If you’ve ever put the words wine and Western Australia into one thought, then you’ve probably been thinking about the Margaret River Wine Region. It’s a natural association and Margaret River really does have a great reputation for wine and wineries. But if you’ve seen Margaret River, maybe been there a few years in a row and you’re looking for a new place to explore, new wines to try then consider the Pemberton wine region.
Tucked away amongst the towering Karri trees of the Southern Forest the Pemberton Wine Region offers a really good variety of wines and wineries. While the region itself may not be as well-known as Margaret River Wine Region some of the wines and wineries are. Think Picardy, Pemberley of Pemberton and Peos Estate whose reputation precedes them. And just like Margaret River there are wineries that have cellar doors, some with restaurants and some that are by appointment only. There is even organic wine and cider as well as a micro-brewery. So there is something for everyone.
With a wide range of accommodation options from luxury, family friendly, farmstay and even pet friendly there is a place for every visitor who wants to take some time exploring this interesting wine region. If you’re not sure what you like, most of the local restaurants have a really good selection of local wines for you to try with a nice meal.
Here are a few of our favourites:
Established in 1995 on the crest of a loamy gravel soil ridge, its aspect and altitude with the relatively cool climate produce quality berries, rich in flavour and tannins reflecting the Pemberton Wine Region appellation. The small vineyard’s varieties include Chardonnay, Shiraz and Merlot and it consistently produces high quality fruit has it has done since its first vintage in 1999.
Hidden River Estate not only produces some delectable wines but also has a range of homemade chutneys, jams and dukkha. Drop in to taste some of their wines or stay for lunch with a menu that’s prepared by a qualified chef and based around seasonal and local produce.
What we like about it: The chef, Ardel, is the owner and the front of house is run by his lovely wife Sue. Staff have been there long term and really know the menu. It’s family friendly and dog friendly and has a lovely view from the restaurant and a log fire for winter warmth. Also their chutneys are awesome.
Established in 1987 Mountford’s is an organic winery and cidery. One of the first wineries in the region, it quickly gained a reputation for the high quality of its wines. In 1992 Mountford Wines won the first show award for the region, with its Sauvignon Blanc.
With eighty acres of undulating country a fifteen acre vineyard was planted. Cool climate conditions, amongst the coolest in Western Australia, are suitable for the classic early ripening varieties; Pinot Noir, Chardonnay, Sauvignon Blanc and Merlot. In 2003 Mountford Winery became the first National Association for Sustainable Agriculture Accredited (NASAA) organic winery in the region with the vineyard soon following in 2006. Tangletoe Cider, Mountford’s cider range is also organic and preservative free and has been released in Traditional, Normandy and Scrumpy styles including a non-alcoholic cider.
What we like about it: Mountford’s is situated off Chanybearup road which makes for a lovely drive through a very picturesque area. It offers organic and preservative free wines and cider and they are open 7 days a week for tastings.
Established in the late 1900’s, back dropped by towering karri forest, the 26 ha vineyard is blessed with gravely soils and cool, even temperatures during the ripening periods. They have won widespread acclaim and awards for their premium red and white wines. Silkwood has effectively combined two prime vineyard locations and now supports its own wine labels by using entirely estate grown fruit, hand crafted on the property. Stop in for a tasting, driving down the picturesque Chanybearup Road or stay for lunch in their restaurant.
What we like about it: A short but pretty drive through the vineyard sets the scene. Silkwood Restaurant is set on a really picturesque part of the vineyard with fantastic views overlooking the lake. The last time we visited they had a ‘no waste Monday’ menu which was a 3 course lunch at a set price and a choice from 3 entrees, 3 main courses and 3 deserts.
In 1997, the Truffle & Wine Co planted wine grapes and established a trufferie of hazelnut and oak trees in a magnificent valley of rich karri soils in Manjimup. Tastings are available everyday of quality wines including the Truffle Hill Riesling, Chardonnay, Shiraz and Merlot. Not only can you taste their wines at the Cellar door, there are many truffle infused products also available for tasting. Or you can relax over a truffle inspired lunch in the Café.
What we like it about it: The Truffle & Wine Co offers more than just wines. Truffle infused products are available as well as the option to do a truffle hunt (June to August). Their café is a way of tasting not only their wines but also the truffles without having to figure out exactly what or how to cook with truffles.
Others of Interest