Day 133: 10 October – Our first taste of the Margaret River

Author: Mrs A

From: Busselton

To: Yallingup

Distance: 33 km

Waking to a morning of showers we considered stopping another night in Busselton, but decided to make the move onwards into the Margaret River region, our local map looking dauntingly full of places to visit.

Our first stop was the Flametree winery, just 20 minutes up the road. Flametree has just won the prize for the best Chardonnay in the Royal Sydney and Perth wine shows…And at $65 a bottle, it was priced to reflect that status. Mr A and I are not usually Chardy fans, but theirs was lovely – not too oaky, not too sweet, much more complex than the Chardonnays usually rejected. But we declined to invest in a bottle on this occasion. The tasting was good, an interesting selection, but we have limited space and many wines to taste ahead. We made a single purchase of a rather nice Tempranillo-Touriga blend.

Miss T enjoyed a stroll around their yellow daisy filled lawns on our return, before we headed off to Yallingup to set up at our new campspot for the night.

We’re quite close to Wills Domain here, a winery several people have praised for not only their delicious wine, but very special lunches too. We decided to book in for lunch tomorrow, and gave our new friends, Chris and Anne a call to see whether we could have a tasting of their wine before that, given they are located right across the road. Instead, they suggested we visit today, and given our very flexible plans, we headed over to see them, via a local chocolatier – yum!

I tapped in the secret code to the gate, and we drove up to the house, past vineyards and dams and a very pretty holiday cottage. Chris was there to meet us, and we transferred into his car for a tour of the 13 hectare property, learning about the various grape varieties, the soils, the pruning methods and how things had changed in the 20 years since they first started planting vines.

Then it was back to the house for some tasting. Not a single bad wine – all delicious – even the Sauvignon Blanc, which was made in the style of the French Sancerre wine. We ended up staying about 3 hours all up, and left with half a case of wine, fresh eggs from the hens, two pots of home made jam and some protea flowers – and best of all some incredible memories, and friends we hope to keep in touch with, and perhaps see again in Sydney next year.

We finished off the day at the local pub for fish and chips and soda waters. A fine start to our Margaret River adventures!

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