You’ve got the road trip down to Margaret River booked and it’s crunch time. Where exactly should you visit to eat, drink and be merry?
We’ll leave the lunch reservations up to you. There are plenty of favourites and new kids on the block to pick from; from fine dining degos through to casual brewery fare. On the wine front you most likely have a few stalwart cellar doors to swing past to top up the quaffing supplies.
However, there is one quandary. Where to head for a feast for the eyes as much as a sensation for the palate? Whether you want views to wow visiting friends or a beautiful spot for a romantic interlude, here are 14 of the prettiest cellar doors to visit. The wine is pretty good too…
You really can’t go past Voyager Estate for a stunner of a cellar door. From the entrance archway dripping with roses, through to the perfectly manicured lawns, there is no stone left unturned. Hedges trimmed to symmetrical perfection are only outshone by topiary that wouldn’t look amiss in the gardens of Versailles. It’s little wonder that you’ll be taking wine under chandeliers and settled into plush seating.
One of the stalwarts of the Margaret River wine industry; Leeuwin Estate’s iconic lawn (and stage when it’s up) is a sight to behold. You’ve probably seen pics of it at some point, with the likes of an international superstar gracing the karri forest framed stage. There’s plenty more than the lawn though. Have a little explore of the garden lined path after a glass of wine and you might catch sight of one of the resident kookaburras amongst the flowers. The green-thumbed goodness follows through to the restaurant—check out the pretty succulent arrangements on the tables, the romantic wisteria clad veranda and the different shades of red in the planters.
Nature lovers will swoon when they pull up to Passel Estate’s Tasting Room. The gardens are in flower year round thanks to some very skilled landscaping. Whether it’s natives in bloom such as kangaroo paws and grevilleas, or their magnificent array of proteas; they are all framed by the peaceful backdrop of the sparkling dam, lush vineyards, and surrounding bushland. The beauty doesn’t stop at the blossoms though. The Tasting Room’s tranquil design is the epitome of elegance, from the custom furniture using local timber, though to the delicate chandelier overhead.
If the budget didn’t stretch to a European holiday this year, here it’s as good as you are going to get without leaving Australia’s red soil. Take a drive to the Tuscan sunshine and head down Caves Road to the Larry Cherubino Cellar Door. To your right, the windy driveway is lined with gently swaying agapanthus, while to your left the light dances on the water in the dam. Make it up the hill to the main building and within the Tuscan villa’s wall you’ll be treated to a wide range of wines on offer, including several Italian style vinos. There’s even an art gallery on site, in case you want an added cultural boost.
Amelia Park Wines
If you have ever hankered to feel like a Bond girl (or guy), swishing through the entrance to Amelia Park will help you on your way. The massive wooden doors slide open as you reach them, to reveal a barrel lined walkway through to the pièce de résistance. The view.
It’s rare that you find a winery where the green stuff is just as pretty amongst the vines as in the garden, but this is the case here at Cullen Wines. Thanks to organic and biodynamic practices, the estate is full of very happy vines, flowers, vegetables, animals, insects, and birds all playing their part in the vineyard’s ecosystem. The broad beans in between the Sauvignon Blanc vines at the base of the restaurant veranda are a particularly charming sight in the spring. If you’d like to learn more about biodynamics, take a wander through the educational Spiral Garden. Of course, when you taste the wine you’ll agree it’s as practical as much as it’s pretty.
If your dream escape is a quaint cottage in the Cotswolds, complete with rambling roses and a flower filled garden then Juniper Estate is for you. One of the most beautiful and intimate cellar doors, the cottage garden is filled with softly nodding flowers and roses galore. You’ll find it hard to resist reclining on the green grassy river banks; yep, the Wilyabrup Creek runs right through this little slice of heaven. Add a glass of wine and you’ll never want to leave.
Howard Park’s driveway alone is a sight to behold. The elegant Birch tree-lined path down to the main building warrants a leisurely drive towards your destination. Whether you choose to visit in spring, summer, autumn or winter, the award winning architecture and landscaping of the cellar door will have you in a state of calm before you even take your first sip of Cab Sav. Why? Well, it’s been crafted with the principles of Feng Shui in mind, and whether the blossoms are out or the lush winter greenery is underfoot, it’s always one of the most beautiful cellar doors in Margaret River.
Victory Point Wines
The drive out to this little patch of Cowaramup is well worth it when you set your eyes on one of the most recent additions to the line-up of cellar doors in Margaret River. Victory Point’s light and airy cellar door is grounded with its centrepiece—a stunning Marri benchtop from which to taste through their range of wines. You can gaze out over the vines from its hilltop location, as the ‘pretty’ factor at this cellar door is not thanks to a flourishing garden, rather one of the loveliest scenes to look out onto while sipping a glass of Chardy.
If you’ve been to a wedding in Margaret River at some point, there’s a pretty high chance that it will have been at Aravina Estate. The gardens and aspect of the site are simply breathtaking and beautifully aligned with the Hampton’s chic style of the main building and function hall. The hydrangeas in summer are legendary, but every aspect of this estate oozes beauty to the max. Sweeping manicured lawns, blossoming roses and a backdrop of glistening water and rolling vineyards gives you an idea of what to expect.
Goon Tycoons And Abbey Vale
Tucked away on Wildwood road, it’s easy to let Goon Tycoons and Abbey Vale cellar door slip past you. Do be certain to turn up the gravel driveway as you’ll be in for a treat. Home to the super fun wine label Goon Tycoons and also the less quirky Abbey Vale, it’s a very pretty spot to sip and swirl. Yallingup Cheese Company also calls the cellar door home so you can enjoy local cheeses perfectly paired with their wines while you take in the surrounds.
Deep Woods Estate
Up towards the northern end of the region, sits the Margaret River outpost of the Foggarty Wine Group. Deep Woods has an intimate cellar door sits just behind the car park, but the building itself is not what we are here for. It's ALL about the view. You’ll be able to sip some of Margaret River’s most highly accoladed wines, while you lose yourself in the valleys and hillsides of Yallingup.
If curly tails are your idea of beautiful, then you’ll be as happy as a pig in mud at Arimia. Actually, you’ll be happy no matter what your idea of pretty is here. The secluded garden has plenty of alfresco seating and guests are encouraged to wander over to check out the produce growing nearby, and say hello to the resident Berkshire pigs (before they make their way to your plate). Perched at the end of a winding gravel road, you’ll feel like you’ve stumbled on a little rural retreat when you arrive, and that’s before a glass of wine!
Not one to make a splash very often in the headlines, Redgate is another long running winery in the region that sometimes sits under the radar. The cellar door is one to visit if rolling hills covered in vines are your thing. The foliage covered veranda might seem a little dated, but it’s a relaxing and very nice spot to spend an afternoon grazing on some nibbles and a glass of wine.
Rivendell Winery Estate
Rivendell Winery Estate is home to the cellar door of Forrester Wines, so don’t get confused when you enter the doors! The gardens here are what it’s all about with regards to aesthetics, so be sure to set aside some time to go for a wander as there are plenty of hidden nooks and crannies. You’ll find flowering embankments, tree lined paths, shady grottos and grassy knolls. Sounds a bit like a fairy tale, doesn’t it? The restaurant overlooks it all, so you’ll be able to keep enjoying things while savouring a bite to eat if you so choose.
Want more? Here are the best things to do in Margaret River.
Image credit: Voyager | Australia's South West