Review: Margaret River Wine Tour with Margaret River Tours, WA inner banner

Review: Margaret River Wine Tour with Margaret River Tours, WA

Stunning Margaret River is home to close to two hundred wineries, so deciding which ones to visit during your stay can be a daunting task. This full day wine and gourmet food tour makes the hard decisions for you and provides a taste of everything the region has to offer.
Margaret River Wine Tour
Margaret River Wine Tour. Image: Jennifer Morton

Top Oz Tours offers a range of Margaret River wine tours. You can browse the options here.

When visiting Western Australia’s South West, a Margaret River wine tour is understandably at the top of the wish-list of things to do for many travellers.

Margaret River is famous for its wine, but with hundreds of wineries in the region, it’s puzzling to know which cellar doors to visit. Luckily, there’s a tour company that takes care of the pesky decisions — Margaret River Tours. Today I’m joining their full day Gourmet Wine and Dine Tour.

I meet my tour guide Andrew at 9:45 on an overcast but warm morning. As I step into the van I smile and greet the other guests — a collection of Australians, Brits and Germans. Andrew is a trained winemaker. He knows everything there is to know about Margaret River’s wine industry, which makes him a fount of knowledge. As we set out, Andrew shares his wine tasting tips, before giving us a run-down on the first winery — Stella Bella Wines.


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Margaret River Tours, Activities & Attractions


Seven minutes later we arrive, ready to taste three whites and three reds. Our host and server is Sandy Hohnen, wife of David Hohnen, who we’ll meet later in the day. ‘Today’s wines are lighter; you can drink them without ageing them’, says Sandy.

Margaret River Wine Tour
Margaret River Wine Tour. Image: Jennifer Morton

The sauvignon blanc and the semillon sauvignon blanc are clear and smooth; fresh and delicious. When Sandy pours the chardonnay, I brace myself for dryness — but instead the wine is light and refreshing. The stone-fruit, smokey-oak wine is a pleasant surprise.

The sangiovese cabernet is like ‘the finest Italian boot leather’ says Sandy. I’m not overly keen on drinking boot leather, but this one is yummy — considering I’m not a fan of red wine.

Aside from drinking wine at ten o’clock in the morning, I love the knowledge shared by our host. We learn lots; including how tannin is both a natural preservative and the stuff that creates dryness in wine.

Margaret River Wine Tour
Margaret River Wine Tour: Stella Bella Wines. Image: Jennifer Morton

On our way to our next liquid snack, I tell Andrew that I have never liked chardonnay before today. ‘Do you drink ABC — Anything But Chardonnay?’ he asks. We laugh. The region is chardonnay country, so I know there will be plenty more to try.

The next stop on this Margaret River Wine Tour is Leeuwin Estate, which is not just a winery but also a luxury venue for big-name concerts and food festivals. After six more tastings, I’m feeling pretty good as we make our way to the on-site art gallery. Here we see many of the artworks that have been featured on Leeuwin Estate’s Art Series wine bottle labels.

Having dropped by fabulous Voyager Estate (the epitome of elegance and style), we arrive at McHenry Hohnen. Andrew shares a secret: that this simple building in the bush is a favourite of his. The proprietor — David Hohnen — is a third generation farmer and respected winemaker. He and Andrew share some friendly banter before the tasting begins. The wines are incredible, but let’s face it, I have loved them all so far.

Margaret River Wine Tour
Margaret River Wine Tour: The Farm House. Image: Jennifer Morton

What I also love here are the samples of meats from David’s other passion — The Farm House — a traditional butchery and smokehouse. Andrew serves us smoked ham and heated sausage. It’s fresh, free-range meat — possibly the best I’ve ever tasted. The samples are only offered to wine tour patrons. We all leave with shopping bags of wine and meats.

With a sixteen kilometre drive to our next stop, Andrew presents a platter of gourmet snacks for us to enjoy on the road. It’s a delicious treat as we head for our last wine sampling.

Our final tasting is held in the art room at Vasse Felix — the oldest commercial winery in Margaret River. This operation produces an impressive 150,000 cases of wine every year.

Margaret River Wine Tour
Margaret River Wine Tour: Vasse Felix. Image: Jennifer Morton

The tour finishes with stops for chocolate and cheese. It’s a perfect way to end a full-on day of wine exploration and consumption.

There can’t be a better way to experience the region’s gourmet food and wine scene than on this Margaret River Wine Tour with funny man Andrew at Margaret River Tours. My only question is: when can I go again?

The writer travelled as a guest of Margaret River Tours.

Browse our range of Margaret River tours and experiences here.

Additional images: Bigstock

Jennifer Morton

About the writer

Jennifer Morton is a freelance writer and photographer. The Canadian expat has lived all over Canada, New Zealand, and Australia. She also spent six months working on a cruise ship in Europe. When Jennifer is not writing about travel, you may find her lounging on the beach, fishing with her son, sipping coffee at a cafe, reading a book, or zooming in on a beautiful scene.

 

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  1. Hi Jennifer. Thanks for this great article on Margaret River. I am a local who runs a family-owned and operated tour company in Margaret River. We have over 250 five-star reviews on Facebook & Google. I invite you to join us on tour when you’re next in the region. We offer exclusive private tours that are fully customised to the tastes of your group of up to 20 people.

    1. Hi Jye. Thanks for the feedback. I will pass it on to Jennifer. We are possibly coming to Margaret River in the next few months to film a video for our YouTube channel on top things to do: https://www.youtube.com/@TopOzTours/. Perhaps there’s an opportunity for us to work together there. Please email me a link to your website. [email protected]. Regards, Adam Ford (Editor)

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