Margaret River - Wine, Waves & a Wicked Van
I think Margaret River is the reason I came to Australia… though I didn’t know that until we road tripped down there and spent five days in the region. I’m not sure if it was the drop from the local vines, watching the five metre swell crash against the giant rocky coastal cliffs or the wildlife that hooked me…. maybe it was everything. What I’m trying to say, is that the south-west corner of this continent embodies everything I expected to get out of my Australian experience, and it had endless amounts of it all.
What’s grown and produced in Margaret River really ended up defining our trip. We took a chilled-out wine tour to sample the vino that comes from the region’s famous grapes and as we learned about each winery’s story and got informed on the wine-making process, I could tell that the local vintner’s passion was infecting me. It was hard to resist… I mean, with wine that delicious! The region is still pretty small-scale in terms of export, so we’re talking about people who simply make wine for the love of it. You could really taste that love, and I definitely brought some of it home, bottled.
Not neglecting our love for beer, our camper van took us to visit the local brewers, where we felt a little more in our element. Most interesting was the Bush Shack Brewery, makers of some quirky brews, such as Strawberry Blonde, Chilli Ale and Chocolate Beer. Our tastebuds were reeling. Margaret River tastes good.
Our trusty tin-can of a Wicked Van helped us peruse the coastal road from our campground base to indulge in everything else that the region had to offer, from blissfully silent caves to soft white beaches. But the most unforgettable for me was, simply, the scenery. The best things in life really aren’t things…
We parked our van almost anywhere to enjoy them. Cooking lunch on a beach and watching the waves pound the coast… Perching ourselves on a cliffside rock with a sundowner to listen to the ocean and watch the day wrap up. The south-west coastline is a sight for sore eyes, and it really doesn’t get much more beautiful than this. Even driving offered up some gorgeous sights; sprawling countryside paralleled by infinite coastline… One hundred vineyards, thousands of vine blocks… Kangaroos bounding away through the fields. So stunning, I could go on forever. It went on forever.
The entire trip came full circle on the last night, spent enjoying a couple of bottles of cleanskin Chardonnay from a local winery. These grapes didn’t turn out as perfect as they should, so it’s sold without a label for cheap at the cellar door. The sun disappeared over Busselton Jetty (the longest in the southern hemisphere at 2km) and soon the wine did too. We drank it out of plastic mugs for extra classiness and moved indoors to the van for a relaxing night of hearty camp-made pasta, cards, and more Chard. MMMMmmmmmm.
Yours loving the Margaret River aftertaste,