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Trip Report Margaret River Wine Tasting

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Margaret River in Western Australia, or WA as the locals call it, produces less than 5% of the total amount of Australian wine made, but almost 25% of the best Australian wines. It surprising then how few of the labels are recognized by wine lovers. We recently visited Margaret River for the second time and wanted to share the best and most interesting wineries in the region.

Vasse Felix
Corner of Dr. Tom Cullity Drive and Caves Road, Cowaramup +61 (0)8 9756 5000, info@vassefelix.com.au
The very first winery in WA, Vasse Felix started as an experiment in the late 1960s and proved the area just south of Perth was well-suited for Cabernet Sauvignon and Riesling grape growing. The wine at Vasse Felix is excellent, but our favorite part of the visit was learning the story behind the falcon logo that decorates every bottle. Legend has it that rats were a problem in the early days of the vineyard, so the proprietor, Dr. Tom Cullity, trained a falcon to guard the grapes. After a lengthy and expensive training, the falcon was released for duty and flew away immediately, never to be seen again.

Howard Park and Mad Fish
Miamup Road, Cowaramup, +61 (0)8 9756 5200, margaretriver@hpw.com.au
The wines of Howard Park and Mad Fish may be the most recognizable wines in this area. Since 1986, they have produced Cabernet Sauvignon and wonderful Rieslings, but have since extended their lines to include Shiraz, Muscat and even sparkling wine. And lucky for us, the Mad Fish wines are known for their value. The modern design of the cellar and winery even resulted in a nomination for an architectural award.

Cape Mentelle
331 Wallcliffe Road, +61 (0)8 9757 0812, cellardoor@capementelle.com.au
Cabernet Sauvignon and Chardonnay lead the list of fantastic wines at Cape Mentelle, one of the pioneers of Margaret River wine producers. You might recognize the bottles by the row of Eucalyptus trees on the label. We love the Cabernet Sauvignons and swear we can smell the Eucalyptus every time we open a bottle back home. Beyond the wines, visitors will find specialty tours and outdoor movies on the grounds of the winery throughout the summer.

Xanadu
Boodjidup Road, +61 (0)8 9758 9500, info@xanaduwines.com
Award-winning wines from a stunning winery (with quite possibly the longest driveway in Australia), Xanadu should top the list of any visit to the region. On beautiful grounds you'll find a massive tasting room and a gourmet restaurant. Gorgeous chardonnays and Cabernet Sauvignons are the standouts, but you'll also find lovely Sauvignon Blanc/Semillon blends and Shiraz to try. You'd never guess from the modern architecture that this is one of the oldest wineries in Margaret River.

Leeuwin Estates
Stevens Road, Margaret River, +61 (0)8 9759 0000, winery@leeuwinestate.com.au
This is the place to come if you want great wine, top food from the award-winning restaurant, a visit to an art gallery and a concert all in the same day. The Art Series wines are the best wines from each vintage and the labeling is as thoughtful as the wine making.

More ideas about where to stay and where to eat here - http://bit.ly/P3LhM0.

Cheers!

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