24 hours in Margaret River
It wasn’t that long ago that the wine-world looked at Margaret River through the lens of its similarity to Bordeaux, from terrain to climate to topography to varietal planting. Now, though, it boasts its own global renown for world beating wine. But behind that formidable reputation is a laid back little beach town in a far-off corner of the earth. We were lucky enough to spend a little time there recently, here’s how we made the most of it.
Where to breakfast
When it comes to a day of intensive wine tasting, the saying ‘breakfast is the most important meal of the day’ takes on new meaning. We kicked things off at the uber-casual Egberts, tucked away in a little side street off Margaret River township’s main drag. While you wait for a coffee (from Egberts own house blend) you can watch on as they busily roll croissants behind a glass screen. Beautifully flaky and dripping with butter, they’re an unbeatable jumping off point for a day on the wine trail.
Egberts, Fearn Ave, Margaret River WA 6285 I 08 9758 8338
Mofo tip: Perch yourself on the communal tables outside for a quick bit of people watching with the Margs locals or, if you’ve got a busy day of swirling and sipping ahead like we did, get your order to go.
Where to begin
Take a trip down the long, picturesque drive to the cottage-gone-tasting-room of Montague Estate, quickly emerging as one of Margaret River’s most exciting wineries. Nestled amongst Margs giants Vasse Felix, Cullen, and Moss Wood is this understated, over-achieving vineyard and winery. Taste through the entire range of wines, from powerfully ripe cab sav to rich and savoury chardonnay.
Montague Wines, 325 Tom Cullity Drive, Wilyabrup, Western Australia 6280 I 08 9755 6995
Where to lunch
A modern, light-filled dining room set against sweeping vineyard and valley views? Sounds like the spot for a multi-course degustation to us. Winery, cellar door and restaurant Wills Domain, boasts one of the best views in the region (and, for Margaret River, that’s saying something). Choose between a two, four or (if you’re really feeling lux) seven course menu that celebrates awesome local produce. Oh, and don’t forget to match the wines.
Wills Domain, 341 Brash Rd, Yallingup WA 6282 I 08 9755 2327
Mofo tip: Book ahead. Although it’s a little off the beaten track it fills up daily.
Where to wander
Stretch your legs at Smith’s Beach with the majesty of the Indian Ocean as your backdrop. While Smith’s is a favourite of ours, you can’t go wrong at any of the beaches Margs has to offer. White sand, crystal blue water, gnarled and wind swept flora, and ochre-red earth. The perfect way to re-set the pace before jumping back on the road and into the region's wineries.
Mofo tip: Keep your eyes on the big blue, we were lucky enough to see a pod of Orcas playing offshore.
Where to fuel up
Drop into the swashbuckling Swings & Roundabouts - a must visit on the Margaret River circuit. Sit yourself at an outdoor table (complete with swing-seat) or find a spot on the grass and enjoy woodfired pizzas and an antipasto board while you work your way through a bottle of Swings & Roundabouts Backyard Stories Rose. Once you’ve refuelled, stop by the cellar door for an indepth look at the winery and have the pros walk you through their extensive offering.
Swings & Roundabouts, 2807 Caves Rd, Yallingup WA 6282 I 08 9756 6640
Mofo tip: you might have to ask to see it as it’s very limited, but the 2021 Brash Road Syrah was a stand-out wine of the trip for us.
Where to finish
The awe inspiring, brutalist tasting room at Amelia Park is a must visit; stark and imposing against the natural vineyard surrounds. The entryway is flanked by oak barrels (which are not ornamental - they’re filled to the brim with last vintage’s harvest) and the tasting bench is set against a stunning floor to ceiling window that overlooks the vineyards. As the afternoon sun hits the vines beyond, let the knowledgeable staff take you through all the nuance the region has to offer.
Amelia Park Wines, 3857 Caves Rd, Wilyabrup WA 6280 I 08 9755 6747
Mofo tip: Friends of the ‘fo will recognise Amelia Park as they produce the iconic mofo favourite Ironstone Shiraz.
Where to dine
Whenever we plan a trip to Margaret River, Miki’s Open Kitchen is the second thing we book (after flights and before accommodation). It is without question in the ‘unmissable’ column. Fast paced Japanese degustation packed full of ingenuity and charm; relax on the amphitheatre-style seating and watch the artistry unfold. The service - like pretty much everywhere in Margaret River now I think of it - is friendly, attentive, and knowledgeable. Importantly, it’s BYO - so grab a bottle from your newly acquired collection and - literally and figuratively - drink in a day well spent.
Miki’s Open Kitchen, 131 Bussell Hwy, Margaret River WA 6285 I 08 9758 7673
Mofo tip: Request bar seating if your party-size allows - the mastery of the cooking is something to behold.
Keen to take a trip to Margaret River from home? Shop our latest from the region here.