If only every capital had a wine region like the Swan Valley on its doorstep. Half an hour from Perth CBD by car, the Swan Valley is Australia’s second oldest wine region; the region’s first grapes were planted in 1829.
While wine remains an important part of the Swan Valley identity, he has also added beer, food and cider to his resume, highlighting his credentials as an overall weekend getaway. It’s time to plan.
Life is good when you sit on the wraparound veranda of this Caversham cellar and cozy restaurant. The menu of dishes is Mediterranean with dishes such as baked scallops, mushroom tagliolini, burrata, and simmered tomatoes perfectly suited to the lunch crowd. For those who want to have a blast, consider live aquariums filled with chestnuts, lobster, and mud crab, or a homemade dry-aged steak. A wide range of wines from the estate celebrating regional assets – verdelho, chenin blanc, fortified dessert wines – completes a sympathetic ensemble.
After dabbling in the world of cold-pressed juices and sodas, brothers Dustin and Martin Michael created Funk cider in 2016 and looked at the potential of the apple. The result is a line of traditional and maverick ciders that fit perfectly into the new beverage landscape of the Swan Valley. Funk’s two outposts – the Funk Cider House in Caversham and the more experimental Funk 2.0 in Henley Brook – offer the full range of cider, wine and beer as well as easy-going food in the vein of pizza and coffee. burgers (Cider House) and small fresh plates (Funk 2.0).
Wines from the Valley of the Swans
Owned and run by Bree Lavell and Paul Hoffmann, this beautiful cellar produces pleasing, lo-fi expressions of classic Swan Valley varietals such as Chenin Blanc and Shiraz, as well as plots across the state. Great textures and great flavors are the cellar’s calling cards, as evidenced by the atypical wine styles, including a red-white tempranillo-malvasia rose and a liqueur inspired by the bitter amari of Italy. Cellar door tours are by appointment only, so be sure to book in advance.
Old Young Distillery
Since the restart of the old Wild Swan Distillery as Old Young Distillery in 2016, founder James Young turned heads with his idiosyncratic minds. From gins inspired by the six seasons of the Nyoongar calendar (the Nyoongar are the traditional keepers of the region) to a smoky vodka with peat, hickory and eucalyptus, the Old Young range is aimed at a distiller who doesn’t is not afraid to be creative.
Swan Valley Wine Tour
Although the Swan Valley is less than a half hour drive from the CBD, handing over the keys to someone else is the best way to enjoy the area. Operators such as D’Vine tours and Visits to the valley of the swans are among those that offer full-day or half-day tours of the area, with private tours also available. For a different take on the area, consider a river cruise along the Swan River with Captain Cook Cruises.
Learn about the Aboriginal history of the southwest
Dale Tilbrook, founder of Maalinup – “the place of the black swan” in Nyoongar – has long been a champion of indigenous culture and food. In this gallery and boutique in Swan Valley, which she co-owns with her brother Lyall Tilbrook, she has an ideal chair to share her knowledge. In addition to artistry from the Southwest, Maalinup also offers bush food tastings featuring produce from all over Australia as well as locally made treats.
Please note: once installed at The Colony, Mandoon Domain hotel on site, you may have a hard time leaving. Not only are the 32 hotel rooms well appointed, but you are also a short distance from all the charms of the estate, including the gourmet restaurant Wild Swan, the lively Homestead Brewery and The Llawn, an open-air space. family friendly with picnic tables, a fully fenced play area and live music on weekends.
The Vineyard Station
Attached to two of the best resort courses in Australia, The vines is Swan Valley’s ideal base for golfers. But even for those who don’t play, the hotel’s course-side setting offers plenty of opportunities to spot kangaroos and enjoy nature in general. The on-site restaurants Muscats and The Vines Cafe & Bar are winning destinations at the end of the day, and the Keishi Spa is on hand for more in-depth therapy off the green.
This article is produced by Large format in partnership with Tourism WA.