This Australian wine region is about 300 km south of Perth in Western Australia. It is justly world famous famous for the qualiyti of its Chardonnay and its Cabernet Sauvignon wines.
But there is more for the savvy visitor to this region ...
In more recent years a range of new varieties and styles have been made, with considerable success.
You will now find Italian varieites as well as the classic port varieties from the Iberian peninsula.
As the big, robust and highly tannic red wines characteristic of Rutherglen have become less popular a few wineries have begun making sparkling red wines. This style has not attracted universal approval, but it certainly has its enthusiasts.
The wine region is relatively new, even by Australian standards. The first plantings took place in the 1960’s.
Len Evans in his 1973 opus Australia and New Zealand Complete Book of Wine refers to trial plantings in the region and predicts
“It remains to be seen as to how successful these areas could become.”
We can safely say that the jury has decided in this case.
There are now well over one hundred wineries in the region. The best are achieving world recognition for the quality their Chardonnays and Cabernets.
Soon after the region was established Zinfandel and the old stalwarts of Western Australian white grapes - Chenin Blanc and Verdelho were comonly grown.
In more recent years Sangiovese, Tempranillo and other Mediterranean varieties have made their appearance.
The Margaret River region consists of an area of land bounded on three sides by the Indian Ocean and Southern Oceans.
It is about a hundred kilometres from north to south, and about thirty east-west. The major towns are Busselton in the north, Margaret River in the middle and Augusta in the south. . Much of the Indian Ocean frontage of the region is protected by National Parks.
As well as being a great wine region to tour there are plenty of other attractions in the area. There are ample opportunities for surfing, coastal and bush walking, forest drives, whale watching and other outdoor pursuits.
Two lighthouses define the region. In the north is the Cape Naturaliste Lighthouse overlooking Geographe Bay.
In the South is the Cape Leeuwin Lighthouse marking the boundary between the Indian and Southern Oceans. Cape Leeuwin was named in honour of the Dutch ship Leeuwin which passed by in 1622.
There are many accommodation options in the region. These range from resorts, to motels cottages and camping grounds. Many vineyards have accommodation and dining facilities.
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