The Great Southern is a place of serious wonder. Jaw-dropping landscapes, epic coastlines and an incredible food and drinks scene—it seriously has it all.
After being cancelled this year due to Covid, we couldn’t have been more excited when we heard Taste Great Southern was back on the cards for March 2021. An 11-day festival celebrating all things food, wine, people and natural attractions in the Great Southern, this is one series of events you need to get to.
The festival is held all over the Great Southern from Mount Barker to Albany, Denmark and Esperance with heaps of small country towns full of charm and delectable food and wine in between. Think long lunches, degustations and heaps of culinary events not to be missed. There’s guest chefs and incredible wine makers who will be on the scene including Anna Gare, Paul Iskov, Melissa Palinkas and Dean Wood (just to name a few.)
Here’s our wrap of the best events to get around this Taste Great Southern.
FRIDAY 19 MARCH | 5.30PM - 8.30PM
THE BEACH HOUSE AT BAYSIDE, ALBANY
High cheese? Yes please! We’re pretty sure there’s not much more that could make us happier than a glass of wine in one hand and an oozing dish of Raclette in the other. There’ll be a heap of sweet and savoury dishes showcasing the Great Southern’s finest cheeses and local wines on offer at this oh-so-sweet boutique hotel.
SATURDAY 20 MARCH | 6.00PM - 9.00PM
ALBANY AGRICULTURAL SOCIETY EXHIBITION PAVILION
Get all sorts of cultured and soak up the sounds at Southern Sets, a music festival celebrating local, Perth and National acts. Entry includes a tasting glass so you can get your Great Southern wine on while you sit back, relax and enjoy the talent. Line up coming soon.
Albany Farmers Markets
SATURDAY 20 AND 27 MARCH | 8.00AM - 12.00PM
COLLIE STREET, ALBANY
While this one’s free, we’re pretty sure you’re going to walk out with a fair few bags of the local goodies sold at this gorgeous little market. From the freshest eggs we’ve ever laid eyes on to seriously good cheeses from our mates at Porongurup Pure and freshly baked goods by Royale Patisserie, everything here is a sight for the senses. There’s locally made honeys, milk and yoghurt products (including a ridiculous chocolate milk) mushrooms, freeze dried fruits, a coffee stand and epicly fresh and plump fruit and veggies. Don’t say we didn’t warn you.
SUNDAY 21 MARCH | 10.00AM - 1.00PM
CASTELLI ESTATE, DENMARK
Is there anything better than a Sunday brunch? Yes. A long table brunch in the middle of a vineyard. The Vendemmia Brunch is all about celebrating Castelli’s heritage with an immersive open-air experience where guests can taste wine straight from the barrel and learn all about the grape harvest. Tickets include a behind the scenes tour, barrel tasting and long table brunch.
In The Raw
SUNDAY 21 MARCH | 11.00AM-2.00PM
LEEUWIN COAST CARPARK, EMU POINT BOAT HARBOUR, ALBANY
If seafood is your style, run don’t walk to get tickets to In The Raw presented by none other than Leeuwin Coast. Literally hosted at the boat harbour, it doesn’t get any fresher than this. There’ll be a selection of natural and cured rock oysters as well as the infamous Ayoka oysters alongside mussels and marron prepared by none other than Chris Eales and Scott Brannigan, the legends behind Coogee Common. For $75, tickets will get you a glass of sparkling on arrival, three tasting courses of seafood, dessert and matching wines. It’s a yes from us!
Galafrey Long Table Lunch
SUNDAY 21 MARCH | 12.00PM - 4.30PM
GALAFREY WINES, MOUNT BARKER
Frock up in your Sunday best for an afternoon on the verandah at Galafrey’s cellar door. The charming long table lunch will feature local produce prepared by some very talented chefs and matched with the winery’s vintage and more modern wines. Wine buffs out there will love this event as Kim Tyrer, the winemaker behind Galafrey’s award-winning wines takes you on an informative wine lover’s journey.
Oranje Tractor’s 20th Vintage Celebration With Russell Blaikie
THURSDAY 25 MARCH | VARIOUS TIMES
ORANJE TRACTOR WINES, MARBELUP
Make like Prince Charles and Camilla and head to this stunning organic winery producing next-level small-batch natural wines. The 20th Vintage Celebration hosted by Russell Blaikie, the genius behind Must Wine Bar, will showcase a range of seasonal local produce in a vintage-themed cooking masterclass. You’ll get to soak up the atmosphere of Oranje Tractor with its beautiful gardens, fruit orchards and rustic interiors all whilst trying a glass of their 20 year old riesling. Grab an evening soiree ticket and kick on (or head back) to the winery for Russell’s famous paella with Orange Tractor wines to match.
Beef It Up
FRIDAY 26 MARCH | 6.00PM - 10.00PM
DUE SOUTH, ALBANY
Mouth watering steaks and matching wines are what you can expect at Due South’s Beef It Up. The menu will be crafted by the team at Due South along with Paul West, aka the chef behind River Cottage Australia. With views over the Princess Royal Harbour, there’s no better place to get behind the fuss of Due South’s perfectly dry aged beef. Drooling yet?
Albany Food and Wine Festival
SATURDAY 27 MARCH | 11.30AM - 5.30PM
ALBANY AGRICULTURAL SOCIETY EXHIBITION PAVILION
The Food and Wine Festival is where the action happens and where you’ll be able to taste your way around the Great Southern. With over 40 brands from across the region showcasing their products, from award winning wines to craft beer and local food, you’re going to want to get there when the doors open to fit in as much as you possibly can. There’ll be live music, food and bev stalls and cooking demos with celebrity chefs like Derek Lau from MasterChef Australia and our WA born and bred fave Anna Gare. If you really want to live it up, The Lake House Denmark VIP Lounge is where you need to be - with wine, Wilson Brewing Co beer and incredible food included, this is the celeb style experience you need to get your hands on.
What: Taste Great Southern
Where: Various locations around Albany, Denmark, Mount Barker, Kojonup and Katanning
When: 18 to 28 March 2021
PS: If you’re wondering why we haven’t mentioned the Two Waters Dinner by Fervor and Guy Jeffreys it’s cause this one sold out pretty much as soon as the tickets were released. If you managed to nab one, we’re extremely jealous.
Extend your trip with this stunning Kalgan River farm-stay.
Image credit: Taste Great Southern