The Margaret River Region’s wine producers are ready to welcome visitors from next Friday for the second instalment of Fine Vines Festival, with close to 80 producers participating in nearly 30 events from October 14 to 23.
The first weekend of the festival kicks off with crowd favourite, Margaret River Open Vineyards. For one weekend only, guests are invited to go beyond the vineyard gate to meet winemakers that aren’t usually open to the public. 15 winemakers are participating across the weekend, spanning Dunsborough in the north, to Rosabrook in the South.
There’s myriad reasons for consumers to get out and explore in addition to ‘behind the gate’ access, including the opportunity to taste new release wines that aren’t yet on sale, pop-up food trucks, learning about wine and vineyard from the winemakers and having access to wine they might not have seen before.
La Kooki’s Eloise Jarvis said they would be teaming up with Corymbia for their Open Vineyards offering.
“We’re stoked to be a part of Fine Vines’ Open Vineyards with Corymbia. There’s nothing better than sharing wines and stories from both sides of the tasting bench. People can join us at Corymbia’s Calgardup Vineyard, bringing a focus not only onto our wines but how we can help protect and preserve the amazing biodiversity that surrounds us in this unique part of the world - Margaret River.”
Burnside Organic Farm’s Jamie McCall said it’s a great opportunity to showcase their biodynamic winery practices.
“We are thrilled to be involved with Fine Vines again this year. It gives us the opportunity to share our wine, and our story. Being a small producer it can sometimes be hard to be heard, but Fine Vines lets us open our doors and allow people to experience the Burnside Organic Farm journey.
“Open Vineyards is a fantastic event that showcases a lot of places and wines not normally accessible, and being a part of it lets the public see into the practices associated with being Certified Biodynamic in the vineyard and winery.” McCall said.
Also starring on the first weekend will be Xanadu Wines with their event On the Lawn at Xanadu. The event offers a chance to sample wines from 2023 Halliday Wine Companion Winemaker of the Year Glenn Goodall, to the backdrop of live music and new Head Chef Aaron Lim’s Southeast Asian hawker-style street eats, a perfect setting for a spring afternoon with friends. For those keen on brushing up on their wine knowledge and being some of the first to sample the estate’s Vinework range, they can also join the winemakers in a masterclass before the event.
Xanadu’s Caity Bramich said the whole team was looking forward to the event.
“We’re really excited to for people to come and meet our incredible winemakers and be some of the first to sample our Vinework range, which expresses the toil of the land and many hours spent nurturing the vineyard – watching, tending and tasting. The tier is a celebration and reward for the hours spent walking amongst the vines, connecting with our growers and the region’s land, with the labels a geomap of where our winery crew have walked in the vineyard.
“We’re also looking forward to showcasing Head Chef Aaron Lim’s new direction at the Southeast Asian food stations we have in store. It’ll be a great day for everyone.” Bramich said.
Participants on the Open Vineyards program will be able to track their tastes and wines they liked with festival partner, WineWine. Guests are encouraged to download the WithWine app, and start exploring the vineyards participating for Open Vineyards.
Other events taking place on the first weekend that still have available tickets include:
Friday 14 October
Single Vineyards and Saltbush – McHenry Hohnen Winery
A first taste of McHenry Hohnen’s single vineyard 2020 Chardonnays with winemakers Japo and Henry, set on the balcony overlooking Hazel’s vineyard and paired with a feast by Saltbush Dining.
Taste of Elegance – Shelter Brewing Co
A five-course dinner paired with Credaro wines, guided by Credaro’s winemaker and expanding on your food and wine matching education.
Wine on the Water – Dunsborough Old Fishermans Boat Ramp
Whale watching at sunset. On a catamaran. Tasting Clairault Streicker wines and eating delicious canapes. This was a fan favourite last year for a reason.
Tiller Dining x Rosabrook Long Table Dinner – Rosabrook Wines
George Cooper serves up a five-course degustation paired with premium Rosabrook wines overlooking the stunning Rosabrook vineyard, with produce straight from Tiller’s Yallingup Siding farm.
Saturday 15 October
Pet Nat Party – Bungalow Neighbourhood Social
An exclusive presentation of Western Australian Pet Nats, with a DJ spinning tunes and Chef Denver Stevens cooking up street food eats. Pet Nat producers include: Black Cocky, Blind Corner, Brave New Wine, Dormilona, Skigh Wine, Vallee du Venom and Vino Volta.
Chameleon No.2 – Vasse Felix
A celebration of Margaret River Chardonnay hosted by Chief Winemaker Virginia Willcock, where you’ll taste an anthology of the estate’s Chardonnay culminating in the iconic Heytesbury. All paired to Chef Brendan Pratt’s degustation menu.
Aging Gracefully (October 15 + 22) – Cape Grace
A comprehensive back-vintage tasting with winemaker Conrad Tritt where you’ll get inside knowledge on selecting the perfect wine to cellar and increase your wine collecting confidence.
Mozzarella in the Cellar (October 15 + 16) – Juniper Estate
A guided wine masterclass with Juniper’s chief winemaker, a mozzarella making demonstration by La Delizia Latticini, and fresh woodfired pizzas to be enjoyed with a glass of sparkling and a voucher towards wine.
Sunday 16 October
Yum Cha Bites and Flights – Origins Market
A special tasting of five Marri Wood Park wines paired with five yum-cha inspired dishes from Little Hand Dumplings.
The Orange Party – LS Merchants
A selection of orange wine producers from across the region come together at LS Merchants’ cellar door, with Cook Digs cooking up bites and a DJ spinning tunes (dressing in orange encouraged).
The full festival program and ticket sales are available via www.finevinesfestival.com
Fine Vines Festival is proudly supported by Margaret River Wine Association, City of Busselton, Tourism WA, Margaret River Busselton Tourism Association, Augusta Margaret River Shire, WithWine, Buy West East Best, WA Good Food Guide and Hire in Style.