I have been meaning to visit Fig Tree Estate ever since they opened their cellar door in 2014. I have been in the area (Millendon) a few times but unfortunately they were closed when I was driving past. They are just up the road from Lamonts and around the corner from Tyler’s Vineyard which makes it the perfect little area to hit up a few local Swan Valley wineries that are off the beaten path (i.e. not lining West Swan Road or Great Northern Highway).
As you guys know, I am aiming to visit all the Swan Valley wineries in 2017 so I can update my guide. So last weekend when it was time to pick a couple of spots, I couldn’t look past Fig Tree Estate and I just had to hope they would have their doors open. Boy was I excited when I saw that open sign, we had finally made it! The bad news was an extra big bus (60+ people in fact) had also just pulled into the driveway – not exactly the quiet Saturday afternoon tasting we had imagined.
But don’t fret my fellow winos, our debut visit to Fig Tree and our wine tasting experience was definitely not hindered and here’s why:
I wasn’t too sure what to expect with the Fig Tree Wines. I definitely knew I loved the design of the label, but would I like the contents?
On taste at the cellar door when we went they had the following wines:
- 2015 Sparkling Chenin Blanc
- 2015 Verdelho
- 2016 Late Picked Chenin Blanc
- 2014 Chardonnay
- 2013 Shiraz/Grenache
- 2013 Cabernet/Shiraz
- 2016 Merlot
- 2013 ‘8 Rows’ Reserve Shiraz
- Shiraz Liqueur NV (fortified)
I was really impressed by the selection and the wines themselves! We ended up buying a bottle of Verdelho and a bottle of the Reserve Shiraz to take home. However I easily could have grabbed a few more too if funds permitted! The Late Picked Chenin would be a fantastic match for Asian cuisine or anything with a little spice in, the Chardonnay is super intriguing and really caught me by surprise and the Shiraz/Grenache was total honey on my palate!
I think I may just have to go back soon to try through the range again! Anyway as you know, I don’t write tasting notes when I go to a cellar door (it’s too anti social plus I suck at multi-tasking) however I will pop up my notes on the 2 we purchased when we get around to opening them. So watch this space!
I didn’t realise these guys made their own Apple Cider. It’s rather pricey at $7 a bottle or $35 for a 6-pack to takeaway but it’s definitely tasty and as natural as you can get. It’s not like that sugary, full-of-calories stuff you buy at the bottle shops. This cider is made from real apples – Pink Lady’s from Donnybrook actually with a few Granny Smith apples chucked in the mix too. There’s no added sweeteners either!
We ended up buying a couple of bottles to enjoy that afternoon, it’s safe to say we should have bought a few more as they were gone in a blink of the eye!
The People & Cellar Door
Now this is the bit that turned the terror of a bus load of 60+ youngsters joining our tasting experience into something enjoyable. The staff were über professional and controlled. They knew exactly how to handle the mob who were looked after outside, while we enjoyed our mostly peaceful tasting inside in the air -conditioning. By the way, the cellar door is so cute, it’s got a bit of a hipster flair with the Edison light-bulbs meets beach vibe with the beach artworks. And I just loved the barrels up the back. Very cool set-up.
Now back to the people, it’s pretty much family-run at Fig Tree Estate. They all have a great sense of humour and were very compassionate to our bad timing. As they explained, being off the beaten path, having buses in is good to help them get people in the door and for brand awareness. Which is fair enough. As long as a winery can handle bus loads of people and not disrupt the normal ‘Saturday afternoon tasters’, then I’m all for it.
The majority of our tasting was conducted by the husband and wife team behind the winery. The hubby is the winemaker and both Mr. Spittoon and I give big kudos to him – he is obviously super knowledgeable about wine, however the way he talks about it, and explains it all in layman’s terms is so interesting and easily understandable for all levels of wine-lovers. We both really enjoyed chatting to him!
Naturally I tried to dig for some gossip to tell you all. So what I did find out is:
- They would like to expand their range of ciders, they’re looking at perhaps making a mango cider
- Plans are on the cards to start doing lunches/some kind of food at the cellar door – they have a lovely outdoor space so I’d love to see this happen
And there you have it folks – I’d highly recommend popping into Fig Tree Estate in the Swan Valley if you get the chance. Make sure you try through the entire range and pick up some cheese and olives from the cellar door while you’re there.
Location: 100 Bisdee Rd, Millendon WA 6056
Contact Number: (08) 9296 2669
Open Times: 11am – 4pm Thursday-Sunday
Wine tasting cost: Free
Food available: Coming soon! However you can buy olives and cheeses from the cellar door