Ok so every time I write a blog about the top 5 or top 10 things to do or wineries or restaurants in Margaret River it goes nuts. My blog statistics monitor tells me they get hundreds and hundreds of hits and reads.
My blog statistics also tells me there are a lot of people looking for the keywords of ‘Best Wine Tours in Margaret River’ , so I’m thinking why not compile a concise Top 5 BEST Winery Tour experiences in Margaret River.
But. This is kinda hard to do objectively because I’m a tour operator. So of course I’m probably gonna say I’m a top 5 tour.
Thankfully there is the slightly more objective resource of Tripadvisor to verify the Margaret River Discovery tours are indeed Top 5. If I may indulge some chest pounding and say the Discovery Tour has actually been the #1 small group tour in Margaret River on Tripadvisor every single day for ten consecutive years.
Which I’m pretty stoked about. MRDCo is only tiny. A small group, highly personalised experience.
I’m competing against much bigger bus tour companies that host much larger numbers of 20-50 people a day and much more capable of achieving higher review traffic through sheer volume of numbers.
That being said, I offer a range of different tours (Sunset Canoe Tour, Private Tours, Cape to Cape tours, Overnight Tours, Best of the Best Wine Tour, Discovery Tour) . I like to think they are all great, but If I’m being absolutely honest the Discovery Tour is the overall best experience.
Most people think they want to do the Best of the Best Wine Tour. Which makes sense as most people are visiting the Margaret River region for the wine. But I reckon if you want the best overall experience, the Discovery Tour is the better wine tour. You still get to experience a very special behind the scenes winery experience and exclusive winery lunch among the barrels, plus you also get to see and do a bunch of other epic activities you couldn’t normally access on your own.
So here’s my list. In no particular order. But considering I wrote it, and we are in a Trump era, I’m claiming number one position 😉
Feel free to check out Tripadvisor for less biased ranking!
The Margaret River Tour for people who don’t do tours.
- Start the day with a canoe trip down a stunning section of the tranquil Margaret River. You won’t get wet, dirty or fall in. It’s a peaceful beginning to our day of highlights.
- We then head to the beach to see how the winemakers relax – a coffee while we check the surf at one of the region’s top beach breaks.
- Our next stop is an ancient waterhole to spot freshwater Marron and wildlife and to taste local honey while we reflect on Aboriginal history dating back more than 30,000 years.
- Lunch at one the region’s most celebrated emerging superstar wineries –Fraser Gallop Estate – is our next highlight. We have exclusive access to the working winery and vineyard and savour some of the best wines in the region matched with local produce while seated among barrels of ageing wine.
- We finish our day with a 4WD adventure and walk on a spectacular section of the Cape to Cape Track – the Wilyabrup Cliffs. We have special government approval to use a 4WD track that offers stunning cliff top views. High above the Indian Ocean the epic scenery, fresh sea breezes and surrounding ancient soils provide a deeper understanding of the unique terroir of the Margaret River region. Dolphins, sharks, whales, kangaroos, eagles and wildflowers are seasonal, but all possible.
- Leeuwin Estate
The ‘Ultimate Leeuwin Degustation Experience’ is the most luxurious way to be introduced to the three pillars of fine wine, food and the arts that define the Estate.
Start your visit at 10.30am with morning tea, including coffee or tea and freshly baked scones, in the alfresco veranda setting.
Following morning tea, at 11am, accompany your host on a behind-the-scenes tour of the winemaking process, where you will learn about the history of Leeuwin Estate and the winemaking philosophy which results in their world class and highly awarded wines.
You will also learn about Leeuwin’s contribution to the Arts with their famous concert series and some information about the Art Series wine labels. The tour concludes with a tutored wine tasting of a selection of Leeuwin Estate wines.
Having experienced the pillars of wine and art, the final pillar of fine food awaits in the award winning restaurant at 12 noon. Indulge in a sumptuous seven course degustation menu, using fresh seasonal ingredients, from some local Margaret River region producers. Each course has been carefully matched with current release and museum selected Leeuwin Estate wines.
The Ultimate Leeuwin Estate experience.
- Voyager Estate
The Estate Tour, Tasting, and Discovery Menu offers the full Voyager Estate experience, from vine to wine, and garden to table.
Starting with an interactive, behind-the-scenes Estate tour, you’ll see where it all begins (in the vineyard), visit their large underground cellar, and taste wine straight from the barrel in the barrel hall. Plus, you’ll discover a bit about Voyager Estate history along the way.
Once you’ve seen where the wine comes from, it’s time to taste them. You’ll be taken through a guided tasting in the iconic Cellar Door.
You will then move into the stunning Restaurant for their signature menu, the 7-course Discovery Menu, where each course is inspired by one of the Voyager Estate wines. Head chef, Santiago (Santi) Fernandez and his team also take inspiration from the vineyards and winemaking process in creating dishes that bring a small part of the Estate to the table.
Each dish will be paired to an aged or limited release wine.
- Cape Mentelle
Demystify the world of wine. Walking through the winemaking process you will follow the story from the iconic Wallcliffe Vineyard through to state-of-the-art fruit processing areas and ending in the rammed earth Cabernet Cellar, where you can enjoy a tutored wine and food pairing experience.
- Vasse Felix
Explore the world of food and wine at Margaret River’s founding wine estate. This tour takes you behind the scenes on winemaking, sharing unique historical insights into the region and all facets of wine production at Vasse Felix. Meet with the winemaker as you explore the winery and red barrel hall, before joining your host for a tasting of the wine collection. Then step into the world of food and wine matching, where you’ll gain insights into Margaret River’s local produce, and the philosophies that guide the Vasse Felix Chefs in their creation of dishes to match with the region’s wines. Enjoy the ultimate treat of a three course set menu, paired with wines. Finally select your choice of a bottle of Vasse Felix Premier wine to take away and share with your friends and family.
Margaret River Discovery Tours
Sean Blocksidge is the owner operator of the Margaret River Discovery Company, an avid photographer, blogger and South West WA ambassador. In 2010 he won Western Australian Guide of the Year and his tours have been rated the #1 thing to do in Australia on the Tripadvisor website for the past two years.