Monday, May 18, 2015

Perth Adventure: Swan Valley wine region

Faced with a day of rain, we needed to amend our plans to visit Rottnest Island and instead decided to head into the Swan Valley wine country. (no, it wasn't a tough decision! ;) We didn't know anything about the area so started at the visitor centre and then wandered through the day. Ended up pretty awesome.

Our first stop was Yahava Koffee works where they roast the beans on premise, have a coffee tasting counter and a huge retail area with all kinds of fun things one doesn't need. Lots of funny sayings on cups, coasters and magnets. Our favorites were:

"Men are like fine wine. They all start our like grapes, and it's our job to stomp on them and keep them in the dark until they mature into something you'd like to have dinner with."

"Dogs have owners. Cats have staff."

After a coffee fix and a few laughs, we headed to the Margaret River Chocolate Factory where I was signed up for a wine & chocolate master class. There were only 5 of us in the class and we had a lot of fun cracking jokes and tasting wines with chocolate. Here's a photo of the tasting spread.

The tasting was fun and now it was time to visit a winery. Brian had selected Sittella wines, which is the youngest winery in the area and still completely family owned. It was only the two of us at first, which was great as we chatted up the staff and then a bus of about 20 came in and the place got loud. We managed through as they only stayed about 15 minutes and then headed off for lunch so again had the place almost to ourselves and had a nice chat with the staff there. I'm thinking this could be my next career - serving wine at a vineyard and entertaining the visitors with stories of the sand box!

It was then time for some lunch so we headed to the Cheese Barrel which imports lots of cheeses from all over the world and pairs them with local wines. It was a bit pricey for what we got but a nice little lunch and a fun place to watch the rain.

Another winery, but this one a bit cold and unfriendly. We didn't stay long and didn't buy anything.

Our last stop was the Honey House which was a bit of a tourist trap although they did sell all kinds of honey in all kinds of ways.  We had the most fun with the beekeeper photo op out front!
We're headed to Margaret River later in our trip, which is the more known wine area so it will be interesting to compare. The Swan Valley seems to focus on white and Margaret River more known for their reds. Should be fun!

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