In Part Three of our Best Winery Experiences around the country, we head to Western Australia to visit Leeuwin Estate, Vasse Felix and Voyager Estate. Creative, indulgent and revealing, one of these winery experiences could be the highlight of your next long weekend away.
Cabernet Sauvignon, Chardonnay, Shiraz, Sauvignon Blanc & Semillon blends
Since the release of its acclaimed 1980 Art Series Chardonnay, Leeuwin Estate's 'Art Series' labels have become as famous as the wine itself. On the Leeuwin Degustation Experience you'll go behind the scenes of the winery before visiting the Art Gallery – home to the 100+ paintings created by Australia's leading contemporary artists commissioned for the labels. After a tutored tasting of select wines, indulge with a tantalizing seasonal 7-course degustation menu, carefully matched with Estate wines.
Margaret River is surely one of the world's most spectacular and isolated regions to produce wine. Feel the power of the Indian Ocean and discover unique flora and fauna on the Cape To Vine Day Trip – a guided walk along the Cape's untouched coastline, culminating at the regions' founding wine estate, Vasse Felix. Following a tour and in-depth tasting, take your seat in the restaurant for a 3-course set menu and matched wines, before an enlightening stroll through the original vineyards of Margaret River. Given that Vasse Felix Restaurant is one of Australia's most awarded culinary establishments, gourmands would do best to take a closer look. Step into the world of food and wine matching with Vasse Felix Epicurean – an experience which celebrates Margaret River's enviable produce and outlines the philosophies that guide the Vasse Felix Chefs in their creation of dishes to match the region's wines. The ultimate treat? A 3-course set menu, paired with wines, and your choice of Vasse Felix Premier wine to take home. Floral nuances. A textural palate. Grippy tannins. Clean finishing. What does it all mean? Learn to decipher winespeak with Voyager Estate’s Learn To Taste Wine & Lunch. Keeping things fun and informal, Sommelier Claire Tonon will help you identify your ideal wine and make sense of wine reviews. Learn to appreciate wine in three steps – appearance, aroma and taste – then practice your James Halliday-esque antics over a 3-course lunch with Estate Range wines.
Despite being a relatively young wine region – Margaret River's viticultural history dates back just over 40 years – three varietals have thrived in its excellent soil and maritime climate. Heroes of Margaret River is a guided tasting of Voyager Estate's latest release and museum vintages of Chardonnay and Cabernet Sauvignon Merlot, plus a comparative tasting of two Sauvignon Blanc Semillon styles. Finish off with a 3-course lunch against a backdrop of charming Cape Dutch architecture, manicured hedges and orderly vineyards.
The Pick of the Cellar?
The Flight, Estate Tour & Discovery Menu tour takes your Margaret River experience to new heights. Board a privately chartered Piper Navajo aircraft in Perth for a 45 minute scenic flight over the South Western coastline. Make the short drive to Voyager Estate for an interactive tour, including a visit to Australia's largest underground barrel cellar and a guided tasting. Executive Chef, Nigel Harvey, then treats you with 6-courses, each representing parts of the story of the Estate's grapes from the vines to the table. Your aircraft awaits for the return journey. Prices vary per winery experience. These Western Australian wineries are part of Ultimate Winery Experiences Australia – a hand-picked collection of premium wineries where tasting great wine is only part of the experience.