Less than a thirty-minute drive from Perth’s city center lies Swan Valley, not only one of the oldest wine-growing regions in Australia but also one of the premier food destinations in the country. The Swan Valley Food and Wine Trail stretches for 32 scenic kilometers and is where you will find some of the best wineries, restaurants and cafés in the state.
A large number of the wineries in Swan Valley were among the first to be established in Western Australia, with the region producing wine for over 180 years now. One of the main charms when it comes to the wineries here is the focus on small boutique wineries, and while there are still some big names to be found, it is the smaller, family-owned vineyards that really shine. Since Swan Valley experiences quite a warm and dry climate, it is perfect for producing some of the best shiraz, cabernet and verdhelo varieties that Australia has to offer, and this, combined with advanced wine making technology and equipment, has given the wines that come from this region a level of perfection that cannot be beaten.
Carilley Estate is a family-run vineyard in Swan Valley and has been producing wine for over fifty years. With picturesque gardens featuring majestic greenery, this is definitely one of the more scenic of Swan Valley vineyards, and the lush surroundings add a whole new dimension to the wine tasting. Sandalford Wines is one of the oldest and largest family-run wineries in the state, and is also one of the most sustainable in the country, making their techniques well worth viewing. Talijancich Wines was established in 1932, and has quite the reputation for their award-winning wines, with gourmet cheeseboards available to accompany tastings.
Restaurants and Cafés
With over 90 different restaurants and cafés on the Swan Valley Food and Wine Trail to choose from, each of them making use of regional produce and fresh ingredients in their own way, it can be extremely difficult deciding which to visit! Broads Café, which can be found at the Upper Reach Winery, puts their own twist on their fresh, gourmet food by serving it up tapas style, and focussing on a selection of tasting plates that beautifully accompany the wines from their vineyard. Another fantastic restaurant is situated in the historic Valencia Vineyard, with the owner cooking up fresh and delicious homemade food. The Cheese Barrel is another popular spot on the trail, because, as can be guessed from their name, they focus on specialized wine and cheese pairings, making use of both local and international cheeses.
Australia has a number of different regions that are known for their outstanding food and wine, and Swan Valley is at the top of that list. While it is possible to take a day tour of the region and visit a select number of wineries and restaurants, it really is worthwhile to spend a few days here, taking in the unique aspects of each vineyard, as well as the rich natural beauty all around.