The July school holidays are looming and there are so many looking for a getaway now that travel restrictions have been eased. Those in the know are heading away from the crowds to WA’s other premium wine region, the Great Southern. With several winery stays available, now is the perfect time to discover greatness in the Great Southern Wine Region. Book early, it’s sure to be popular.
Discover the Great Southern Wine Region
Did you know…?
- The Great Southern Wine Region is the largest mainland wine region in Australia
- It consists of five sub-regions – Albany, Denmark, Frankland River, Mount Barker, and Porongurup
- Each sub-region is unique in climate and soils and produces distinctive varietals – read more here
- The first grapevine in Western Australia’s South West was planted at Forest Hill’s Mount Barker vineyard in 1965 (two years earlier than Margaret River)
- About 12,000 tonnes of wine grapes produced annually which is about 25 per cent of Western Australia’s annual wine grape crush
- Main varieties Riesling, Shiraz, Cabernet Sauvignon, Chardonnay, Pinot Noir
- Award winning wines: In the Australian Wine Companion 2014, 16 Great Southern Rieslings ranked in the top 29.
- A Porongurup Riesling was awarded Wine of the Year in the Australian Wine Companion 2019 and a Frankland River Shiraz was named Best Shiraz of Show at 2019 Royal Melbourne Wine Awards.
I’m doing some work with the Great Southern Wine Region and I’ve been making a real effort to drink wines from that region. For my palette, the standouts have been the Riesling, Pinot Noir and Shiraz. What is blowing my mind is the quality of the wines for the price.
I’ve done the research and here are some great winery stays in the Great Southern.
Stay at a winery
Third generation family business, Alkoomi Wines in Frankland River, 330 kilometres from Perth, has a two-bedroom fully equipped chalet on site that sleeps up to seven people. Suitable for families, rates start from $120 per night or $650 per week.
CEO and owner Sandy Hallett was born and raised on the property and has been involved in the family business since 1994 and took over management of it with her husband Rod in 2010, continuing to build on the legacy of her grandparents.
“We are looking forward to seeing visitors explore the beautiful Great Southern, once again,” Sandy said.
The original 1,220-hectare property was purchased by Vic and Netta Lange in 1946, and they named their rugged property Alkoomi after the local Aboriginal word that means “a place we choose”. The first vines were planted in 1971 by their son Merv and his wife Judy, Sandy’s parents, who decided to stop selling their grapes and start making wine themselves in 1979. The sustainable operation has grown from one hectare under vine to 105 hectares at the estate vineyard. Alkoomi also has a 14-hectare olive grove and produces high quality olive oil.
Just three kilometres from the town centre of Denmark is coveted James Halliday 5 Star Winery, Castelli Estate situated on 120 acres with a Tudor-style building perched upon the hill top.
The working winery has been in operation for 35 years and offers bed and breakfast accommodation in five ultra-modern guest rooms with luxurious linens, mini bar and mesmerising views.
Ana Fiore from Castelli Estate is offering a 10 per cent discount on all accommodation bookings.
The restaurant, Castelli In Cucina, is open for lunch Wednesday to Monday and dinner on Friday and Saturday. Reserve a table and enjoy delicious, hearty Italian food with pasta, gnocchi and bread all made in-house and ingredients sourced from their garden or local suppliers. The best news is that the restaurant on site negates the need for a designated driver. Cosy up in front of the stone fireplace in the cellar door or stroll around the surrounding rose garden outside.
Monkey Rock Winery
Also situated in pretty Denmark is Monkey Rock Winery, which has the Turicum Chalets, a winery and farm stay with rates starting from $120 per night. There are three chalets that each have two-bedrooms and one of those chalets also has an attached studio.
Owner and winemaker Stephanie Watts said that guests who stay three nights or more receive a complimentary bottle of Monkey Rock wine.
“Our combined farm and winery accommodation is fairly unique – there’s lots for kids to do but also the cellar door for adults and we also have a cidery on site. We’re pet friendly too.” Stephanie Watts, owner and winemaker.
The 200-acre property backs onto the Williams Bay national park. Guests can hike to the beach, stroll or a local winery or sit back and watch the visiting kangaroos from their patio.
Monkey Rock produces all natural, unfined wine with no added sulphites.
The fully self-contained Gamekeeper’s cottage at Poacher’s Ridge winery offers sweeping views of the Porongurup Ranges and comes with a cosy stone fireplace.
Owner Janet Taylor said that the location of Poacher’s Ridge in the middle of the triangle of Porongurup, Albany and Denmark makes it easy for visitors to access many of the region’s attractions.
“The Gamekeeper’s Cottage is our old house and is fully equipped with everything for a comfortable stay,” Janet said.
There are four pet alpacas on site named after Faulty Towers characters, Sibel, Basil, Madge and Manuella.
A coffee machine, breakfast provisions and Poacher’s Ridge preservative-free olive oil are included in the rates that start at $190 per night.
Crisp, fresh air, star-filled nights and days that last forever, the Great Southern Wine Region is where the city meets the sea, the ocean meets the mountains, and sophistication meets country-style.
Not only does the Great Southern Wine Region produce outstanding wines, particularly exceptional Riesling and Shiraz, it’s also stunningly beautiful with a number of experiences for visitors from old growth forests to rugged coastlines and incredible local produce.
Treat yourself to a great winery stay, avoid the hoards of the tourists and be rewarded as you discover the Great Southern Wine Region. Discover greatness.
For more information, visit www.greatsouthernwine.org.au
The good folk at Great Southern Wine know many of you will have missed special milestones due to COVID-19, with weddings, birthdays, anniversaries and celebrations cancelled or rescheduled.
They want to put a smile back on your face, by offering seven lucky Western Australians the chance to win a case of 12 fine wines from the Great Southern region.
The mixed cases of 12 bottles will include wines from 3drops wine and olive oil, Swinney, Castelli Estate Wines, Galafrey Wines, Gilbert Wines, Burch Family wines, Howard Park Wines, Wignalls Winery Cellar Door & Gourmet Gifts, Plantagenet Wines and Silverstream Wines.
Each winner will receive a mixed case featuring some of the region’s most beautiful cool climate wines including the varietals that have made it famous, namely, Pinot Noir, Chardonnay, Syrah / Shiraz, Riesling and Sauvignon Blanc.
The Great Southern Wine region is a client of my business Pronto PR. That said, I only ever promote things on Travelletto that are worthy and that I think you’d like to know about.