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The Swan Valley

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Swan Valley

The Swan Valley

story by: Tom Ricketts

If you’re in Perth but just don’t have the time to get down to the vineyards of Margaret River, fear not! There is another equally as good destination, and it’s only half an hour from the city. It is, the Swan Valley.

The Swan Valley is about half an hour east of Perth, easily accessible by car for a day out in the vineyards. However if you want to do some serious sampling, you can leave the car behind and catch a leisurely river cruise from Perth along the Swan River, it’s a great way to start the day!

In the valley itself there’s around 150 vineyards to keep you occupied for the day. There’s a couple of big guys here, but most of the vineyards are small family run operations. One of the most popular spots is Sandalford who claim to be Aussie’s largest family run vineyard. They have a full range of red and white wines, and even better, they have wines from their vineyard in Margaret River too, so you can sample the best of both regions. The restaurant is one of the most popular in the valley, and they regularly host musicians for everything from quiet background music to full concert events.

If you like cheese… sorry, everyone likes cheese, I’ll start again. If you like to have some yummy cheese with your wine, then Olive Farm Wines is the place to go. They have an amazing range of red and white wines, but also sparkling wine, liqueurs and dessert wine. But the best thing is, they have the Cheese Barrel Café onsite which has a massive range of local and international cheese, all of which is also on sale for you to take home and munch on later.

Another strong point for the Swan Valley is the richness of its soil, which is quite unique in the state (lots of sand in WA). It allows for lots more produce to be grown in the valley, and the local cafes and restaurants go to all lengths to use as much local produce as possible. There’s olive groves, berries galore, honey farms, more cheese and all sorts of stone fruits, many of which can be picked up from roadside stalls just like home.

Last, but certainly not least, is chocolate! It wouldn’t be a food and wine day if you couldn’t sample a little chocolate on the way right? Conward and Black may be a newcomer to the valley, but they’ve very quickly made a name for themselves thanks to their Wine and Chocolate Master Class. For a mere AUD$30 you’ll get to sample six wines, ​four chocolate liqueurs and nine chocolates! But wait, there’s more. You also get a bottle of your favourite choccy liqueur to take home. Bliss!

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