Food, wine and natural beauty are always in abundance in the Margaret River, where the vineyards meet surf beaches, karri trees and underground caves. During the five-day Margaret River Wine Festival in April, art, music and all manner of vibrant celebrations join the mix. Listen to cabaret at a wine auction, vaudeville at a vineyard concert or jazz in an intimate supper club. Roll down the hill in a wine barrel at a street party or go black-tie for a gala ball. Taste the region’s renowned fresh produce at degustation dinners, cocktail parties and picnics or learn to prepare it yourself in a cooking class. Bid for local artworks or browse them in a fair amidst the towering karri forest.
From Perth, it’s a four hour drive or 80 minute scenic helicopter flight to Margaret River. Once here you’ll find festival fun on offer from Busselton to Augusta. The events range from casual to chic, but all showcase the region’s outstanding food, wine, scenery and hospitality.
Join the locals at the Vintage Vibe Street Fiesta, a rollicking party along Margaret River’s main street. Grab a table at one of the restaurants, cafes, bars or hotels and cheer for the downhill wine barrel cart race. At the Margaret River Visitor Centre, chat with wine producers from around the region or taste-test their offerings. In the evening, slip into the supper club for laid-back lounge rhythms and a superb wine selection.
For those who like glamour, the Margaret River Wine Festival has many elegant soirees. Dress up and bid for an artwork or bottle of collectable wine at the Cabernet Cabaret. It’s an opulent night out, complete with a glittering stage show, hand-crafted canapés and award-winning local wines. Dance off your indulgence at the annual Vignerons Ball, held at the picturesque Augusta Hotel overlooking the Blackwood River. Or trade festival tales with other hedonists over a three course degustation lunch with matching wines.
It’s a more relaxed day out at the Vintage Festival, held in the forest-fringed amphitheatre of one of the main wineries. Listen to live music, check out the work of local artists and wander stalls from over 40 wineries and 20 food producers across the region. Sample the signature dishes of acclaimed local chefs as you relax beneath shady, stately karri trees. During the festival, the same venue hosts a popular jazz concert. Relax on the grass as Australian jazz musicians such as James Morrison play smouldering classics from Ella Fitzgerald, Billie Holiday, Nina Simone and Aretha Franklin.
Sample some of the region’s famous blends – including sauvignon blanc, semillon, cabernet sauvignon and pinot noir - in a wine masterclass. Feast on local gourmet goodies, such as berries, cheeses, olives, crayfish and fudge at a picnic on the lawn. Graze on canapés with a vineyard vaudeville show, play pétanque with the locals or taste gourmet pizza on a winery tour.
This autumn make sure you enjoy the fruits of the region together with the local ambience of the Margaret River Wine Festival.