Ten wineries to explore in the Margaret River

Written by: Chloe Thomas



Time to read 6 min

You've probably heard of Margaret River if you're into Aussie wine. Home to killer Cabernets, Chardonnays and other fun varieties, this region boasts ocean on three sides of its peninsula and is pretty isolated from the rest of Australia. Are you thinking about visiting? Or, if you'd like to explore the wines from home - we've got you! In this blog post, we'll share the wineries to explore in the Margaret River, including our experience and some of our take-home wines from each! Let's go.

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Our top wineries to explore in the Margaret River

1. Pierro Winery

Pierro Winery offers a warming atmosphere as you step into its cosy, cottage-like cellar door - the perfect dwelling for a deep exploration into Margaret's two primary's —Chardy and Cab. The talk of the town is Mark Peterkin's renowned Chardonnay, prompting us to experience its excellence firsthand. This wine shows finesse yet impressive power and indeed served as a benchmark for our journey into Margaret River, established as a staple for many in the region. The Pierro LTC (Little Touch of Chardonnay) is noteworthy, a delightful blend of Semillon, Sauvignon Blanc, and 7% Chardonnay. Priced at $37 per bottle, it punches well above its weight and makes a compelling choice for everyday enjoyment or even cellaring. Picturing a wine fridge in our van, we would have quickly filled it, then emptied it with this unique little blend. Are you eager to experience Pierro Winery firsthand? The tasting room is open every day from 10:00 AM to 5:00 PM. Reservations are recommended for a seamless and enjoyable visit.

2. Juniper Estate

Juniper Estate is among the founding vineyards in the region (along with Vasse Felix, Cullen, Moss Wood, and Woodlands). I can still remember the aroma of the roses that sprawled the gardens and the friendly cellar door staff as we entered. Juniper's wine portfolio extends this friendliness, offering a vast selection to explore priced at a winning $5 - plus an impressive museum range to purchase from. The tasting includes a lineup of the classics and some fun options like Fumé Blanc, Fiano, Tempranillo, and Malbec. Plus, they're organic. The cellar door is open daily from 10:00 AM to 5:00 PM. Don't forget to book in advance to secure your spot.

3. Howard Park

Howard Park is one of the big boys, although relatively new. Its brothers (or sisters) are Madfish and Marchand & Burch. We squeezed this in at the end of Day 1 as they didn't require a booking, and we heard they made a solid Cab. What's fun about this tasting is exploring three signature Cabernets from different vineyards: The Leston CS from the heart of the Margaret, The Scotsdale CS from the Great Southern and the Abercrombie CS from a mix of both. If you're keen to nerd out, this provides a great gateway for diving into site-specific Cabernet. Surprisingly, we rated the CS from the Great Southern and took a bottle home. They have fun "curate your own '' picnics to enjoy on their lawns. We opted for chambray cheese and liked their sheep milk manchego alongside our wines. Tours and tastings are available daily; although we squeezed in, bookings are preferred.

Click here to watch our YouTube video on the Margaret River - part  1

4. Cape Grace

Cape Grace Wines makes beautifully handcrafted, single vineyard wines if you opt for somewhere boutique and family-run. Beyond the Cabernet Sauvignon and Chardonnay, they make a range of basket-pressed reds (stunning Cabernet Franc) and have won plenty of awards for their Chenin Blanc (coming out first in front of their Swan Valley rivals). The quaint charm of their tasting room and the warm hospitality of the cellar door staff will make this memorable. It topped our top 3 experiences in the region for sure! It's open from 10:00 AM to 5:00 PM, and while walk-ins are welcome, bookings are appreciated.

5. Vasse Felix

Vasse Felix is the quintessential Margaret River winery experience - being the first commercial operation in the region. It helps that it was Chloe's birthday when we visited, so we opted for one of their immersive experiences, the epicurean vine-to-table tour, including a five-course tasting menu paired with the Vasse Felix Iconic selection. The winery exudes charm with its raw yet defined timeless cellar door with wines to match. This experience was hard to beat, from the professionalism in the tasting room to the slightly obscure fine dining take on some Aussie classics like the old-school surf and turf. Our absolute favourite Cabernet is the Tom Cullity, however for everyday drinking you can't go past the Classic Dry Red. No booking? No problem. You can walk straight up to the Bar without reservation for their entry-tasting experience or enjoy a glass of wine in their Wine Lounge overlooking Margaret's oldest vines. Wine tours and tastings are open daily from 10:00 AM to 5:00 PM, and bookings are essential for more immersive experiences. 

6. Leeuwin Estate

Leeuwin Estate's cellar door sits amongst some impressive views of the estate's gardens, eucalyptus forest and vines. This may be the place for you if you're into modern and contemporary. It features an art gallery that goes hand in hand with their "Art Series" wine labels. The collection now comprises over 150 paintings and artworks from artists including John Olsen, Arthur Boyd, Sir Sidney Nolan, Lloyd Rees, Albert Tucker, Fred Williams, Robert Juniper, Clifton Pugh and Imants Tillers. We're a little naive about modern art, so we could have skipped this visit; however, wine-tasting and wine-education experiences are available daily, from 10:00 AM to 5:00 PM, but reservations are necessary.

Click here to watch our YouTube video on the Margaret River - part  2

7. Voyager Estate

Voyager Estate probably topped our expectations in the Margaret from their knowledgeable and entertaining wine staff, beautifully manicured gardens, killer charcuterie board, and finding our favourite Cabernet from the Margaret to date (open to being challenged) - the MJW Cabernet. Elegant, medium-bodied, complex and perfectly balanced. Voyager is highly regarded for its commitment to quality and consistency, and we vouch for that! Wine tastings and guided tours are available from 10:00 AM to 5:00 PM, though making a reservation is recommended.

8. Cullens Wines

Cullen Wines is your go-to if Biodynamics is your jam, being the region's only biodynamic and carbon-neutral winery. "Put simply, biodynamic viticulture is a philosophy combining the maintenance of sustainable soil fertility and the recognition of the link between plant growth and the rhythms of the cosmos" - states their website. While not big followers of the biodynamic world, the wines have an elegance and dedication to care that shines through in every wine. We took home a bottle of the Kevin John Chardonnay (note, this was also to cover the hefty $50 p/p tasting fee for their more premium experience, as the entry felt a little too basic).  A few bottles of the Cabernet/Merlot blend also found their way into the van wine cellar.  Wine tastings and vineyard tours are available between 10:00 AM and 4:30 PM, and bookings are recommended.

9. Cape Mentelle

Cape Mentelle Winery is situated in the MR's heart and is one of the founding five, which is why it was on our list. The winery takes its name from the nearby Cape, named by the French Baudin Expedition' Cape Mentelle was a favourite of Matthew's, having tried some older vintages previously in the United States. The Cabernet and Syrah were standout wines here, but they definitely would benefit from some time in a bottle. The lower-tiered Cabernet/Merlot blend found its way into our little wine stash: this fruit-forward little drinker had all the complexity of its bigger brother but was a bit more approachable now.

10. Montague

Montague was amongst our favourites in the Margaret River. The experience at the cellar door was top-notch, and we couldn't find a wine we didn't like in this lineup. The Aurum Blanc de Blanc was a delicious sparkling full of brioche and fruit, nicely balanced to suit any bubbly fan's preference. The Cabernet Sauvignon and Syrah were delicious and came home with us, but the real standout was the Cabernet Franc. Some great winemaking decisions went into this wine to avoid the usual heavy green capsicum character Cab Franc is famous for, allowing the lean and racy leather and spice characters to stand out.

Margaret River is undeniably a paradise for wine lovers. With numerous wineries and vineyards dispersed throughout the region, visiting them all in just two days is impossible. However, by visiting the best wineries mentioned above, you'll get a glimpse of Margaret River's winemaking heritage and taste some of the region's premier wines. Remember to make reservations and follow the tasting room protocols to ensure a smooth and enjoyable experience. Here's to a fantastic wine-tasting journey through Margaret River! 

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