Visiting wineries in Perth, WA & other highlights

Windy Creek Wine Tasting, Swan Valley

Recently my parents from New Zealand visited me for 3 and a half days here in Perth. The reason I love wine so much is because of those crazy two! My very first after school job was as a Cellar Hand at a local winery, this came about due to my parents visiting that winery so often.

So when they decided to come to Perth it was only natural that I had to make sure I showed them as many of my favourite wine haunts in and around Perth in the short time they were here! It was a hard few days but we managed to get to; 16 wineries, 1 brewery, 1 chocolate factory, 1 distillery, 1 cider house, 1 coffee specialist and a handful of foodie spots.

It’s nice to see and hear the first impressions of people new to the area so I asked my parents to come up with 1 sentence to describe each place we visited. I left this completely up to them, their words not mine. Here is what they thought…

Pinelli Wines, Swan Valley
“I’m not sure about the Cab Sauv in the flagons but they’d be ideal for a BBQ or party”.
Wine Pick:  2011 Margaret River Cabernet Sauvignon & 2012 Durif

Providore/Coward & Black, Swan Valley
“Great tastings, not just of wine either the oils, sauces and jams were to die for”.
Wine Pick: 2007 Cabernet Sauvignon

Lancaster Wines, Swan Valley
“The magic show by the managers son was pretty special as was the cheese board. The sticky Shiraz was a definite highlight”.
Wine Pick: Sticky Shiraz

Sandalford Winery, Swan Valley
“Great deal by Callum on the wines. However a few team members cared more about cashing up than customer service”.
Wine Pick:  2011 Botrytis Semillon

Mash Brewing, Swan Valley
“Freo Doctor was worth drinking”.

The Tap – Chapel Farm, Swan Valley
“Food was good, service suffered a bit due to a busy night”.

Edgecombe Brothers, Swan Valley – Asparagus Master Class
“Nice to do something a little different that was interesting and had a touch of craziness about it”.
Wine Pick : NV Sparkling Chardonnay

Tyler’s Vineyard, Swan Valley
“Mrs Tyler was absolutely lovely, it was just delightful to be there. We felt very welcomed and they have lovely Grenache bubbles. Super friendly, nothing was a problem”.
Wine Pick: Grenache Sparkling Wine
Donelle at Tylers Vineyard, Swan Valley

Windy Creek Estate, Swan Valley
“Tastings with the cheese and crackers were good. Lovely port”.
Wine Pick: White Port

Olive farm Wines, Swan Valley
“Very efficient Kiwi girl at the cellar door, there were some exceptional wines particularly the Cab Sauv and the Petit Verdot made the cut to be taken home”.
Wine Pick: 2009 Petit Verdot

The Cheese Barrel, Swan Valley
“Good selection of cheese and wine and the coffee wasn’t bad for the skipper: it was good to have the matching wine and cheese board, the Australian board was exceptional”.
Wine & Cheese Pick: Olive Farm Wines Crystal with the Tarago Shadows of Blue
The Cheese Barrel, Swan Valley

Paul Conti Wines
“Lovely underground cellar, best Sauvignon Blanc tasted in Australia – nice and crisp. Very great wines”.
Wine Pick: 2013 Sauvignon Blanc
Paul Conti Winery, WA

Ugly Duckling Wines, Swan Valley
“Great customer service, very friendly… Picked up some lovely olive oils”.
Wine pick: 2009 Reserve Shiraz

Mandoon Estate, Swan Valley
“The history of the property is amazing, the Irish lady at the cellar door was good value”.
Wine Pick: 2010 Reserve Research Station Cabernet Sauvignon

Ambrook Wines, Swan Valley
“Very pleasant cellar door lady”.
Wine Pick: 2012 Rosso D’ Amore

The King & I Thai Restaurant, Guildford
“Big portions, lovely curries went well with the sweeter style wines”.

Core Cider House, Perth Hills
“Great tasting platter – the lemon sparkling cider was superb”.
Core Cider House Platter, Perth Hills

Due Jolly, Perth Hills
“Pretty good 08 Chardonnay and quirky cellar door. Nice art”.

MyattsField Vineyard, Perth Hills
“Looovely bubbles, nice big cellar door”.
Wine Pick: 2012 Kenneth Green Vintage Fortified & 2011 Methode Champenoise

Hainault Vineyard, Perth Hills
“Interesting driveway. Good cellar door staff, they were very informative”.
Wine Pick: 2010 Semillon & 2012 Ruby Cabernet (Port style)

Yahava Koffee, Swan Valley
“Great to do a coffee tasting for a change from all the wine! It was very informative and interesting. The ice coffee was a nice surprise”.

Yahava Koffee, Swan Valley

Whistlers Chocolate Factory, Swan Valley
“Large range – lovely little tasting, the coconut rough was a favourite for all”.

Great Northern Distillery, Swan Valley
“Tasting platter was very disappointing, the coke didn’t taste like natural coke but rather a cheap soda-stream alternative”.
Spirit Pick: OP rum if I had to choose one.

Rose & Crown Hotel Pub, Guildford
“Beautiful meal! The lamb rack and sirloin steak were simply lovely. Great bar downstairs but pity we didn’t see a ghost”.

My parents had an absolutely fabulous time and they were already talking about their next visit. They would definitely want to head back to Olive Farm Wines and MyattsField to stock up their cellar and they would love to get down to the Margaret River and the southern regions next time!

Wine tasting at MyattsField Vineyards in the Perth Hills

“If you love what you do you will never work a day in your life”, Josh Davenport told me on a recent wine tasting trip to his winery in the Perth Hills. It is so clear that the MyattsField Vineyards are Joshua & his wife Rachel’s pride and joy (alongside their kids and gorgeous dog of course!).

This young husband and wife team are both qualified winemakers who have worked around the globe and Western Australia making wine. They are a breathe of fresh air in the wine industry – they do what they do because they love it and most importantly they have fun with it. I believe it’s this passion that comes through in their wines.

I was recently invited by Belinda from Seeds & Harvest Marketing Communications to attended the MyattsField ‘Old & New’ tasting with their Left Field club members to celebrate 10 years of winemaking at MyattsField. There were 18 wines to taste, which included some pre-releases and their very first wine (a 2003 Merlot) matched with delicious nibbles by Chef Llyod Powell from Grape Provisions.

The property is simply beautiful, with the romantic rolling hills full of vines and the rustic homestead that houses the cellar door and winery. I was already picturing lovely Spring evenings out on the verandah with a bottle or two of wine as the sun sets. Plus I hear there is an awesome B&B across the road, hint hint Mr. Spittoon 😉

This celebratory tasting was exclusively for Left Field Club members. It is “a club for those who enjoy good wines and occasionally something a little different”. To me the club had a community feel, here we all were in the back of the winery surrounded by winery equipment with the common element of loving wine. And after tasting the 18 special wines I can definitely see why everyone was there, MyattsField definitely know how to get those tongues wagging.

From a “sunshine in a glass” Verdelho to the “sexy grape” of Durif and to fortifieds made from the traditional Touriga Nacional. MyattsField are jumping out of the glass at you, they are experimenting in the vineyard and winery and these ‘playful tests’ are bloody well working.

My visit to MyattsField reminded me why I love wine so much – simply put, wine is fun and you’ve got to have fun with it. The Bickley Valley, where MyattsField is situated is a mere 30 minute drive from the Perth CBD, well worth the trip for some much needed R&R.

For more information on MyattsField please click on the links below:

MyattsField Website

MyattsField Facebook

MyattsField Twitter

What we tasted: 2011 Methode Champenoise, 2007 Verdelho, 2011 Verdelho, 2006 Semillon, 2012 Semillon, 2007 Mourvèdre, 2008 Shiraz Mourvèdre Vioginer, 2006 Tempranillo, 2009 Durif, 2003 Merlot, 2006 Cab Sauv, 2005 Cab Merlot, 2010 Cab Merlot Petit Verdot, 2004 Reserve Merlot Cab, 2007 Reserve Cab Merlot, 2008 Reserve Cab Shiraz, 2009 Cab Petit Verdot Merlot, 2007 Touriga Nacional fortified, 2012 Touriga Nacional fortified. 

Tasting notes to come soon! And for more photos please check out my MyattsField album here.
This is a sponsored post but opinions are my own. Please see my disclosure policy for more details.

Breakfast at Edgecombe Brothers Winery in the Swan Valley, Perth

Sparkling Wine Breakfast at Edgecombe Brothers WineryA glass of bubbles with brekkie for only $5!!

I’m starting to think Autumn may be one of my favourite times of year to visit the Swan Valley. The vines are gorgeous shades of yellows, reds and oranges and the days are still sitting around 20 degrees. Not too cold or too hot. So when someone whispers the words ‘Champagne Breakfast in the Swan Valley’ into my ear – I’m there in a heartbeat!

Edgecombe Brothers Winery is my new favourite weekend brekkie spot after recently spending a lovely Saturday morning there. Firstly breakfast starts from 10am and last orders are at 11:15am.. It caters for those of us who let’s be honest, like a bit of a sleep in! Plus this way you can jump right from breakfast in to a day of wine tasting. Such a hard life!

This family owned and operated winery definitely has that homely feel as soon as you step in the door. The menu is short and sweet with just enough variation (I honestly sometimes think long menus are a pain in the but as it takes me hours to decide!).

The open-air dining area under vines and wisteria with the outstretched vineyard in front is a big ball of heavenly relaxation. The tables and chairs are setup on the lawn and are a mix’n’match of styles, I choose to park myself up at a set which seemed very ‘Grandma styles’, totally comfy! This spot has plenty of sunshine and if you’re lucky enough you’ll see the Wagon Trails horse and cart on its morning tour of the Valley.

I ended up going for the Poached Eggs on continental bread with Tomato and Mushrooms & Smoked Salmon for AU$20. To be honest I thought this was a touch pricey but overall it was a decent homemade meal with just enough that I wasn’t stuffed to the rim plus it seemed pretty healthy in my books, which is a bonus.
Edgecombe Brothers Winery in the Swan Valley

The bargain, which makes me want to take back the comment about the food price, is that with any brekkie meal you can opt for a glass of the Edgecombe Brothers Non-vintage Sparkling Chardonnay for a mere AU$5 … Awesome value and very pleasant bubbles. Read my tasting note here. I was even brought over a shot glass of their Liqueur Muscat to try whilst I was waiting for my brekkie. Knowing the intensity of these wines I waited till I finished my bubbles before ‘having my shot’ – it was just about midday, so no judgment! Read my tasting note here.

Next time I will be definitely opting for the pancakes with fresh fruit… Yum!! Plus I have heard that during asparagus season (I’m not too sure when this is but I have a feeling it could be around September-October) you’re in for a real treat with their homegrown asparagus as an addition to the big brekkie.
Edgecombe Brothers Winery Breakfast Menu

Edgecombe Brothers Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato Once you’ve had brekkie, you may as well visit their cellar door and taste through the range on offer. Big kudos to Edgecombe for actually having bar stools at their tasting bar – haha who needs to stand!! Plus they have a wide variety of local and homemade produce for sale. I purchased a pot of the Grape Jam, which I am yet to get into, but trusty sources tell me that, its divine.

If you’re after a laid back breakfast on a Saturday or Sunday in a spectacular setting, good food, lovely people then Edgecombe can definitely help you out! Please check out the Edgecombe Brothers website for more information or check out the Edgecombe Brothers Facebook page.

Edgecombe Brothers Winery shot of liqueur

Shocking news!! Another Swan Valley winery sold & shutting down

Waters Edge Estate in the Swan Valley closing down 30th June 2013..

I was planning on writing a series of posts aimed at public transport goers keen to experience the Swan Valley. Butttttt… The first one I choose to go to, and the closest winery within walking distance from Guildford train station (2.5kms) is closing down!!

This news came as such a shock to me as Waters Edge Estate has a gorgeous location on the banks of the Swan River and produces some great quality wines. Not to mention it has such a rich history that dates back to 1829.

Once upon a time the property was owned by the Yurisich family (owners of Olive Farm Wines), however it is currently owned by Captain Cook Cruises. The cruise boats make this their number 1 stop on their trip up the river and a few other tour companies also stop here. The charm with Waters Edge Estate is not only their stunning location but also their historical underground cellar where their tasting bar and cellar door is.

The morale of this story is that Waters Edge Estate does produce some great wines and up until Sunday the 30th of June you can pop in for a tasting and have the very last opportunity (EVER!) to stock up on Waters Edge wines. After this date you will still be able to drink their wines onboard Captain Cook Cruises however stock is limited, and when its gone – its gone!

So here are a couple of my favourites:

The Kingfisher 2012 Chardonnay:

Crystal clear yellow on the eye (please note I was in an underground cellar so my notes on all the appearances of these wines might be a touch off!). Fresh peach and a touch of vanilla entice your sense of smell whilst the palate is super crisp and fruity with only a very small touch of oak. AU$20

Wagtail NV sparkling Chardonnay:

Super exploding bubbles on the eye, which is a good sign. Crisp delicate flavours with a touch of orchard fruit sweetness. Fine yet a touch prickly mousse in the mouth, rather pleasant indeed. AU$18

The Spoonbill 2012 Cabernet Merlot:

A gorgeous red violet on the eye. The nose is full of plums and blackberries, not too intense. This is a very friendly red, very smooth like velvet. It’s like drinking a berry juice with a touch of spice and mocha dusting over the top. AU$20

The Swamphen 2012 Shiraz:

Yumo, I loved this! A magenta red on the eye. The nose has a voluptuous spiced baked plum aroma. In the mouth it is super vibrant and fruity with plump black fruits doused in black pepper and liquorice. AU$21

I’ll definitely be stocking up on a few bottles of the Shiraz – it has a gorgeous palate and being so young it will age. I am also very partial to the Chardonnay; I am thinking this is going to be a great 2013 spring wine! Plus by then it will be hot property since no one else will have it!

This is a bit of a sad post, however you still have 7 days to stock up so don’t hesitate!

Contact details:

Loder Way (off Great Eastern Highway)?South Guildford, W.A 6055

Tel: (+61) 8 9277 2989


Visiting Carilley Estate in the Swan Valley, Perth

With a Celtic logo and a very Irish sounding name, I was sure Carilley Estate was going to be owned by an Irish family. The Estate is located at the upper end of the Swan Valley on the banks of the Susannah Brook. Wine barrels are set amongst the lush gardens and immediately I can imagine that it is the perfect setting for a magical wedding.

The winery has an adjoining restaurant and café it was busy on this particular Sunday however I have to admit that I was overwhelmed with tranquility. The first thing that caught my eye when I walked in was the beautiful copper designed sign below the tasting counter. I later found out that artisan Antonio Battistessa handcrafted it. Simply stunning!

The cellar-door staff were extremely welcoming and friendly. We were looked after by Karen who I can 100% recommend to do a tasting with. She was uber-chatty and was happy to answer our millions of questions! I always love to hear the story behind the wines; it makes the experience so much more interesting.

So I found out that Carilley is in fact not an Irish last name but it is an amalgamation of the owner’s surnames. Isavel and Laura Carija are of British and Italian decent. Isavel has 50 years of winemaking experience behind him having moved to the Swan Valley when he was only 2 years old and helped his father plant his first vineyard when he was 8 years old.

Karen explained that in 1985 the Carilley name was first used to market their crop of table grapes. In the 90’s the brand began to evolve as they started to produce quality wine and expand the property to create a restaurant in 2002. They are a boutique winery that produces some stunning and rather intriguing wines.

I am always on the lookout for new and interesting wines and sadly I have not found much in Perth to satisfy this need of mine. On my visit to Carilley I indulged in a Chenin Blanc & Viognier blend and a sweet late-harvest Merlot that they have recently produced. Unfortunately I didn’t try any of the fortified but I have to admit that they sounded awfully tasty particularly the Damask 1997 Verdelho blended with the Argentinean grape Pedro Ximenez. They describe it as liquid gold, and I am partial to a splash of gold here and there!

I will definitely have to put those on the tasting list for our next visit.

Tastings of the fortifieds are $2 each and to do a tasting of the full wine list is $5, which is completely refundable if you purchase something at the end of the tasting. After tasting through 8 of their wines, I didn’t need much convincing to buy a bottle.

Actually between my boyfriend and I we couldn’t decide what we wanted so we ended up choosing 3 each to make it a nice half a dozen. Our top picks were; the un-oaked 2011 Chardonnay, 2011 Chenin Viogner, 2011 Picasso Sweet Merlot, 2007 Reserve Merlot, 2009 Shiraz and even though we didn’t try it we also bought a bottle of the Fiona (named after the owners daughter) sparkling Chardonnay. I can’t wait to get stuck into these beauties and I promise tasting notes to come.

The Carilley Estate is set on 22 acres, 10 acres are under vine and they also produce their own olive oil from the 400 odd olive trees on the property. Again a bottle of this handpicked goodness is definitely on my wish list.

By the sounds of this post I need to make another trip back to Carilley Estate, perhaps lunch is on the cards. However I am pretty sure when I go back I will end up investing in some art as there was a particularly awesome framed photo of grapes with dew on. I later found out that Karen, who took us through the tasting, had taken the photo. Truly amazing!

The winery and restaurant are open Thursday through to Monday from 10:30am till 5:00pm. For further information please check out their website here. For more Swan Valley winery reviews and tasting notes, please click here.