Western Australia is vast and diverse, it is perfect for a road trip. Before I visited I imagined horizons filled orange soil and hot searing temperatures. What greeted me instead as I journeyed south from Perth at the end of winter was moderate temperatures, lush greens, flowers and lots of vegetation, all hugging the ocean as we journeyed by, stopping to soak it up occasionally as we did.
There are many options, the obvious choice for me was to drive to Margaret River, a wine region just over 3 hours drive from Perth, with some lovely pitstops along the way. There are wonderful beaches, great places to eat, limestone underground caves and you can go whale watching.
The main reason you should go is the food and wine, and just to indulge in how gorgeous it all is. Margaret River has 187 wineries and 215 vineyards (as counted in 2015). It is surrounded by the ocean on three sides without extreme seasons providing ideal conditions for producing wine. Wineries mainly produce Bordeaux style wines (semillon and sauvignon blanc blends are common as are cabernet sauvignon and shiraz), Margaret River has been compared to Bordeaux in a dry vintage. The reds are gentle. There are established producers like Leeuwin Estate (who produced their first commercial vintage in 1979) and newer ones like Fraser Gallop (whose first vintage was 2008). Lots to explore and most tastings are free, if you fancy driving yourself winery to winery. Continue reading
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