Freshly pressed olive oil and seasonal fruit from roadside stalls offer wonderful quality and some of the Valley’s great bargains. For excitement, look for wineries challenging the norm with varieties new to the region or wines sourced from ancient vines. Look too, for the new generation challenging established ideas.
The standard setters in the Swan Valley for several years has been Allan Erceg’s Mandoon Estate. It’s no wonder: they keep adding to their array of attractions.
The Colony, a 32-room luxury hotel on the historic property, overlooking ancient verdelho vines and the Swan River – something rare in West Australian wine circles – had no sooner been bedded down when they added more to their impressive offering.
The range of experiences has been expanded: meet the makers at Mandoon; the ultimate helicopter flight; The VIP Underground; a tasting flight in the Wild Swan Restaurant; the Bush Tucker Tasting and Talk and more.
This is all in addition to the best range of eating experiences in the Valley: an all too rare fine dining restaurant, a cafe in their Brewery, and decent pizza and lamb on the spit for those enjoying the plush lawns and picnic tables (perhaps the winery’s greatest drawcard).
The wines are outstanding (with a bundle of trophies to make the point) and have been sourced from the Swan, Margaret River and Frankland River. Winemaker, Ryan Sudano, has a deft touch. PETER FORRESTAL
OUTSTANDING WINE: 2016 Mandoon The Pact Shiraz, A$130