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Swan Valley, Western Australia: 20 reasons to visit

Posted by on 18/07/2018

Sandalford Vineyard, Swan Valley. Photo: Supplied Food & Wine Trail, Swan Valley. Photo: Supplied
Nanjing Night Net

The Cheese Barrel. Photo: Supplied

1 EXPERIENCE: SWAN VALLEY FOOD AND WINE TRAIL

The valley was originally settled by southern and eastern Europeans who brought their work ethic and fortified wine techniques to the new colony. Many of the 40 wineries here still produce the rich fortifieds as well as unique warm-climate shiraz, cabernet, chenin blanc, petit verdot and verdelho varieties. More than 70 restaurants and cafes round out the experience and The Food and Wine Trail showcases the epicurean evolution of the valley in an enticing 32-kilometre loop that begins just 25 minutes from the Perth CBD. 梧桐夜网swanvalley南京夜网419论坛2 EAT AND DRINK: GUILDFORD HOTEL

The gorgeous Guildford Hotel – at the start of the Swan Valley Food and Wine Trail – reopened in April, eight years after it was destroyed by fire. And the heritage is back, along with a clever, raw brick fascia that even retains some of the charred roof beams. Think cosy fireplaces, plush lounges, trendy drinks and excellent pub food. Check out the adjacent row of antique and craft furniture shops. 梧桐夜网theguildfordhotel南京夜网419论坛3 EXPERIENCE: MAALINUP ABORIGINAL GALLERY *

This celebration of the first Australians of the south-west is a must. While the art, cultural performances and talks are captivating, the “Place of the Black Swan” is renowned for its bush tucker. Check out the Bush Tucker Garden, learn how to incorporate lemon myrtle, quandong and mountain pepperberry into your cooking or join in the Kedalak Kening (Nightime Corroboree) for the full sensory immersion of song, dance, storytelling and supper. 梧桐夜网maalinup南京夜网419论坛4 DRINK: OLD YOUNG’S DISTILLERY *

James Young took an old distillery and made it “Young” again. It won gold medals at its first attempts with both gin and vodka. “We have a distinct philosophy for every drink we create. My test is that a bartender is excited about making cocktails,” says James, who is playing around with botanical infusions in conjunction with Dale Tilbrook from Maalinup Aboriginal Gallery. Try the 1829 Gin, Smoked vodka, Pavlova vodka and Cold-Drip Coffee vodka. 梧桐夜网oldyoungs南京夜网419论坛5 EAT AND DRINK: SANDALFORD WINERY

Sandalford has been around since 1840 and the busy cellar door and fun gift shop is on all the tourist bus itineraries. Sandalford Restaurant is a regular Gold Plate recipient and boasts perfectlyprepared regional produce by the fire in winter, and al fresco beneath 125-year-old vines in summer. Sandalford’s long list of awards includes the prestigious 2015 Sir David Brand Award for Tourism, WA’s top tourism gong. 梧桐夜网sandalford南京夜网6 DRINK: OLIVE FARM WINES

Established in 1829, this is the oldest winery in WA, the second oldest in Australia and has been run by the Yurisich family since 1933. A fourth generation heritage marvel and renowned for many varietals, it is still the fortifieds that grab the attention, such as the Liqueur Verdelho, darkened by 25 years aged in oak. Make sure you try the traditional Stari after dinner fortified and the Pedro Ximinez they sell only in five-litre American oak barrels. 梧桐夜网olivefarmwines南京夜网7 EAT: THE CHEESE BARREL

Paired with a bottle from Olive Farm Wines next door, this is a wine-cheese nirvana. Create a cheese board (or tower) of your own or their choosing from about 90 top-end farmhouse and artisanal varieties, sourced from all over the world. Kylie will happily talk cheese for hours and recommends the aged salty Farmhouse Gold Gouda from Nannup in WA and the soft white mould Buff Betty from Woodside in South Australia. Cheese Maker courses are held every weekend. 梧桐夜网thecheesebarrel南京夜网419论坛8 EAT AND DRINK: MANDOON ESTATE

A restaurant, winery, brewery and art gallery in one, with accommodation coming soon. They’ve sunk millions into this very fine establishment, including a restoration of the vines. Drop into the public cellar door any time or book a private tasting in the underground cellar. Homestead Brewery pairs tapas with German-style craft beers. Try matching the Brauhaus Lager with Togarashi spiced squid and wasabi mayonnaise. 梧桐夜网mandoonestate南京夜网419论坛9 EAT AND DRINK: OTHER WINERIES

Space precludes a full listing but interesting cellar doors with diverse offerings (and a chat if you go mid-week when it’s quieter) can be found at Houghton Wines (try the traditional white burgundy), Talijancich Wines (2008 Reserve Verdelho, 30-year-old Rare Tawny), John Kosovich Wines (2010 Bottle Aged Chenin, Rare Muscat) and Black Swan Winery & Restaurant (2014 Black Swan Shiraz, the restaurant). 梧桐夜网houghton-wines南京夜网419论坛; 梧桐夜网taliwine南京夜网419论坛; 梧桐夜网johnkosovichwines南京夜网419论坛; 梧桐夜网blackswanwines南京夜网419论坛10 EXPERIENCE: CAVERSHAM WILDLIFE PARK

Meet the wombats and possums, feed the kangaroos and take a selfie with a lizard or koala. Plus wedge-tailed eagles, a crocodile, pythons, Tasmanian devils and many more birds, reptiles and mammals. Plenty of interactive shows throughout the day. A brilliant venue for kids and overseas visitors, Caversham is inside Whiteman Park, which features bush walking trails, train rides, transport museums, galleries, handicrafts and an educational Children’s Forest. 梧桐夜网cavershamwildlife南京夜网419论坛; 梧桐夜网whitemanpark南京夜网419论坛11 PLAY: GOLF AT THE VINES COUNTRY CLUB *

Ranked in the top 100 courses in Australia by Golf Digest, the two 18-hole championship courses at The Vines have hosted Johnnie Walker Classics, Heineken Classics and an LPGA Lexus Cup. Set in pristine bushland and replete with kangaroos and birdlife, the spectacular layout incorporates huge, sloping, heavily bunkered bent grass greens and a rough as unforgiving as a mother-in-law. There’s also hacker-friendly supa golf and mini-golf courses at Oasis Supa Golf. 梧桐夜网vines南京夜网419论坛; 梧桐夜网getgolfing南京夜网419论坛12 STAY: NOVOTEL VINES RESORT

The Vines is also the best accommodation in the valley. It’s been around a while but is very well maintained and facilities include a large pool, day spa, tennis courts, gym and very good restaurants, especially Muscats. This is important if you are visiting early in the week as other quality eateries may not be open for dinner. All 103 rooms have either a private balcony or an open courtyard you will share with kangaroos, ducks, kookaburras and magpies. 梧桐夜网vines南京夜网419论坛13 DRINK: FERAL BREWING CO

A massively popular boutique brewer, there is already a dozen cars in the car park when I arrive at 11am on a weekday. Patrons are lured by an award-winning list of craft beers, including Watermelon Warhead, the 2015 Champion Australian Craft Beer. Feral offers about 16 ever-changing beers on tap, as well as tasting trays and a restaurant specialising in local produce. Known for pushing the boundaries, Feral experiments with exotic hops, spices and fruits in search of unique full-flavoured beers. 梧桐夜网feralbrewing南京夜网419论坛14 EXPERIENCE: CYCLING

Pick up a map and cycle hire information from The Swan Valley Visitor Centre in Guildford at the beginning of the Swan Valley. The valley is mostly flat terrain and various routes are recommended for families, fun and serious peddlers. Choose from the three main trails and/or some of the extensions and detours. The 12-kilometre Swan Valley Heritage Cycle Trail showcases the area’s history, nature and characters with a series of interpretive signs. 梧桐夜网swanvalley南京夜网419论坛/Lists/Attractions/Swan_Valley_Heritage_Cycle_Trail15 EXPERIENCE: PROVIDORE *

Adjacent to its sister-business Margaret River Chocolate Company, this Swan Valley version of the Margaret River food icon offers a truly incredible range of gourmet goodies. Think exotic pickles, chutneys and relishes, balsamics and dressings, jams, honey and marmalade and to-die-for olive oils infused with truffle oil, garlic, blood orange, lemon and lime. Then there are the marinades, mustards, pasta sauces and dukkahs. Do not leave without trying the Sambarino chocolate liqueurs, guaranteed to spice up your ice-cream. 梧桐夜网providore南京夜网419论坛/swan-valley-store16 EXPERIENCE: KAYAKING, CANOEING AND RAFTING

There are plenty of serene spots for a picturesque paddle in these parts. Some of the upper reaches can change personality after heavy rains. Olympics-inspired thrill-seekers should check out Bells Rapids near Brigadoon, a famous part of the Avon Descent, a paddle craft and power dinghy white water classic held in winter. 17 STAY: UPPER REACH COTTAGE

B&Bs, pubs and cottage-style-digs are the main accommodation options in the Swan Valley. Perth is only half an hour away so it’s easy to head back to “civilisation” but you can’t beat the conspicuous silence and starry nights of the valley at night. This fully-kitted, two-bedroom cottage is in the winery of the same name so grab a bottle of four-week-oaked 2015 semillon or herbaceous 2013 reserve shiraz, stoke up the wood fire and settle in for a secluded stay among the vines. 梧桐夜网upperreach南京夜网419论坛18 EAT: SITTELLA *

One of many fine dining winery venues, Sittella specialises in lamb, specifically a rosemary roasted rack with sheep’s curd mash and baby carrots, ideally paired with a Sittella Swan Valley Shiraz and finished with strawberries and Cointreau ice-cream. There are other local goodies on the menu but the smell of the sizzling lamb renders other choices impossible. Start with a cellar door tasting before retiring to the restaurant. 梧桐夜网sittella南京夜网419论坛19 EAT: MONDO NOUGAT AND MORISH NUTS *

These conjoined businesses are a sweet and savoury delight. At Mondo’s you can watch the nougat being made and try the generations-old recipe from the Romeo family’s home town of Taurianova in southern Italy. Try the Mondino chilli soft chocolate-coated nougat. Next door at Morish you’ll find abalone macadamias and wasabi macadamias – both beloved by Asian tourists – as well as their signature caramelised varieties plus blanched almonds, cashews, peanuts and blends. 梧桐夜网mondonougat南京夜网419论坛; 梧桐夜网morish南京夜网419论坛20 EAT: TAYLOR’S ART AND COFFEE HOUSE

The place the locals go for breakfast. Very cool people and an imaginative menu featuring the signature Eggs Fabulousa – smoked salmon, wilted spinach and hollandaise on a bagel. The baked pear with natural yoghurt, rolled spelt crumble and a chia syrup is also very popular. The eclectic art includes lino cut prints of West Australian wildflowers and landscapes as well as fabrics, wallpaper, jewellery and silverware. 梧桐夜网taylorscafe南京夜网419论坛

* Traveller top picks

Mal Chenu travelled as a guest of Tourism WA.

This story Administrator ready to work first appeared on Nanjing Night Net.

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