WA’s Best Wine Regions You May Not Have Heard Of

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The WA wine regions you need to visit for your next drop.

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The Margaret River region is WA’s most famous spot to fill a wine glass – and rightfully so. Its wine, food and produce are some of the best in the world. But the region is not the only one that offers a fine drop. There are another eight wine regions dotted across WA vying for you to be a sommelier on holiday.

Spanning from the Swan Valley and Perth Hills to the Southern Forests and Great Southern, it’s time to experience these wine regions by the glass as we list some of the best places to discover your next favourite drop (or two!).

Hint: it’s going to be one decadent road trip!

Perth Hills

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We can confirm that the Perth Hills are alive with the sound of wine pours. Let your taste buds sing with the aromas of Perth’s latest up and coming wine region. The start of the Perth Hills wine region is just 30 minutes’ drive from the CBD, located in the Darling Range.

Not only are the Perth Hills home to some of the most dramatic inland scenery in the city, but it’s home to over 20 vineyards sprawling across Bickley Valley, Chittering Valley, Jarrahdale and the Heart of the Hills.

There are a variety of boutique stores, cellar doors and restaurants scattered across the region worthy of a day trip visit.

Wine & Dine

MyattsField Vineyard and Hainault Vineyard are two of the most well-known in the region, producers of award-winning wines and both located in the picturesque Bickley Valley.

If the hunger pains are kicking in, head to Millbrook Winery for a gastronomic fare. The estate’s modern-Australian cuisine is sourced from its onsite garden and features locally sourced meat and fish.

Are we even in Perth anymore? La Fattoria can transport you further afield. The family-run trattoria takes inspiration from the owners’ Sicilian and British heritage to produce unique Italian wines and food. The restaurants’ famed ‘Nonna’s Family Table’ experience is a must-do when visiting.

To see the list of vineyards in the region, head to Perth Hills Wine Region.

Related reads: Shoalhaven: A Mix Of Wines, Whales And Ancient Worlds

Swan Valley

Swan Valley wineries
Source: Swan Valley

From a morning coastal dip to an afternoon valley sip: Perth is so lucky to have two pleasurable extremes on its doorstep.

A 25-minute drive from the CBD is the Swan Valley, Perth’s most prestigious and historical wine region. It boasts some of Australia’s oldest vineyards and a slew of cultural and natural-based activities that makes it an exciting place to visit.

The Swan Valley is like a chocolate-box of diverse (and fun!) experiences too. Tour his toric town Guildford and take part in its charming heritage walk trail. Then weave the day with a wildlife encounter at Caversham Wildlife Parkor pay a visit to Maalinup Aboriginal Art Gallery or Whiteman Park. Those are just some suggestions, but you can see many more by visiting the Swan Valley website.

Top tip: Swan Valley is known to be the Chenin Blanc capital of Australia, so make sure you try its most famous drop!

Wine & Dine

Lamont’s and Sittella are well known within the region and provide both exceptional wines and cuisines. If you’re wanting to start the flavour road trip earlier, venture to handcraft winemakers Upper Reach and enjoy breakfast and a glass of ‘Bucks Fizz’ (Sparkling Chardonnay and orange juice) to kick start the day.

Verdelho wine masters Mandoon Estate is a mecca of good taste. It offers something for everyone in the food department from hearty share eats at Homestead Brewery to contemporary fine dining at Wild Swan. If you find yourself in a food coma, a bed is readily available at its luxe onsite accommodation offering, The Colony.

To see the list of vineyards in the region, head to Swan Valley Wine Region.

Bunbury Geographe

Bunbury Geographe wineries
Source: Visit Bunbury

If you’re looking for a short road-trip getaway that unites palate pleasures with exciting outdoor adventures, look no further than Bunbury Geographe. The South West region encompasses Bunbury, Harvey, Collie River Valley, Ferguson Valley, Capel, Donnybrook-Balingup and Boyup Brook, all within a two to three-hour drive south of Perth.

Bunbury Geographe is fortunate to have two different wine regions – Geographe and Blackwood Valley – with their own dramatic landscapes. Both wine regions are populated with boutique, family-run wineries run by passionate winemakers.

To see the list of vineyards in the region, head to Bunbury Geographe.

Wine & Dine

For the super thirsty folk, a great way to savour cutting-edge wines in the region is to raise your glass along the Geographe Alternative Wine Trail and meet with innovative winemakers at small estates. 

Start from ‘little Italy’ Vineyard 28 and make your way through the region’s seven vineyards. Finish fast-tracking the flavours by taking part in the ‘slow food‘ movement at renowned vineyard Capel Vale. Enjoy an individual tasting platter and enjoy life at a slower pace – with wine, of course! Other notable vineyards within the region include Ferguson Valley favourites Willow Bridge and St.Aiden Wines.

To see the list of vineyards in the region, head to Geographe Wine Region.

Great Southern

Great Southern wineries
Source: Alkoomi Wines

We saved the greatest mention ‘til last. The Great Southern wine region is the biggest in Australia, home to five wine sub-regions, all distinctively characterised by unique environmental and climate conditions. WA’s coolest wine region (temperature-wise!) ranges from maritime sub-regions (Albany and Denmark) to inland, continental sub-regions (Frankland River, Mount Barker and Porongurup). The region is known for producing cool climate wines and is one of Australia’s top emerging wine destinations.

Good wine is not the only thing to come from the region’s nutrient-rich soils. Pair your wine tasting with exploring ancient mountain ranges and breathtaking landscapes. The forested region is populated with marri, karri, jarrah and other eucalyptus trees but that isn’t the only impressive sight to write a postcard home about. Visit the towering tingle trees at Valley of the Giants, climb the ancient Stirling and Porongurup Ranges, wave to the whales (Albany), and see the wildflowers in full bloom (August to November).

Wine & Dine

It’s easy to make a visit to the Great Southern a multi-day affair as the area is vast, expanding 200km east to west and 100km inland. With that said, what fills it in between is over 50 wineries and restaurants ready to delight your taste buds to the finer things in life.

From west to east, let’s start in Denmark. Denmark is home to Single File wines, the darlings of the Western Australian wine scene. The scenic vineyard featured in Gourmet Traveller’s 50 Top Wine Experiences in The World in 2019, for its paired wine and chocolate tastings. The winery boasts another honour with its famed ‘The Vivienne’ Chardonnay voted one of the world’s best.

Set the GPS east and head to the award-winning Oranje Tractor Wine in Albany. This boutique winery is famous for its innovative ‘wine flights’, where local organic cheeses and other tasty morsels produced from the on-site farm are paired with a selection of wines. 

Head to the ancient Porongurup Ranges to have a modern experience. Sample rich wines with million-dollar views at Duke’s Vineyard, with spectacular vistas of the Stirling and Porongurup Ranges.

Further inland is Mount Baker. It doesn’t just plate up good chicken, it pours good wine too. Premium wine producer Plantagenet Wines takes the title as the region’s first estate and one of the most commercial too. It is a must-visit cellar door. If you do want to have both chicken and wine together, head to Gilberts Wine for small bites or a main. (Top tip: try the Mount Barker chicken coconut curry and jasmine rice with a glass of Glass Est Hand Picked Chardonnay.)

The river runs both red and white in Frankland River, some 330km south of Perth. The region is most famous for its crispy Riesling and peppery Shiraz varieties. Find your way amongst its rolling hills and native bushlands to visit Alkoomi Wines, pioneers of the Frankland River wine region. Take a trip to France visiting Frankland River Estate, producing wines comparable to wine capital, Boudreaux.

To see the list of vineyards in the region, head to Great Southern Wine Region.

Article first published on So Perth – WA’s Top Wine Regions That Aren’t Margaret River

Feature image: Millsbrook Winery

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