magazine TAKE ME HOME
12 | SUMMER 2018/19
In this issue
• enjoy some festive recipes • have a cold one (or two) in the sun • the best local summer wines • discover secret spots to swim and surf
CHILL OUT WITH SOME SUMMER LOVIN'
EVENTS e e r THIS F SUMMER Your pull-out guide to what’s on this summer margaretriver.com | SUMMER 2018 1
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IMAGE Globetrotting Horse Riding Holidays
Editor’s Letter Here comes the sun
The MRBTA acknowledges the Aboriginal people of Western Australia as the traditional custodians of this land, and we pay our respects to their Elders, past and present.
h summer – that beautiful time of year where we all long to be somewhere with the sand between our toes, with endless days spent doing, well, not very much. Fortunately, that's a feeling which subsides after a few days of properly getting away from it all, especially if you've chosen to make the Margaret River region your vacation hotspot. So now that you're feeling relaxed and ready to have some fun, what will you get up to? We've got plenty of ideas, needless to say. Lizzy's been especially busy for this issue, and has some suggestions about how to make the most of one our favourite local towns, Augusta. She's also been exploring Yallingup and shares her favourite beaches, whether you're keen to surf or just paddle with the kids. If you love history, you'll be keen to know the surprising story behind one of the region's most iconic buildings - the church at Prevelly. On Margaret River high street, another long-standing architectural icon, the Margaret River Hotel, is about to enjoy a new chapter in its illustrious story. Don't miss Fergal's guide to top summer wines, all locally made, as well as an insight into how some of the region's leading winemakers hone their palate, their passion for surfing and the science vs art of making great wines. You'll need sustenance to get you through those long, lazy days in the sun, and we've got some delicious ideas on that front. Try some of the festive recipes supplied by local chefs, or head to the seaside for a plate or two of top tucker with to-die-for views of the ocean. The soul needs sustenance too, so please find time to visit the region's art galleries - we meet some of those who have made a career of running these crucibles of creativity. There's more - farm fun for little ones, supping on the clear blue ocean and joining in the fun at the 55th Festival of Busselton. We hope you enjoy this bumper edition of our magazine - and may your festive season be safe and happy.
magazine PUBLISHED BY PREMIUM PUBLISHERS 26 John Street Northbridge Perth WA 6003 (08) 9273 8933 EDITOR Gabi Mills email@example.com ART DIRECTOR Cally Browning firstname.lastname@example.org SALES MANAGER Natalie du Preez (0426 752 352) email@example.com PHOTOGRAPHIC Bianca Turri (firstname.lastname@example.org) Tim Campbell (timcampbellphoto.com) Elements Margaret River (elementsmargaretriver.com.au) CONTRIBUTORS Dianne Bortoletto, Cassandra Charlick, Reeva Cutting, Danielle Costley, Tom de Souza, Brooke Evans-Butler, Fergal Gleeson, Jane Hammond, Joanne Marriott, Jennifer Morton, Anna Pellegrin-Hartley, Lizzy Pepper, Janine Pittaway.
ADVERTISING ENQUIRIES email@example.com EDITORIAL ENQUIRIES firstname.lastname@example.org PRINTED BY VANGUARD PRESS All rights reserved. No material published in this magazine may be reproduced in whole or part without prior written authority. Every endeavour is made to ensure information contained is correct at time of going to print. ©2018 YOUR MARGARET RIVER REGION MAGAZINE is published quarterly by Premium Publishers on behalf of the Margaret River Busselton Tourism Association. Visit premiumpublishers.com.au
Share pics, videos and thoughts during your stay via our social media. We’ll repost our favourites! The Margaret River Region
Plan and book your holiday with Your Margaret River Region local experts. Find us at the Busselton, Dunsborough, Margaret River and Augusta Visitor Centres, email welcome @margaretriver.com or call (08) 9780 5911, seven days a week!
WHAT YOUR MARGARET RIVER REGION GOT UP TO IN
< COVER IMAGE:
Injidup Natural Spa - “Taj found this one hidden away inside a valley in the rocks and we had it all to ourselves.” Photo via Instagram by @woodtrippers
“My favourite kinda afternoon - my boys, wine and a beatutiful sunset” Pic via Instagram @rileys_travels
We'd love to share your instagram pics! Take a pic, make sure you use #margaretriver by February 1 2019 for your chance to see it featured in the next issue.
Eat & Drink
Nature & Environment
14 Eat & Drink news
62 Secret spots
16 The fish course
64 Funny farm
20 La dolce vita
66 Augustaâ€™s best kept secrets
24 Let the good times roll
68 Seven wonders of the region
28 Beer in the sunshine
70 Exploring Yallingup
30 CafĂŠ culture
74 Let's go stargazing
34 Heartwarming hospitality
76 From Preveli to Prevelly
36 Seabreezes on the side 40 To market, to market 42 In cider trading
Wine & Wineries 44 Creativity vs method 46 Men of oak 48 Refining your palate 50 Top summer wines 54 Welcome to Vintage 56 Keeping it in the family 58 Local Hero: Janice McDonald
Active & Adventure 78 Consuming passions 80 Tour de Busso 82 Board meeting 84 The Spirit of Busselton 86 Guardians of the surf 90
Art & Wellbeing 96 Township two-step 98 Shop local 100 Summer page-turners 102 Crucibles of creativity 106 Summertime vibes
Exploring Yallingup p70 Festival of Busselton p84
The Margaret River Hotel reborn p34 Prevelly’s unusual history p76
Augusta’s best kept secrets p66 PICK UP YOUR MAP AT THE VISITOR CENTER!
Summer highlights Wendy Arnold
DECEMBER THE ALLURE OF THE HIDDEN
How to spend Summer in your Margaret River region FIND THE LATEST EVENT LISTINGS AT MARGARETRIVER.COM/EVENTS
Allure is a new exhibition of enchanting and evocative paintings by celebrated artist Wendy Arnold opening on December 27 at JahRoc Galleries. Wendy was born in New Zealand and grew up in Perth where she started her fine arts studies in painting and printmaking. As a teenager she was encouraged by her late father to pursue her love of fine art. “He is my genetic link to the arts, the most creative man I’ve ever known” says Wendy. In the 1980s, after a few years of extensive travel, Wendy together with 2 partners launched the highly successful fashion label Studiobaker Hawk in the UK. Her embedded passion and foundation in fine art drew her away from the fashion world
in the mid 90s to settle in Sydney, where she has been painting full-time ever since. “I can knit, I can sew, and I’m dangerously good with a hammer, but it is the practice of painting that has allowed myself to be me . . . the me I wanted to be since I was a very small girl,” says Wendy. Wendy continually pushes the boundaries of her techniques, using gold leaf, lace, print, French papers, methods of sanding, reworking and other decorative skills. “I have named this special edition of paintings for JahRoc Galleries Allure because all the figures are beguiling, mostly hidden. Many reveal the nape of their necks, which by Japanese terms is the most sensual part of a women’s body. I have enjoyed my little collection . . . and hope you do too.” // Allure is showing at JahRoc Galleries in Margaret River from December 27 to January 20. Visit jahroc.com.au.
The Studio Gallery has a few exhibitions coming up this summer - why not head over there and then enjoy a fabulous meal at the bistro afterwards? Read all about the gallery and its passions on page 102. In the Realm of Nature, featuring 10 Studio Gallery artists (Bronwen Newbury, Rob Forlani, Mel Brigg, Herman Pekel, Genevieve Montgomerie, Britt Mikkelsen, Norm Wilson, Jill Yelland, Di Taylor and Wanda Comrie) runs from December 15 to January 4. Laura Matthews has a solo exhibition from January 12 to February 3, and Lori Pensini follows suit from February 15 to March 8. // Visit thestudiogallery.com.au for more information.
BEAUTY AND THE BEASTS
An exhibition of new artworks exploring the unique beauty and wilderness of our world and its creatures will open in late December at the Margaret River Gallery. With new work by Chris Lees (paintings), Martine Perret (photography) and Jason Wooldridge (sculpture), all using exquisite techniques across three very different mediums, the exhibition promises to reveal the essence of our world by exploring forms and details. Chris is an outstanding painter whose breathtaking, often surrealist Australian landscapes capture the colour, space and emotion of this vast country. Theatrical yet calm, his works evoke in us very personal responses to a shared Australian experience. Martine is aMargaret River photographer
whose aerial photographs capture the landscape as art. In her latest works, Martine explores the patterns of Western Australiaâ€™s Pilbara coastal areas, from undulating sand dunes to fluid ocean currents. Jason creates dynamic sculptures from steel that capture the strong lines, yet soft, elegant forms of local fauna. Inspired by his immediate environment these works are technically outstanding and a fitting tribute to the beauty and strength of our animal friends. The artists will be present at the offical opening on December 27 from 6pm until 8pm, with James Bogle, award-winning director of the Bret Whitely documentary, presiding. The exhibition will continue until January 27. // Margaret River Gallery, Charles West Avenue, Margaret River. Visit margaretrivergallery.com.au
John and Missy have done numerous benefit gigs together but this will be their first joint national tour in nearly 15 years. // Leeuwin Australia Day Weekend Concert, January 27. Tickets from leeuwinestate.com.au
CHILLAX AT ARAVINA
Bring the friends and family and enjoy some sunshine, music and wine on the lawn at Aravina Estate this summer. The beautiful grounds of Aravina Estate will be even more welcoming from December 27 to January 5 with live music from Laine Wolfe, delicious burgers from Margaret River Burger Co and coffee, cake and treats from a local coffee van. Bring the whole family as there’s a huge playground to keep the kids entertained while you relax by the beautiful lakes and vineyard. So grab a picnic rug and get ready for what is set to be a great summer at Aravina Estate. Inside, the restaurant and Riviera bar will be offering their seasonal menu options throughout the summer with cocktails, wine and beer. The cellar door which will offer free wine tastings between 10am and 5pm every day. Don't forget to check out the WA Surf & Sports Car Gallery while you're there too. // Visit aravina.com.au
JANUARY LEGENDS AT LEEUWIN
The John Butler Trio + and Missy Higgins will perform the Leeuwin Australia Day Long Weekend Concert on January 27. Why not bring a picnic and enjoy a wonderfully casual evening of summertime alfresco music with two of Australia’s most iconic artists? The pair won their first ARIA awards as Best Male and Best Female artists in 2004 and 2005 respectively, and shared their first Rolling Stone cover. Since those early days,
A new adrenalin-based adventure playground is opening in early January in the heart of Dunsborough. It'll be a state-of-the-art new attraction for the region, based on a thrilling zipline experience the owners, Paul and Alison Martin (and their three kids Jazzy, Mia and Kade) shared during a stay in Cape Tribulation, Northern Queensland. "We talked about bringing something similar to Dunsborough, and now that we've found the ideal venue (in the grounds next to Clancy's Fish Pub), it was a no brainer," says Paul. There will be ziplines for all ages including a monster 100m zipline over the lake, as well as a cafe and free nature playground for all ages to enjoy and explore. We can't wait!
ROLL UP, ROLL UP
Start the new year with an experience like no other – come on down to Karnidale 2019, the Western Australia Circus Festival. Now in its 12th year, the festival is a celebration of circus, comedy, music, cabaret, theatre and the performing arts. Featuring over 70 artists from around the world, with performers from groups including Cirque du Soleil and Circus Oz, the dazzling array of shows on offer over the two-day festival ensures there is something for everyone. Classes and workshops are available throughout the festival for kids and adults who want to try something new. “When families camp here for the weekend the kids have a great time all day in a safe environment, surrounded by positive role models, doing good, fun stuff," said a spokesperson. // Karnidale Summer Circus School, Karridale, Margaret River, from January 7 to January 17, Western Australian Circus Festival presents Karnidale 2019, January 18 and 19. Visit lunarcircus.com
ESCAPE WITH THE STARS OF CAPE MENTELLE
MOVIES AT CAPE MENTELLE 14th December, 2018 â€“ 23rd March, 2019 331 Wallcliffe Rd, Margaret River Visit capementelle.com.au for tickets and details. Movies at Cape Mentelle
FEBRUARY IN THE SWIM
The SunSmart Busselton Jetty Swim is a premier event on the WA sporting calendar and features a 3.6km ocean swim around the iconic Busselton Jetty. Entrants are invited to swim solo or in teams of two or four, or for the first time, in the inaugural One Mile Swim to Shore event. The event day also includes a 222m Busselton Jetty Kids Swim. The event is open to everyone including novices, professionals and swimmers with disabilities. The fastest swimmers complete the swim in approximately 40 minutes while the last swimmers take approximately three hours to complete the course. The event in 2019 will celebrate its 24th anniversary and will attract record numbers with 3,100 local, state, national and international swimmers participating across the three swims. // SunSmart Busselton Jetty Swim, February 9 and 10. Visit busseltonjettyswim.org.au
CELEBRATE LUNAR NEW YEAR AT PASSEL ESTATE
Gather some friends, shake out your picnic blanket and get the new Chinese Year of the Pig off to an auspicious start with an indulgent afternoon of summer wines and laid-back jazz on the lawn at Passel Estate’s tasting room. Relax amid the picturesque vineyard and bushland surrounds while you sip on Passel Estate’s award-winning wines by the glass, alongside a delicious helping of Chinese style dumplings from Margaret River’s Má Là food truck, to celebrate the occasion. // Saturday February 9. Visit passelestate. com for more details (ticketed event)
Put it in the diary . . . ULTRA ATHLETES WELCOME
The Margaret River Ultra Marathon returns to the south west coast of Western Australia on May 4, featuring 80km of magnificent trail running through one of Australia’s most beautiful regions. The inaugural event in 2018 attracted a phenomenal 700 runners from across Australia and has already cemented itself as one of the country’s most popular, and spectacular ultra marathons. Runners have the option of tackling the entire 80km course individually, or as part of a relay team of two to five people running between 10km and
20km each. The 80km course starts at Hamelin Bay in the south and finishes at the Cheeky Monkey Brewery at Wilyabrup in the north, passing through popular locations such as the Boranup Forest, Gnarabup, Preverly, Gracetown and a whole range of breathtaking landscapes along the Cape to Cape track. Part of the allure of the event is it provides the ideal opportunity for runners to combine their love of running with a visit to one of Australia’s most beautiful regions; Margaret River. The course is accessible and within easy reach of the wineries, vineyards, cafes, art galleries and beaches that the area is famous for. The variety of the terrain, combined with the incredible setting will make it an exceptional experience for all participants. This is a ‘full service’ event with all the customer service considerations you’d expect, including transport, well-stocked checkpoints with food and drinks, a marked and marshalled course and stop-off points for spectators and support crews. For an extraordinary running holiday, check out the Margaret River Ultra Marathon at MRUltramarathon.com.au
GOOD TIMES • LONG LUNCHES • FUNCTIONS
Stop press: Margaret River region goes for gold
Western Australia’s leading tourism operators were recognised for their innovation and commitment to excellence at the industry’s premier awards ceremony, the 2018 Perth Airport WA Tourism Awards Gala Dinner, at Crown Perth on November 10. And tourism operators in the Margaret River region had plenty of reason to celebrate. “On behalf of the Margaret River Busselton Tourism Association, we’re extremely proud to congratulate the following Your Margaret River Region award winners,” said joint CEOs Sharna Kearney, Steve Harrison and Cinde Fisher. Winners included: Major Tourist Attractions - Busselton Jetty (Gold), Festivals & Events– CinefestOz Film Festival (Gold), Tourism Restaurants & Catering Services – Sandalford Wines (Gold), Ecotourism – Cape to Cape Explorer Tours (Gold), Tourism Wineries, Distilleries & Breweries – Sandalford Wines (Gold) & Leeuwin Estate (Silver), Luxury Accommodation - Pullman Bunker Bay (Silver, pictured above) and Excellence in Chinese Tourism - Sandalford Wines (Gold) “We would also like to commend Harvest Tours and Wine for Dudes who were finalists in their fields along with Gene Hardy of Cape to Cape Explorer Tours, a finalist for the FACET Golden Guide Award. “The Margaret River region wouldn’t be the desirable destination it is without the people behind it, working fervently to provide unforgettable tourism experiences every day of the year. It is absolutely fantastic to see this recognised among such a high calibre of professionals.”
WEDDINGS • ROMANTIC GETAWAYS
CAVES HOUSE HOTEL is ideally situated in the heart of the famous Margaret River Wine Region and within a ten minute walking distance of the equally famous Yallingup surfing beach. Summer is epitomised by ... sun, surf, long lunches with lovers and friends, garden weddings, glorious food and delectable wines, High Teas on the Terrace as well as movies under the stars in the Heritage Gardens and of course our famous Sunday sessions with your favourite bands. In other words CAVES HOUSE HOTEL!
18 Yallingup Beach Rd, Yallingup | Ph: 9750 1888 A/H: 9750 1830 caveshousehotelyallingup.com.au
AWARD-WINNING DINING MAKES THE REGION SHINE “For the first time, the major Good Food Guide award, Restaurant Of The Year, has gone to a venue outside the metropolitan area. Wills Domain is the big winner this year,” said Good Food Guide Editor Rob Broadfield. “The Margaret River success story in 2018 is a coming-of-age story for the celebrated wine region and also a consequence of a changing of the guard at some of the most storied restaurants in the south west,.” The Western Australian Good Food Guide Top 50 is WA’s most contested rankings of restaurants in WA. Its annual ranking of restaurants, bars and casual dining venues culminates in the Good Food Guide Awards ceremony held at Crown Towers, Perth. “The ranked restaurants and awardwinners are the elite of the elite,” said Rob. “There are 5,300 restaurants and cafes in Perth so those that have made it into the Top 50 - that’s less than one per cent of all venues - are the cream of the culinary crop. The Top 50 is in the rarest territory – and a celebration of the best dining in Western Australia. Any restaurant ranked in the Top 50 is a winner,” he said. “Several of Margaret River’s well-known and long-serving chefs moved on in 2018, opening up restaurants like Vasse Felix and Leeuwin Estate to new, younger head chefs and new directions for their cuisine.”
The Top 10 restaurants in WA: 1. Wills Domain 2. Wildflower 3. Voyager Estate (pictured above) 4. Lulu La Delizia 5. Millbrook Estate 6. Leeuwin Estate 7. Vasse Felix 8. Clarke’s of North Beach 9. Rockpool Bar & Grill 10. Santini Bar & Grill
EAT & DRINK NEWS
from around the region
MARGARET RIVER ON TOUR By Dianne bortoletto Singaporeans were treated to a taste of Western Australia’s finest during Margaret River on Tour held at various venues in The Lion City in October.VIPs, media and paying guests sampled fine wines, incredible produce and gourmet foods. learning about unique destination stays and other holiday experiences available in the Margaret River region. Over 30 local purveyors came together for an all-encompassing showcase There were over a dozen events held during Margaret River on Tour that included G'Day, Can We Get A Boilermaker, an event showcasing breweries and distilleries, pop-up wine education events and a Pressed and Fermented dinner with Arimia’s chef Evan Hayter who brought ethically-raised pork and trout from the winery’s farm. The food was paired with bold wines from Arimia, Cape Grace and Woody Nook. Ten iconic Margaret River chardonnays were on offer at a collaborative seven-course
degustation dinner headlined by acclaimed local chef Tony Howell that was held at Gunther’s Modern French Cuisine Restaurant. The dinner featured abalone from Augusta, as well as other Western Australian grown and farmed produce such as western rock lobster from Brolos and Manjimup truffles. There was also a Women in Wine Lunch with Joanne Davies from Windows Estate, Ann Spencer from Arimia Estate, Charmaine Saw from Umamu Estate, Karen Karri-Davies from Cape Grace Wines and Leah Clearwater from Happs Wines. •
WINNING STREAK By Fergal Gleeson The results are in from the 2018 Langton’s Margaret River Wine Show. Stella Bella Wines were the biggest winners on the night winning six trophies including Best Wine of Show for the Suckfizzle Chardonnay 2017 and Most Successful Exhibitor. It’s a great recognition for winemaker Luke Jolliffe and his team making wines from the cooler, southern Margaret River area. Other notable winners included Xanadu Wines who collected four trophies including Best Single Vineyard Wine for the Xanadu Stevens Road Chardonnay and a trophy for Xanadu Cabernet Sauvignon 2016. Xanadu have had phenomenal critical acclaim since Glenn Goodall took the reins as winemaker 13 years ago. This year he won the Jimmy Watson Award, Australia’s most respected red wine award, for the same 2016 cabernet. Another winemaker with consistent trophy success is Julian Langworthy. He is Winemaker of the Year for the 2019 Halliday Wine Companion and the 2016 Jimmy Watson Memorial winner. Deep Woods Estate won a trophy for their 2018 sauvignon blanc.
REST, RELAX, RECONNECT Romantic, secluded, self contained chalets with candlelit sky-view spas, kingsize double beds and tranquil forest outlooks, on 240 acres of natural beauty.
FOOD FERVOR | By Dianne Bortoletto My mind was blown the moment I first tasted chef Paul Iskov’s food at a Fervor dinner and I remember thinking, this chef is going to change how Australians eat. He’s not simply pumping out memorable dishes, rather his dishes come with a backstory of the native ingredients within, of his connection with local elders while learning, gathering and collecting the produce he then transforms into dishes that would not be out of place at Michelinstarred restaurants like Noma in Copenhagen or DOM in São Paolo. With a CV that reads like the who’s who of the culinary world including the two aforementioned restaurants, Iskov has cred, but more importantly he has humility, respect and an insatiable desire to understand Western Australia, the land, its first people and their connection to native food. The Fervor premise is to create culinary experiences in remarkable and remote locations. Seven (or more) course degustation dinners are held in beautiful natural surrounds like the Bungle Bungles, Lake Argyle, Meekatharra, Esperance, in small country
towns in the Wheat Belt among others across the State and are fully self sufficient. They bring everything themselves – tables, bench seats, lighting, cutlery, plates, generators, and yes, even the kitchen sink for washing up. Fervor’s newly published cookbook features accessible and exciting recipes accompanied by beautiful photographs and short stories about ingredients. Recipes include Fervor’s famous damper, crispy saltbush, wattleseed lavosh, oysters and finger lime, sandalwood nut praline and instructions on how to make your own ocean sea salt. With so much food growing wild around us, it makes sense it’s included in the modern Australian diet. Chefs like Iskov and books like Fervor play an educating and inspiring role showcasing delicious and nutritious dishes, bridging the gap for native ingredients to become household staples. This could become one of Australia’s most important cookbooks. Fervor cookbook is available online at Margaret River Press and at the Margaret River Bookstore.
Nocturne Cabernet 2017 won Best Red Wine Trophy of Show. While Deep Woods is his ‘day job’, Nocturne is the personal side label of Julian and his wife Alana. The Nocturne wines are all small production with Julian sourcing fruit from local growers in the region. Mark Warren of Marq took out the trophy for Best Other Varietal for the Marq malbec 2017. Marq Wines specialises in alternative varietals and their range includes a petit manseng, a gamay and a vermentino. John Brocksopp and Bob Cartwright, respectively former viticulturist and
winemaker, at Leeuwin Estate were awarded lifetime achievement awards. The other lifetime achievement award went to Dr Tom Cullity, Founder of Vasse Felix in 1967, who planted the first vines in the region. The aims of the Langton’s Margaret River Wine Show are to provide an opportunity for local winemakers and grape growers to receive appraisal from national and international judges, to promote wine styles that excel in the region and to recognise excellence in the winery and in the vineyard. • Full list of winners and more information on the Wine show at margaretriver.wine/margaret-river-wine-show/
R E ST, R E L AX, R ECO NNEC T Romantic, secluded, self contained chalets with candlelit sky-view spas, Kingsize
double beds and tranquil forest outlooks, on 240 acres of natural beauty.
231 Yelverton Road, Yelverton Margaret River Wine Region Phone (08) 9755 7110 or email email@example.com
231 Yelverton Road, Yelverton Margaret River Wine Region Phone (08) 9755 7110 or email firstname.lastname@example.org margaretriver.com
Eat & Drink
FISH course It’s summer and that means the fish around the south west’s coastline are snapping. Tom de Souza finds out more.
estern Australia’s summers are synonymous with seafood. What’s Christmas without crayfish on the table? Or a fresh fillet of fish on the BBQ? Fishing and seafood are an essential component of Western Australia’s diet and culture, and it’s been that way for tens of thousands of years, says Cape Cultural Tours guide and Aboriginal Wardandi custodian Josh Whiteland. Through his Djiljit coastal fishing experience tours, Josh offers visitors the opportunity to experience fishing the way his ancestors have done for millennia, and to understand the stories of his country. “Wadandi people are salt water people, fish
are a big part of our diet. We always fish and forage and hunt to the six traditional seasons. In each season, you target different things.You have to target particular species as well as determine the way you target those fish,” he says. “December and January are Burak season. The grass trees blossom, and that’s an indicator a lot of the large reef fish are in close, and they are spawning. Traditionally you’d only target the medium-sized fish, for sustainability. “Coming into February we move into Bunuru, which is like our second summer. We start to get a lot of humidity around that time. The first rains start coming on and off, and that’s the beginning of the migration of the nyari, the salmon.”
IMAGE Elements Margaret River TASTE OF THE SEA Left, the innovative seafood dishes at The Studio Bistro set the bar high for diners. Opposite, Cape Cultural Tours guide and Aboriginal Wardandi custodian Josh Whiteland shares his knowledge with guests.
from the vines to the table experience our tour & discovery menu
While Josh helps his visitors fish with a rod and reel, he also demonstrates traditional fishing and cooking methods. “We actually cut the same trees we used to cut, shape the same fishing spears. Talk about the significance of the fish traps, the different cooking styles, the baking and the smoking and the sheoaks and different flavours the wood gives the fish,” he says. Josh emphasises the importance of sustainability in his tours. It’s a sentiment echoed by WA’s fisheries department, and the Blue Ocean Fish and Chips, who last year took out the silver gong for WA’s best fish and chips. Shop owner David Marshall says the secret is the freshest fish, a good relationship with his suppliers, and sustainably sourced fish. “We only sell and catch what is sustainable. Our fish is caught fresh around Augusta. The local whiting is caught around the Blackwood River. Bronze whaler sharks are out of
Eat & Drink
AUGUSTA IS AN ICONIC PLACE TO SAMPLE WA'S FRESHEST LOCAL PRODUCE - VISITORS CAN EAT THEIR FISH AND CHIPS ON THE FORESHORE . . .
IMAGE Elements Margaret River
the ocean,” he says. “The bronze whaler shark, it has a nice white meat to it. It’s got a very good shelf life, and it’s a very sustainable fish. I can get it almost on a weekly basis,” he says. Augusta is an iconic place to sample WA’s freshest local produce, says David. It’s an old whaling town, and is also where the Blackwood River runs out into the Southern Ocean.Visitors can eat their fish and chips on the foreshore, right where their fish was caught. For fresh seafood suppliers in the region, you can’t go past Margaret River’s 34 Degrees Blue, a local supplier of Premium WA Seafood. With a processing plant in Margaret River’s Light Industrial Area, you are guaranteed fresh seafood from ocean to plate. Another outstanding place to visit is The Studio Bistro in Yallingup, which showcases WA’s regional lifestyle through their seafood, art gallery, and attached luxury accommodation. At the time of writing, the bistro was a finalist in the upcoming Gold Plate Awards, having reached the top three in Western Australia’s best regional restaurant category. One of their menu’s crowd-pleasers is the seafood moqueca, a regional special bequeathed to Brazilian head chef by his grandmother. The moqueca recipe is over 500 years old, says head chef Thales Franca, and, like many of the world’s finest dishes, it was created by peasants and slaves. The dish is served in a large, cast iron share pan, and it’s designed to create a shared
scalefish (i.e. WA dhufish), rock lobster fishing, fishing for blue swimmer crabs and rock lobster and marron fishing are all popular recreational fishing experiences in the south west,” says Shane Walters, a spokesperson for the Department. Shane also says the ocean around Margaret River is renowned for its dangers, including high swells and freak waves, and advised anglers to take all necessary precautions. “Anglers should ensure they remain safe and fish to the conditions. Local water conditions can vary between fishing locations and you must take responsibility for your own safety – at no time should you enter the water unless you are confident in your ability to handle the sea conditions,” he says. Shane also emphasises the importance of
CAST AWAY Opposite and below, Josh will show visitors the best spots to land a good catch. Left, The Studio Bistro in Yallingup serves up a delicious Brazilian-inspired menu. IMAGE Elements Margaret River
experience around food. “Its showcasing WA seafood, it’s got beautiful flavours, but it’s not just about the food, we’re about sharing our lifestyle. We’ve designed our food, and the entire eating experience around that,” says Steve. Summer is also a time to get out on the water, and WA’s Fisheries Department say almost half of WA’s boat-based recreational fishing occurs in the summer months, with most anglers targeting scalefish and rock lobsters. “Line fishing for nearshore species (i.e. herring, Australian salmon and whiting) and demersal
r e m Sum AT THE WATER’S EDGE
DELICIOUS BREAKFAST AND LUNCH MENUS ABSOLUTE BEACHFRONT DINING
observing bag and catch limits to help preserve our oceans for future generations, and Josh says these limits are essential to the prosperity of our oceans. “We only ever took what we needed for our families. Once upon a time the only way to preserve fish was smoking, sundrying, and salting. Fresh is always best, and only taking what you need and making sure there is plenty there for next time. It’s important to make it a sustainable resource, and only catch fish when they’re in season and not breeding. All that sort of stuff plays a big part in the whole cycle.”
margaretriver.com BUNKERSBEACHHOUSE.COM.AU BUNKERSBEACHOUSE.COM.AU | SUMMER 2018 19 Farm Break Lane, Bunker Bay 08 9756 8284 08 9756 8284
La Dolce Vita
Eat & Drink
FROM PASTRY CHEFS TO PIZZA CHEFS, FROM FRONT OF HOUSE TO BEHIND A LENS, IT’S HARD TO KNOW EXACTLY HOW MANY ITALIANS LIVE HERE, BUT THERE’S EVERY CHANCE YOU’LL ENCOUNTER ONE OR MORE DURING YOUR STAY. DIANNE BORTOLETTO CHATS TO SOME LOCAL ITALIANS WHO NOW CALL THE MARGARET RIVER REGION HOME.
hile Italy is known as the land of la dolce vita, Margaret River locals have an Australian version of the sweet life right here. It seems that Italians are just as attracted to our version as many Australians are to theirs. There’s a “Little Italy” at the northern end of Margaret River town; restaurant La Scarpetta Trattoria on the ground floor and pizzeria Pizzica in the basement, both owned and run by fellow countrymen. From the beautiful island of Sardinia, Daniele Manai, 37, is the former head chef and now business partner of La Scarpetta. “These days I prefer front of house. Our head chef Andrea Dunbrosio is a business partner and so is my ex Thomas Gabriel, we’re good friends now, like brothers,” Daniele says. “I first moved to Margaret River in 2011 to work on a vineyard for the visa and I thought, wow, it’s just as beautiful as home. “I was sponsored to stay in Australia as head
chef by the former owner, and two years later I was given the opportunity to buy the business. We opened La Scarpetta on Valentine’s Day 2013.” The name La Scarpetta comes from “fare la scarpetta” which is the act of mopping up the sauce off the plate with a piece of bread, meaning you enjoyed your meal. After dining there several times, it’s hard to imagine otherwise with authentic delectable dishes such as lightas-a-pillow gnocchi with slow-cooked oxtail, pappardelle with lamb ragu and, hallmark dish, linguine al cartoccio with clams, zucchini and white wine, oven baked and served in a paper bag. It’s not all fresh house-made pasta. The menu, which changes often, includes a good selection of antipasti, meat, fish, salads and dessert – leave room for the tiramisu. It’s perfect. “Coming from Sardinia, I needed to live somewhere with crystal clear water – here I am! “I love that Margaret River is relaxed and it has strong sense of community. Living here, I feel like I’m part of something bigger, a part of the community. “If you do the right thing by the community, they look after you. We look after our customers, they praise us and come back again and again, and you become friends,” he says. Indeed their customers do come back and La Scarpetta is busy every night of the week. Be sure to book if you want a table. Just as popular as La Scarpetta and situated
underneath is Pizzica, a separate business that’s building up quite a reputation. Pizza chef Ivan Zecca, 37, hails from the heel of the peninsula’s boot, Puglia.You’d be forgiven for thinking you’d stepped into a pizzeria in Leverano, Ivan’s home town, such is the detail of everything from the terracotta salt and pepper shakers to water jugs imported from the Salento. Trained by Italy’s Pizza King at Pizzeria da Franco, Ivan is a Master Instructor at Scuola Italiana Pizzaioli, Italy’s biggest pizza school and has more accolades than there’s space to list, but suffice to say that he’s one of Australia’s most decorated pizza chefs. He’s also a judge in the World’s Best Pizza Awards. Lucky for us, his buzzing basement is possibly the best pizzeria in Australia. Ivan and his wife Anna, the pastry chef responsible for the cakes and desserts, moved to Margaret River permanently in 2010. Ivan was a champion wind surfer and lived in Margs
JahRoc Galleries is a must see destination in the hear t of Margaret River. It is the largest contemporar y galler y in the South West showcasing a diverse range of Fine Furniture, Fine Ar t, Jeweller y, Glass, Ceramic and Sculpture. It is home to their own line of award winning designer JahRoc Furniture (est 1987). JahRoc use local specialty timbers to hand craft their bespoke heirloom furniture. Visit JahRoc Galleries and f ind out why all that do, leave inspired.
SWEET LIFE Above and left, Daniele Manai of La Scarpetta loves his Margaret River life, running a restaurant that's full every night.
Open daily 10am-5pm 83 Bussell Highway, Margaret River Ph. (08) 9758 7200 E. email@example.com
Eat & Drink
IMAGE Bianca Turri
PIZZA PERFECT Above, Ivan Zecca, originally from Puglia, has built an impressive reputation for his pizzas at Margaret River's Pizzica. Below, Claudio Tollarico.
for a year in 2004 for training. After travelling the world living in beautiful far-flung places and having reached his windsurfing goal, they decided to settle in Margaret River. “I love living in Margaret River, it’s very beautiful, has a sense of community that I like and there’s opportunity here. If you work hard, there’s opportunity,” Ivan says. Ivan started working as the pizza chef at Swings and Roundabouts, then started his own business Salento Catering which included a food truck serving pizza. “I began making pizzas as a 14-year old, and it’s a beautiful thing. I love pizza and I’ve taught many people how to make pizza – I don’t have any secrets, but we do use only the very best ingredients and that I won’t compromise, never. Oh, I love to cook with fire, cooking with fire is so beautiful!” Ivan calls out in Italian to the chefs in the open kitchen to bring out cups of flour, cans of Mutti tomatoes and fresh mozzarella. While those items are placed on the table, he lists half a dozen local suppliers that feature on pizzas and also in dishes cooked on the charcoal grill. The day I visited there was a big rolled porchetta from Jindong Pork with crackling that had me salivating. Ivan shows me the three different types of the imported ‘5 Stagione’ flour used in the dough that are milled with minimal processing;
Opening January 2019 IMAGE Bianca Turri
a coarse virgin pressed wheat that reminds me of multigrain bread, a wholemeal with sand-like granules and the super fine strong 00 flour. “Personally, I like all pizza, Napolitana (thick doughy base), Roman (thin and crisp) but most of all, I love the classic style with the crocino, thin, crisp but the outer fluffed up frame. To me, pizza is like a photo, it’s always more striking, more captivating when it’s in a beautiful frame.” Speaking of frames, Ivan won’t let me leave without showing me the antique cartwheel frames that are wall-mounted to hold dozens of bottles in the cutest little cellar designed by the building owner Sam Caruso. The authentic atmosphere of both La Scarpetta and Pizzica is enhanced with a team of Italian staff on the floor and in the kitchen. The man behind Claudio Biscotti, the sweetest stall at the Margaret River Farmers’ Market, is Claudio Tollarico, 47, from Rome. He moved to Margaret River with his wife Milena 10 years ago. “My sous chef in Rome was living here and was telling me about it.We decided to come to Margaret River for a change of lifestyle,” Claudio says. “It suits me very well to live in Margaret River. I love the weather – yes, the winter too – I love having the seasons and it’s a very beautiful place. “I miss everything and nothing about living in Rome, if that makes sense? Of course it’s my city, my heritage, my culture, but it suits me to live here, I’m very happy in Margaret River. If I had to choose what I miss the most, I’d say the Italian sense of humour.” Despite that, Claudio’s social circle is not exclusive for Italians. “I have lots of friends, I know many people here – they see me at the markets and you become friends. I think it’s important to integrate.You know if we were just with Italians
all the time, we wouldn’t be integrating.” This summer Claudio Biscotti will be offering freshly made gelato at the Farmers Market along with his usual stables of Italian biscotti, including a good gluten-free selection, porchetta focaccia, pastries and his famous cannoli – one bite of the crisp wafer outer and silky smooth not-too-sweet ricotta filling, I was immediately transported to Sicily, the region where cannoli originate. He also makes panetone, a famous Italian Christmas cake, and sells his biscuits in cute square boxes at selected grocers in Perth. There are many other Italians living in the region. There’s Federico Infantino from Liguria, a videographer and professional windsurfer (placing third in the Australian Tour last year) who has produced Australia’s first windsurfing movie That’s Surf West which premiered in Margaret River in February. Federico and his girlfriend Elisa Mariani, who is from a town near Lake Como, started their own business Elii Design specialising in graphics, social media and video content production. Dario Sirotti, from Rimini, sales coordinator at Cullen Wines, moved to Margaret River in 2014, and believes that Italians are attracted to the region because it’s so beautiful and because of the high quality of food and wine. Aravina Estate’s front-of-house supervisor, Sara Raimondi, from Rimini, arrived in 2012 and says she loves living in the region for the wine, outdoor lifestyle, ocean and beaches. “I could go on and on,” Sara says, “Margaret River is just so beautiful.” I couldn’t agree more. Anyone who has travelled can appreciate that the Margaret River region is as unique as it is beautiful with exceptional food and wine offerings and unsurpassed natural attractions. Indeed, living here is a sweet, sweet life.
Adrenaline fun for the whole family
zip-line ropes course Nature playground
open 7 days 1710 Caves Road, Dunsborough (next door to clancy’s fish pub)
Book online @ www.nextlevelmonkeybiz.com.au
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Let the good times roll Summer feasting is about sharing good food and good times with family and friends Dianne Bortoletto curates some delicious recipes from a few of the region’s producers and talented chefs.
Seared Shark Bay scallops with a crispy corn fritter, Thai green mango salad and namjim dressing Blue Manna Bistro Namjim dressing Ingredients - Scallops 1 red chilli 16 scallops 1 green chilli Sweetcorn fritter 2 cloves garlic 1 cup sweet corn kernels 1 spring onion 1 clove garlic 1 stalk & leaves coriander 1 coriander root 100g palm sugar 1 white onion finely diced 1 red chilli deseeded and finely diced 100ml fish sauce 150ml lime juice 2 spring onions finely sliced 1 cup SR flour 1 egg 1 cup coriander leaves For scallops, place 1 cup corn, garlic, coriander root, egg and flour in a blender and blitz until smooth. Pour into a bowl, add remaining ingredients and season with salt and pepper. Using a 60ml ladle shallow-fry small pikelets in a fry pan. For Nanjim dressing, pound the first six ingredients to a paste in a mortar and pestle. Add fish sauce and lime juice. Ingredients - salad 1 cup bean shoots 1 green mango julienned 1 carrot julienned 3 golden shallots finely sliced
3 spring onions finely sliced 1 bunch snow pea sprouts 1 cup coriander picked 1 cup Thai basil picked 1 cup Vietnamese mint picked
Putting it together Sear the scallops on a high heat in a pan. Place sweetcorn fritter on a plate. In a bowl, add scallops and salad then dress with namjim dressing. Neatly arrange scallops and salad on sweetcorn fritter. Drizzle with more namjim and crispy shallots.
Pan Con Tomate with Margaret River Dairy Co Brie Margaret River Dairy Co and mattersoftaste.com.au Pan Con Tomate is a traditional Spanish tapas using simple local ingredients: good bread, ripe tomatoes, fresh garlic and fine olive oil. A humble staple, you can take it up a notch by adding thinly-sliced prosciutto with Margaret River Dairy Company Brie, lightly grilled until cheese oozes decadently. It’s the perfect summer’s evening antipasto to enjoy with friends.
Ingredients 1 baguette 2Tbsp extra virgin olive oil 2 x large cloves garlic 150gm Margaret River Dairy Co Brie 1 x large very ripe tomato 12 x slices jamon or prosciutto handful flat leaf parsley leaves or salad leaves of your choice extra olive oil to drizzle Method Pre-heat BBQ or cast-iron grill to medium heat. Cut baguette on angle to yield 12 x (2.5cm thick) pieces. Brush both cut sides with olive oil. Toast baguette on both sides for a few minutes until golden, turning occasionally. Rub one toasted side with garlic clove. The toast acts like a grater and will wear the clove down due to exterior of toast being rough. Cut tomato in half and rub over toast, squeezing out seeds and juice to soak into toast. Cut brie into slices and place on top of toast. Place under grill for a couple of minutes to melt. Place scrunched-up jamon or prosciutto on top of melted cheese, scatter with parsley and serve warm, drizzled with extra virgin olive oil. Serves 12
Tony Howell Consultant Executive Chef, Cape Lodge
salt and pepper 2 garlic cloves
Over a 30-year career, Tony has garnered a reputation as one of Australia’s best chefs. He has worked in the finest restaurants and alongside some of the biggest names and represents Western Australia as an ambassador at tourism and trade events around the world.
Method For the potatoes, slice on an angle into three (depending on size) toss with oil, herbs, garlic, salt and pepper. Place on baking paper on a tray and place in the oven at 170 degrees until cooked, set aside. For the chicken, lay the thigh (skinless) flat on the bench, place a basil leaf in the middle and roll end to end, now wrap in a vine leaf, then a slice of prosciutto and tie with butchers twine. Heat pan with olive oil, seal all sides of the chicken, now place in the oven at 170 degrees till cooked. Take out the chicken and rest to the side. Now place the grapes cut in half and add the chicken stock to the hot pan, simmer on the stove top, and add the chilled butter and simmer until thick. Now arrange the potatoes on a plate topped with sliced chicken and sauce. Tip: There’s nothing better than home-made chicken stock. The house smells delicious, it’s warming and soothing to drink and it can be used in so many recipes. It’s so easy to make and far superior to store bought stock, and you know exactly what’s in it. It’s important to use cold water when making stock because certain proteins only dissolve in cold water, which results in a beautiful clear stock. You can keep this simmering for longer for a stronger flavour. Serves 4
Vineyard Chicken With Roasted Kipfler Potatoes “This recipe has been an old favourite of mine working in vineyard restaurants in Margaret River,” says Tony. It’s the perfect dinner party dish that looks impressive but it isn’t difficult to cook. By wrapping the chicken, it locks in the flavours and meat stays super moist. If you like, you can substitute some of the chicken stock for white wine when cooking the grapes.
Ingredients 4 Lilydale chicken thighs 4 basil leaves 4 vine leaves (blanched in hot water, chilled) 4 slices prosciutto Butcher’s twine Handful of grapes 300ml chicken stock (see recipe) 2 knobs butter Potatoes: 8 Kipfler potatoes splash olive oil 2-3 sprigs of thyme
KIDS EAT FREE Every Sunday at Caves Road Collective Free kids meal with every adult meal purchased
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Rustico at Hayshed Hill Paella is possibly the most iconic of all of Spain’s dishes, however, to most Spaniards it is considered an exclusively Valencian dish, with its origins around the 10th century. The original paella, the Valencia, consisted of rabbit, mixed beans, pork and snails, and it was cooked over a pine and orange tree fire. It was this first rendition that became the starting point to the modern day, widely cooked seafood paella.
Joaquin Diz Head chef at Aravina Esate Aravina Estate’s head chef Joaquin Diz comes from Argentina and comes with serious cred. He worked for four years at Brae, an award-winning Victorian restaurant known for embracing organic principals, and before that fine dining restaurant the Royal Mail Hotel in Dunkeld, Victoria. Joaquin says that his food philosophy at Aravina is simple things done well.
Roasted chicken, spring vegetables and corn puree Ingredients 1 1.5 kg organic chicken 1 lemon, cut in half 1 sprig of fresh thyme and rosemary 3 garlic cloves olive oil, salt (sea salt flakes preferably) 1 bunch of asparagus 1 bunch baby carrots 2 sweet corns 50 grams of butter 200 ml milk Method Preheat the oven to 200 degrees. For the chicken: take the chicken out of the
fridge and plastic bag 1 hour before cooking. Stuff the chicken with the lemon halves, fresh herbs and garlic. Rub the chicken skin with the olive oil and salt (generous amount). Arrange the carrots (and why not potatoes!) in the tray around the chicken, drizzle with oil and season. Cook the chicken for 45 minutes. Once it’s ready let it rest for 10 mins so the juices settle. Peel the asparagus and blanch it in boiling water, it shouldn’t take more than 30 seconds. They should be still crisp and crunchy. Reserve, and at the moment of serving dress them with olive oil and season. For the corn puree: Cut the kernels off the corn, sweat them with the butter on low heat for 5 minutes or until tender. Next add milk and simmer for 20 minutes. Once the corn is fully cooked strain and reserve the liquid. Blend the cooked corn, adding some of the cooking liquid if necessary. It should have a nice creamy texture (more like baby food than soup). Once you are happy with the texture, season to taste. To serve: Place a spoonful of the corn puree on one side of the plate, arrange the vegetables in a bundle, sitting right next to it. On the other side of the plate, serve your preferred cut of chicken, use the juices from the roasting pan as a sauce.
Ingredients 1 12-inch paella pan 370gm bomba rice 1 tsp of ground turmeric 1/2 tsp of ground coriander 1 tsp ground chilli 1 large fine sliced onion 12 medium prawn cutlets 50ml canola oil 2 packets of saffron 1 tsp of ground cumin 2 tsp ground garlic 150gm sliced chorizo 4 sliced picquillo peppers 2 sliced chicken thighs 300gm barramundi fillet, cut into 2cm sqs 14 cleaned mussels 50g frozen peas 1 lemon 2 litres hot chicken stock Method In the pan, sauté on a medium low heat the chorizo slices, chilli, garlic, onion and peppers with the canola oil. Once sweated down, add the sliced chicken thigh, mixing well. Once cooked through add the dry ground spices and the saffron, gently roast through. Add the bomba rice, stirring well to coat all the rice evenly in the spiced oil. Add the prawn cutlets, seal in the pan. Once everything is sealed off, add 1/2 of the chicken stock, mixing evenly through the rice. Turn up the heat to medium high and bring to a rapid simmer, cook like this for 10 mins, stirring regularly to ensure it doesn’t burn under the high heat. Reduce to a low simmer, don’t stir any more as you want to now form a crust on the base of the pan. Push the Barramundi cube evenly spread through the pan, skin side up, allowing to gently poach in the pan. At this point you will be ready to add another 200-300ml of the hot chicken stock, pouring
150g snow peas, thinly sliced 1 red cabbage, thinly sliced 3 lengths of spring onions, thinly sliced 1/3 cup fresh coriander leaves, picked from stem 3 tablespoons toasted sesame seeds 1 cup Providore Sweet Ginger and Lime Dressing 16 large whole prawns shell on wooden barbecue skewers lemon or lime wedges to serve
BBQ Prawn & Noodle Salad With Margaret River Providore Sweet Ginger Lime Dressing Margaret River Providore Perfect for a warm summer’s day, this super simple and delicious BBQ prawn salad is ideal for entertaining this festive season. Enjoy with a chilled glass of award winning Coward & Black Lady Margo Rosé.
Ingredients 180g Japanese noodles (udon, ramen or soba noodles) 1 large carrot, shredded 1/2 continental cucumber, thinly sliced, seeds removed 1 bunch pak choy, shredded
evenly into the mix. After 5 mins, push the mussels into the cooking rice mix, hinge end of the shell first, spaced evenly through the dish, allowing to steam open in the stock. Allow to cook for a further 8-10 mins, checking the rice, adding more stock to the mix as required and reduced. The rice is cooked when its grains are soft and with no bite or crunch, but still firm enough that the rice still holds together. At this point, don’t add any more stock, but sprinkle the peas evenly over the top of the rice, allowing to cook in the heat, while still being firm and bright green. Gently with a spoon, fluff up the rice, but be cautious no to scrap the crust away from the bottom. Squeeze the juice of a lemon over the top, and season. Devour immediately.
Method Cook the noodles according to the manufacturer’s instructions on pack. Drain noodles and run under the cold tap to stop the cooking process. Drain the cooled noodles completely. Preheat barbecue. As BBQ is heating up, skewer the prawn’s tail first, so that the head of the prawn is at the point of the skewer. Grill prawn skewers on the barbecue on high for 4 to 5 minutes each side or until the shells are a bright orange. Remove prawns from BBQ and keep warm under foil as you finish salad. In a large bowl, combine noodles, prepared salad vegetables, sesame seeds, coriander and a sprinkle of salt and pepper. Pour the Providore sweet ginger and lime dressing over the salad and toss until well coated. Add sesame seeds, coriander and a sprinkle of salt and pepper - toss again. Serve straight away alongside the barbecued prawns and lime wedges. Serve with Coward & Black Lady Margo rosé wine. Serves 4
Eat & Drink
Beer in the
sunshine A cold one can’t be beaten on a hot day so Lizzy Pepper has done the hard yards and found the best places to enjoy a beer in the sunshine.
he sun’s blazing, you’re salty and sandy from getting barrelled at Yallingup, the office is a distant memory. There’s nothing so beautiful as the golden glow of sunshine through a pint of amber ale, and there’s nowhere we’d rather be than relaxing with friends on the veranda at one of the region’s favourite breweries. Here’s our pick of places to enjoy a freshly brewed pint.
Eagle Bay Brewing Co Just been stand up paddle boarding at Eagle Bay? Head up the hill from one of our favourite beaches for panoramic views of rolling hills, roaming livestock and the sea. Eagle Bay Brewing Co feels a bit fancy, but they don’t mind you rocking up barefoot straight from the beach. They expanded the north-facing patio, so you can enjoy the breeze while protected from the midday sunshine. Grab a pizza and the awesome ploughman’s board to share. Try one of two summer beers; Hazy Boy or Brewer’s Series India Pale Lager. EBBCo brewer Nick d’Espeissis brews up something special each season, and this summer it’s Hazy Boy - a single batch brew featuring artwork by Margaret River artist Chloe Wilder. Some will go into a 640ml bottle featuring Chloe’s artwork of Hazy Boy, a flamingo, and some will go into keg. It’s a juicy double IPA, jam-packed with lemon drop and astra hops “They wanted something fresh to go with the summer vibe of the Hazy Boy brew,” said artist Chloe Wilder. “I landed on painting a flamingo in pastel summer tones reminiscent of the plastic flamingos people had in their yards. I was chasing an easy, warm, lawn chair kind of vibe.” “We love working with WA artists to showcase their work in a format that someone can access in their hand” adds Margarita Wallace from Eagle Bay Brewing Co. “The idea around the slightly larger format of a 640ml bottle is to create a brew that friends can share, on a hot sunny afternoon, over lunch, a picnic down the beach or drinks at sunset.”
UNDER NEW MANAGEMENT www.margaretriverhotel.com.au 125 Bussell Highway, Margaret River
OPENING HOURS SUNDAY - T HUR SDAY FRIDAY - S AT URDAY
Cheeky Monkey Brewery and Cidery Right in the heart of Wilyabrup Cabernet country is Cheeky Monkey. Their beer garden faces north, capturing all that beautiful sunshine, overlooking a lake with vineyards and rolling hills in the background. “Friends, families and furry friends chill out all afternoon on the lawns” says Brent Burton of Cheeky Monkey, and he’s right, this dog-friendly hotspot has one of the region’s best enclosed playgrounds. Parents love it as much as the kids do! There’s also live music every weekend and Scenic Helicopters most Saturdays – your opportunity to check out the vineyards and coastline from above. Brand new this summer is a beer called BLUZU, a Blueberry and Yuzu Berliner Weisse 4.6%, brewed in conjunction with Mane Liquor and Chicho Gelato. It has a unique and refreshing citrus and sour tang perfect for those hot summer afternoons.
Black Brewing Co at Caves Road Collective Sipping the latest semillon saison on the deck at Black Brewing, sunlight glimmering on the dam, it’s a seriously blissful place to be. The beer garden is a great place for a few beers and snacks or a long lunch with mates. The balcony deck, which runs the length of the restaurant, overlooks a huge dam complete with water fountain and framed with huge gum trees. “One of the best features of the deck at Caves Road Collective is the beautiful light we receive in the late afternoon,” says Emma Locke of Caves Road Collective. “When the sun starts
to go down from about 3pm our deck becomes a sun trap and people head for the outdoor tables on the balcony to enjoy it.” The brewers have been busy, with five new summer beers. The Cumquat Grisette collaboration with Rocky Ridge and War Marron IPA were both released in time for WA Beer Week. There’s an imperial rice lager and a semillon saison in December and a blackberry saison due in January.
11am - Late 10am - Late
CORNER BAR W EDNE SDAY
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T HUR SDAY
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From 7:30pm From 8pm
BISTRO ALL NE W MENU AVAIL A BLE 7 DAYS F OR L UNC H AND DINNER A C OUPLE OF TA S T E T EMP T ER S AT L AN T IC S AL MON
with Spinach Mash, Broccolini, Avocado & Roma Tomato Salsa
T W ICE C OOK ED P ORK BELLY Asian Noodle Salad with a Soy Glaze
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THE GOOD EGG, CREATED AFTER TRAGEDY, IS MAKING ITS MARK IN A REGION WELL-KNOWN FOR ITS EXCELLENT CAFES. JANINE PITTAWAY MEETS ITS BUSSELTON-BASED CHARISMATIC OWNERS. Images by BIANCA TURRI
eb Hallyburton and Amy Ovans are two peas in a pod. They finish each other’s sentences, offer encouragement, have a laugh at the other’s expense, and share a vision to make their Busselton café, The Good Egg, a place for great food and coffee, for community members to meet, and for small businesses to grow. They’ve been in business together at the Albert Street café and office hub for just 16 months, but have already kicked some major goals, including being named 2018’s Best Café in WA by Countrywide, as voted by customers. It’s an incredible achievement for the real estate agent and the photographer who became friends about seven years ago and decided they
would like to own and run a business together. They started with different motivations, but both wanted to provide delicious food, own their own businesses and create a space where everyone was welcome. “Originally I guess it started off when my husband Brad was sick and our diet at home changed a lot,” says Deb. “And I eat gluten free. We focused on this, having a café and doing two different versions of our menu - every dish on our menu has a clean eating version. Amy agrees. “Before we started the business we would go to cafes for lunch and Deb could only eat two or three things on the menu but wanted something else. So that was a big thing for us in planning The Good Egg.”
TEA AND SYMPATHY The Good Egg has become the go-to cafe for Busselton locals, with its welcoming owners and delicious menu.
And the name? “We just had no idea and then all of a sudden it just hit us because Brad used to call everybody a good egg and we just looked at each other and knew,” says Deb. “Everyone loved the name. For me it’s become more about honouring Brad from what it was in the beginning. That’s how we have taken it and run it with it.” A large tribute to Brad Hallyburton hangs on the wall. Brad tragically passed away just shy of a year before the café opening. He was diagnosed with terminal brain cancer in 2014 and died two years later. The pair are now finding a balance in running their business and families, helping each other out and sharing the openings and closings to allow for school drop-offs and pick-ups. The close bond between Amy, Deb and their families seems to have a lot to do with the success of The Good Egg, which, while within walking distance to the centre of town, isn’t necessarily somewhere you’d just stumble across. Amy knew from her time as a photographer that finding suitable places to meet clients was important. At the time there wasn’t anyone really offering suitable temporary work or meeting
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space along with great coffee and food. “We did a lot of research and there’s places in Melbourne and Sydney but they’re not quite what we had in mind,” she says. “Not with a café and quiet space like this. So we decided to wing it and create a space that we thought would tick these boxes.” The upstairs mezzanine of The Good Egg is dedicated to co-working space with meeting rooms available for short-term rental with high speed wiFi with no password required. The Good Egg is open seven days a week and their opening hours are 6.30am to 5pm weekdays and 7am to 4pm on weekends. They also hire the café out for private functions. They make a point of keeping their opening hours
CUP OF JOE From every sale made by The Good Egg, five per cent is donated to brain cancer research.
consistent so people know they can come in late afternoon for a coffee and cake or early for their regular pancakes or eggs Benedict, the latter being two of their most popular menu items. The pancakes are gluten-free and, according to regular customers, the best in town. Downstairs has a dedicated kids’ play area so The Good Egg is really popular with mums and grandparents too. Deb and Amy believe the café’s success can also be credited to community support. From every sale made by The Good Egg, five per cent is donated to brain cancer research.
This initiative has also had an unexpected positive effect, encouraging people to come in who are also suffering or looking for information on cancer research, or just a friendly face. “I know how desperate I was for any information when Brad was sick, so I actually feel it’s quite healing for me and I feel like I can kind of pay it forward because you’re so desperate to know as much as you can,” says Deb. And they come in for the fab food too – it’s not your typical country café fare. The Good Egg has a new summer menu and chef Adam Collier joined the team in October, bringing
fresh Asian fusion inspiration to the menu. There are also daily specials. The summer menu includes light dishes such as grilled halloumi with green harissa, fresh peach, radish and almonds or Korean glazed tofu with green papaya & peanut salad. Kids have a dedicated selection and the breakfast menu includes traditional favourites and more adventurous options such as brisket croquettes with poached egg, charred corn salsa, sour cream and sriracha. The Good Egg will soon be licensed with a BYO option still available. A regular series of cooking classes is being planned and possibly a singles cooking class. After a successful annual brain cancer research fundraising night in September, the girls hope to make it an annual event. If you’re not sure where to find The Good Egg, don’t worry, just check the Facebook local app, TripAdvisor, or ask Siri “Where’s the best café in Busselton?” and you’ll find it. Visit thegoodegg.com.au
Best of the best
BMW supported the WA regional restaurant award in conjunction with its new model launch, the extraordinary X5.
he 2018 West Australian Good Food Guide saw Margaret River region restaurants make an almost clean sweep at the top end of the coveted Top 50 list. Auto Classic BMW were proud sponsors of the West Australian Good Food Guide Regional Restaurant of the Year Award, which was awarded to the extraordinary Voyager Estate kitchen in the Margaret River region. Under the inspirational leadership of head chef Santiago Fernandez (who was also awarded regional chef of the year),Voyager Estate has astonished critics with its incredible menu this year. “My philosophy in the Voyager Estate kitchen is to be led by what the wines tells me,” says Santiago. “The produce from our kitchen garden, the region and seasonal flavours are designed to complement our wine’s expression of place. “Here in Margaret River we are blessed with the raw materials that make great wine and great food, and it’s our responsibility to bring this
unique place to life. We change the menu every two months to fit with the seasons and it also allows the team to continuously experiment and evolve our offering. I am very proud of what we’ve achieved in the 18 months since I’ve been onboard and so excited for what lays ahead.” Alex Burt, owner of Voyager Estate, is equally ecstatic about the prestigious award. “Our philosophy at Voyager Estate – in the vineyard, the winery and restaurant – is a commitment to craft, place and sustainability. We are hugely proud of Santi and his team and that they have been recognised by the industry. It’s also a huge win for Margaret River.” At the time of going to press, the new BMW X5 was about to be driven down to Margaret River for use in the filming of the WA Good Food Guide promotional video for Voyager. It will be the first new X5 to hit WA roads. For more information about BMW X5, visit autoclassic.com.au
Eat & Drink
Heartwarming hospitality The original pioneering spirit and passion for hospitality is reignited at the Margaret River Hotel as a new team takes the reins. Joanne Marriott finds out what changes are afoot.
hen it comes to hospitality, Bernard McKeown was a pioneer and a visionary. He purchased one acre of land on the main street of Margaret River in 1933 when it was little more than a dirt road with a few weatherboard shops. Despite Australia still reeling from the Depression, McKeown saw the potential for population growth and
tourism in the region. The Caves were attracting visitors, a new hospital had been built and a local dairy established. Buoyed by signs of early development, McKeown enlisted the services of eminent architect FGB. Hawkins and renowned builder CW Arnott to transform his dream of the Margaret River Hotel into a reality. After opening on April 11, 1936, the building was reported to be â€œone of the most up-to-date in
the south westâ€? with its two storeys, hot and cold water and electric lighting. Local workers came on horseback to sink a few schooners at the bar while visitors from Perth travelled down by motorcar and train. The valet at the hotel, smartly dressed in white mess jacket and bow tie, carried the luggage to their bedrooms while they were welcomed with a drink or supper by the fire. Guests were treated to early morning tea and toast in bed with the daily newspaper, as well as breakfast, lunch and a four-course evening meal. Fresh produce came from the orchard and vegetable garden, milk and cream from the family cow, and chicken and eggs from the poultry runs. Bernard was passionate about hospitality and creating a home away from home for all his visitors. He was a widely travelled man, born in India, educated in England, and had travelled to
South Africa. He would entertain his guests in the lounge room with his worldly stories and keep the log fire stoked until the early hours of the morning. Today, the fireplace continues to be a centerpiece of this historic hotel and while the Old English architecture and art deco features reveal something of the past, there are other nostalgic nuances in play. Since taking over management of the hotel in the middle of this year, Rachel House has been working hard to reintroduce some of the old-fashioned charm and warm welcoming atmosphere. She talks about creating a place where people feel that the hotel is an extension of their community and an extension of their home. She’s standing in a sea of chaos as a new roof is fitted and carpets are ripped up to reveal hidden floorboards. Her excitement is infectious
but she’s modest about the renovation. “There’s not going to be a big tah-dah moment where we pull back the curtain for a big reveal, but people will notice changes over time.” She’s been collaborating with her team behind the scenes to ultimately reshape the customer experience. “It’s really a shared vision we have for the hotel with Mick [Wescombe] and his team bringing it to life. We want to celebrate the passionate hospitality of Bernard McKeown - he really believed in providing an exceptional service for his guests, and had incredible foresight and belief in Margaret River as a tourism destination.” While the vegetable garden and chicken run are sadly no more, the menu has been thoughtfully redesigned by head chef Mark Kelly to focus on showcasing fresh local produce and quality pub food, accompanied by a stunning
HISTORIC DESTINATION The story of the Margaret River Hotel turns a new chapter as a new team takes over.
new wine list and selection of craft beers. Rachel has more than enough reason to be so excited about this project. The McKeowns sold the hotel in 1972 and, after changing hands several times since then, it now returns to the family. Rachel’s sons, aged four and six, are great great grandchildren of Bernard McKeown, and her personal commitment to the legacy she leaves for future generations is inspiring. “With a building like this, I feel like we are in a stewardship role. We are just looking after it for a period of time for the next generation, for the next community, because it really is a community asset, and I think that’s how we want people to view it as well.” Visit margaretriver.com to book a stay.. margaretriver.com
Eat & Drink
SEA BREEZES on the SIDE Summer down south is all about being in, on, or near the water, and at some point, you’ll need to quench your thirst and hunger. Here’s our top picks for breakfasting, caffeinating, brunching, wining and dining by the ocean. By JANINE PITTAWAY.
BUNKERS BEACH HOUSE, BUNKER BAY
CAPE LEEUWIN LIGHTHOUSE CAFÉ
Bunkers Beach House is the perfect combination of beachside cool and quality Margaret River dining. On a recent lunch visit, I witnessed a whale breaching in the waters directly in front of the restaurant, cheered on by excited diners! Venue manager Saskia Willig said whale sightings were actually a regular occurrence until December and dolphins regularly swam in the turquoise waters in front of the venue. Could there be anything more memorable than eating fresh scallops and sipping a chilled Margaret River white with this stunning free entertainment? Head chef Ben Day has a new summer menu featuring sustainable seafood and locally sourced ingredients. It's open from 8.30am to 3pm for breakfast and lunch, and you can pop in just for a drink (try the espresso martini). Bookings recommended in summer.
If you’ve stopped in for a bite to eat around the southern end of Caves Road in recent times, you’ve likely experienced the hospitality and tasty food of Cindy Watterson, chef/ owner of Boranup Café, Jewel Cave Café and, more recently, Cape Leeuwin Lighthouse Café. The Cape Leeuwin Lighthouse Café is tucked inside a heritage-listed cottage out of the wind and there are also tables outside on the covered verandah. It’s surrounded by dramatic coastline and the perfect stop after a Cape to Cape trail hike or climb up and down the lighthouse. Enjoy breakfast, morning and afternoon tea, or lunch. Cindy’s signature curries are a must-try. Iced tea is on tap if you’re after something colder. Open from 8.45am when the lighthouse opens, til 5pm.
TUCK IN The delicious prospect of dining with a sea view draws visitors to the Margaret River region's restaurants. Above, Lamont's Smith Beach and above left, Bunker Beach House, Bunker Bay.
EQUINOX RESTAURANT Equinox ticks all the boxes for waterfront hangs this summer. It’s hard to beat the 180 degree views and spectacular sunsets across Geographe Bay and the Busselton Jetty from both inside the restaurant and outside at the Jetty Bar. There are many ways to enjoy Equinox - coffee and cake, lunch, happy hour in the alfresco outdoor area (5pm-6pm), and dinner indoors or out. Understandably, fish is the best seller and menus change seasonally, plus there’s a new bar snack menu for the alfresco, designed to be enjoyed with drinks. There’s live outdoor music for their Sunday Sessions between 3.30pm and 6.30pm. Open seven days from 8am to late. margaretriver.com
Eat & Drink
SUNSETS AND BUBBLES The Sea Garden Cafe has stunning views towards the sea. Below left, Kate Lamont and marron and, below right, White Elephant Cafe is hugely popular. Opposite, Equinox Cafe at Busselton and a drool-worthy burger at White Elephant Cafe.
LAMONT’S SMITHS BEACH Tucked just behind the dunes of Smiths Beach in Yallingup is Lamont’s Deli and Restaurant. While most might be familiar with the iconic Lamont name, wine and restaurants, less may know about their fabulous all-day brunch menu with mouth-watering options. Located at the entry of Smiths Beach Resort, Lamont’s provides
a gourmet selection of deli-style foods, wine and beverages to take away, customised hampers and all-day food service in a relaxed atmosphere (8am to late). A new restaurant menu has been released for summer and highlights include Shark Bay whiting (choose four, six or eight pieces), a dedicated vegetarian menu, and flavours of WA including Margaret River Waygu beef and
Exmouth prawns.You can even grab a box of fish and chips to enjoy with a glass of bubbles on the front terrace. Now that’s how to do summer dining!
SEA GARDEN CAFÉ The vibe at Prevelly’s Sea Garden is about as relaxed as it gets. Come straight off the beach,
and friends. There’s a restaurant and bar, with breakfast served from 7am, plus several all-day options which is always a big plus in my book. Add on a lunch/dinner menu, cocktails, an array of local beers and wine and there’s something for everyone.Visit on a Friday night and catch live music, enjoy DJs playing laid-back tunes on Sunday arvos, and weekday menu special deals. Like Equinox, the views of the Bay and Busselton Jetty are breathtaking.
WHITE ELEPHANT CAFÉ
bring your dogs and your kids and enjoy the reggae tunes - everyone’s welcome. There’s a great lunch menu with interesting dishes and Indo and South American influences. Tap beers are served cold and the coffee’s hot – to account for the sea breeze, according to co-owner Erin Bamford.Visit for breakfast, lunch, and dinner, any day of the week. Sunset is an awesome time to visit – kick back and enjoy a local Sou’Wester G&T with rosemary ice cubes and finger lime. There’s a new summer food menu, wine list and cocktail list too. Check out the surf board fence made up of boards donated by locals – a popular spot for selfies.
THE GOOSE Another Busselton waterfront favourite is The Goose. It’s always humming with a steady stream of food and drinks being delivered by friendly staff to tables chock full of families, couples,
Loved by locals and visitors for its super friendly service, casual atmosphere and stunning views of Gnarabup Beach, White Elephant is a Margaret River institution.You’re welcome straight off the beach or en route between attractions. White Elephant is great for coffee, breakfast, smoothies and lunch and, during summer, opens earlier – from 7am. Enjoy their new summer menu, but don’t fear – popular favourites like the smashed pumpkin breakfast, fish and chips and yummy burgers are still there! We’re spoilt for choice. Other notable mentions include Cape Naturaliste Lighthouse Café, run by the team from The Goose, Stilts in Broadwater for it’s great beer garden by the beach, and Salt Burger & BBQ beside The Goose in Busselton for take away burgers, flat bread brisket, fried chicken, hush puppies, ribs and fries. In Augusta head to the Augusta Hotel for a pub lunch on the verandah or the grass overlooking the Blackwood River and Rivermouth, and Blue Ocean Fish and Chips for the best in WA.
Eat & Drink
Farmers markets offer a brilliant way to get to know a region’s producers and artisans - Dianne Bortoletto finds out more about one of the nation’s best.
armers markets are an important part of life in the south west, providing an opportunity for producers and consumers to connect. Buying direct from the farmer cuts out the middleman, resulting in a better price for the farmer and fresher, better produce for the consumer. The Margaret River Farmers’ Markets, recently crowned Australia’s best farmers market is as much a tourist attraction as it is a place to shop, eat and socialise. It has a set of strict rules for stallholders in that all that they sell they must have made, grown or produced themselves. The Larder is a recent addition the Margaret River Farmers Markets since closing its main street store, and business owner Siobhan Halse said she has been amazed at the response. “I didn’t realise how much of a marketing opportunity it was – I don’t need to spend any money on marketing, just need to be at the
farmers markets every Saturday morning,” she said. “We’ve found that the markets are really social, we spend all morning networking, talking to people who are interested in what we offer, it’s lovely.” The Larder has shifted its focus from a retail gourmet store to a wholesale and catering model, moving the shopfront to Gnarabup at Margarets Beach Resort. Open from 7.30am, it offers coffee, take-way breakfast and meals and gourmet food to go.
“Our philosophy is to support local, buy local, stay local and use as much as local produce as possible,” said Siobhan. “Before we left the main street, we asked our customers if they’d follow us to Gnarabup, some said yes, but others said that they they’d follow us to the Farmers Markets,” Siobhan said. “It has complete different vibe to a retail store, people who go to the markets are looking for something different, many looking for natural and organic options,” Siobhan said. Burnside Organic Farm has had a stall at the Margaret River Farmers’ Market for about 12 years. Predominately known for their avocados, they also sell their own honey, wine, capers and vegetables. Owner Lara McCall said the Farmers’ Market was an important platform for her business, which isn’t big enough to meet the demands for wholesale supply.
“What I like about the Margaret River Farmers’ Market is that it’s an authentic market, there’s no reselling and the customer is talking direct to the farmer,” Lara said. “It creates a real sense of community and it strengthens the local food system. If you think about it, it’s lower food miles, it’s accountability, the ability to making good food choices by asking questions, it’s that connection that makes the difference. “Our ethos is small, family owned, organic, to care for the area, the land and our food systems and it’s ideal to have an outlet where we can sell locally and direct. “To get feedback from customers is amazing, makes it worthwhile and it’s important. Sometimes we get feedback that will result in a change to the business or how we sell something. It’s also about sharing ideas. It’s lovely when people tell us their recipes using our produce, or how they store avocados. “We also love inspiring others to grow their own food – we’ve become to the go-to people for anyone wanting advice on growing avocados, often chatting to us about it at the markets,” Lara said. There are weekly farmers markets across the region as well as permanent markets such as The Shed in Yallingup, which, according to Donna Carlyle business owner, provides opportunities for local businesses to grow. “Our vision for The Shed is to have a place where we can support our local community, local farmers, artisans producers and creators, and bring people together,” Donna said. “It’s a great platform for small businesses, a good stepping stone to start from before moving on to something bigger.”
Inside, The Shed has a range of permanent stallholders from organic meat, fruit and vegetables to handmade concrete planters, spices, honey, condiments, Southern Forest produce, holistic health and bulk wholefoods. There’s also a cafe using locally roasted Yallingup Coffee. Outside is a great place to eat with a range of food trucks including the famous Burger Bones,Yellow Radish Gyoza, Little Padang Indo
Street Food, Raw Life Juice and Mattia Italian Vibes creating buckwheat wraps that look like a beautiful bunch of flowers. “We’re being swallowed up by big corporations around the world, so we wanted to support and celebrate individuality and community spirit, supporting local farmers, musicians and artisans so the money stays local, rather than going to shareholders. Big corporations have their place, but it’s also important to maintain and support small businesses,” Donna said. For a list of markets in the region, head to margaretriver. com/eat-drink/produce-markets/#markets
HEART AND SOUL Local producers make, grow or produce all that's on offer at the award-winning Margaret River Farmers Market. Below, The Shed at Yallingup is a treasure-trove for foodies
‘TWO HATS’ AUSTRALIAN GOOD FOOD GUIDE TASTING BAR • WINE LOUNGE • RESTAURANT • THE VAULT • ART GALLERY • TOURS margaretriver.com Open Daily 10AM - 5PM Caves Road (Cnr Tom Cullity Drive), Cowaramup WA 6284 Phone 9756 5000 Restaurant Reservations 9756 5050
Eat & Drink
In Cider Trading Summer’s the perfect time to try an alternative to beer and cider is just the thing, writes Jennifer Morton.
n a region overflowing with wine and craft beer, cider may be the underdog beverage it's but one that shouldn’t be overlooked. In most parts of the world, the fruity drink is light, bubbly and best served chilled and enjoyed on a hot summer’s day. Just the sight and smell of it is as intoxicating as French champagne and its quench as refreshing as an ice cold beer. That said, it’s no wonder many of the Margaret River region’s breweries now create their own cider. The collective result is a crisp, clean, tart, and dazzling fizz that may enhance your opinion about this boozy apple juice that dates back to ninth-century England (most likely, well prior). But don’t take my word for it, try them all and find out which is your favourite.
Colonial Brewing Co. Colonial makes an incredibly moreish apple cider simply known as Bertie (named after their
Port Melbourne brewery on Bertie Street) And although cider is associated with summer, Ash Hazell, head of brewing at Colonial’s Melbourne and Margaret River breweries, would like to crush the idea. “Normally cider is considered to be a summer beverage but just like dark versus light beers, I don’t subscribe to this idea. If you think about the UK where cider is most prevalent, it’s a cold climate almost year-round and they still enjoy loads of cider.” Ash grew up in Perth and studied chemistry and microbiology, and, later, brewing in the UK. He says there are two types of cider flavour profiles. “Firstly, there’s the scrumpy style. These are bone dry, quite acidic and often accentuated by ‘wild’ fermentation characters. The other is what we make, which is cleaner and focuses on the balance between delicate acidity and fresh apple sweetness that comes from blending fresh juice
back into the fermented cider. Whichever style you’re into, there is one thing no one can disagree on: it needs to be fresh apples, not imported concentrate, and definitely no added sugar.” Colonial’s cold-pressed apple cider is as clear as water and features delightful bubbles and a fresh, apple-popping flavour. “Cider is perfect for situations where you want something a bit lighter or sweeter than a beer but are still chasing that carbonated buzz. It’s also a foodie favourite since it’s better suited to certain food pairings. Nothing goes down better with roast pork than a crisp apple cider,” says Ash.
Black Brewing Co. Stewart Sampson, managing director at Caves Road Collective, home to Black Brewing Co., agrees that the star of any cider has to be the fruit. “We use absolutely nothing from
concentrate, only fresh seasonal WA apple juice. We believe that when making cider, the apple is king so we need to start the process with the best possible product. With this in mind, we start fermenting the juice within 24 hours of the apples being crushed. We also use champagne yeast to create that clean, crisp finish.” Black Brewing started making apple cider in 2016 as a way to expand their drinks range. “You can’t beat that crisp refreshment on a hot, sunny afternoon. As our cider sits perfectly between sweet and dry, we find it’s extremely popular across the board. It is also perfect for coeliacs as it is 100% gluten-free,” says Stewart.
The Berry Farm Renowned for its beautiful gardens, cute cafe and cellar door, The Berry Farm is perhaps less known for its cider. The fact is, however, Michael Skivinis has been making cider since he became the winemaker at this family-owned and operated farm eight years ago. And Michael doesn’t stick to the common cider flavours of apple and pear (though he does make them, and quite well), he’s got something unique: quince cider. “We have been growing quince for many years here at The Berry Farm and we always have an abundance of the fruit. We use the fruit to make quince jam, jelly, and paste and wanted to do something with the surplus fruit. We make the cider like a red wine is made with the fruit placed into an open fermenter with water and sugar.” All ciders and wines made by Michael come from fruit grown in the south west. He also makes what he calls a cider-style wine using berries. “We currently make a pear and boysenberry cider-style wine and a strawberry and pear cider-
A IS FOR APPLE Cheeky Monkey Brewery makes deliciously tasty cider, (right), while The Berry Farm goes off piste with its pear and quince variants.
style wine. Only apple and pear ciders are able to be called ‘cider’ while any other wine made from fruits and berries are unable to be called a cider,” says Michael.
Cheeky Monkey Brewery Coming in hot is Cheeky Monkey with not one, not two, but three deliciously tart and tasty
CAN DO The Colonial Brewing Co's Bertie Cold Pressed Cider is named after their Melbourne brewery on Bertie Street.
offerings. The semi-tart apple cider is clear, dry, crisp and refreshing; everything you’d want in a cider and very easy to drink. Next up is their pear cider with its deep golden hue and a sweet finish that leaves you licking your lips. Then, there’s the outspoken apple/ blackcurrant. Originally a seasonal sampler, the deep burgundy-coloured beverage is so popular that it will most likely stick around for summer says Brent Burton, managing director. The much-loved brewery has crafted cider since their beginnings in 2012, but their product has changed significantly over the years. “Originally [our cider was made] from concentrate. Now we use fresh apples from Manjimup. We visited the farm and helped press the first batch - it’s a far better product,” says Brent.
More in cider secrets George the Fox by Woodland Wines. Look for it on tap at Settler’s, The Fire Station, The Goose, Clancy’s Fish Pub and Caves House. Western Cider at Beer Farm Apple Cider at Bootleg Brewery
Wine & wineries
Is winemaking an art or a science? If the arts are about creativity and science is all about the rigorous application of method, which is the most important in making a great wine? Fergal Gleeson speaks to two of Margaret River’s leading winemakers from Fraser Gallop Estate and Clairault Streicker to get the answer.
Fraser Gallop Estate Clive Otto is the winemaker at Fraser Gallop Estate, a Halliday 5-star winery, founded in 1999. Fraser Gallop Estate have achieved great critical acclaim for their renditions of the Margaret River classics cabernet, chardonnay and semillon sauvignon blends in their Parterre and Estate ranges. “I take it more from a science point of view,” Clive says. “Site selection is important. When Nigel Gallop, the founder of Fraser Gallop Estate, wanted to establish a winery he didn’t just buy anywhere. He conducted extensive soil
INTELLIGENT CREATIVITY This page, Clive Otto of Fraser Gallop Estate, and, opposite, Bruce Dukes of Clairault Streicker are masters of their craft. Image credit: Sean Blocksidge.
Creativity vs method tests before selecting the current site on which the Fraser Gallop Estate vineyards sit. The white varietals are all planted on cool southern aspects. The reds are planted on north-facing slopes where temperatures are warmer. There are also implications on planting the vines north-south or east-west in orientation. East-west rows are more shaded and create a cooler situation which you can do for whites. North-south facing rows capture more sunlight and are preferred for reds.” Australian winemaking has traditionally been seen as strong on science. There are very few Australian wines made by winemakers that do not hold degrees in oenology and/or viticulture.
Twenty years ago, French winemaking was seen as more craft based with techniques passed on from father to son. Given that Clive has spent vintages in Bordeaux I ask him if things have changed in both countries. “I think the French use the numbers even more,” he says. “Particularly in Bordeaux you will find labs all over the region monitoring every step of the process. They also monitor a wider variety of measures than we do in Australia. I think smaller producers in Burgundy operate more traditionally. “For everybody now, we are trying to express the vineyard by not dressing up the wine with too much oak from high impact barrels that mask the fruit," Clive says. “You can see it now in single vineyard wines which have become more popular and which attract higher prices.” Winemakers monitor a range of numbers to determine what the final alcohol, PH, residual sugar and total acid will be. I ask him if winemaking is done by taste or by numbers. “The art is in the blending side of things because it depends on your palate,” Clive reckons. “You have judgements to make about what type of barrels to use. A lot of winemaking can be analysed to make sure that your quality controls are good, such as the sulphur levels.” “The science comes at harvest time,” he adds. “We monitor the numbers on all grapes in the three to four weeks before harvest. We plot them on a graph. We also taste the juice and monitor the flavours. If cabernet tastes too green or herbal we hold off even if the baume is coming up. The flavour is the most important because you can’t change it. If the flavours are green the wine will never get rid of them.”
Cellar Door | Café
Clairault Streicker Bruce Dukes is the winemaker for Clairault Streicker, a 5-star Halliday rated winery, which possesses some of the oldest vines in Margaret River. There’s an onsite café and cellar door which apart from tastings, offers a wine blending experience. The grounds of the estate are available for wedding functions. Bruce considers the winemaker to be an artist, scientist and a craftsman. “The art is the gut feeling and the intuitive flair,” he says. “There are so many things that can’t be measured and quantified. I spent seven years at university studying science and that’s been invaluable to help me understand what’s really going on. To evaluate information to make better decisions based on repeated observation. The craft is because you’ve got to practice it. With that comes a refinement of what you do.” “You must understand the styles and tastes that you like,” Bruce says. “You can measure acidity by numbers, but a wine may taste sour or flat. The science can be useful but the numbers can’t
measure the taste in the winery. That needs intuition.You need to draw on a long-term craft of how that translates through in 2-5 years.This is the feedback loop that you refine and improve upon. “My observation from my group of friends and winemakers is that all have good technical backgrounds. But the ones who have artistic flair are leading the pack. They are exploring the art not the science of how far things can go. If you don’t go over the edge you don’t know where the edge is.” “You can see this in site selection and harvest decisions, in trying to make the right choices on the fruit for the style of wine that you want. It’s tactile.You are touching the fruit, observing the colour. For reds you are looking at the skin, the tannins and the seeds. The craft is knowing how the vineyard has performed in previous years. The biggest variable is the fruit. In the last 28 years that I have been making wine no years have been the same.You must pay attention to all the details. They may not have a meaningful impact on their own but if 100 of them are joined together then you get a much more enjoyable wine.”
The Answer? Predictably we conclude that making a great wine requires a multidisciplinary approach with artistic temperament, scientific grounding and experience in the vineyard. Having settled this thorny question, let's cast aside academic debate and reward ourselves with a bottle of Margaret River’s finest. Because enjoying a beautiful cabernet or chardonnay requires no skill or talent at all.
The Clairault | Streicker Estates have been producing some of the finest wines in the Margaret River Region for over 40 years and we invite you to visit our Cellar Door to taste the fruits of our labour. Open seven days a week from 10am until 5pm, our cellar door is an iconic venue where the knowledgeable staff can guide you through the range of Clairault and Streicker vintages. Clairault | Streicker Estate 3277 Caves Rd, Wilyabrup 6282 +61 8 9755 6225 margaretriver.com
Wine & wineries
OAK Images BIANCA TURRI
BARREL MAKERS - OR COOPERS - ARE AN INTEGRAL PART OF THE SUCCESS STORY OF MARGARET RIVER WINEMAKING. ANNA PELLEGRIN-HARTLEY MEETS THE MEN BEHIND THIS ANCIENT CRAFT.
f you’re anything like us, you spend a lot of time looking at vineyards, and drinking the resultant wine, but perhaps not so much thinking about what happens in between. What role do wine barrels really play? And what do people mean when they say that something tastes ‘oaky’? Luckily, there are plenty of people in our region who care about this stuff, a lot. Cooper John Kingdon, from the Margaret River Cooperage, explains that oak wood is predominantly used when making barrels to store wine, because it allows both for breathability and a watertight seal. Then, of course, there is the fact that it also imparts unique desirable characteristics into the wine or spirit that it is in contact with (there’s that oaky flavor we keep hearing about). Like with grapes, even the smallest changes in environment can influence the
properties of the tree’s wood. “Barrels even from the same forest can vary in characteristics because of the micro-climates within.” Ryan Aggiss, chief winemaker at Aravina Estate in Yallingup, agrees, saying that using quality oak barrels in the wine production process – as opposed to, for example, steel or high-density polyethylene tanks – provides “the most balanced, controlled and graceful way of aging wines of all styles and varieties”. While there are literally hundreds of different oak species around the world, the vast majority of modern wine barrels are made with either French common oak (Quercus robur), French white oak (Quercus petraea) or American white oak (Quercus alba) or Quercus sessifloria, an Asian species that is widespread across Japan, Taiwan, and much of south eastern China. As
Ryan puts it, it’s a winning combination: “Vitis and Quercus seem to work so well together, much like salt and pepper or sea and sun.” Aravina Estate source their new products exclusively from France, which are in turn built from wood harvested from selected forests. Given that it takes an oak tree anywhere between 80 to 150 years to reach the maturity level necessary for felling and harvesting, Ryan stresses that it is important to support sustainable farming of the trees. Respect for the craft is a sentiment echoed by John. “To work in this craft is such a privilege when you look at this vessel and shape that has not changed in centuries.” While the Margaret River Cooperage does not produce new barrels from scratch (the wine industry here is still not large enough to justify the process, as the oak would all still be
needed to be shipped in) they certainly have their work cut out for them. The cooperage’s main focus is on repurposing the barrels – recoopering them and toasting them for use by smaller wineries. “A winery will finish using their barrels once they have extracted all the oak from that barrel into the wine, from then it becomes a holding vessel for maturation only. This is when I purchase the barrels and recooper them to obtain fresh oak and extend their life for either the wine or spirit industry”. This process is not only ecological but also cost-effective especially for smaller businesses. Sometimes, the barrels that pass through the cooperage will end up storing beer, or aging spirits such as whiskey and brandy. The Margaret River Cooperage’s Instagram page is filled with dramatic shots of barrels filled with roaring flames. Kingdon explains that this process is called toasting and that various levels of toasting (light to heavy) have a very important impact on the flavor of the product in the barrel. “Different levels of charring influence the spirit in the barrel [so] this is where the skill of the winemaker or distiller is required to batch these barrels together to achieve their desired continued style.” For producers as large as Aravina, after the barrels have reached the end of their five-year oak period, they are used for port production. “We never cut them in half for flower pots!” Aggiss jokes. Indeed, ending up as a flower pot does not seem to be a fitting end for the product of such a noble tree and age-old craft.
HISTORY The word “cooper” is derived from Middle Dutch or Middle Low German kūper from kūpe ‘cask’, which in turn comes from the Latin cupa ‘tun, barrel’. Although the Latin-speaking Romans loved putting things in barrel-like amphorae, (including, according to legend the Athenian philosopher Diogenes who supposedly lived in one) theirs were probably made of clay, not wood. Wooden cooperage was probably a Celtic invention, built upon from the Viking skills of shipbuilding. Regardless of its origins, the skills of customs of the craft have changed little in the intervening centuries..
MASTER AT WORK The ancient skill of barrel makers - or coopers - is one that's still being practised today in the Margaret River region.
1/3 Fraser Gallop
CELLAR DOOR OPEN 11AM - 4PM 4 9 3 M E T R I C U P R OA D, W I L YA B R U P, WA 6 2 8 0 | P H : + 6 1 8 9 7 5 5 7 5 5 3 F R A S E R G A L L O P E S T A T E . C O M . AU margaretriver.com | SUMMER 2018 47
Wine & wineries
FINE TUNING YOUR PALATE
IMAGE Frances Andrijich
IT’S A FUN WAY TO APPROACH DRINKING THE WINE OF THE MARGARET RIVER REGION - IMPROVING YOUR PALATE AS YOU TRY DIFFERENT VARIETALS - BUT IT CAN ALSO BE A CONFUSING PATH TO FOLLOW. FERGAL GLEESON GOES IN SEARCH OF SOME EXPERT ADVICE.
ine can seem overwhelming to beginners. So many varieties, so many regions, so much scientific jargon. Training yourself to taste wine and improve your palate is a great way to start to get to grips with the drink you love. I got advice from two of Margaret River’s leading winemakers on how to increase your enjoyment of wine by improving your palate. JANICE MCDONALD is the chief winemaker at Howard Park Wines, one of Western Australia’s leading family-owned wineries, producing wines from Margaret River and Great Southern. She has over 30 years experience as a winemaker and has recently been awarded Gourmet Traveller's Winemaker of the Year for 2018. VANYA CULLEN runs Cullen Wines, one of Margaret River’s first wineries, established in 1971. She is a passionate advocate of sustainable winemaking. Cullen Wines are biodynamically certified and the winery is carbon neutral. “Vanya” Cabernet has been awarded Australia’s Best Cabernet for the last two years by the Halliday Companion. Is it important to have a good wine palate to enjoy wine? JANICE I hope not! Hopefully you can enjoy wine without knowing an
enormous amount about it. It is more satisfying, interesting and magical when you understand wine. VANYA The more you develop your palate the more you enjoy it. It’s like cooking and food, some people are really into it, but everybody eats. It’s entirely individual how far you want to go. It’s an exploration where you can learn to really appreciate being in the presence of great wine and fruit. What’s your routine when tasting a wine? VANYA I look at colour: shades of gold or green for a white wine. Or for a red purple or brown if aged. I think about the density of the wine which can relate to quality and biodynamic elements. I give it a big swirl and have a sniff. Then you slurp and swill it around your mouth. I think about the flavours. Are the tannins bitter? Is it round, soft or mineral? There are an incredible number of things. JANICE I think about drinkability. That’s what I try to achieve at Howard Park. Some wines transcend that and have an X factor, but that doesn’t always happen. But a really drinkable wine is where all the quality parameters come together. I think about the flavours, the balance. Is it lasting? I don’t prise it apart too much.
IMAGES (this page) Paris Hawken Photography
What tips would you offer a beginner to develop their palate? JANICE People get confused and intimidated by wine because they don’t know enough. If you do something like a WSET (Wine & Spirit Education Trust) course you’ll understand what you are tasting. Then you have the freedom to explore. Understand the basics of sweetness, sourness, bitterness. Develop the sense of taste. Then you know where in your mouth these things come from, so you have a solid foundation of how these taste sensations contribute to the wine. When you have that connection to the smell and taste then you can articulate about the fruit or the oak and go from there. VANYA People are often not confident enough. There is no right or wrong. So say what you think. If you’re not serious, just drink it.You do need to concentrate for a bit to taste which can seem anti-social in company! Also have a little booklet where you write a few notes about every wine that you taste. It helps you remember and focus. When I started in wine I had books everywhere for about five years. And of course enjoy it! Is it important to blind taste wines? VANYA Not always, but it does give you an independent view. JANICE Yes, because you can have preconceived ideas when you see a red or white and the vintage. The stage is set for you. It depends on what level you want to go to but you can build up your internal database of retained knowledge to compare for when you’re tasting in future. Is reading about the backstory of a wine or region
JUST DO IT Wine tasting shouldn't be an intimidating experience - just enjoy trying new wines and discover new favourites.
important or should people just enjoy what’s in the glass? VANYA Where a wine comes from is essential.
The connection to the land is vital. At Cullen we offer a wine and food experience where you are in situ with where the produce has come from. Australia has a tradition of multi-regional blending, but in Alsace or Bordeaux they always talk about place. JANICE The long and ancient history of wine is fabulous. It’s one of the pleasures of wine apart from the consumption. It’s interesting to read what people are doing in other parts of the world. When you go to places like some of the French regions, you can almost breathe the history.
Experience the magic
Enjoy soaking in your own secluded hot tub under the glorious star-filled skies and watching the friendly wildlife on your spa chalet doorstep. Visit wineries, jewelled caves, white sandy beaches, towering karri forests, or just enjoy our meandering walking trails and picnic sites. Special food is provided for the wildlife.
YELVERTON BROOK & Conansectrvuaatryion ECO SPA RETREAT
Are people intimidated when they offer you a wine when visiting? VANYA Maybe! But people have their own favourite wines. It’s not a matter of judgement. JANICE Life can’t be all about wine. If it’s a dinner, it’s the occasion. It’s about the people, the wine, and the food. If I’m asked I’ll give an opinion but anything else would be pedantic. You want to put people at ease. Wine should never be intimidating.
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To learn more call, email or book online now for your next vacation: ph: (08) 9755 7579 margaretriver.com | SUMMER 2018 49 e: firstname.lastname@example.org
Wine & wineries
Summer lovin’ Pour the perfect drop as the mercury rises. By FERGAL GLEESON.
ummer’s here and the time is right for some light, refreshing wine. We’ve got you covered with recommendations on award-winning sparkling, classic dry white blends of sauvignon and semillon, noble chardonnays and on-trend rosés.
Sparkling HOWARD PARK PETIT JETÉ NV
Howard Park have received international recognition for their method traditionelle sparkling wines. The attractively labelled range now spans three wines including a vintage sparkling. Petit Jeté is the newest edition and the entry level to the range designed to be a little softer in style. It’s a delicious and sophisticated chardonnaydominant sparkling wine that’s crisp and dry with granny smith fruit flavours. There’s also toasty yeast lees and a hint of sweetness to reward you on the finish. Janice McDonald, 2018 Gourmet Traveller Winemaker of the Year, has nailed it with these sparklings. Scan the label with your smartphone and you’ll see a short video on the inspiration for the Jeté range (made out of region but delicious). Visit howardparkwines.com.au
Sauvignon and friends
ROSABROOK MARGARET RIVER WINE SAUVIGNON BLANC SEMILLON 2018 A blend of almost
equal parts, sourced from Rosabrook’s vineyards which are spread across the region, made in a ‘drink now’ style. Winemaker’s note: The classic Margaret River blend. Pale green in colour with aromas of succulent sauvignon and semillon. The palate is flint dry with an initial impact of sweet racy fruit and a fine and lengthy finish. Visit rosabrook.com.au
STREICKER BRIDGELAND BLOCK SAUVIGNON SEMILLON BLANC 2016
A top-shelf sauvignon semillon blend from Streicker. Hand-picked fruit from southern Margaret River, aged in French oak to provide extra richness of flavour and texture. The crafty hand of winemaker Bruce Dukes is at work here. It’s definitely a superior version of the sauvignon semillon blanc blend that Margaret River does so well, and good value too. The tasting notes suggest it can age for up to 10 years but it’s drinking beautifully now so I’d be going straight to the fridge tonight. Visit clairaultstreickerwines.com.au
CULLEN DANCING IN THE SUN 2017
CAPE LODGE SAUVIGNON BLANC 2014
Cape Lodge is a country house hotel, restaurant and vineyard in Yallingup. Winemaker’s note: ‘The fine mild summer in 2014 created ideal grape-ripening conditions allowing the slow maturation of the grapes on the vine which has produced maximum flavor and tannin concentration with classic sauvignon blanc characteristics such as zesty lime, silex and a beautiful minerality.’ Visit capelodge.com.au
PASSEL ESTATE CHARDONNAY 2016
JUNIPER ESTATE ACQUITANE BLANC 2017 $33
Winemaker Mark Messenger has just celebrated his 20th anniversary at Juniper Estate. His ability and knowledge of the vineyards is on show in the Acquitane Blanc. It’s a delicious oakmatured blend of two thirds sauvignon and a third semillion that was fermented in wild yeast. First you taste the clarity and quality of the fruit, then refreshing acid, then the oak rounds out the finish. Paradoxically it’s a complex wine that’s easy to enjoy. The wine’s name is a reference to the origins of oaked sauvignon semillon blends in Bordeaux. However Acquitane Blanc is a Margaret River classic. Visit juniperestate.com.au
Celebrity chef and all round good egg Nigella Lawson is a big fan of Vanya Cullen’s wines. “I’d happily travel the 9,000 miles from London for a glass of anything from Cullen Winery,” Nigella said. “I think Vanya Cullen’s approach to winemaking goes to the heart of what’s special about Margaret River”.Vanya’s approach is to make great wine sustainably. The wines are certified biodynamic and the winery is carbon neutral. ‘Dancing in the Sun’ is Cullen’s entry level white and is a blend of sauvignon, semillon and verdelho from the estate. It’s less acid driven than many of these blends with the focus more on balance and texture. As Vanya notes, “the bit of verdelho gives it a spicy lift.” Visit cullenwines.com.au
A classic Margaret River chardonnay from rising star winery Passel Estate. This wine won a Gold medal at the Australia & NZ Boutique Wine Show 2018. There’s characteristic regional density and complexity with grapefruit, sherbet and nut flavours, but it holds its shape. Margaret River chardonnays like this have great depth and can make chardonnays from other places seem a bit flimsy. Passel offer a unique cellar door experience where you can taste their wines alongside benchmark wines from other Australian regions to understand the importance of providence. Passel Estate also offer a cellar door wine and cheese paired tasting. Visit passelestate.com margaretriver.com
Wine & wineries 35
FISHBONE WINES CHARDONNAY 2017
DOMAINE NATURALISTE ARTUS CHARDONNAY
Hand-picked, whole bunch pressed chardonnay grapes spend nine months in French oak before bottling. This wine has a beautiful perfumed nose. It smelled so good I almost didn’t want to drink it. After moving past that idiotic notion, I enjoyed the peach, the creaminess of the oak and the tingling dry finish. I could see this pairing nicely with many of the dishes at Fishbone’s Japanese restaurant beside the cellar door. Not surprising at all given that Winemaker Stuart Pierce is a past Jimmy Watson trophy winner. Judges at the James Halliday Chardonnay Challenge agreed, awarding this wine 95 points. Visit fishbonewines.com.au
These are exciting times for Bruce Dukes. He has just purchased his own vineyard and opened a cellar door which offers charcuterie and cheese as well as his wines by the glass and the bottle. As he puts it, he has “his own beautiful patch of dirt in the middle of Willyabrup!” Bruce has a long winemaking career including a stint at ‘Godfather’ Francis Ford Coppola’s Niebaum Coppola winery in Napa. He founded Domaine Naturaliste in 2012. Bruce makes a number of chardonnays, all lovely in their own way, but my recommendation is Artus, his top of the range chardonnay, which is both complex and pure. Wild fermentation was followed by full secondary fermentation and then aging in medium toast oak. As Bruce says “It creates it’s own journey. The lack of control is exciting!” Visit domainenaturaliste.com.au
STORMFLOWER VINEYARD CHARDONNAY 2017 Stormflower Vineyard is owned by three friends who are the same guys who cofounded Little Creatures Brewery in Fremantle. Since 2007 they have invested heavily in replanting the vineyard, which is now certified organic. Winemaker’s note: Aromas of stone fruit, pear and roasted nuts with subtle charry notes from the light French oak. The palate has a wonderful combination of textures and complex flavours, with the aromas carrying through on the palate to a refined chalky acid finish. The fruit and oak are well balanced in a wine that is complex and elegant and will age beautifully for up to 10 years. Visit stormflower.com.au
ARAVINA ESTATE WILDWOOD RESERVE CHARDONNAY 2015
Aravina Estate is a major tourist destination in the Margaret River region with a cellar door, restaurant, sports car gallery, a kitchen garden and the West Australian Surf Gallery. From a single vineyard site ex-Houghtons winemaker Ryan Aggiss has fashioned an impressive chardonnay. On the nose it smells dry, pared back and elegant. The flavours are of white grapefruit, lime with a touch of vanilla. Received an impressive 95 points from the Halliday Wine Companion. Aravina offer consistent quality across the range from the ‘A’ series to the reserve wines. Visit aravinaestate.com
“It’s a smile, it’s a kiss, it’s a sip of wine ... it’s summertime!” ~ Kenny Chesney, country singer
Rosé GOON TYCOONS RAPUNZEL FIELD BLEND ROSÉ 2018
The Goons are a funky, small batch winemaking project. The Rapunzel Rose is a field blend of nebbiolo, merlot, chardonnay and arneis. Julian Langworthy, Halliday Companion winemaker of the Year 2019, has won many awards for his Deep Woods rosés and his ability with the style is apparent. The Rapunzel is a copper-coloured rosé where neither the red nor the white fruits dominate. Finishes long with a nice crunch. Easy to enjoy. The Goons range is worth trying, featuring some lovely rieslings, chenin and the rare Italian varietal teroldego. Visit goontycoons.com.au
FRASER GALLOP ESTATE ROSÉ 2018
Fraser Gallop’s rosé is also a field blend, this time of chenin, muscat a petit grain and chardonnay. “The Muscat nose jumps up with florals and gewürztraminer like aromas,” says winemaker Clive Otto. “The chenin adds backbone. It’s sweet on the nose but surprises by being savoury and refreshing to taste.” Clive picks up Gold medals for fun at wine shows for the Parterre range, but his winemaking IQ is apparent also in this rosé which is a standout. Visit frasergallopestate.com.au
VOYAGER ESTATE 2018 PROJECT ROSÉ
Voyager Estate are one of the region's best known wineries, currently transitioning all their vineyards to organic.Voyager Estate’s Project wines reflect their curiosity for creating new wines from the small, special parcels of fruit they discover in certain vintages. Ahead of the summer season,Voyager have just released their new Project Rosé 2018. Sourced from shiraz and merlot with a small addition of sauvignon blanc, a soft, textural and savoury palate displays fruit flavours of light, fresh summer berries, finishing with a clean refreshing acidity. The perfect accompaniment for a Surfers Point sunset. Visit voyagerestate.com.au margaretriver.com
Wine & wineries
Vintage times It’s the time of year when a winemaker sees the fruit (literally) of all their hard work. By FERGAL GLEESON.
Vintage time is a white-knuckle ride for winemakers.Vintage (or harvest) is the culmination of the year’s work when a weather event such as a hail storm or a gale can decimate the crop. Then there are the last minute, helterskelter logistics of getting the grapes off the vines at optimum ripeness and into the winery. I spoke to Ryan Aggiss, winemaker at Aravina Estate and Cameron Murphy from Cape Mentelle about this make or break time of year.
Cape Mentelle is one of the founding wineries of Margaret River and one of the highest regarded. So much so that it was acquired by the global LVMH (Louis Vuitton Moet Hennessy) group. This gives Cape Mentelle access to expertise, investment and international markets. Cape Mentelle exports more than half its wine internationally while the regional average is 15 per cent. Cameron Murphy, estate director at Cape Mentelle tells me that because of the international connection, vintage is different at Cape Mentelle compared to many other wineries in the region. “We bring 15 highly talented young people from around the world to Cape Mentelle each vintage,” says Cameron. “They come from California, France, Spain, Portugal and South America from the top wine schools. They are doing two vintages a year. After induction in January to all things Cape Mentelle, vintage begins in late January.” Despite the global resources, sometimes it’s still all hands on deck at vintage time. “We have 23 full time staff at Cape Mentelle,” says Cameron. “Sometimes all the office and cellar door staff are in the vineyard. Every vintage throws up something different. The semillon and sauvignon is machine-harvested first and everything after that is hand-harvested. The fruit goes into small 6.5 kilo baskets when it’s brought to the winery for berry sorting. We have an ethos of exploration and our winemaker Frederique Perrin assesses every vintage and looks at what the opportunity is to make something exceptional.” For example, the choice of varietals in the Wallcliffe Red changes from year to year to reflect the strongest performers in that vintage. One year it’s a cabernet/cabernet franc blend. Next vintage it’s merlot/petit verdot. What are the wines to look out for? “Cape Mentelle had the highest scoring shiraz and semillon in Western Australia from the 2018 Halliday Companion,” says Cameron. “Exciting new releases include a cabernet franc and a straight grenache wine.” For value hunters, I’d call out Trinders 2015, a delicious cabernet merlot blend that punches well above its weight. Cameron mentioned that he has just finished off his stash of Trinders from the early 2000s. As he puts it,“great cabernet is great cabernet. It’s not determined by the bottle price.” Each November sees the release of the flagship cabernet sauvignon to coincide with Cape Mentelle’s ‘International Cabernet Challenge’. The Challenge benchmarks premium Margaret River cabernet with cabernets from
IMAGE Elements Margaret River
Bordeaux, Napa and elsewhere, an event which is followed by a gourmet lunch. Movies at Cape Mentelle, runs from December 15 until April 2. Choose a warm night, grab a beanbag, a nice bottle of wine and enjoy a movie under the stars on the grounds of the estate. Visit capementelle.com.au
Aravina Estate “We have three long-term employees who work with me in the vineyard,” says Ryan. “Pete is a veteran and provides a level head at a high octane time of year. He manages the tractor at 3am in the morning when we’re machine harvesting. You’ve got be very careful because you’ve got people and machines in the vineyard at the same time. He takes time and makes sure the bins aren’t overfilled which would crush the fruit. Then we’ve got the two ‘young roosters’, as I call them. They’re two young guys who can lift heavy things and who want to take their shirts off all the time! They go above and beyond and have tenacity and focus.”
While some grapes are machine-harvested, grapes for the reserve chenin blanc, Wildwood chardonnay and cabernet, sparkling wines and some shiraz are handpicked. These make up about 30 per cent of Aravina’s total harvest. They typically hire up to 30 pickers, who after an induction start work at about 5am. They are briefed about how to handle the fruit and most importantly “not cutting fingers”. The picks can go on until 10am when the West Australian sun calls time. Ryan and his crew make sure the pickers are hydrated and sun-protected through out. The pickers (many are backpackers) come from all around the world. There are often up to 10 nationalities working in the vineyard. “Where are the Australians?” I ask. Ryan laughs “Well, you know Aussies don’t like to work too hard! Some supervise and drive harvesters. Afterwards the pickers will sit down and have a bite to eat and maybe have a glass of wine. Some will head along to the cellar door afterwards to taste the wine. We like to treat people well so they have positive memories.” One of the differences for Aravina Estate’s
FRUITS OF LABOUR Above, Aravina Estate's Ryan Aggiss loads the latest crop of grapes ready for this year's Vintage. Opposite, Cape Mentelle is one of the oldest wineries in the region.
vintage this year is that the fruit will be processed on site. Previously they had used a contract facility. There has been extensive investment in a fermenters press and conveyor belts. This means Ryan can now have more control at harvest time. So not only is all their wine estate-grown, Aravina can also now make the wine on site. What are some of the wines to watch out for? “The 2016 reserve chenin blanc and Wildwood Ridge reserve chardonnay are becoming benchmark wines,” says Ryan. “They are made in small quantities. They sell out quickly and showcase ripe and balanced flavours. The Wildwood Ridge Reserve Cabernet 2016 will be coming out in December. We also have a vegan tempranillo on release because we want to be inclusive for everyone who comes to the estate for lunch.” Visit aravinaestate.com
Wine & wineries
KEEPING IT IN THE FAMILY THERE IS A HIDDEN SECRET TUCKED AWAY IN THE NORTHERN WILYABRUP END OF MARGARET RIVER. CASSANDRA CHARLICK FINDS OUT ALL ABOUT THE GOOD THINGS IN LIFE WITH THE EXPERT TEAM BEHIND GOON TYCOONS AND THE YALLINGUP CHEESE COMPANY.
ith a name like Goon Tycoons, it’s hard not to have a smile on your face before you even arrive at the Abbey Vale Cellar Door on Wildwood Road. The estate, founded as Abbey Vale, is one of the region’s prettiest. With wisteria in full bloom spilling over the balcony and a sun-flecked dam, it could almost be a peaceful oasis in the midst of France. Especially that is, if you add a cheese platter on the table from artisan cheese producer,Yallingup Cheese Company, and lashings of fresh olive oil from Wulura of Margaret River. So far, the evolution of Abbey Vale has been a gentle process. Sitting under the canopy of green, the ladies behind the brand reveal that things have been busy for the little hub of artisan activity. “So far it has all been word of mouth. People just fall in love with the place when they come here,” says Juanita Fogarty. “We had people sitting
wherever they could find a seat this past Easter, it was so busy.” This summer, visitors will be welcome to enjoy a slower pace, pack a picnic rug and enjoy the offerings of this talented twosome. Alana Langworthy is the brains – and hands – behind Yallingup Cheese Company. Juanita meanwhile runs Goon Tycoons wine cellar door. Their surnames may be familiar; after all, their husbands are some of the most respected in the wine industry. Julian Langworthy and John Fogarty have been partners in winemaking for over eight years. The winemaker and viticulturist have been winning accolades and awards regularly for the Fogarty Wine Group, who own Deep Woods, located just
up the road. How exactly did Goon Tycoons come about? “The lads had been sourcing from this estate for many years and then when the opportunity came up to open a cellar door here we thought why not?” says Juanita. “There are a few little interesting pockets at other vineyards from around the state that they source from and that didn’t quite fit into the wines at their day job. So, they asked the boss if they could start up this passion project on the side and the rest is history! They have come up with some very fun wines for the brand. It’s also nice to stretch your legs in those different styles – alternative winemaking and vinicultural practices – than what they usually do.” The wine on offer is made to enjoy now, says Juanita. “It’s about having fun when drinking wine. Not taking things too seriously – sometimes wine can all be a bit intimidating for those that don’t live in the wine world. Come in and try something different and just enjoy it.” The brand has certainly got the fun factor with names like The Supermodel, The Red Headed Stepchild and Prohibition Red. With a barrelfermented chenin blanc, an oaked riesling and a Margaret River teroldego among those on offer, it isn’t hard to find something unusual. And then there’s the cheese . . . Alana provides much more than the usual tasting experience with her cheese. “I want people to be educated when they are tasting the cheese,” she says. “It’s such a beautiful product but not many people really know that much about cheese making. It’s about learning what we do, learning that there is regionality,
learning that there is cheese seasonality. If you think about milk, essentially it reflects exactly what the animal is eating. So, in spring they are eating fresh clover and tall fresh grass; that’s reflected in the cream content of the milk as well as the protein content of the milk. In summertime, when there is much less volume, the protein content drops down as well. So, you see a lot more of that fresh cut hay quality - all those things are translated into the cheese. We really hope that when people come in they learn something, even if they don’t walk away with cheese.” There are two options when people come to taste.You can do the usual tasting separately: taste the wines and the cheeses and take your pick with individual items. Juanita shares her favourite option. “Our wine and cheese flights are really popular,” says Alana. For $10,you get four cheeses and four wines that match and some notes. It’s a very relaxing and informative way to enjoy a leisurely afternoon. "We also do little take-away cheese packs if people want to buy a taster pack, grab a bottle of wine and go for a picnic. It’s great if you go to the beach or go for a walk on the trails. Makes life easy!” This little hotspot of artisan producers won’t stay a secret for long. “We have the cheese here, the wine and the olive oil. There is nowhere else down here where you have an actual cheese company in the cellar door with a winery. It’s simply a dream for food and wine lovers that want an authentic and relaxing way to spend the day in Yallingup. It’s heavenly.”
designs in nature
jewellery designed and handmade in Margaret River Open Daily 10am - 4pm 611 Boodjidup Road 08 9757 6885 email@example.com margaretriver.com | SUMMER 2018 57 www.payetgallery.com.au
Art & wellbeing
Gourmet Traveller Winemaker of the Year By FERGAL GLEESON Images by PARIS HAWKEN PHOTOGRAPHY
he Howard Park team are extremely proud that their chief winemaker, Janice McDonald, has taken out Gourmet Traveller Wine Magazine’s Winemaker of the Year award for 2018. “It’s a great recognition of a lifetime’s work,” says Janice, “and a great acknowledgement of a team effort and what we are doing at Burch Family Wines.” Originally from sheep rearing country in rural New South Wales, Janice’s winemaking career has spanned 33 years in Western Australia. She told me more about her wine journey. “Before wine I was always fascinated by food, smell, texture and flavour,” she says. “Wine was
an extension of that. Every bottle of wine had a story to it. Where it came from, the people who made it. Each was unique. Then I learnt you can study and have a degree in this thing! Other things I tried academically didn’t have that applied character. It suits me. I’m interested in science but it is also hands-on. I like the creative side of winemaking. I like the marketing and business side too where you are talking about wine. It’s a really complete role.” After a stint at Vasse Felix earlier in her career, Janice joined Australia’s first craft brewer, Matilda Bay. “I was young. It was too good an idea to pass by,” Janice says. Matilda Bay founder Phil Sexton had just
returned from the UK where the craft beer scene was taking off. They were exciting times for the young winemaker immersing herself in brewing and working out of Fremantle during the America's Cup. She returned to wine with Devil's Lair and went on to co-found Stella Bella Wines before joining Howard Park in 2011. Janice has been chief winemaker at Howard Park since then, overseeing multiple wine brands across four vineyards in two wine-growing regions – Margaret River and the Great Southern. The sheer quality and breadth of the offering is one of the most noteworthy aspects of Janice’s work at Howard Park.
Do you like fresh local Seafood cooked to perfection? It’s a great recognition of a lifetime’s work . . .
LEADER OF THE PACK Janice McDonald is a much-lauded winemaker of the highest order. Her wines for Howard Park are an incredible addition to the wine landscape of the region.
There is the MadFish label which operates at the value end of the market. The Howard Park Miamup and Flint Rock labels really over-deliver for around $25. Standouts from the current range include the Miamup cabernet 2016 and Flint Rock chardonnay 2017 and shiraz 2016. The Leston (Margaret River) and Scotsdale (Great Southern) cabernet and shiraz 2016 wines step up in quality from there. They are outstanding and age-worthy with a long cellaring life. Howard Park chardonnay 2017 and sauvignon blanc 2017 showcase Janice’s approach to making wine. They are highly drinkable but also complex and interesting. Howard Park’s flagship wines are the Abercrombie cabernet sauvignon and Allingham chardonnay, which are luxury, world class wines. Janice also directs the Australian Collection of the Marchand & Burch range, in collaboration with Burgundian winemaker Pascal Marchand.The two Australian Marchand and Burch 2017 chardonnays are linear, sophisticated and really impressive. During her tenure, Janice has overseen Howard Park’s intricate methode traditionelle sparkling wine program. This was recognised last year when Howard Park Jeté took out Best Australian Sparkling Wine at the Champagne and Sparkling Wine World Championships in London. Juggling vintages in two different wine regions four hours apart, handling an extensive range of wines and brands and crafting varieties that were completely new to her, such as riesling and pinot noir, would perhaps destroy a less capable person. Marketing director Amy Burch acknowledges this. “It is a huge validation of the work she has done at Howard Park. From taking on two quite different wine regions, running a team of staff around the clock during prolonged vintages – she is tireless.” “Making wine over many quality levels keeps you grounded,” Janice says “I’m mindful that making the top level wines is in some ways the easiest part of it. I think about people at a dinner party and the need to be able to make good quality wine at each price point. So whatever level of Howard Park wine you have you’ll get a good drink!”
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Or enjoy restaurant quality food in the comfort of your own home. We offer fresh Fish and Chips, as well as Sashimi, Oysters, Prawn stuffed Chicken Wings and more as takeaway Blue Manna Takeaway 1/16 Cyrillean Way Dunsborough, 6281 Phone: 08 9786 5051
Or grab some fresh, local seafood from our seafood shop and cook it exactly the way you like it. Oceans Fresh Seafood 2/16 Cyrillean Way Dunsborough, 6281 Phone: 0897591110
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31 Cape Clairault Road, Yallingup 6282, WA 60
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Nature & Environment
HERE’S A ROUND-UP OF THE BEST BEACHES, CHOSEN BY LOCALS; WE HOPE YOU FIND YOUR NEW FAVOURITE. BY LIZZY PEPPER.
Swiiming women, left, and Globetrotting Horseriding Holidays
and between your toes, sun on your skin and the salty cold water of the Indian Ocean – nothing could be better for your health and happiness than a trip to the beach. My favourite beach changes depending on whether I have kids in tow, just 10 minutes for a dip or a whole glorious hour to go stand up paddle boarding.
BEACHES FOR KIDS
Abbey Beach. Image by Ryan White, South West Eco Adventures
“One of our favourite beaches is Abbey Beach in Geographe Bay. There’s a long stretch of white sand and you don’t have to worry about large waves or sharp rocks. On a hot summer day, the shallows are like a warm bath - great for toddlers. Walk a few more metres out for a refreshing dip in the cool clear water.” – Ryan White, South West Eco Discoveries. Also try Meelup,Yallingup Lagoon, Castle Rock and Busselton Foreshore
STAND UP PADDLE BOARDING Geographe Bay was surely made for paddle boarding. Sheltered from prevailing winds, the bays dotted along the coast south of Eagle Bay are the most incredible aquamarine; Point Piquet, Meelup, Castle Rock, right along the Dunsborough foreshore. Gnarabup and Gracetown are brilliant too; there’s a little more swell, but you’re still protected.
BYO or hire a SUP from Meelup Beach Hire, Yahoo Surfboards in Dunsborough or Stand Up Surfing in front of the White Elephant Café.
SURFING BEACHES “I’m always hunting good tubes, so I wait for a two-and-a-half metre swell and south east winds, so Rabbits at Yallingup comes alive. It’s a great place to get tubed or watch people getting tubed. When the wind swings onshore and there’s enough swell, I head over to Bunker Bay to surf Boneyards which is offshore on a sou’wester. My favourite time of year is April when autumn tides are optimal for The Box in Prevelly. Look for a west swell and light easterlies.” – Tim Campbell, Photographer
SWIMMING BEACHES “Gnarabup is my favourite beach. I know it’s not the most isolated and perhaps not the prettiest, but I love it for the people that come and swim there. I love swimming over the sandy patches and the seaweed, I love how the ocean and weather can change the bay from a calm, sparkling turquoise place to an energy box of wild ocean surging up the beach and waves breaking through the bay. Plus, there’s great coffee afterwards at the White Elephant.” – Charlotte O’Beirne, Swimming Women and organiser of Margaret River Ocean Swim on January 19. Also try Yallingup, Dunsborough and Busselton within the shark net.
SECLUDED BEACHES Scenic Helicopters pilot Jackson McLeod knows the best secret beaches for romantic picnics and marriage proposals, and his favourite secluded spot can’t be accessed by 4WD, foot or boat – only helicopter. “Flying in for a beach picnic or a bottle of champers – it’s an unforgettable experience for couples with a sense of romance and adventure.” Scenic Helicopters flights depart from Margaret River Airport, Pullman Resort Bunker Bay and Cheeky Monkey Brewery.
ADVENTURE BEACHES Margaret River Adventure Company owner Cam O’Beirne has a few secret beaches he likes to take people to on his tours, especially at the end of a fat bike ride and when coasteering. “It’s the awe in people’s faces when they see our pristine coastline, the colours, and lack of other people that I enjoy seeing. Personally, my favourite beach is where I can catch dinner, from herring and salmon in autumn to cray fish and octopus in spring.”
MY FAVOURITE BEACH CHANGES DEPENDING ON THE WEATHER... Gnarabup Beach
FISHING BEACHES “Boodjidup Beach just south of Gnarabup is great for beach fishing in summer.You might catch Mulloway, tailor and herring in summer, and it’s a ripper beach for salmon fishing in autumn. “You can drive along Boranup Beach, you’ll catch similar fish to Boodjiup, and you might be lucky enough to spy a friendly stingray.” – Steele Hawken, Down South Camping & Outdoors Also try:Yallingup beach, Canal Rocks, Busselton.
HORSE RIDING BEACHES It looks dreamy – cantering along a deserted beach then taking your horse for a salty bareback ocean swim. Jesters Flat takes horse riding tours to beautiful Forest Beach near Busselton during summer. “At certain times of year, the dolphins come in to check out their horse friends and there’s always loads of beautiful birds and stingrays cruising past. Such a beautiful way to experience beach life!” – Fiona Flugge, Jesters Flat.
OPEN EVERYDAY FOR EVERYONE 11am - 5pm ph:08 97553554 |
Nature & Environment
If you’re looking for a family-friendly destination in Margaret River, look no further than Margaret River Hideaway and Farmstay. By BROOKE EVANS-BUTLER.
lose to the Margaret River township, you’ll find somewhere your kids will never want to leave. Margaret River Hideaway and Farmstay offers more than accommodation – it offers a unique experience that is a world away from city living Onsite managers Lara and Scott Berryman and their baby boy Jasper, have only been at Hideaway for a year, but they have farm-life in their veins (Lara was brought up on a farm in Manypeaks, near Albany, and Scott was brought up on a dairy farm in New Zealand). On arrival at Hideaway, it’s hard to miss Scott and Lara (Scott is strikingly tall, at about 6 foot 7 inches, and Lara, by contrast, a petite 5 foot), but they are not the only people behind the running of this lovely place. Lara says the rest of the team are like family. “Natasha (Tash) and her daughter Elly live here and work with us. Tash does some housekeeping and also assists me with various tasks,” Lara says. “They both enjoy living on the farm. Elly just loves animals so it’s a great place for her to grow up. She often helps the farm hands with the animal feeding. “We also have a fantastic housekeeping team,” she adds. “We do get quite a few Trip Advisor mentions of the cleanliness, so we do really appreciate their great work. We have two farmhands Dean and Matt. They are local guys, (and) have heaps of experience with animals, so
help us with the interactive animal feeding/farm tours and caring for the animals.” Speaking of the animals – they are truly a highlight of a stay at Margaret River Hideaway. “We have four alpacas (Kerry Pacca, Chew Pacca, Macca Pacca and Lilly), and one very naughty goat (Friday) – she eats everything,” Lara laughs. “She also loves people. She will follow you around like a pet dog; she is a huge hit with all the guests.” Adding to the Funny Farm menagerie are ducks, chickens , roosters, peacocks, guinea fowl and geese, as well as two Scottish highland cattle (Big Red) and (Shaggy). “We have three Dexter cows Little Louie, Bad Hair Do and Tinkle Toes – she loves hugs,” Lara says, adding they also have about 20 Dorper sheep, two dogs, one cat (Zebby), six adult emus and six baby emus. Surprisingly, with a farm-full of animals to care for, the Hideaway team do not have to get up at the crack of dawn to feed the animals, as Lara says the animals know, due to the feeding times they do with the guests, that 8.30am is breakfast time. However there is still a lot of work involved, ensuring all the animals are fed, have fresh water and get their necessary health checks (she laughs that the vet is a regular visitor). “As we do a lot of poultry breeding (ducks, chickens, emus) this can take a lot of work at the beginning,” Lara adds. “We have our own incubator, so you have to monitor a lot in the early stages. We shear the sheep and alpacas once per year, and also get the alpacas’ teeth cut.” Lara says the roaming animals around the
farm are a highlight for many guests. “It’s not everywhere you will get an alpaca walking on past your cottage while you are having an afternoon beverage on the verandah,” she says. “Also the up-close interaction – you can handfeed all the animals here at Hideaway." “The way we feed the emus is also very unique,” she adds. “You can get emus to feed from your hand, but their eyesight is not that good so they can accidently get some of your skin. So, we fill a bucket with seed and have the guests back up to the emus holding the bucket, the emus then lean right over your head into the bucket and peck away at the seed.You are surrounded by soft fluffy emu fur and bird seed flying everywhere; it’s quite the experience.” Lara says the animal feeding is great for kids visiting Hideaway. “We often see kids that have been brought up in the inner city so have not seen many animals up close,” she says. “We find that the first day here they are a little standoffis and by the day they leave they are running along with the goat, picking up the chickens and hugging the Dexter cows, which are about five times as big as them. It is so wonderful to see.” As well as the animals, there is also a trampoline and nature playground. For the future of Margaret River Hideaway, Lara says they want to breed more animals. “Baby animals are just so cute! Or course, we also want to ensure our accommodation is always at high standards for our valued guests so upkeeping and upgrading does keep us busy.” Margaret River Hideaway and Farmstay 225 Osmington Road, Bramley, margaretriverfarmstay.com
BREWERY, CIDERY, WINERY AND RESTAURANT OPEN 10AM TO 6PM EVERYDAY.
Fun, Fresh, Local and Delicious!
Lara’s top recommendations of things to do in Margaret River: For family fun you have to do the Chocolate Factory, Margaret River Dairy, Vasse Virgin, Olio Bello, also Amaze’n or Yallingup Maze . Head to the Brewhouse for food with the kids, as they have a good playground there. For wines, there are just too many! Redgate is one of my favourites, or Vasse Felix, but there are heaps of others in the area. I would recommend doing a tour. For all our guests staying, we offer discounts with All About Margaret River Tour Company. 4259 CAVES ROAD, MARGARET RIVER, WA, 6285 PHONE: 97 5552018 555 margaretriver.com | SUMMER
Nature & Environment
best kept secrets Head further south and you’ll find one of the region’s most enchanting towns Augusta. By LIZZY PEPPER.
pend a few hours in Augusta and the laid-back locals reveal its best kept secrets; the wonderful spots to play, swim or walk. The town itself feels a little like Yallingup 25 years ago; surf shacks and weatherboard cottages dot the hill, and everyone has an awesome river view. Captain Matthew Flinders charted the south west coast from 1801 to 1803, but it wasn’t until 1830 that Augusta was founded. Four farming families called Augusta home, and a whaling industry emerged with a processing factory in Flinders Bay. Cape Leeuwin Lighthouse was constructed in 1895, the tallest on mainland Australia. The nearby Jewel Cave opened to tourists in 1959, which is about when the town got electricity. Abalone, fishing and tourism industries flourished.
DELICIOUS BITES The Ragged Robin makes the best veggie quiche I’ve tasted, and the cake display is
brimming with gluten-free treats. Their excellent coffee is so popular with locals that by the time this magazine goes to print, they should have a VW Beetle coffee van stationed at the front of their café to help keep up with demand. Blue Ocean placed third in the Top Fish and Chipperies in regional Western Australia. Walk down to the waterfront to watch kite surfers as you tuck into lovely pink snapper caught right here in Augusta, of course. Be sure to visit the Augusta Bakery for its hot pies and jam donuts, and the Augusta Hotel for counter meals and superb seafood with a river view too. A little further afield, the husband-and-wife team at the Karridale service station sell their own honey and home-made biltong. Whirlwind sell luscious bottles of local olive oil.
RIVER TOUR Jump aboard the newly launched Augusta River Tours to get your bearings and a dose of local knowledge. Graeme Challis was born in Augusta and loves its history, birdlife, fishing and quiet pace of life. “Come to Augusta and your heart rate goes downs a little – it’s unreal for a relaxing holiday with unspoilt beauty.” Graeme shares fascinating facts – the lookout above the golf course is the only place in the world you can see two rivers and two oceans meet. The Southern Ocean and Indian Ocean meet near Cape Leeuwin Lighthouse, and the Scott and Blackwood Rivers converge at Molloy Island.
“It’s not the nightlife capital,” says Graeme as we cruise past dolphins, pelicans, spoonbills, black swans, crested terns and cormorants. “I became a twitcher when I ran the Miss Flinders – the original river cruises – years ago. There’s about 60 species of birds here on the river, and lots of migratory birds on the Hardy Inlet.” Foxes and other predators can’t reach the small islands, so birds thrive. Most wonderful of all are the red-necked stints, a tiny bird no bigger than a matchbox that flies from Siberia each year. “The Siberian winter is terrible, so they come to Augusta for summer,” quips Graeme. Tours will run several times a day in summer, and on demand.Visit augustarivertours.com.au
THE SERENITY “The Blackwood river, the largest river in the south west, the ideal playground for boating, fishing, crabbing, canoeing, swimming, water skiing and windsurfing,” says Jim Challis of the Augusta Hotel. Hire a boat, canoe or stand up paddleboard from the Ellis Street Jetty. Walk or ride your bike along the 5km sealed walkway from the Ellis Street Jetty around to the new $36m harbour. The walkway hugs the coast, with beautiful views along the way. There’s a new playground at Flinders; a wooden ship overlooking the bay. Bring a picnic or make use of the BBQ facilities. Graeme recommends information boards at Flinders Bay for details and photographs of the
whale rescue of 1986 and the timber industry; massive karri trees were harvested for use as road pavers.
Apparently the first chamber is so large it could fit the 43-metre Cape Leeuwin Lighthouse, if it were lying horizontally!
ESCAPE THE SOU’ EASTERLY
WHERE TO STAY
The prevailing wind makes for fabulous kite surfing, but there’s plenty of protected beaches and fishing spots out of the breeze. Try the beach on the left-hand side of the waterwheel near Cape Leeuwin Lighthouse. Foul Bay, Cosy Corner and Hamelin Bay are all sheltered from the sou’ easterly breeze, and you could meet the friendly stingrays at the picturesque Hamelin Bay beach. West Bay Creek is a great fishing spot when it’s too windy at Ellis Street Jetty. It’s also home to the Blackwood River Houseboats – a fabulous way to have the most relaxing holiday cruising the river, waking up each morning to bird life and dolphins.
Turner Caravan Park has new two-bedroom chalets and, being opposite the Blackwood River, it’s ideal for swimming and fishing. Make the river home aboard Blackwood River Houseboats – you don’t need a skipper’s ticket to navigate the waterways. Camp or glamp in a luxury tent at Boogaloo, a new yoga retreat just out of town.If you’re looking for a secret stay with your family or friends and want to do it in breathtaking style, stay at the glorious Flinders Bay House. Overlooking the beach, this five-bedroom, seven-bathroom Hamptons-style holiday home. It’s the perfect private holiday retreat. Look out for our feature on Flinders Bay House in our next issue.
DEEP UNDERGROUND It’s a big call, but Jewel Cave might just be the most awe-inspiring cave in the region. Certainly the largest show cave in Western Australia, it’s encrusted with gleaming crystal ornaments throughout its three massive chambers.
DEEP SOUTH Head to Augusta and fall in love with the serenity of this special spot. Below, from right, Turner Caravan Park. Take a cruise on Blackwood River Houseboats. Bottom, Flinders Bay House is an extra-special place to stay while you're there. Image credit: Private Properties.
Nature & Environment
IMAGE Tim Campbell
Choosing just seven natural wonders of the Margaret River region was a challenge there’s beauty at every turn. By LIZZY PEPPER.
BORANUP FOREST Dr Boyd Wykes – Nature Conservation Margaret River For many, Boranup is about karris. The glowing trunks of young regrowth karri at the viewing platform on Caves Road are a must-see, must-snap. However, a little way down Boranup Drive are equally photogenic ancient karris, their trunks full of hollows; full of life, home to endemic, threatened and little seen ringtail possums, brush-tailed phascogales, black cockatoos, masked owls and rufous treecreepers. Only a few thousand years ago this 3,000-hectare forest was seeded from karris
further inland. Listen for the waves breaking on the nearby beach, walk the tracks at night, be guided through a cave beneath a forest with much more to offer than a snapped selfie at Kodak Corner.
THE MARGARET RIVER Sean Blocksidge - Margaret River Discovery Co One of the best experiences has to be canoeing a tranquil section of the Margaret River. It’s amazing how many people visit the region but don’t experience the real Margaret River itself. All they see is the small section of river flowing through town and miss the spectacular and peaceful river system further east and west. Shaded by towering jarrah and marri trees, there’s abundant bird life including the endangered Baudin’s black cockatoo. Sometimes on tour, if we time it just right in summer, we have guest appearances from local fishermen catching the local delicacy, marron (freshwater lobster).
THE WILYABRUP CLIFFS Sean Blocksidge - Margaret River Discovery Co The Cape to Cape Track is one of the most rewarding long-distance walks trails in Australia with 135km of day after day epicness, filled with
IMAGE Margaret River Discovery Co
he Leeuwin Naturaliste ridge is a wonder in itself, and its combination of two-million-year-old limestone atop a base of hard, metamorphic rock of between 600 and 1,500 million years, forms the diversity of experiences and incredible natural attractions in the Margaret River region. It’s an internationally recognised biodiversity hotspot with many endemic species of flora and fauna. We enlisted the help of local conservationists and tour guides to reveal the raw wonder of our natural attractions.
beaches, cliffs, forests. A lot of the track is easily accessible but one of my most favourite sections is the Wilyabrup Cliffs.You’ll need a bit of local knowledge to access this section or a guide with a 4WD and special government approvals to operate in the National Park. I include it in the Discovery Tour experience in the late arvo and it’s usually one of the highlights of the day with regular sightings of whales and dolphins.
THE CAPE TO CAPE TRACK Gene Hardy - Cape to Cape Explorer Tours Created in 2001, the track links long sandy beaches, walking tracks and old 4WD routes gouged out by farmers, fishermen and surfers. “Balance is the track’s defining quality,' he says. "The symmetry is that between sea
and land. Water, in turn sparkling and benign, then moody and raging, defines its character. Beyond this is the balance between beach and forest, comfort and challenge, wilderness and civilisation.”
JEWEL CAVE Mandy Mclauchlan-Andrews – Your Margaret River Region Jewel Cave is the largest show cave in Western Australia, with gleaming crystal ornaments throughout its three massive chambers. Within this breathtaking magnitude hangs a delicate straw stalactite; a hollow crystal tube, the diameter of just a single water droplet, it grows down into the cave for five and a half metres, reaching longer than any other in all the show caves in Australia.
YALLINGUP LAGOON Crystal Simpson - Yallingup Surf School Worth visiting for the breathtaking drive into
Yallingup Bay alone, a swim in the lagoon is a bonus. Circled by reef, the lagoon is protected from big waves, so it’s perfect for swimming, snorkelling and learning to surf. Beyond the reef is tbe main break, many surfers' favourite spot. “It’s like a natural wave pool,” says Crystal. “You might see fish, cave ledges, the odd seal, a stingray or two, and me for a few months of the year.”
MARGARET RIVER MAZE, GARDENS, MINI GOLF & CAFE
MEELUP REGIONAL PARK Ryan White – South West Eco Discoveries "Meelup hasn’t always been a regional park, but thanks to locals it was saved from development," says Ryan. “We show visitors marine life, rare flora, birds and kangaroos. Over the years we have seen whale numbers increase and the diversity in the park expand to make this area an exciting destination for any lover of wildlife and natural beauty. IMAGE Sean Blocksidge
Tel: 08 9758 7439 Giant Hedge Margaret River Maze, 18 Hole Mini Golf and 5 ha Botanical gardens, 4km south of Margaret River More mazes, games and puzzles amongst the gardens | Unusual WA native plants, attracting abundant birds and wildlife | BBQ’s, picnic ground, playground | Amazen café overlooking Amazen gardens and lake for breakfast and lunches | Wheelchair accessible paths
9978 Bussell Highway, Margaret River email@example.com
Nature & Environment
Exploring FIND SPECTACULAR SURF, ART AND FOOD IN THIS COASTAL TOWN. By LIZZY PEPPER.
allingup has been luring visitors since 1899; Ngilgi Cave proved popular with newlyweds and Caves House was built to accommodate them. The journey involved a steam train to Busselton then a horseback ride through bushland to Yallingup. Ladies wore corsets and hooped skirts, men donned formal suits, and all carried candles as they descended into the cave. Things have changed; it’s now a breezy three hours from Perth. Tumbledown surf shacks have been replaced by steel and glass homes. But it’s still the most gloriously relaxing place to have a glass of wine at sunset, or to stride up the beach and swim alone in the summer pool, a small protected lagoon that emerges from the sand each summer.
STRETCH IT OUT Start the day with a brisk walk along the beach and cool down in the lagoon or the summer pool which is half way up the dog beach. Feeling energetic? Try the 6km Wardanup Trail which passes Caves House, Ngilgi Cave and climbs Wardanup ‘heart attack’ hill. Find it on the TrailsWA website. Treat yourself to a yoga session on the lawn, next to the famous adventure playground.
Yoga at Yallingup classes run every weekend in December at 7am, then move to daily classes from December 26 through to the end of February. They return to weekends and public holidays until Easter.
IMAGE Tim Campbell
Douglas Kirsop IMAGE Tim Campbell IMAGE David Griffen
FOOD, GLORIOUS FOOD
Yallingup is home to some wonderfully talented artists and fine art galleries.Yallingup Gallery, Gunyulgup Gallery and Studio Gallery exhibit the works of many emerging and renowned Western Australian artists and beautiful giftware too. Testament to the creative talent in the region, over 100 artists will open their studio doors as part of the Margaret River Region Open Studios event. It’s well worth a return visit to tour the region meeting artists, exploring their studios and gardens; April 27 to May 12 May.
Coffee with a view of Yallingup main break comes courtesy of Pronto Cino, the red coffee van at Slippery Rocks car park. Shoot the breeze with locals who’ll happily share dining or stock market tips. Breakfast at the funky Italian Shaana Café or venture to Lamont's Smiths Beach – a 30-minute walk via the Torpedo Trail or a short five minute drive. Cool off with a lavender ice cream at Cape Lavender Tea House. They have tea, scones and other treats but the ice cream deserves a special place on your Instagram feed. margaretriver.com
WILLS DOMAIN: IMAGE Tim Campbell
Nature & Environment
IMAGE Tim Campbell
Join a Thai, Tuscan or wood-fired cooking school at Wildwood Valley Cottages – but you’ll need to book ahead. Chef Sioban trained at Neil Perry’s Rockpool Group and met her restaurateur husband Carlo in his Italian home town. Grab a refreshing beer at Caves House Hotel and take a stroll through the gardens. The ‘ghost trail’ runs all the way to Yallingup Beach. Pick up a loaf at Yallingup Wood Fired Bakery, hot out of the oven around 3pm. Other great dining options include Barnyard 1978, Swings & Roundabouts, Aravina Estate, The Studio Bistro and Cape Lodge.
There are some excellent boutique wineries in Yallingup: Cape Naturaliste Vineyard, Clairault Streiker, Windance, Aravina, Marq Wines, Deep Woods and Wills Domain. Marq Wines are the relative new kids on the block and do a smashing job with alternative varietals like vermentino, petit manseng and gamay. Stay for a generous cheese and charcuterie plate. Across the road, Deep Woods Estate is home to James Halliday’s winemaker of the Year Julian Langworthy, plus excellent cabernet and rosés. Wills Domain was named Restaurant of the Year at the recent West Australian Good Food Guide Awards. Lunch at Wills is sublime, and we’re particularly fond of their semillon and reserve chardonnay.
Ngilgi Cave is named after one of the Wardandi Aboriginal people’s dreamtime spirits. Take a semi-guided cave tour, and your guide will share the dreamtime story before letting you explore the cave at your own pace. It has a natural amphitheatre with near perfect acoustics, and a crawl tunnel popular with kids. Cape to Cape Explorer Tours guide Gene Hardy’s favourite walk is from Smiths Beach to Canal Rocks, including the Instagramfamous aquarium. “It incorporates many of the spectacular features of the region in such a small area, as well as a pristine swimming spot where you can snorkel in a clear-watered aquarium and cool off along the way. This section is easily accessible from Smiths Beach itself and Canal Rocks Road.”
WILLS DOMAIN WAS NAMED RESTARAUNT OF THE YEAR AT THE RECENT WEST AUSTRALIAN GOOD FOOD GUIDE AWARDS.
WHERE TO STAY Get back to basics at one of two local caravan parks. Watch kangaroos from your veranda at Wildwood Valley Cottages. Hire a holiday house with ocean views from Private Properties.
BELOW Private Properties’ Salty Kiss LEFT Wildwood Valley Cottages
Nature & Environment
SUMMER IS A GREAT TIME TO BE OUTSIDE ON A BALMY NIGHT LOOKING UP AT THE NIGHT SKY, SAYS ANNA PELLEGRIN-HARTLEY.
ook to the north and you should be able to see the glow of The Seven Sisters. The Greeks named them The Pleiades. The Japanese call them Subaru. With a good pair of binoculars, you should be able to count at least 30 other fainter stars associated with this cluster.” There is plenty of entertainment to be had in the skies, according to Phil Smith, locally known as Astrophil. He should know. The octogenarian has been gazing skyward since his son went off to university, and left him in charge of the thenfledgling Astronomical Society of the South West. “I was amazed at the hidden wonders that required a telescope [to see]” Phil’s role evolved into education officer, and he’s been guiding groups of kids and adults through the exploration of this heavenly realm ever since. For Phil, there is no end to the joy that one can get from a good stargaze, where even familiar objects can blow you away. Take Saturn, for example. “You can see it a hundred times on a TV screen or in books, but nothing compares to seeing Saturn in the telescope… it’s real, it’s actually there,” he says. Other lesser-known delights that reveal themselves to those that look include globular clusters - collections of hundreds of thousands of stars bound together in a tight ball, many light years away. If this sounds like fun to you, well, you’re in luck, because summer is the best time to see the stars, especially in the south west. The skies get clearer the further south you go and indeed, the south west has some of the best viewing conditions in the world, thanks to the low levels of ambient light and fresh westerlies that blow through almost daily and sweep air pollution away. As for constellations, our famous Southern Cross can be tricky to spot during summer, as it’s sitting very low in the sky.To get a good view of it in Bunbury, for example, you’re required to get up on a hill and well above the tree line, although readers in Margaret River and further south are able to enjoy it year round. The mighty hunter Orion (sometimes known as “The Saucepan” or “The Shopping
Trolley”) with his two dogs Canis Major and Minora, and Lepus the Hare at his feet, on the other hand, is hard to miss. If you’re having a difficulty visualising these figures, remember that here in the Southern Hemisphere, we’re seeing the constellations upside down as opposed to the Ancient Greeks who originally named them. Phil also recommends keeping an eye out for Argo Navis, or Ship Argo, which the ancient Greeks associated with the ship that Jason and the Argonauts sailed to Colchis in search of the Golden Fleece. “It really looks like a ship if you know what you’re looking for”. Stargazing might sound like a great activity to take the kids on, but Phil says that it’s often the parents who are most enchanted by the observation nights. Thanks to their more mature eyes, adults get the added advantage of being able to see wonders like “galaxies 30 million light years away, and dying stars”. In conjunction with Bunbury Observatory, Cape Naturaliste Lighthouse runs three or four stargazing nights each year, usually over the shoulder season when the sun sets a bit earlier, although there is one stargazing event scheduled for December 1. Phil says that summer is the ideal time for this kind of event, because of the clear, warm nights, whereas in winter you need to rug up against the cold and are much more likely to be dodging rain and clouds. Previous events have begun with an introduction on the viewing deck at Cape Naturaliste Lighthouse, with a spectacular panorama of sunset and whales breaching in the ocean. If you can’t get to a viewing event, of course there’s nothing stopping you from gazing on high on your own. Even without the huge telescopes at Bunbury Observatory’s disposal, there is still plenty to be seen, and Phil assures us that even lowtech options are great. “A good pair of x8 binoculars will reveal many groups of stars and gas clouds in the Milky Way that will thrill and amaze you”.
EXHIBITION OF NEW WORKS BY MARTINE PERRET + CHRISTOPHER LEES + JASON WOOLDRIDGE + 27 December 2018 - 25 January 2019 LOUNGING WITH THE ARTISTS MARTINE PERRET AND JASON WOOLDRIDGE SUNDAY 30 DECEMBER 11AM CHRISTOPHER LEES UNPLUGGED SATURDAY 19TH JANUARY 5.30 PM
Shop 4, 1 Charles West Avenue P 9757 2729 E firstname.lastname@example.org W margaretrivergallery.com.au
Nature & Environment
From Preveli to Prevelly
Wallcliffe Road connects Margaret River town with its closest beach, Prevelly, renowned for its beauty, beach, pumping surf breaks and famous caravan park. Dianne Bortoletto discovers more about this fascinating place.
he scenery is truly breathtaking as you round the bend on Wallcliffe Road and catch the first ocean views from high on the hill. It’s a view I never tire of seeing, the Rivermouth to the right with wispy shades of sand in the shallows and the vast Indian Ocean in front, at times wild with waves. To the left is an unexpected little whitewashed Greek Chapel; St John the Theologian stands proudly and serves as a reminder of how Prevelly came to be. Let’s rewind the clock to 1941, to World War II, when English-born Australian soldier Geoffrey Edwards was captured and imprisoned during the Battle of Crete. He escaped the Gestapo and was led by a shepherd to the Preveli Monastery, a safe haven for hundreds of
Australian, New Zealand and British troops who had escaped from prisoner-of-war camps and were cared for by the monks. Forever grateful for the help he received, Geoffrey raised money for a fountain and a plaque at the monastery that was unveiled on the Battle of Crete’s 50th anniversary. His gratitude didn’t end there. It was in the 1950s when Geoffrey moved his family to a large but barren parcel of coastal land purchased 10 kilometres west of Margaret River. The family’s vision was simple: to build a holiday park with chalets and campsites. They named it Prevelly Park after Preveli in Crete and it continues as a going concern today, albeit under different ownership.
Carving a settlement out of virgin bush on a small budget was a mammoth task. Geoffrey and his wife Beryl worked rain, hail and shine and built the chalets largely themselves with a little help from the local building crew. Beryl was an animal lover and would care for sick, injured or orphaned kangaroos, which became an attraction of Prevelly Park, often returning as tame friends after their release. She would also persuade groups of shooters to aim at tins instead of animals. Eventually, the Edwards’ had the area declared a wildlife sanctuary. The land they owned around Prevelly Park was sub-divided to help pay off their mounting debts. With their daughter Marilyn about to start high school, it was with a heavy heart that the
Edwards left Prevelly for Perth nine years after first arriving. Some 35 years after leaving Crete, Geoffrey returned with Beryl during a European holiday. The local people of Preveli had heard of Prevelly in Western Australia and, with warm Greek hospitality, they welcomed Geoffrey and Beryl like heroes. The monks celebrated their visit with thanks, prayers and feasts. So moved by the reunion and reception, it was decided that a permanent link would be forged between the places by way of a small Greek chapel similar to those dotted all over Greece. In an extract from The Road to Prevelly, authored by Geoffrey Edwards (1989), he explains: “It would be a memorial to those who fell. It would honour those brave Cretans, the men and women who risked their own lives in helping us during our hour of need. It would be a symbol of the fight for freedom. It would be a message to all future generations that freedom is not free. It would be named the Chapel of St John the Theologian, the same as the Chapel at the Monastery, thus forging a permanent link between the two; one in the old world and one in the new.” With the support from the Greek Orthodox Church in Perth and the Greek Consul, the
homes, including the historic Wallcliffe House, and destroyed over 3,600 hectares of pristine bushland. It was only the heroic efforts of the firefighters, water-bombers and volunteers, and perhaps some divine intervention, that the Greek Chapel was spared. As Genevieve Broadhurst writes about the devastating bushfires in the final chapter of The Road to Prevelly added to the 2013 edition: “We will rejoice the slow recovery of our
strong community and unique environment, encouraged by the composed presence of the intact Greek chapel.” The chapel hosts a few weddings each year and largely remains locked.Visitors are welcome and can pick up the key for the chapel from the Prevelly Park shop.. Copies of The Road to Prevelly by Geoffrey Edwards can be purchased at the Margaret River Book Store, 1/109 Bussell Highway, Margaret River.
PEACEFUL PARADISE The little white Greek Chapel at Prevelly welcomes visitors - just ask for the key at the Prevelly Park shop nearby.
chapel was built and completed in 1979. Measuring 12 metres long by six metres wide with a bell tower nine metres high, the chapel was furnished with donations from the Greek community and ex-servicemen organisations. On April 7, 2000, Geoffrey was awarded an order of Australia Medal (OAM) for services to the Greek Community and then peacefully passed away four days later. These days, Prevelly and adjacent Gnarabup are thriving coastal communities, but it hasn’t been without tragedy. In November 2011, savage bushfires driven by 70km/h winds razed 40 margaretriver.com
Active & adventure
Many of the region’s wine makers are also surfers, but what came first – a love of wine or the lure of the surf? Dianne Bortoletto chats to some wine makers who moved to the Margaret River region to find out.
Brad Wehr, owner / wine maker, Amato Wines Self-taught winemaker Brad Wehr, 52, was born and bred in Albany and says he been a surfer since he was a kid. “These days it’s a bit of a stretch to call myself a surfer, I spend more time on my SUP,” Brad says. “I remember my first visit to Margs as a kid on a family holiday and I thought it was just magic.” He moved to Margaret River when he was 21 and got a job at weekends at Leeuwin Estate in the cellar door and doing winery tours, a job that ignited his passion for wine. After a few years, he moved to Chateau Xanadu when it was owned by the Lagan family and, with Dr Lagan’s son Connor, who was the viniculturist and
winemaker, they started making different styles of wine to stand out from the crowd. After a couple of years, Brad moved to Hay Shed Hill, then Amberley Estate, then onto Palandri as the production manager when it was being established, (it's now 3 Oceans Winery). “That was a good period of learning, like all of my winery jobs, although Palandri was a desk job and I wanted to do more physical work as well as my own thing.” In 2003, Wine by Brad was launched, sporting funky pop-art labels, which at the time were really different and stood out alongside the more classic designs. “I tried to kill off Brad last year but there was a public outcry!” Brad chuckles. “So we kept it going, renaming the wine The Brad. It’s made under the Amato Vino label, and the pop art labels are gone.” Amato Vino, available for tasting at the Urban Cellar Door at the Margaret River Collaborative in town, is a nod to Brad’s passion for Italian varietals. “I love Italian wines and Italian varietals, and Italy really. Put it this way, if I could choose my own heritage, I’d choose to be Italian,” Brad says. “I love wine too and my drink of choice changes with the seasons. In winter, it’s teroldego, in summer nero d’avola if I feel like red and chardonnay for white. “You could say everything about Margaret River lured me here – it wasn’t just the surf, it was the whole package, including all the little wineries dotted around the place.”
Dylan Arvidson, owner/operator, LS Merchants and chief winemaker Cape Grace Wine Born in New Zealand, and raised in Geelong in Victoria, Dylan Ardivson continued west to Margaret River as a bright-eyed 21-year old after accepting a job offer at Juniper Estate. “I was lucky as I had the choice of two job offers, one in Orange and one in Margaret River – so I thought to myself, desert or surf? And the surf won,” Dylan says. “I was more of a bodyboarder back home. When I moved to Margs I almost drowned during my first surf at Main Break,” says Dylan, who moved to the region 10 years ago. I expressed surprise at this brave decision. “It was September, the surf was absolutely pumping. I was there in just in boardies and paddled out – people thought I was mad but to me it wasn’t cold. “And then I got trounced! I thought there must be something easier to surf than this!” quips Dylan. “I suppose that my love of wine came before surfing,” he says. Dylan, who is the chief winemaker at Cape Grace Wines and owner/operator of LS Merchants, says his drink of choice is chardonnay. “I did the first half of my degree at Charles Sturt University and finished the second half at Curtin University here,” he says.
An incredible trail running journey along the beautiful Cape to Cape coastline.
4 MAY 2019
WA Surf Gallery
Steve James, manager of winemaking and viticulture, Voyager Estate A qualified horticulturist, it was travel that inspired Steve James, 54, to steer his career to wine. It was Margaret River’s outstanding surf breaks that attracted him to make the move to the south west. “I travelled to Margaret River and fell in love with the region. I just love being in the ocean, whether I’m surfing, diving, fishing or on a SUP,” Steve says. “I suppose I had a love of surfing first because I could surf as a kid, whereas my passion for wine was piqued when I backpacked through Europe in my early 20s where I was exposed to some really high-end wine and wineries.” On return from travelling, Steve worked at Stonia Wines in Mornington Peninsula as a vineyard manager for six years before moving to Margaret River some 23 years ago. He worked at Amberley Estate for a couple of years, and then moved to Voyager as a viticulturist in 1998. Twenty years on and Steve’s influence at Voyager is evident as the vineyard moves toward organic certification. “We’ve started on the organic certification pathway and some of our sites are in what they call the ‘in conversion stage’. The pathway should see the whole vineyard certified organic by 2022,” Steve says. “It’s not just the move toward organic; we do a lot to ensure the vineyard is environmentally
Western Australia’s first and only Surf Gallery is located inside Aravina Estate, in the heart of the Margaret River wine region. The joint partnership between Surfing WA and Aravina is a celebration of the state’s surfing history housing an official collection of rare memorabilia that includes surfboards from the 50s, 60s and 70s along with historical photographs from renowned surf photographers such as Ric Chan and Greg Woodward, trophies from the winners of the famous Pipeline, story boards, media articles, magazines and more. // Open every day 10am – 5pm, entry is free.
80KM SOLO 80KM RELAY TEAMS OF 2-5 RUNNERS
sustainable – solar, revegetation, community projects and more. I think there’s a strong link between surfers and the environment in general – those who care for the ocean tend to care about the environment too. We live in a beautiful part of the world and it’s important we protect it.” His passion for wine has stayed strong during his long career and he attributes that to not only a love for what he does, but the camaraderie of others in the industry. “You meet some wonderful people across the whole industry, from visitors to the cellar door to other wine makers and vineyard workers, it’s a friendly industry.You share that common bond and I find it a very enjoyable industry to work in.”
11km From white sandy beaches to tall timber forests Leg 2: 18km Through the incredible Karri tree forests Leg 3: 19km Journey over beaches, bluffs and rocky headlands Leg 4: 20km Along untouched beaches and hinterland trails Leg 5: 12km Up the coast to finish at the brewery! Leg 1:
Active & adventure GET ON YOUR BIKE - IT’S THE PERFECT WAY TO EXPLORE BUSSELTON AND BEYOND.
TOUR de BUSSO BY ANNA PELLEGRIN-HARTLEY. IMAGES ELEMENTS MARGARET RIVER
usselton is brilliant for cycling, and everybody knows that the wines in the south west can’t be beaten. But when was the last time you combined the two? In the spirit of celebrating our region and the gorgeous warm weather, we’ve put together a riding and sipping itinerary suitable for all ages. Clocking in at 36 km, with six stops, three wineries and with a 100m ascent “mountain stage”, it’s a fun day out worthy of any biking champ.
STOP 1: Busselton Jetty Get your gang together, pump your tires, check your brakes and strap on your helmets. Stop one is, of course, the Busselton Jetty, and while you can’t actually ride bikes onto the historic site, it does make a gorgeous background for a group selfie. #BikingBusso. Ready? Let’s go!
STOP 2: Busselton Archery and Family Fun Park Picking up the bike lane on Geographe Bay Road, head west with the ocean on your right, following it all the way to the end, then make your way south till you get to Bussell Highway. Take the highway all the way to the Busselton Archery & Family Fun Park.You’ve just ridden almost 10km, how do you feel? Probably ready for something different, so now you get to choose between a nine-target archery range, mini golf, or, for the more adventurous, a bungee run challenge and the chance to don giant blow-up bubble suits and smash into each other on a grassy field.Yep, that’s actually a thing. Now that you’ve got all that healthful sport out of the way, it’s time to get to your first winery!
STOP 3: Flametree Wines Get out onto Caves Road, then follow it west for 7.4km, turning left at Chain Avenue to find Flametree Winery. Their modern, Hamptonsstyle beach house style cellar door and gallery space is perfect for a tasting, or if you already know what you want, grab a bottle of wine and a platter of tasty bites made with local produce to enjoy on the large deck and grassed area. Periodically breaking into the chorus of Cold Chisel’s classic ‘Flame Trees’ is highly recommended at this point.
STOP 4: Happs Wines Get back onto Caves Road, and continue west (perhaps stopping off to check out the work of master potter, Myles Happ at Happs Pottery and also pick up some of the local raw honey they
RIDE ON Make a day of it and explore the beautiful Margaret River region on a bike. If you need to hire a bike, head to Fat Duck Cycles in Busselton - they also serve killer espresso.
also produce) then turn left onto Quindalup Siding Road, and right onto Mewett for 3.8km. Just after the turn at Commonage Road, you can reward yourself with a quick stop at Simmo’s for an ice cream. In fact, we recommend it because you’ve got a bit of a climb ahead of you, for the last 4.2km “mountain stage” up to Happs Wines.You’ll be glad you did it once once you’re meandering about the Happs Wines cellar door, the pottery gallery (now you know where that work down the road originally came from), tasting room. Take a load off and enjoying a glass of wine in their gardens, perhaps something from their range of their delicious sulphite-free wines.
STOP 5: Palmer Wines Wheee! Pump the brakes as you spin downhill from Happs, (especially if you’ve been sampling
the grape juice), and take Commonage Road for the next 5.6km. At the roundabout, take the third exit to head east on Caves Road, and keep your eyes peeled for Palmer’s on the right, less than a kilometer down the road. After all this riding, you deserve to feast, which means bagging a table at Palmer’s Tuscan-style restaurant, and ordering with gusto from their menu of Aussie-Asian fusion dishes, accompanied of course, with some of their award-winning wines. Cheers! Ride Responsibly: It is illegal in Western Australia to ride a bike without a helmet, or with a blood-alcohol limit of over 0.05.
GOT KIDS IN TOW? Hitch a trailer to their bikes and get them to do the hard work, for once. Just joking. All of the stops are familyfriendly, but depending on their ages and abilities you may wish to start your ride at the Fun Park, or skip the Happs Wine “mountain stage” and head straight from Flametree to Palmer’s.
Active & adventure
OCEAN FITNESS Supping on the clear blue ocean in the Margaret River region is an unforgettable experience, whether you're a novice or an expert.
Board meeting EVER FANCIED TRYING SUPPING? CASSANDRA CHARLICK MEETS LOCAL ‘SUPPERS’ WHO’LL HELP YOU GET UP AND ABOUT ON THE WATER. 82
upping is no longer the new kid on the block…or bay. Unless you have been living under a rock, it’s certain that by now you will have gazed at people spending their Sunday morning standing on a board; paddle in hand. The enthusiasm with which stand up paddle boarders, or ‘suppers’, have been taking to the water is a sign that the sport is in no way weaning in popularity.
The Margaret River region is home to some of the most beautiful spots for supping, whether you are a beginner or a pro. Take your pick from the calm waters of the Blackwood or Margaret rivers, test your sealegs in the sheltered cove at Gnarabup beach, or get set for a full morning of paddling the open water off Dunsborough Bay. Those looking for the ultimate in zen can even test their balance with sup yoga.
Picturesque picks for a paddle • Margaret River Rivermouth • Castle Rock • Busselton foreshore • Augusta foreshore (try near Colourpatch) • Gnarabup beach • Margaret River • Meelup Beach • Dunsborough bay • Blackwood River
Hire a board or join a class Standup Surfing Visit standupsurfing.com.au South West Boast and Bikes Visit southwestwatersports.com.au Meelup Beach Hire and SUP school Visit meelupbeachhire.com SUP 4 Fitness Margaret River Visit sup4fitness.com.au Margaret River SUP – Blackwood river Visit margaretriversup.com.au Yallingup Surf School Visit yallingupsurfschool.com
Craig Fisher and his family have lived in the Margaret River area for over 18 years. After growing up immersed in the beach culture of Western Australia, his life-long affinity with the sport led to the family business: Standup Surfing, where he can share his love of stand up paddle boarding with visitors and locals. “It was a part of how we grew up. I don’t know any different – it was always there as far as I can remember. My
dad joined the Cottesloe Surf Life Saving Club in 1948 when he was 18 and was into surfing right from the start. There were only six surfers on the Perth Coast at that stage!” While it has been gaining popularity in the public area, supping has actually been around for some time. “It’s an ancient form of surfing really. Supping and board-riding has been in the family for over 70 years. It’s just a part of us to be on a board of some description. My father-in-law, Pete was surfing SUP since the early 1950s in the Eastern Cape South Africa.” He's not kidding when he says it's a family business. “It’s pretty unique to have three generations of beach boys working together with the ocean. You would probably only find something of the sort in Hawaii! People experience a living history of beach culture here with us,” says Craig. There is clearly something special about being out on top of the water – that is, unless you topple over! It doesn’t take too long for newbies to get the hang of paddling, though, and Craig is quick to add. “The faces of people that come and visit us say it all. They just love it and it really doesn’t take long to get the basics. The experience we offer people is something I always thought of as normal. Getting out on the water is magic and we have something so special down here at Gnarabup (where the business operates from). Pete, my father in law is hanging around the beach in his 80s telling stories from his past. My kids are helping people access the SUP
lifestyle, even though they are still grommets at school. Being in or on water for me is just an essential part of my daily existence.” It’s not just the enjoyment factor though, supping is, after all, a sport. There are plenty of fitness benefits you will find after a few sessions on the board. That six-pack might not appear overnight, but stand up paddle boarding is excellent for developing core stability and strength. “Because you have to balance on the board, you have to continuously adjust your body weight from one foot to the other. As you pull yourself forward over the paddle, you must balance this force by varying the weight on one foot or the other - this is where applying load on an unbalanced surface comes in. Cross training on unbalanced surfaces trains new neural coordination between muscle groups.” shares Craig. “At 82 years of age Pete is still on a SUP so there’s really proof in the pudding there!” You can of course, choose how much of a workout you are after. A gentle glide on flat water will be very different to a hard-core workout in open water. A different type of ‘on board’ exercise is SUP Yoga. Astrid from Standup Surfing has been on a stand up paddle board for over 10 years and loves it so much she took her yoga practice out on the water. She adds: “The health benefits and simplicity of both make them the perfect match. It is an awesome way to introduce yourself to health and lifestyle activities in one go. The connection with nature, movement and breath will give you a new-found physical confidence and a sense of ease within your own body while allowing you to experience nature’s surroundings leaving you feeling relaxed and happy.” Improved balance, flexibility, fresh air, relaxation AND a six pack. Thank goodness there are a number of spots down south to get on a board and out for a paddle this summer. Pass us the sunscreen – it’s time to hit the water! margaretriver.com
Active & adventure
LEFTTyson Vincent and Grace Richmond
The Spirit of Busselton THE 55TH FESTIVAL OF BUSSELTON HAS A BRAND NEW VIBE. THINK SILENT DISCOS, A BURNING EFFIGY AND SQUID CLINICS. WITH THE TRIED AND TRUE PETTICOAT LANE, FLOAT PARADE, SANDCASTLE COMPETITION AND FESTIVAL CONCERT, THIS IS AN EVENT FOR ABSOLUTELY EVERYONE, RUNNING THROUGHOUT JANUARY. BY JANE HAMMOND. IMAGES RUSSELL BARTON.
EATS, BEATS & BATTLING BANDS Fresh out of high school, Tyson Vincent and Grace Richmond are jumping with excitement about the 55th Festival of Busselton, especially the night that finalists from Battle of the Bands perform to a huge crowd. They’re calling it Eats n Beats, because there’ll be plenty of food to fuel the energy! This is the first time teen favourite Battle of the Bands has collaborated with the festival to stage a massive evening gig in Busselton’s new foreshore amphitheatre. Tyson and Grace, from organisers SHIFT Youth Crew, reckon this will be the strongest battle so far, bringing a new level of performance and involvement to the community. “The last battle was packed out,” says Grace. “People aged from early years to seniors come along, so we expect the same this summer.” During the gig, the team has decided to add a silent disco, which they see as a great way to
involve all ages. DJs can provide a wide variety of music styles, and this is a chance for them to showcase their skills too. Tyson encourages youngsters to get down to Busselton: “The beaches are only a few minutes away. I’d also recommend Dunsborough and Yallingup - a spot called The Aquarium. The swimming around here is fantastic, and there are heaps of live music venues.”
FORESHORE FUN & THE SQUID CLINIC With an ambition to work with young kids, Grace will be getting stuck into the new playground on the foreshore during the festival. Littlies will be also be involved in the sandcastle competition, run by the wonderful Busselton Jetty volunteers. “We had nearly 200 entrants last time,” says volunteer Doreen Bailie.“Families arrive with
ABOVE Petticoat Lane Stall, Leonie Sells, Fairy Leonie’s Crystals (with jewellery) RIGHT (l-r) Volunteers Joan Hutson, Geoff Braden, Ralph Bilsby, Doreen Bailie. BELOW (l-r) Volunteers Teresa Poo, Brian Tolver-Banks, Joan Hutson, Ralph Bilsby.
spades, and I mean garden spades, ready to build sand sculptures of the jetty, sharks, mermaids, all sorts of creations.” New to the jetty during the festival is the Squid Clinic, brainchild of festival coordinator Jill Barton. Jill is palpably excited about the concept, which involves experts from the Department of Primary Industry and Regional Development, Fishability and jetty volunteers telling you all you need to know about these slippery sea animals. It’s a fantastic way to show kids where their crumbed squid rings come from, and overcome squeamishness towards these fascinating creatures.
PETTICOAT LANE An attraction that brings people year after year is Petticoat Lane, inspired by the markets of London with locally made and sourced products. This summer, the festival committee is partnering with the Busselton Chamber of Commerce and Industry to add Taste of the Region Harvest Markets, with the chance to sample premium, locally-made food products, wine and beer. Leonie Sells of Fairy Leonie’s Crystals has run a stall at Petticoat Lane for 17 years, selling crystals and hand-made jewellery. Leonie’s crystal bracelets have various qualities to give people positive energy support. Some are diffusers with essential oils to create a sense of calm, and there are confidence rocks for children to carry to make them feel stronger.
Leonie also creates stunning wire-wrapped crystal necklaces and utilises local products as much as possible. She describes her jewellery as “wearable energy” and never makes the same piece twice. Leonie has seen Petticoat Lane grow enormously, from just a few stalls to over 200 all local artisans and small businesses. “People plan their holidays to coincide with the festival, mostly local holiday makers” she says. “But more and more international visitors are stumbling across it and love it! There’s a special energy about it, with the revived foreshore and jetty bringing a new focal point.”
REVIVING THE SPIRIT Another big attraction is the burning of the ‘Spirit of Busselton’ at the big Festival Concert and Fireworks night on January 19 - an out-of-
the-ordinary experience for festival goers. The tradition was introduced by Vince Triglia, who would create a giant papermache effigy for the float parade, and then set it alight with fireworks on concert night. In later years, the effigy was created by various local artists. “It hasn’t happened here since 2015,” says Jill Barton, “and we’re excited to be bringing it back!” For more information, visit festivalofbusselton.com.au
WHERE TO STAY Families should consider Mandalay Holiday Resort, Amblin Holiday Park or BIG4 Beachlands Holiday Park. For a peaceful escape, try Inn The Tuarts, Martin Fields Beach Retreat, Cape View Beach Resort, Aqua Resort, or Private Properties collection of holiday homes. margaretriver.com
Active & adventure
GUARDIANS of the
Surf lifesavers are an iconic part of the coastal landscape, and as summer kicks in and the beaches fill up, their essential work is more important than ever. By TOM DE SOUZA. Images by ELEMENTS MARGARET RIVER.
he coastline is the Australian continent’s veranda. Literally and figuratively. Some 85 per cent of our total population live within one hour’s drive from the coast, so it’s no wonder the beach and the people who protect it are icons of Australian culture. These are our lifeguards. The concept of lifeguarding is originally Australian. It officially began in 1907 when the government relaxed laws which prohibited daylight bathing on Australian beaches and a series of drownings at Sydney beaches followed. Consequently, volunteer groups of men were trained and patrolled the beaches as lifesavers. These men formed Australia’s first official lifeguard clubs. Today lifeguarding has spread around the world. In Australia’s it’s been popularised through television shows like Bondi Rescue, and while professional lifeguards patrol many of Australia’s beaches, lifeguarding remains mostly voluntary in nature.
One of Yallingup’s first unofficial lifeguards was Pete McDonald. Pete grew up at Perth’s City Beach, and was a lifesaver from an early age, before he started surfing. Pete travelled around the world and found work as a lifeguard in South Africa, before he moved to Yallingup and built a house in the mid 70s. By the 1990s,Yallingup’s few fishing and surfing shacks had expanded to a burgeoning tourist town, and Pete says with the influx of visitors came an increase of incidents down at the notoriously dangerous Rabbit Hill beach. “There were families that would come down to the beach, and you know, fair enough, they don’t know the beach and the lay out of it, so they’d go swimming just off the granny pool. There is a really bad rip that runs off of there, and as soon as they go off that bank they’re getting taken straight out to sea,” Pete says. “I remember one evening I was on the beach and I’d just been for my swim and I saw my eldest
son waving to me from out the back. He was with an old fella, an English guy, who had seen his kids out there and gone for a swim and got dragged out. My son gave me his board, and I went and dragged him in. He was lucky, and he just said ‘I didn’t realise what was happening to me.’” The incidents increased in frequency, and Pete realised something needed to be done before tragedy became a common occurrence. Together with fellow Yallingup resident Dennis Cuthbert, and Yallingup Residents Association president Laurie Sleuter, they lobbied the Busselton Shire for action.
“You know, things were starting to happen as far tourism goes.You’re telling people to come to this beautiful beach, and suddenly, you know, they’re getting sucked out to sea and up the other end. It’s not a good policy,” Pete says. The Busselton Shire teamed up with Surf Life Saving WA, and dispatched two lifeguards – one at Smiths Beach, and one at Yallingup Beach
got their own vehicles. It’s improved a lot over the years. One of the early lifeguards, Matt, he was saying, it’s not about thinking now, it’s about thinking in 10 years time. How many people are going to be here, how many overseas tourists are going to be in the water? And he’s right, it’s totally what’s happened, and we’re lucky to have lifeguards here today,” Pete says.
LIFESAVING DASH Surf lifesavers are an iconic presence - and an eseential one - on many of the sometimes treacherous beaches in the region.
– for the duration of the peak holiday season, and Pete and the Yallingup Residents Association assisted the lifeguards for their inaugural seasons. “Every year, they used to borrow our buggy. We had that for any rescues or beach work, so they used that over the summer. Now they’ve
Today, the lifeguards around Yallingup can be split into two categories. There are the lifesavers – volunteer lifeguards from the Smiths Beach Surf Lifesaving Club who patrol only on Saturdays and Sundays – and the lifeguards, paid professionals provided by SLSWA.
The Smiths Beach Surf Lifesaving Club was founded eight years ago, and it runs the quintessential Nipper lifeguard program for local residents. This is where all lifeguards begin, and it’s an integral part of Australian culture and the community spirit, says SBSLC president,
“Every bottle she makes is a delicious celebration of the joy of wine.” - Toni Patterson MW
Janice McDonald Gourmet Traveller WINE 2018 Winemaker of the Year Margaret River Cellar Door 543 Miamup Road, Cowaramup Open 10am - 5pm daily
Active & adventure YOU HOLD THE RESPONSIBILITY OF PEOPLE'S LIVES IN YOUR HANDS SO YOU DO NEED TO BE CONSTANTLY ON GUARD
Keith Warrick. “It’s is the quintessential Sunday morning really, kids on the beach in their ages groups, learning through sport. The sport is actually born out of techniques and the art of lifesaving, board racing, techniques, all those sorts of things,” he says. “It was born out of the desire from the parent group in the local area to provide a platform to educate kids about the dangers and risks in the ocean. The parents knew the benefit to the kids in the community to have a surf club.” After graduating through the Nippers program, some lifesavers go on to paid lifeguard positions with the state body, Surf Life Saving WA. Many continue to ply their trade around the world, like Will Dwyer. Will is now Operations Supervisor for SLSWA, and this year will be his sixth season patrolling the beaches around the City of Busselton. Will has also spent Northern Hemisphere summers working in England and Denmark, and says Australian lifeguards are highly respected, and ambassadors of our culture. “Shows like Bondi Rescue have helped created this perception of Australian lifeguards,
and a great respect and understanding of what we do,” Will says. “It’s pretty cruisy, most days, but you hold the responsibility of people’s lives in your hands so you do need to constantly be on guard and on the lookout for danger.” Will says natural hazards are the greatest risks around Margaret River beaches, and warned beachgoers to be aware of the conditions and of their own swimming abilities this summer. A lot has changed since the early days of lifeguarding in Western Australia, says Pete McDonald. He remembers the great rivalries between clubbies and surfers, which are notorious in Australian folklore. “The clubbies had sort of more that footballing mentality back then, they were pretty gung-ho. Whereas surfing was more of an individual thing. Back then in the city, there was an area for swimming and an area for surfing, and if you were surfing and you crossed into the swimming area there would be trouble. The culture has changed, it’s nothing like it used to be. “These days, lots of guys surf and lifeguard as well. It’s really come a long way.”
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Art & wellbeing
WAVE RIDERS Photographer Russell Ord (right) is world-renowned and perhaps especially known for his incredible surfing and ocean-based shots.
IMAGE Russell Ord
Corner Stunning places with space to breathe have a history attracting creative types, often inspired by the beauty of their surrounds. In the Margaret River region, this creative spirit is celebrated and nurtured as Dianne Bortoletto discovers.
hat’s striking is the depth and diversity of exceptionally creative people who live in the Margaret River region, from photographers to filmmakers, painters to sculptors, musicians, writers, actors, comedians and more, not to mention the incredibly talented winemakers and chefs who are also creative by nature. Creativity is seen as the region’s next economic driver, the next wave after the success of the dairy industry, surfing, wine and food. The peak body for the creative sector in Western Australia’s south west is Creative Corner Inc. Creative Corner chairperson Marnie McKeown says the organisation’s vision is to foster, develop and grow a robust and sustainable creative industry across the region through support, innovation and advocacy. “We see our role as important in connecting creatives across all disciplines whether that be
music, film and television, photography, digital, technology, and advertising to bring clusters of like-minded people together whether that be purely as a support network or to work collaboratively,” says Marnie, who is also the state director for Fairfax Media. “The aim is to grow the local creative sector and position the south west as an internationally recognised region of excellence in creativity and innovation. “The evolution of technology allows people to live the relaxed lifestyle wherever they like and produce their creative work be it for a local business, a client in Perth, the eastern seaboard or overseas. “The Margaret River region provides a location and lifestyle that is the envy of many and that’s highlighted at each of our events. Many of the visitors are blown away by the lifestyle and capability of the creative people based here. “It’s an incredible region that has so much
IMAGE Russell Ord
in Australia and overseas. He was awarded the 2016 IPA International Sports Photographer Of the Year at the prestigious Lucie Awards and exhibited in Germany at Photokina 2016 and Tokyo Japan 2017 for FujiFilm. His career was highlighted in the documentary One Shot, broadcasted nationally by the ABC in a sevenpart art series and internationally through film festivals and Garage Entertainment. Often on the road or overseas, in the past 12 months Russell’s work taken him to Indonesia, Fiji, Japan and New Zealand, working with major brands and resorts. He also runs workshops on photography and ocean photography that include how to use water housing, water safety, how to get shots with athletes and more. He’s worked with household names including Bernard Fanning, Tom Carroll and Taj Burrow just to name a few. “Living in Margaret River is great and the kids are really happy here. For me the surf is a big bonus as I can surf here more times of the year than anywhere else,” Russell says.
Artist STUART MCMILLAN
variety for visitors as well as lifestyle choices for those living here – town, farm, or a beach lifestyle depending on what inspires and appeals to them the most.” Marnie says that Creative Corner is currently in the stages of planning some exciting projects that will attract both the local community and visitors to the region. Keep an eye on www.thecreativecorner.com. au for more.
Photographer RUSSELL ORD From rugby league player and fireman to award-winning ocean and lifestyle photographer, Russell Ord found his passion through adventure and the discovery of the untouched and unseen wilderness. What he enjoys the most these days is discovering people’s stories and documenting those through photography. Russell’s photography is world-renowned and has been published in magazines and books
Relocating to Margaret River in 1999 for a surfing/working holiday, Stuart McMillan (pictured left) instantly fell in love with the Indian Ocean and surrounding environment. Around this time a more considered and dedicated approach to creating his art began. He expanded on his mostly self-taught repertoire of artistic skills and studied a Certificate III in Contemporary Art & Craft at Margaret River TAFE. This fuelled passion for printmaking, photography, painting and sculpture, pushing him to pursue further art studies that led to a Bachelor of Visual Arts at Edith Cowan University, Mt Lawley. His art tends to examine the human condition, investigating how our external world influences the internal being within a multitude of habitats using a diverse sensory pallet including painting, print-making, sculpture, photography, video and sound installation. This allows his ideas to translate into both traditional and contemporary dialogues. Stuart has had pieces included in Sculpture by the Sea Cottesloe, he’s worked on Cow Parade and, at the time of writing, was working on a commission at Howard Park Wines titled Transience. “I’ve never really stopped making art since I was 16 years old. I consider creation as a daily ritual,” says Stuart, now aged 39. “Having travelled and lived in towns and cities, both interstate and internationally over the past 12 years, Margaret River has drawn me back several times. It really is has the ability to margaretriver.com
Art & wellbeing recharge the soul and I feel it is my home now. “I fell in love with the rawness of the Indian Ocean, rugged coastline, leading into dense bush and forests. There is something unique about the air, and energy of this place that invigorates the creative spirit. “I also love the fact that there's such a great community of creatives live here that supports each other, from film makers, photographers, musicians, sculptors, painters, writers, potters, weavers, you name it, Margaret River’s got it.”
Musician NOAH SHILKEN Musician, producer, composer/songwriter, recording artist, arranger, music supervisor and talented multi-instrumentalist Noah Shilkin has a CV that’s as long as it is impressive. He has worked with renowned artists like AC/DC, Alanis Morrisette and Bryan Adams, and once worked as a songwriter and keyboardist for Australia’s legendary cult band, the Mother Goose. Furthermore, he has composed for Chevrolet, Nike, General Motors and Calvin
Klein. He’s the vice president of the WAM, WA’s state music organisation. Noah’s song-writing catalogue features over 300 songs and he has also delivered more than 3,000 live performances in Australia, Europe and North America and continues to play to his ever-growing fan base. A lifelong commitment to and passion for music has seen Noah contribute as an advisor to the global music industry while enhancing the careers of numerous emerging artists. Settling in Margaret River, Noah created music company Lolly Box Music that connects
It's doable to be a creative and live in Margaret River, a place that's so beautiful, safe, calm and inspiring . . . musicians with those wanting to buy music, curates and creates music for films and television and manages talent. Noah was in the middle of sound check at the WA Music Awards when I chatted with him. “We have a fantastic lifestyle in Margaret River, but that’s not to say it doesn’t have its challenges,” Noah says. “The internet has seen us come a long way so we’re able to participate globally. It’s doable to be a creative and live in Margaret River, a place that is so beautiful, safe, calm and inspiring. As a result, you can do fabulous work. “For a population of its size, it really punches above its weight and offers incredible facilities – just look at the world-class skatepark and the upgrades to the cultural centre for example.”
SHINING STAR Noah Shilken (left and above) is a multi-talented musician, songwriter and performer, having worked with AC/DC, Alanis Morrisette and others. Opposite, Transience by Stuart McMillan.
Getting there is half the fun Kick back, relax and explore the scenic Margaret River region on one of our luxury road coaches. Leave your car at home and enjoy WA’s stunning South West with Transwa instead. You get to unwind and enjoy the scenery while we do the driving. Our five-star road coaches are fully accessible and air conditioned, with on board entertainment, USB ports and toilet facilities. We travel between Margaret River and Perth 12 times a week, and offer a variety of concession discounts. Plan your journey by visiting transwa.wa.gov.au or call 1300 662 205.
Bringing WA closer
Art & wellbeing
Travel Therapy We all love to get away from our regular lives every now and then, and the health benefits are invaluable. By CASSANDRA CHARLICK.
“Travel makes one modest. You see what a tiny place you occupy in the world.”
hether you prefer to rough it under the stars in a swag, luxuriate in triple-count Egyptian sheets or cruise around in a top-of-the-range RV, there is no question: travel is addictive. The irony though? It is not until we actually make the time to get away that we realise how much we actually needed to journey further than the school pick-up. Chances are, if you are reading this magazine then you are either a) travelling b) dreaming of travelling c) reflecting on recent travels. Or perhaps you are just lucky enough to live in the Margaret River region. Either way, it’s likely that the magic of travel has already been awakened in you, but did you know that there are plenty of proven health benefits to taking a break – especially in this part of the world?
Or, in this day and age, to have seen it on a thousand Instagram accounts. There are no shortage of natural wonders in the south west and a photograph doesn’t do them justice. Think of the stillness in the crystalline beauty of Lake Cave, the peaceful turquoise waters of Meelup Beach or the awesome waterspouts from one of the 30,000 or so humpback whales that make their annual migration up the coast each year. Pictures can provide inspiration, but the real memories lie in experiencing these with your own eyes.
“Better to see something once than hear about it a thousand times” - Asian Proverb
You can choose to take this quote literally – there are plenty of options to get onto the water down
“Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things that you didn’t do than by the ones you did do. So throw off the bowlines. Sail away from the safe harbour. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover.” ~ Mark Twain
here – or let the words swirl around your head a little more deeply. Explore. Dream. Discover.Think outside the box and you will see there are so many explorations to be had, no matter how many times you have driven down Bussell Highway. Pull on your boots and explore hiking trails, dive under the waves or strap on a bike helmet.There’s much more to explore than the physical, though. Lead the adventure with a sensory exploration and leave your holiday with enhanced levels of creativity. Wine tasting, art galleries, and sampling local produce all get the grey matter working. Numerous studies have lead researchers to believe that travel enhances creativity as neural pathways are influenced by new environments and experiences. It’s no wonder that there are hundreds of artists that call the region home. “Travel makes one modest. You see what a tiny place you occupy in the world.” ~ Gustav Flaubert
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“Better to see something once than hear about it a thousand times."
Perspective. It’s so easy to lose sight of the bigger picture when the kids need feeding, the dog has eaten the new carpet and the dinner is bubbling over. There are over 7.7 billion people, three trillion trees and 326 million trillion gallons of water on this planet. A planet which is 4.54 billion years old. Sometimes though, it takes a change of scene to remember that we aren’t the centre of the universe! Travel helps increase self-awareness and reminds us to live in the moment. There are a host of yoga and meditation classes available in the region to help with your self-discovery, check out the box (left) for the option that gets your flow going. “Take only memories, leave only footprints.” ~ Chief Seattle
Around 55 per cent of the world’s population are city dwellers. Concrete jungles may be full of creature comforts and fun ways to spend the salary, but humans need an injection of mother nature to thrive. The Japanese concept of Shinrin-Yoku, or ‘forest bathing’, is a key feature of Japanese medicine. It’s a simple yet incredibly effective way to restore the body and mind from daily life stresses – and there are PLENTY of forests to choose from in Margaret River! Scientifically proven benefits include reduced stress, reduced blood pressure, a boosted immune system, improved sleep and improved mood. Head under the canopy of Boronup forest or try following trails for some leaf-powered zen. As Hans Christian Andersen said ‘to travel is to live’.
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Art & wellbeing
TOWNSHIP TWO-STEP Margaret River is undergoing a major revitalisation. Dianne Bortoletto explains the reason for the works around town.
Images by ELEMENTS MARGARET RIVER
here are three major infrastructure projects underway in and around Margaret River: the Perimeter Road Project, the Margaret River Main Street Redevelopment Project and the Cultural Centre redevelopment project. It’s good news and set to make Margaret River even more vibrant and pedestrian friendly, creating a central community hub and space for events while beautifying the
town centre. You might have noticed some changes to the road as you drive into Margaret River from Perth. The new 7km Margaret River Perimeter Road, due to open before Christmas, will bypass the town to provide an alternative route for heavy vehicles which, in turn will reduce congestion, enhance safety and increase the ambience in the centre of town.
In the centre of town, traffic flow is expected to improve and the speed limit will be reduced. What this does is create the ability to introduce some new infrastructure in town with plans to include a cycle lane, al fresco dining areas, beautiful landscaping, street furniture, mood lighting, public art works, wider footpaths and additional pedestrian crossing points. The most dramatic change is the creation of a pedestrianised town square on Fearn Ave with the street changed to one-way between Bussell Highway and Charles W Avenue, the road between Riversmith Café and Acton Real Estate. Along with public art, it will include seating, a drinking fountain, bike racks, plants and trees. It’ll also offer a flexible space with access to power that can be used for events, shows, marquees, markets and the like. There will be two new roundabouts along the main street, a peanut or dog bone shaped roundabout on the junction of Bussell Highway and Turnbridge Road, with the second at the junction of Bussell Highway and Wallcliffe Road. I can’t wait for these - it can take ages to turn right from either of these intersections when traffic is thick. There’ll also be a huge roundabout at the northern end of town that connects the
new Perimeter Road will Bussell Highway. The Margaret River Main Street Redevelopment Project sprang from the 2011 Royalties for Regions, Regional Centres Development Plan (SuperTowns) program which was established to assist regional Western Australian towns prepare for a projected doubling of the state’s population by 2056. As it stands, the Augusta Margaret River Shire population is expected to increase to around 17,500 in 2026; the 2016 Census states the population is 14,000. The construction for the Main Street Redevelopment Project will start in February. The unexciting but essential underground services will be tackled first and upgraded, with the intention of having them completed before there’s a temporary shut down of the works during the winter months. The above ground works will recommence in September and proceed through to completion, which is anticipated for February 2020. The Margaret River Cultural Centre is also undergoing a major revamp. Known as the Hub of Entertainment, Arts and Regional Tourism project (HEART), it will create a multi-purpose, highly flexible entertainment and business events complex and involves a major redevelopment of the 35-year-old Margaret River Cultural Centre and the adjoining 39-year-old squash court and basketball facilities. The HEART project will expand and refurbish these ageing facilities into a multipurpose conference, meetings, performance, exhibition and events venue and include space for dance classes, cabarets, presentations, exhibitions, dinners and other functions. The two areas will be joined by a new foyer ideal for pre- and post-event functions with a modern commercial kitchen and bar service. The adjacent indoor basketball court will be accessible from the foyer for major exhibitions such as the annual Margaret River Agricultural Show held each October. State-of-the-art facilities will also enable satellite events to be held alongside major events such as the Margaret River Pro,
Cinéfest Oz, Emergence Creative Festival, the Readers and Writers Festival and the Margaret River Gourmet Escape, as well as attracting new stand-alone initiatives. The HEART project will support the growth of creative industries by providing a high amenity multipurpose performance and meeting venue. Adjacent to the HEART project is the epic skate park, the Margaret River Youth Precinct that was opened in June after a $2.4 million redevelopment. The upgrade included an international standard competition-level bowl and the
retention of the existing skate park. Its aim is to create a hub for young people in the community of all ages and levels of abilities to interact and socialise while improving their skills at skateboarding, scooter riding and BMXing. The major works underway will make Margaret River a safer, more inviting place to visit, stay, live, meet friends new and old and simply enjoy while ultimately contributing to both the social and economic vitality of the beating heart of the world’s most unique wine region. Visit margaretiver.com for updates.
ALL CHANGE Margaret River town is experiencing some big changes, making it an even more wonderful part of the world to live and visit. Below, the competitionlevel skate park attracts young and old.
Art & wellbeing
njoy a coffee or organic tea in the sundrenched courtyard that’s brimming with local indoor plants. Sit by the rock waterfall and immerse yourself in this tranquil space that showcases an eclectic range of produce by local purveyors. Browse the one-off clothing and furniture designs, select a floral installation, dried floral arrangement or macramé wall hanging and complete your experience with a wine tasting at Margaret River’s first urban cellar door. But the best thing of all? All this is achievable at one address: the Margaret River Collaborative. This shared retail space is the brainchild of Francine Davies, who believed Margaret River was missing an outlet that allowed visitors to capture and take home unique memories of the south west. With a solid background in the food and wine sector, Francine researched several small producers from the region who she thought would benefit from the Collaborative. She then drew on her expertise and palate to select a broad cross-section
If you have a penchant for good coffee, natural wines, artisanal chocolates, locally crafted furniture and homewares, then it’s time to check out the Margaret River Collaborative. By DANIELLE COSTLEY Images by JASMINE ANN GARDINER
of purveyors in a variety of industries. “I have travelled extensively and when I visit places I want unique keepsakes of my journeys,” Francine explains. “I am also interested in the person behind the product and want to understand how it is made. I don’t want a mug that is made in China; yet emblazoned with the words ‘New York’. “This collaborative allows me to bring you the people, their products and their stories in an
environment that gives them access to a larger audience,” she says. “Our region is filled with vibrant and creative craftspeople and this selection of handcrafted goods celebrates its diversity.” This shared retail space is a melting pot of locally crafted influences, with purveyors changing throughout the year. Currently, you will find Badger & Frankie Espresso Bar, Amato Vino Cellar Door,Vodim Fashions, Folia Plant Studio, The Herbal Emporium, Bloomsmith, The Everlasting Posy Company, Anna Rose Designs and Made by Lucy. It is late morning when I arrive, in desperate need of a coffee and some blissful rays of sunshine. Francine expertly makes me a long macchiato and ushers me into the courtyard. I listen to the trickle of the waterfall and, ensconced by the green foliage, I feel inspired to create my own green haven at home. As my caffeine fix is satiated, Francine informs me the coffee beans are sourced from the Margaret River Roasting Company. There are
TREASURE TROVE Margaret River Collaborative is a wonderful addition to the high street, with its eclectic collection of locally-produced gifts, wines, and a cafe to boot.
DISCOVER THE ULTIMATE OLIVE OIL EXPERIENCE
SOAP | GOURMET FOOD | SKIN CARE | WORKSHOPS
also some quick food options for breakfast and lunch, such as teas, cheeses, crackers, Bahen & Co. chocolate, take-home meals and honey sourced from nearby forests. All made locally, of course. I spend the next hour exploring the troves of artisanal products. The fashion range embraces the slow clothing movement, with each piece created to withstand the test of time as fashion changes. â€œWe live in a fast fashion world where we tend to shop for now and then discard items as they are no longer in trend. This approach is not only costly to the consumer but also has a big impact on the environment,â€? explains Francine as she deftly steers me towards the cellar door. Happily, I check my watch and realise it is past midday and time for a vino. Amato Vino winemaker Brad Wehr is on hand to guide me through an impressive tasting line-up of small-batch wines. I opt for the lesser known varieties such as teroldego and slankamenka bela, both of which have a strong European influence. And they taste great with a cheeseboard from Yallingup Cheese Company. It is hard to resist the culinary temptations before me. I leave with some gluten-free granola, a chicken curry, a bottle of Nebbiolo and a pleasant caffeine buzz. Step inside and discover this special place for yourself. Maybe even take a piece of Margaret River home with you. Margaret River Collaborative,91 Bussell Highway, Margaret River.
SOAP FACTORY & WORKSHOPS 135 Puzey Road, Wilyabrup WA | Ph. (08) 9755 6111
Open daily (bookings essential for workshops) margaretriver.com | SUMMER 2018 www.vassevirgin.com.au
Art & wellbeing
Summer holidays bring with them something very precious - time. This is when you can get stuck into a good novel over coffee, flip pages while sipping a glass of wine, and find new stories to read to the kids. By JANE HAMMOND. Images by BIANCA TURRI.
Summer page-turners THE BEAUTY OF A BOOK CAFE There’s something about the combination of coffee and books that works. Riversmith’s Karen Macdonald believes it has a lot to do with relaxation. Karen embraced the book cafe concept when she visited New York. After returning to Perth, she set up the Swanbourne Bookcaffe and South Perth Bookcaffe before selling up and moving to Margaret River to open Riversmith in 2015. This corner cafe has become a brekkie/ brunch hub with a small selection of carefully curated books. Other than the Riversmith deck, with its relaxed vibe for whiling away the morning, Karen recommends heading along the river up to the waterfalls for a peaceful read, or finding a quiet spot in Boranup Forest. Karen finds that readers look for recommendations from people like themselves, who appreciate good writing: “People need an easy read when they’re on holiday, nothing too ‘heavy’, but they also want quality. Choosing
from a curated collection appeals because it’s less overwhelming. Did you know that 2,000 new titles are released into independent bookshops each month?” Karen includes good reads, classic Australian children’s books, and several foodie and cook books in the selection. Riversmith also sells Australian made gifts and local produce, including olive oil and lamb from the family farm, and hosts workshops, book launches and festival events.
BROWSE THE BOOKSHELVES As former operations director of the Perth Festival, Karen has been pleased to see the annual Margaret River Readers and Writers Festival turn the town into a prized destination for authors and readers. Partner to the festival is Margaret River BookShop, which Karen highly recommends if you want a wide range of books. BookShop proprietor Pauline McLeod agrees
that readers love holidays. “Most people have very busy lives and struggle to find the time for book shopping. On holiday, they get the chance to come and hang out, relax and browse through the shelves.” Pauline is seeing a strong growth in demand for children’s books and says around 70 per cent of BookShop customers are visitors to the region. “It’s wonderful to see families come into the bookshop and set themselves up for a holiday of reading. We stock great holiday fiction, biographies, and a big selection of non-fiction. Visitors love to take home a memento of the region, particularly books about Australian flora and fauna,” she says. Margaret River BookShop releases a summer reading guide each year, listing the top books stocked by independent bookshops. This summer’s list includes new novels by Markus Zusak, Jane Harper, Holly Throsby, Rosalie Ham and Tom Keneally, international fiction
by Barbara Kingsolver, William Boyd, Haruki Murakami and Kate Atkinson, and a couple of guaranteed non-fiction hits: Any Ordinary Day by Leigh Sales and Speaking Up by Gillian Triggs, and Artists of the Margaret River Region by Gabi Mills and Carmen Jenner.
READ AND SWAP Meanwhile in Busselton, alongside two great bookshops,Viva Books and Barefoot Books, is the second-hand variety, Busselton Books. Proprietor Ruthe Martin says her customers
relish the time to read while on holiday. “Many of us fall asleep at night after just a few pages. On holiday, you can take your time and read a couple of books or three.” She naturally recommends heading for a second-hand bookshop, where you can grab a few for the same price as one new book. “When you finish them, just pop them back to exchange for more! And they don’t have to take up space in your suitcase.” Ruthe says Busselton has always been the perfect place to do the things you don’t normally have time to do: “Go and explore, and when you’re ready to relax, wind down with a book on one of our beautiful beaches, or chilling on your verandah as the world goes by.”
WHERE TO STAY & BUY YOUR WINE Peaceful spots in the region include Forest Rise Chalets & Lodge, Margaret River Hideaway, Redgate Forest Retreat and Private Properties homes. Karen Macdonald also recommends Townhouse Margaret River, Karridale Cottages and Burnside Organic Farm, which doubles as a winery. Other must-visit cellar doors include Evans & Tate,Vasse Felix, Passel Estate, Fraser Gallop Estate, Clairault Streicker Wines, Brookwood Estate, Howard Park & MadFish Wines, Snake + Herring and Voyager Estate. A GOOD READ Pick up a book while you're in the region, either as a reminder of your stay or a companion while you relax.
Art & wellbeing Visiting an art gallery in the Margaret River region is one of the great treats of any visit to the south west. Reeva Cutting and Gabi Mills explore five of the best. Images by BIANCA TURRI.
Crucibles of creativity Margaret River Art Gallery If you’re an avid art lover, you can’t miss a visit to Margaret River Art Gallery. Officially opened in 1988, it’s the oldest gallery in the region. Today it’s owned by Salli Coppin and
Pascal Camison, who breathed new life into the business in 2014, including a move to a new space, just off Charles W Avenue. The pair have seen many artists come and go, but there are always those who stand the test of time. Salli thinks it’s partly because the notion of
being an artist these days is more accepted than perhaps it was in the past. But it remains a career path that isn’t for the faint of heart and only those who truly have genuine talent and passion will stick it through. Similarly, despite the amount of pop-up exhibitions and venues there are today, Salli strongly believes there will always be a need for galleries like theirs. “Art galleries educate people, show works relative to the times and are ongoing spaces and we are always open to the public - not a pop-up or a space only open for two weeks a year,” she says. Many people choose to experience art online
BEAUTY FOR SALE Margaret River Art Gallery is a strong advocate for the artists it represents. Above, JahRoc's Davide Paris and Gary Bennett create award-winning furniture.
instead of in person, and this is a constant challenge for galleries worldwide. “Currently I find social media saturates people’s minds with art imagery- but it's not the same as viewing the art LIVE or visiting a gallery," says Salli. "Viewing art online may give people a quick fix, a belief that they have been engaged but I believe you can only really understand an artwork and be engaged, by standing in front of it and spending real time with it up close.” Visit Margaret River Art Gallery, Shop 4 ,1 Charles West Avenue, Margaret River, and catch the upcoming Christmas exhibition, featuring landscape painter Christopher Lees, local photographer Martine
Perret and sculptor Jason Woolridge (from Dec 27). Visit margaretrivergallery.com.au
The Studio Gallery & Bistro If you're looking for somewhere where great food and art come together, head to The Studio Gallery & Bistro. Set in the heart of the Margaret River region, just off Caves Road, it combines local food and art to create one of the leading arts venues in the south west. Owners Sandy and Steve Tippett (Sandy runs the gallery and Steve the restaurant) have owned this slice of arty heaven for almost four years and
have seen the area transform into a bona fide tourist destination for lovers of food, wine, and art. The Studio Gallery & Bistro is deeply involved in the local community and local tourism, getting involved with events like Cinefest Oz and Jazz by the Bay. They regularly host lunches and dinners with musicians, artists, and actors, allowing you to get up close and personal with some of the talented individuals gracing the buzzing Australian arts scene. Purpose-built as a restaurant and gallery eight years ago, it’s a venue that allows you to experience continental-style cuisine while surrounded by local WA and Australian art, with paintings adorning the bistro walls and sculptures scattered throughout the garden. Sometimes people come for the art and stay for the food; others come for the food and stay for the art, exploring the gallery between courses. “It’s just the perfect place for everyone to relax and enjoy and just soak up” says Sandy. “We love to support local as much as we can. We have local, we have West Australian and we also have interstate artists here… through from emerging to professional artists.” The Studio Gallery & Bistro, 7 Marrinup Drive, Yallingup. Upcoming exhibitions include the very collectible Perth artist Jacinda Bayne (16 Nov to 9 Dec) and a Christmas exhibition featuring six artists and two sculptors (15 Dec to 2 Jan).Visit thestudiogallery.com.au
JahRoc Furniture and Galleries When you think of contemporary Australian furniture designers, you might not expect to find one in Margaret River. But for lovers of fine furniture, JahRoc Galleries is something of margaretriver.com
Art & wellbeing
a must-visit. Set on the main strip of Margaret River, it has a range of unique Australian hardwood furniture, all custom-made. The work is designed and crafted by local designer Gary Bennett and business partner (and brother-in-law) David Paris. What started in Gary’s backyard shed in Scarborough in 1987, has now transformed into the world renowned JahRoc Fine Furniture. Through sheer hard work, passion and a deep-seated belief in what they were doing, David and Gary have forged a reputation as the most highly awarded furniture designers in Australia, winning over 50 awards in 30 years. By scouring the environment for natural materials such as salvaged logs from the forest floor, Gary and Dave look for unusually shaped burl woods, and rare single slab timbers to create their highly collectable furniture. “I’ve been inspired by different things. Nature is a big thing. Living down here - the surf, and the forest and the rock formations, all of that has been a huge inspiration to the designs” says Gary. “Even though early designs were rudimentary, from day one I tried to create work that was different.We’ve tried to stay away from being led by European design. Our desire is to create work that has a sense of place, that connects our pieces to the land and sea scapes that we live and work in.” Timber, stone and metal are artfully combined to create furniture that serves a purpose but also demands your attention. Not only do JahRoc create their own furniture, as artworks, they also showcase some of the most diverse Australian contemporary art in their gallery. From paintings and sculptures, to ceramics and jewellery, JahRoc Galleries is committed to exhibiting excellence across all genres of fine art. JahRoc Furniture and Galleries, 83 Bussell Hwy, Margaret River. Don’t miss the upcoming exhibition, Allure, by artist Wendy Arnold (27 Dec to 20 Jan). Visit jahroc.com.au
Happs Estate Gallery Happs pottery began in Vasse in the early 1970s and the current workshop and gallery located attheir Dunsborough Cellar Door has welcomed visitors since 1978. It was originally built as the workshop of Erl and Ros Happ and hosted local artists, family and many interested friends. Clay and glaze materials were processed on site and a large, sooty, two-chamber trolley kiln fired with diesel oil was at the heart of it all. “In those days we divided our time between the pottery, the vineyard and the winery, according to the season,” says Erl.
POSITIVE GENIUS Opposite, arguably the region's most lauded furniture maker, John Streater, has seen his works collected all around the world. Right, Sandy Tippett has created a gorgeous art-filled space at The Studio Gallery in Yallingup. This page, top, make time to visit Happs Estate Gallery and pick up a hand-made work of art made by a local artisan.
Erl’s direct involvement as a potter lessened with his increasing attention on wine production, however the now Happs Estate Gallery has remained a showcase of beautiful creations, while Erl retains his vision of a working pottery and gallery by hosting a steady stream of artists who work on site. The goal is to provide visitors with a ‘behind the scenes’ glimpse into the creative process and the hard work that goes into it. There are many opportunities to participate via the range of creative workshops on offer; from getting behind the potter’s wheel, to encaustic methods (painting with pigmented wax) and various painting classes in acrylic and oils. The gallery also offers children’s pottery classes and one-on-one tutorials during certain months of the year. Potters Gary Hambelton, Japneet Keith, Kim Potter and Karen Younger can often be seen working at the back of the gallery, delighting customers with demonstrations at the wheel or
hand-building. Other artists who are a consistent presence at work at Happs are Sue Hood (painter), Colin Pratt (encaustic), Justin Webb (metal sculptor), Mandy Evans (painter and sculptor) and Heidi Mullender (painter). Happs Estate Gallery is also a keen and longterm participant in the hugely popular annual Open Studios event every April. Happs Estate Gallery, 575 Commonage Road, Dunsborough is open every day from 10am to 5pm. It’s closed on Christmas Day, Boxing Day, Good Friday and from 10am to noon on Anzac Day.Visit happs.com.au
John Streater Fine Furniture Gallery Aiming to create unique furniture that reflects both his Australian heritage and the surrounding environment is something artist and craftsman John Streater does effortlessly. And nowhere is this better reflected than in his Yallingup gallery. An astonishingly talented craftsman, John has been
HAPPS WINES 40 wines on tasting
Picnics & platters to share Watch Artists at work making world-class furniture, collected and soughtafter by his legion of art-loving fans, for many years. John Streater Fine Furniture was founded in 1988, with John establishing an impressive reputation for creating astonishingly well-made pieces of furniture from the get-go. His iconic Cone Table - of which only five were ever made, making them now highly desirable collector's items - helped him become internationally established as one of the leading makers of fine furniture. An early love of antiques formed the genesis of John's thoughtful approach to creating furniture that lasts the test of time. “Our lives would be pretty mundane without beautiful pieces of timber in our homes and the work I create carries on this rich tradition.” In his Yallingup gallery you’ll find a treasure trove of bespoke hardwood tables, desks and sideboards.You’ll also find works from emerging and renowned artists including paintings, wood
turning and hand-blown glass art. Listening to him talk about our natural resources like jarrah and marri, and how he can imagine his furniture in his mind, almost in a meditative state, you truly get the feeling that this is a man who never works a day in his life, that creating is such a pleasure. He has no intentions of stopping working despite being of the age that many Australians are winding down their careers. John's clients include a prominent Western Australians to international clients, including a woman from Chicago who declared she had spent the last 30 years travelling the globe, and had never encountered anything like his work. Labelled a 'positive genius' by a newspaper article in the early 90s, John lives up to this moniker every day. "I'm really lucky human being that I actually discovered something that I love doing," he says. John Streater Fine Furniture Gallery,105 Blythe Road,Yallingup Siding.Visit streaterfinefurniture.com
Explore the garden
Rustic - Warm - Relaxed Visit us @ 575 Commonage Road Dunsborough or www.happs.com.au
Art & wellbeing
JOIN IN THE FUN THIS MARCH WITH BUNURU, A FAMILYFRIENDLY FESTIVAL CELEBRATING LOCAL CULTURE AND COMMUNITY. BY JANINE PITTAWAY IMAGES BY DOUBLE M PHOTOGRAPHICS
he period of February to March is known in the Aboriginal Noongar seasonal calendar as Bunuru - the hottest of the six seasons, the fruiting season, and often called the second summer. This March, Bunuru will also be the name and theme of a free family festival, organised by the Undalup Association, a dedicated committee of volunteers working together to create community events and projects, promoting harmony, participation, awareness and respect. Undalup is the Wadandi word for Busselton, named after the great warrior Undal. Vice chairperson Rachelle Cousins said the committee was excited about bringing back the festival to Margaret River, the heart of Wadandi Boodja – the country of the Wadandi people who are the traditional owners of this part of south west Western Australia. “We brought the festival to Margaret River for the first time in January 2018 and it celebrated Birak, the first of the two summer seasons. “We received great feedback from last year’s festival, described by one local parent as one of the best family festivals they had been to,” she said. “Our next festival, which will be on 16 March, celebrates Bunuru, and sharing Wadandi culture, breaking down barriers through music,
creativity and food.” This year the festival will be held at Riflebutts Reserve in Prevelly, close to Gnarabup Beach in Margaret River. “This is the perfect location for the festival as it’s a meeting place between land and sea, connecting us with Wadandi Boodja. Margaret River is the heart of Wadandi country,” says Rachelle.
Wadandi country reaches from Bunbury to Cape Leeuwin, along the coast of Geographe Bay and includes the vicinity of Nannup and Busselton. If you or your family haven’t had the opportunity to experience or connect with Aboriginal culture or music, or feel the power of connection with place and country, this Festival will provide a perfect introduction. Rachelle said the Bunuru festival was designed particularly with children in mind. It’s smoke and alcohol free and has a packed program of workshops and entertainment, and great food. “We love our tucker!” she said. “Children are like sponges, they absorb so much. They participated in all of the hands-on activities at our last festival, and were still dancing their hearts out to the live music at 9.30pm! If you can entertain the kids then the parents are happy too.” Entertainment will feature popular Indigenous alt-rock band,The Struggling Kings, and organisers are pleased to have singer and rapper Shannon Hart-Cole return to perform. Shannon was the youth ambassador at the Birak Festival where he made his stage debut and his career has gone on leaps and bounds since then. Leanne Taylor will again provide cultural weaving workshops which were hugely popular at the previous festival. This year she has been teaching weaving in schools and community groups around the south west. Drumming workshops will be featured at the festival, along with some hip hop dance and rap workshops. “We’re really inclusive and welcome everyone. It’s about sharing and participating, experiencing and learning and creating connections through rhythm, dance and music. Events like these help people to feel like they
belong somewhere. “As our chairman Wadandi cultural custodian Iszaac Webb often says, ‘without unity you don’t always get community’. That’s what this festival is all about.” The Bunuru Festival is an Act-BelongCommit event, promoting the mental health
message for the whole community. Undalup also partners with Mentally Healthy WA and works closely with the Shire of Augusta Margaret River. Festival activities start at 1pm continuing through to 10pm. Check the Undalup website (undalup.com) and Facebook page closer to the day for updates.
The Undalup Association stages many events, workshops and projects throughout the year celebrating and encouraging cultural awareness, cultural heritage, dance and music, art, education, mental health and harmony.They are an active and passionate membership-based organisation at the forefront of reconciliation in our community.
THE SIX-SEASON CALENDAR
he Wadandi people are the Saltwater People and they live by the six seasonal changes in harmony with their environment. The seasonal changes are represented not by dates in a calendar, but by changes occurring in nature - such as the flowering of different plants, the hibernation of reptiles, and plant and animal fertility cycles. The seasons told the traditional Wadandi people which animal and plant resources were plentiful at those times. They knew when it was the season for harvesting by signs in nature. BIRAK (December-January) Dry and hot. Also known as Season of the Young. BUNURU (February-March) The hottest part of the year. Also known as Season of Adolescence. DJERAN (April-May) Cooler weather begins. Also known as Season of Adulthood. MAKURU (June-July) Coldest and wettest time of the year; more frequent gales and storms. Also known as Fertility Season. DJILBA (August-September) Mixture of wet days with increasing number of clear, cold nights and pleasant warmer days. Also known as Season of Conception. KAMBARANG (October-November) Longer dry periods. Also known as Season of Birth.
ABBEY BEACH RESORT LUXURY HOTEL AND APARTMENT ACCOMMODATION IN A RESORT SETTING, LOCATED ON THE BEACH IN BUSSELTON Enjoy fully serviced, self contained apartments and studios, each with a private double spa and balcony. Abbey Beach Resort is a 4.5 star leisure resort with countless facilities and amenities. The Resort has an atrium restaurant, pool side café, several bars, a 25 metre indoor heated swimming pool, 2
outdoor pools, tennis and squash courts, spa, gym and sauna for your enjoyment. Stroll to the beach, tour wineries, art galleries and many other local attractions. For a holiday or short break you are assured of comfort and style at Abbey Beach Resort
595 Bussell Highway, Busselton WA Freecall 1800 017 097 • Ph 61 8 9755 4600 • email@example.com www.abbeybeach.com.au
DUNSBOROUGH CENTRAL MOTEL
GETTING AROUND THE REGION TRANS WA Trans WA19 travels from Perth to Margaret River every Monday, Wednesday and Friday and returns to Perth the same day. Visit wa-getaway.com.au
MARGARET RIVER RENT A CAR Hire a car or people mover from Margaret River – all you need is a valid driver’s licence. Visit margaretriverrentacar.com.au
BUSSELTON & SOUTH WEST RENT A CAR Busselton & South West Rent a Car is a local, family-owned car rental company. Visit busseltonswrentacar.com.au
AVIS SOUTHWEST CAR HIRE Explore the beautiful Margaret River region with a rental from Avis Southwest Car Hire in Busselton. Visit avis.com.au
YOUR MARGARET RIVER REGION APP The latest version of the Your Margaret River Region app features more than 1,000 things to do, as well as service points located throughout the region. The app also features an audio tour of the Busselton Jetty. Search for attractions, activities and tours, wineries, restaurants, breweries and cafes as well as accommodation options. Visit margaretriver/mobile-app
DUNSBOROUGH CENTRAL MOTEL IS NESTLED IN A TRANQUIL GARDEN SETTING IN THE HEART OF TOWN Dunsborough Central Motel is ideally located on the doorstep of world renowned beaches, dive sites, premium wineries, art galleries, wildflowers, caves and the incredible coastal scenery of Cape Naturaliste. Just a 600 metre stroll to the beach or a short drive to surf beaches, the Dunsborough
50 Dunn Bay Road, Dunsborough WA Ph 08 9756 7711 • firstname.lastname@example.org www.dunsboroughmotel.com.au
Central Motel is adjacent to restaurants and cafes, wine bars, supermarket shopping centre, beauticians, banks and a very well informed Visitor Centre. Simply relax in style by our outdoor pool and BBQ area, indulge in the Bali Style Gazebo Spa, or just kick back with a good book and a glass of wine in the privacy of your well appointed room.
Affordable Dog-Friendly Range of Quality Accommodation and Camping Sites in Busselton. Tel: 9755 4082 585 Caves Road, Busselton
R O F Y D A E GET R
E T A M I T L THE U
E R U T N ADVE ON T L E S S U IN B
ADRENALINE FILLED HIGH ROPE ADVENTURE PARK FOR THE WHOLE FAMILY
(08) 9780 5908
FOREST ADVENTURES SOUTH WEST
W W W. F O R E S TA D V E N T U R E S . C O M . A U
FOOD & DRINK
DUNSBOROUGH INN BACKPACKERS
SUNFLOWERS ANIMAL FARM & FARMSTAY
Nestled by the forest in the centre of Margaret River
SUPERIOR BUDGET ACCOMMODATION SITUATED RIGHT IN THE HUB OF TOWN
ASK US ABOUT OUR SPECIALS! Phone: 08 9758 7188 Email: email@example.com
For those on a budget, the self-catering aspect of the complex and it’s proximity to the supermarket can be a great money saver. Dunsborough Inn Backpackers provides a variety of accommodation ranging from self-contained units to our non dormitory hostel style rooms. Our large communal kitchen/dining room and spacious recreation areas provide an environment for guests to relax and exchange experiences of the day or just to meet new people.
We offer farmstay accommodation in 4 fully self contained units, sleeping between 5 and 9 people, near Margaret River in the South West of Western Australia. Sunflowers Farmstay is ideal for big groups of friends or families (max 28 people). Wander through the Animal Farm, with over 350 very friendly (mainly) farm animals, at any time during your stay. Sip local wines while admiring our stunning views: wild kangaroos grazing on rolling hills covered in beautiful wildflowers.
50 Dunn Bay Road, Dunsborough WA Ph 08 9756 7277 • firstname.lastname@example.org www.dunsboroughinn.com.au
5561 Caves Road, near Margaret River Ph: (08) 9757 3343 • email@example.com www.sunflowersfarm.com
BIG VALLEY CAMPSITE
JACARANDA GUEST HOUSE
NESTLED AMONGST THE HILLS OF OUR FAMILY OWNED WORKING SHEEP FARM, JUST TEN MINUTES SOUTH EAST OF MARGARET RIVER.
PARK YOUR CAR AND WALK EVERYWHERE
The farm encompasses a beautiful secret valley from the outside world by natural forest. Bring your Caravan, Motorhome or Tent to relax and enjoy the open space, amazing nights skies, friendly farm animals and the family friendly atmosphere. Pet Friendly.
Busselton famous Jetty, beach, shops, cafe and restaurants all just a short walk away. Jacaranda Guest House is centrally located, has 7 guest rooms all with own ensuite, r/c airconditioning and free wifi. It is nestled amongst english style gardens, where You can just relax or enjoy a bbq. Continental breakfast is included in the price. 30 West Street, Busselton, WA Ph 08 9751 5973 • firstname.lastname@example.org www.jacarandaguesthouse.com
Ph 08 9757 5020 bigvalleymargaretriver.com.au
CAFE BORANUP COUNTRY ATMOSPHERE IN THE FOREST 10am-4pm Weekdays. 8am-4pm Weekends.
FRIENDLY COUNTRY TAVERN AND RESTAURANT
Great coffee. Home baked scones and cakes. Augusta Abalone and Whiting. Variety of vegetarian and GF options. Breakfast and Lunch Menu.
Serving meals all day 11am - 9pm Local beer and wine.
Lunch • Dinner • Bar • Snacks. Next to Boranup Gallery. 7981 Caves Road, Forest Grove WA 6286 Ph 08 9757 7279 | www.cafeboranup.com
Bussell Hwy, Karridale, WA Ph 08 9758 5523
FOOD & DRINK
EAGLE BAY OLIVES A GOURMET EXPERIENCE WITH A FOCUS ON OLIVE OIL AND OLIVES Premium extra virgin olive oil. A wide selection of table olives, naturally processed. Tapenades, pesto, dukkah, dressings and jams, all preservative free. Unique giftware including olive wood boards and kitchen utensils. Picnic boxes to enjoy in our shady gardens. Sunday until sold out. Open 10.30-5.00 10.30 - 5.00every everyFriday, Friday,Saturday Saturday,&Sunday and Monday until soldpage out. for the latest news. Check our Facebook Check our Facebook page for the latest news.
521 Cape Naturaliste Road, Eagle Bay WA Ph (08) 9755 3188 eaglebayolives.com.au
BLUE OCEAN FISH & CHIPS AUGUSTA Come eat where the two oceans meet in the spectacular location of Augusta. Experience the taste of our mouth-watering local fish, grilled or fried with yummy gluten-free chips. Variety seafood products, combo packs, selection of kids’ packs, burgers, drinks and ice creams available. Blue Ocean is located in the centre of town.
Open 7 days a week Lunch 11.30am ~ 2.00pm • Dinner 5.00pm ~ 8.00pm Tel: 08 9758 1748 • 73 Blackwood Avenue, Augusta
Love Margaret River Wine? We pride ourselves on our extensive range of Margaret River Wines and Craft Beers
AUTHENTIC ITALIAN GELATO AND SORBETTI
08 9588 8877 107 BUSSEL HWY (MAIN STREET)
Authentic Italian gelato and sorbetti made in-store by owner Andy using natural ingredients. Dairyand gluten-free flavours available.
w: www.elkamo.com.au • e: email@example.com
FOR OPENING HOURS PLEASE CHECK FACEBOOK AND GOOGLE
COCKTAILS + TAPAS + FOUR HOTEL SUITES
32 Queen Street, Busselton WA Ph 08 9751 1477 / gelatobuonissimo / gelatobuonissimobusselton
Let us help you to Ship it Home, anywhere in Australia and around the world. Mixed case discounts on all orders and no GST on international orders. Margaret River Central 110 Bussell Hwy, Margaret River (next to IGA) Mon-Thu 9am-8pm, Fri & Sat 9am-8.30pm, Sun 12pm-6pm
phone: 08 9757 3751 email: firstname.lastname@example.org
FOOD & DRINK
ARTS & ACTIVITIES
Opening hours: 10am â€“ 6pm everyday 08 9755 5555 4259 Caves Road, Margaret River www.cheekymonkeybrewery.com.au
ARTGEO CULTURAL COMPLEX
WHERE ART AND HERITAGE MEET ArtGeo creative hub for the visual and performing arts features galleries, studios, workshops, coffee house and theatre in heritage-listed buildings close to Busselton foreshore. open daily 10am ~ 4pm Queen Street Cultural Precinct, Busselton 08 9751 4651 | email@example.com | www.artgeo.com.au
ARTS & ACTIVITIES
WA’S BEST BEACH SKYDIVES Tandem Skydive from 10, 14 or 15,000ft over the spectacular Busselton and Margaret River regions! Enjoy a breathtaking flight to altitude, taking in views of Geographe Bay, the famous Busselton Jetty, Cape Naturaliste and the wineries beyond. Then it’s time for the door to open, and ready? set? GO! Feel the rush of free falling when you and your Instructor plummet toward the earth at 200km/hour, before safely landing on the beaches of the beautiful Busselton foreshore alongside the Jetty. We are open 7 days from October to April, so book today!
Ph 1300 449 669 firstname.lastname@example.org www.skydivegeronimo.com.au
JOHN STREATER FINE FURNITURE JOHN STREATER FINE FURNITURE AND ART GALLERY
Professionally guided HORSE RIDING TOURS, suitable for all abilities. From forest treks to beach rides, we have a horse riding adventure just for you.
105 Blythe road, Yallingup Siding 6282 WA Open daily 10am to 4pm Ph 08 9755 1211 www.streaterfinefurniture.com
YALLINGUP SURF SCHOOL
1549 Rosa Brook Rd, Margaret River Ph 08 97574 562 email@example.com www.jestersflat.com
WESTERN AUSTRALIA’S PREMIER SURF AND LIFESTYLE ACADEMY Yallingup Surf School provides group lessons or private coaching for the absolute beginner to aspiring champions and we cater for kids, mums and dads, tourists, corporate and school groups and everyone in between. Ph: 0429 881 221 firstname.lastname@example.org yallingupsurfschool.com
ARTS & ACTIVITIES
Bookings are essential
HALF + FULL DAY Wine & Scenic Tours
PLAY A ROUND IN MARGARET RIVER Keen to combine some golf with a trip to WA’s wine country? Margaret River Golf Club is the highlight of any golf tour to the south west. There aren’t many golf courses in the region that rival Margaret River for scenic beauty and sheer golfing challenge. The 6,092 metre, par 72 course is highly regarded by golfers from all over WA and beyond. Clubs, buggies and carts are available for hire. Ph: (08) 9757 3161 •email@example.com E firstname.lastname@example.org 599(08) Walcliffe Road,•Margaret River Ph: 9757 3161 E email@example.com margaretrivergolfclub.com.au 599 Wallcliffe Road, Margaret River margaretrivergolfclub.com.au Bookings are essential
Sample plate at Venison Farm Sample French Nougat at Bettenays Cellar Door Cheese & Crackers at Knotting Hill Samples at the Cheese & Chocolate Factories Sample Liqueurs & Cocktails at The Grove Free bottled water on board Gourmet Lunch at an Iconic Restaurant (full-day tour only) See our NEW CHEERS MARGARET RIVER VIDEO online!
. affordable . quality .
Margaret River Food & Wine Tours phone: 0417 948 933 email: firstname.lastname@example.org www.winetoursmargaretriver.com.au
9757 2270 or 0474 721 836
MARGIES BIG DAY OUT BEER & WINE TOUR
MARGARET RIVER TOURS
MARGARET RIVER’S ORIGINAL
EXPERIENCE THE BEST… OF WHAT THIS WORLD FAMOUS REGION HAS TO OFFER! Visit 7 venues including 3 wineries, 2 breweries and the Cheese & Chocolate Companies. Enjoy a lunch of delicious local produce at a Margaret River Brewery. Make friends, have a laugh and relax whilst your friendly Tour Guide takes you on an amazing day out in the Margaret River Region. Pick up and drop off to your accommodation included. CALL US TODAY!
Ph 0416 180 493 margaretrivertourswa.com.au
GREAT RATES & SERVICE at Bunbury, Busselton & Collie Oneway Rentals (to Perth) available
Margaret River WA
Half Day and Full Day Gourmet Wine & Dine. Visiting 6 wineries daily, including Voyager, Watershed, Leeuwin, McHenry Hohnen, Vasse Felix, Pierro, Stella Bella & Cape Mentelle. Full Day tours feature lunch at Watershed. All tours enjoy complementary vineyard platter as well as tastings of small goods, cheese & chocolate. Ph 0419 917 166 email@example.com www.margaretrivertours.com
Don’t miss out next time Contact Natalie to book your space in our next issue of Your Margaret River Region Magazine.
Call 1800 679 880
To make a booking visit avis.com.au
Call 0426 752 352
LEAD THEM ALL.
Commanding presence. Innovative intelligence. Masterful performance. The new BMW X5 â€“ the best of everything for those who let nothing get in their way. Test drive at Auto Classic today. AUTO CLASSIC 48 Burswood Road, Victoria Park. Tel 9311 7533. autoclassic.com.au
Visit one of the south west's most beautiful regions and take our magazine with you as a travelling companion. Produced on behalf of the MRB...
Published on Nov 22, 2018
Visit one of the south west's most beautiful regions and take our magazine with you as a travelling companion. Produced on behalf of the MRB...