiraz. Apart from these traditional varieties, a few experimental wines are also being produced.
There are so many big names in this area and the following are only a few of the world-class wineries in The Margaret River Area. Amberley Estate near the town of Yallingup is nestled among tall jarrah and redgum trees in a secluded valley. It offers a wide range of classic blends including an excellent Chenin Blanc and shiraz. The first vines at Devils Lair near Witchcliffe were planted in 1981 and has a strict policy of using only its own grapes to produce its wines. Driftwood Wines on Caves Road produce some of Western Australias best selling wines, including their Classic Dry White and Cabernet Sauvignon. The ultra modern winery has a top class restaurant and cellar.
Hay Shed Hill on Harmans Mill Road in Wilyabrup makes a fantastic Sauvignon Blanc Semillion that is the perfect accompaniment to seafood or for an easy drop at lunchtime. Leeuwin Estate in Margaret River is renowned for its quality wines. It has a great gallery and holds many special events in its beautiful grounds. The sister vineyard of Perths Sandalford Wines in Wilyabrup has an impressive colonial style building made for wine tasting. The 150ha estate is set amongst beautiful forest and soil ideal for growing grapes.
Xanandu Wines in Margaret River is a winery famous for its unorthodox approach to wine and marketing. It is amongst Western Australias best sellers, producing a variety of wines from semillion, chardonnay and sauvignon Blanc to cabernet franc, feather white and merlot.
These are only a few of the gorgeous wineries in the Margaret River Area. Most of the wineries are open daily for tasting and cellar door sales. Many have restaurants that serve gourmet food using local Margaret River produce and often there are picnic facilities, art and craft galleries and beautiful gardens to explore.
Most wineries are clearly signposted but if you are unsure, a great place to begin is the Margaret River Wine Centre on Bussell Highway in Cowaramup. Maps and details of opening times can be obtained here. An event that attracts international attention is the ten-day Margaret River Wine Region Festival in early November that showcases the best wines on