Margaret Rivers – Cheers tour

It was Lesley’s birthday and for a special treat we joined a Cheers Wine Tour through the Margaret River area. http://www.cheerstours.com/ This was a great way to spend a day around Margaret River and taste the specialities of the region. We started at Watershed Wineries http://www.watershedwines.com.au/ where we enjoyed a tour of the winery as well as an excellent lunch in their restaurant.

(Lesley’s photo)
(Lesley’s photo)
(Lesley’s photo)
(Lesley’s photo)
(Lesley’s photo)

This is in one of the temperature controlled sheds – this one is kept at 15 degrees all year long.

(Lesley’s photo)


They use oak barrels from I think, US, France and Hungary. This one is from Hungary.(Lesley’s photo)
The cost of the barrel although substantial is insignificant compared to the labour cost of putting the wine into barrels, checking the individual barrels, emptying the barrels for cleaning and then refilling them. These barrels are being cleaned at the moment.
We learned about the two main pruning methods: Barrel pruning which can be done by machine and cane pruning which is a labour intensive way of pruning. The pruners (mainly backpackers) are paid 44 cents a vine.






On to the tasting room…

(Lesley’s photo)




And then to the restaurant for lunch.

(Lesley’s photo)


Next stop Margaret River Venison http://mrvenison.com. We passed a few deer as we approached the shop, but none of them within walking distance of the car park. A photo of a sculpture will have to do.


The deer live in beautiful parkland.


I thought the snow drops were appropriate for the location.
We tasted numerous delicacies such as pate and salami and purchased salami, pate and liverwurst.

Evans & Tate http://www.mcwilliams.com.au/our-brands/evans-tate/ was the next winery with more tasting.





After the tastings we purchased a few bottles of the Malbec and of the Cabernet Sauvignon. I also liked their Hanwood Grand Tawny port, but this is not from Margaret River. It is a port produced by their parent company, McWilliams.

(Lesley’s photo)


In a separate area they have Olive Oils, Balsamic Vinegars, Dukkah and flavoured Mayonnaise for tasting. The Garlic Olive Oil with some Dukkah is really nice.


(Lesley’s photo)





Next stop Knotting Hill Estate http://knottinghill.com.au/. This winery is in beautiful grounds around a manmade lake. The wines weren’t bad either – we purchased a carton of their Verdelho. The vineyard mainly grows grapes to sell to other wineries as contract growers but retains a small quantity to produce wines that they only sell at their cellar door. The other thing special about this place is the ownership. While most of the wineries in Margaret River (and the rest of Australia) have been taken over by the big boys, this is a family owned winery. We talked to one of the owners and he actually loaded the wines bought by our group onto a trolley and brought them out to the tour bus.

(Lesley’s photo)


(Lesley’s photo)
(Lesley’s photo)
(Lesley’s photo)
(Lesley’s photo)






The Margaret River Chocolate Co.  http://www.chocolatefactory.com.au/ was another happy stop. Apparently everybody thought the factory couldn’t possibly succeed – but the factory was an instant success. This is true Belgian chocolate imported from Belgium and then processed to create their particular products. We were given a chocolate coated nougat to taste – another item that had to go on our shopping list.

(Lesley’s photo)
(Lesley’s photo)
(Lesley’s photo)(Lesley’s photo)
(Lesley’s photo)
(Lesley’s photo)
Did you notice all the photos here were by Lesley? I must have been too busy tasting the wares.

(Lesley’s photo)

We stopped for a quick tasting at the Margaret River Cheese Factory.


Next and last stop was the Colonial Brewing Company http://www.colonialbrewingco.com.au/brewery.


They brew a great variety of beers.


What better way to taste them than in a paddle with their selection of beers.
The taste is so different between the five different samples. Once again I enjoyed the Wheat Beer: Witbier. Please note the spelling of Witbier -beer is spelt the German way, I guess in association of its heritage. Their beers do not contain any preservatives and are sold in these great bottles.

(Lesley’s photo)
They make a nice light fitting too!

(Lesley’s photo)
It was an exhausting day and I deserved a rest in the bull-chair.

(Lesley’s photo)]


Nice gardens surrounded the brewery.






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