A few weeks ago, I headed on a fun Aussie road trip with three of my favourite girlfriends to the delicious Margaret River – and of course I totally just had to blog about it! We ended up packing in so much adventure over three days that one blog just wouldn’t do, so I decided to divide the trip up into several Margaret River Memoirs instead…
Margaret River Memoirs… Pt.1 was published last week, shortly followed by my review of the new Riversmith; a cafe, produce & lifestyle store located at the iconic renovated garage on the main street of Margaret River.
So, here’s Margaret River Memoirs Pt.2 – although, given it’s based around a full day of wine tasting, it’s a little more image-based for obvious reasons… I have to admit, the photos from later in the day came out a little better and focussed than I’d anticipated. Clearly my sober-poker-face paid off!
We booked a Bushtucker Wine Tour following several recommendations from friends – and we were not left disappointed. After a hearty breakfast at Riversmith, we were picked up by the Bushtucker Tour guide, Bernard (second picture down) – who totally made the experience for us and the rest of the tour bus!
After making one more pick up, our bus of about fifteen headed into winery-land… The first stop was Island Brook Estate – a delightful little boutique winery tucked away in Metricup. The first glass of crisp chardonnay was enjoyed at the Cellar Door at 11am prompt, followed by several more white and red tastings and a few rounds of cheese and biscuits. Despite being more of a red or pink girl, I have to admit their Red Truck Chardonnay was pretty scrumptious.
Next stop was Churchview Estate. WOW! What a gorgeous, picturesque winery. The vineyards seemed to go on forever, and they were clearly very proud of and passionate about their work. The charming and knowledgeable (just don’t mention supermarket wine-stockists) Denys welcomed us to the Cellar Door and whizzed us through the beautiful variety of wines on offer, from light and refreshing whites to bold and woody reds. My favourite? The 2011 Bartondale Cabernet Sauvignon. Deeeeeelicious.
After a spot of gourmet lunch, which featured awesome Aussie wild-food and… smoked crocodile (YUM), we bundled back into the bus, destined for The Grove Experience. We knew we were in for a treat when we saw the ‘Danger Crocodiles, No Swimming’ signs by the lake and the ‘Caution, Drop Bears in Tree Above’ signs on the trees which lined the entrance to The Grove Experience – and what an experience it was. Whilst The Grove started out as a modest winery in the Wilyabrup area, it quickly evolved into a distillery and brewery, offering a tempting range of spirits and fortified wines. Our host was the owner and man behind all the magic; Steve. An absolute character whose cheekiness was just catching. We were treated to rounds upon rounds of liqueur tastings and creamy tipples – I don’t think there were many people who left the experience empty-handed (my purchase was a badass bottle of butterscotch liqueur) or feeling a bit rosy-cheeked and giggly.
Once we were all back on the bus, we were whisked off to try out some yummy olive oils, vinegars and condiments from Pukara Estate . I KNOW this sounds a bit boring, but oh my – their Guava Vinegar? BUY IT IN THE TRUCK LOAD. It’s amaze.
After a cheeky stop (feast?) at The Margaret River Chocolate Company, we then headed over to Knee Deep Wines for our final wine tasting of the day. Here their ever-so-easy-on-the-eye Manager, Cicero Salvador talked us through the vineyards wine offering. At least I imagine that’s what he was talking about, I wasn’t really listening to what he was actually saying… More just staring and drinking whatever I was given. I did note however that he had amazing eyes, and as for that accent… Ahem, sorry. Yes, I did note however that their 2015 Rose was just spot-on – smooth, crisp and tantalising.
By now, the bus was getting pretty rowdy as as we were all having so much fun, we decided to squeeze in one more visit, to Bootleg Brewery where we enjoyed cider and some afternoon sunshine by the lake. A perfect end to a pretty epic day!
For anyone thinking of going on a Margaret River Winery Tour, I can’t recommend the Bushtucker Winery Tour enough. A huge thanks to our guide Bernard for looking after us, keeping us well-watered and for your amazing choice in music.
I’ll definitely be coming back soon!
Stay tuned for Margaret River Memoirs Pt. 3 coming soon…