Now, don’t lie. How many times have you flicked through a rom-com on Netflix set in Tuscany and taken on that main character energy, imagining yourself living it up in wine country? Unfortunately, we can’t transport ourselves into the screenplay of Under The Tuscan Sun, however, the good news is we’ve just found the next best thing AND it’s right here in WA—just a few hours drive in Margaret River.
Local wine and travel journalist Cassandra Charlick has just launched a very cool wine travel biz. It’s called Earn Your Vino and is kicking off with exclusive and bespoke small group wine experiences that dive deeper into the world of winemaking.
“I created Earn Your Vino because I just couldn’t see travel in wine regions in the way that I think we should be experiencing those places and the wine. Slowing down, getting a little bit sweaty with a hike or a bike ride before indulging, and getting a sense of the place and the people instead of just hopping from one cellar door to the next.”
The first event, Pick n’ Sip, kicks off in February and only has a handful of spots left.
Here's a little rundown of what to expect.
Stay: Four nights of relaxed luxury in lake-side accommodation on a private estate surrounded by native forest and picturesque farmland sounds like our kind of holiday. Tanah Marah is one of Margaret River’s best-kept secrets and the luxury chalets often get booked out well in advance by those that have discovered the tranquil luxury retreat just minutes from the centre of town.
Pick: Join one of Perth’s favourite young guns of wine during vintage. Dylan Arvidson from LS Merchants is one of the region’s highest accoladed and ground-breaking winemakers (and an extremely fun guy to learn about wine from). We’ll say yes please to two days of vineyard and winery immersion with a Young Gun of Wine 2020 finalist and 2022 Halliday Wine Companion Awards Best New Winery runner up.
Sip: “When you truly taste wine, it’s a form of mindfulness. You’ve got to be fully present to grasp all the aromas and tastes,” shares Charlick. Tasting wine? That’s certainly a mindful practice we can get on board with for 2022. Move over meditation there’s a new kid on the block. Along with paired wines at lunches and brunches, we’re hanging out for the black-tie winemakers dego dinner under the stars.
Eat: How often do you get a private chef for breakfast, lunch and dinner? You’ll be treated to three meals a day from one of the region’s top chef’s (complete with an Australian Good Food Guide hat and in the WA top restaurants 50 three years running). Of course, there’s also an afternoon and lunch with Sasha and Ben MacDonald, owners, farmers and winemakers of Glenarty Road. Glenarty Road recently won Western Australia’s top Regional Restaurant of the Year in the WA Good Food Guide Awards.
Earn: Brooksey from Margaret River Mountain Bike Tours is one of the coolest tour guides you’ll meet, and if there’s one thing better than a three-hour bike ride through the beautiful forests of Margs, it’s a three-hour e-bike ride with wine and snacks waiting for you at the end of the journey. Their business was one to get hit hard by the recent Margaret River fires, so you’ll be putting your holiday spend to good use supporting these legends.
Keen to join in all the fun but can’t make February work? There are some epic experiences coming up in May and July.
“We’ve got a May end of vintage celebration planned, as well as a July truffle and pinot trip to Pemberton," says Charlick. "Jump onto the website or follow us on socials to be the first in line for tickets to those—there are only 12 spots so it’s first in first served!”
She also adds that “once we get going with the hosted trips I’m planning on offering self-guided trips too, so people that might not have the time available when we have planned dates can still experience WA—and later on the rest of Australia’s—wine regions in a fulfilling and meaningful way.”
Find more awesome things to do in Margaret River.
Image credit: Samira Damirov