This is Paris Hokin from Arlewood Estate.

Paris has been at working at the Cellar Door for 7 years, but her connection to Arlewood runs deep having lived on the estate for a decade. Not only does she manage the Cellar Door, she is hands on in the vineyard and winemaking as well! She was also the recipient of the 2020 Margaret River Wine Cellar Door Excellence Award.

We caught up with Paris and asked her to share a few things with us.

How did you get into the wine industry?

I worked in the Perth hospitality scene from a young age. Thankfully, I had some inspirational peers who encouraged me to try different Western Australian wine brands with them each week. It was when I was working in fine dining as an apprentice chef, that I developed a passion for high end wines, whilst cooking with WA produce. It was a really exciting time in my late teens/early 20’s, finishing a long shift in the kitchen and sitting down to talk to the restaurant sommelier and taste some incredible vintages that I wouldn’t have been privy to otherwise. When I moved to Margaret River in 2014, I applied for a position as cellar door host at a small winery in Wilyabrup. Fast forward 10 years, I hold a Diploma in Viticulture and have completed the course Manage a Wine Making Process at Margaret River TAFE.

What is your favourite varietal and why?

Early on it was all about dry Rieslings, now medium weight, aged Chardonnays and anything Nebbiolo. I like the intricacy and layers of wine. I love drinking aged whites and reds, for their mouthfeel and the influence from careful oak selection.

What is your Favourite Food & Wine Pairing?

Chocolate and wine pairings of course! My favourite is milk chocolate with Turkish Delight, raw coconut and almonds, paired with a rich red Bordeaux blend.

Where is a hidden gem in the region to visit?

Hands down, Eagles Heritage.

What’s your top tip for visitors to the region?

Our Margaret River wine industry is so tightly connected, I think the people and their stories make this region so special. I think the longevity of the founding wine brands should be celebrated, as well as the succession and evolution that the next generation can bring to a wine brand. Our visitors become part of the framework of our brands and to include them our journey is extraordinary.

Introducing Annette Milne, who has worked in the Cellar Door at Amelia Park Wines for nearly six years.

Annette has deep connections to the region, with her family being one of the first settlers in the Cowaramup area after receiving a grant to settle here in 1939. The original home where her mum was born is on part of the property, which is now Howard Park Wines.

We met with Annette and asked her to share a few things with us.

How did you get into the wine industry?

My mum worked at Sandalford Wines, one of Margaret River’s first cellar doors. She then spent time at Fermoy Estate, Q Wines and Deep Woods Estate before retiring. It was an industry that always interested me, so when my husband and I returned to the area, I completed my WSET (Wine & Spirits Education Trust) studies and began my Cellar Door career.

What is your favourite varietal and why?

I love a Chardonnay, and lucky for me, Amelia Park produces three! A Chardonnay can be so varied from rich and buttery to fresh and light with citrus notes.

Your thoughts on what makes our region so special?

Our region has so much to offer, from wineries with world class wines, incredible food from casual to something a bit more fancy catering for all needs, special scenery and beaches that are the best in the world.

Where is a hidden gem in the region to visit?

I always take my visitors to The Berry Farm at Rosa Brook. Amazing scones can be enjoyed in the beautiful gardens with visiting Blue Wrens and Honey Eaters near your table whilst you enjoy your jam and cream.

Meet Bec Phillious; she is the Cellar Door Manager at Edwards Wines and has been working there since it opened in April.

She doesn’t have a favourite wine variety; telling us she prefers to choose her wine “depending on the day, my mood, the weather, the company, and what I’m eating!”

We caught up with Bec and asked her a few questions about working and living in the Margaret River Wine Region and what exciting events are coming up for Edwards.

What is your favourite food and wine pairing?

A bold, oaked Chardonnay with buttered popcorn because it’s fun and accessible to everyone.

Your thoughts on what makes our region so special?

Oh wow, so many things the history of our wine industry, the diversity of our region and the fact that you can go wine, spirit and beer and hiking all in one day.

What’s your top tip for visitors to the region?

Save your hand luggage for wine, quality over quantity when visiting wineries, and make sure you make time to drive through Boranup.

What’s next on the events schedule at Edwards?

Oh, we have so many wonderful things planned. Upcoming members tasting events, the release of our members exclusive Ocean Series, Miss Chow’s coming in Spring 2024, our chocolate and wine pairings becoming a daily offering, serving a light platter to go with our wine by the glass, the list is pretty endless at the moment and I’m so excited about what we will have to offer!

This is Rob Currell, he’s been working at the Cellar Door at Juniper Estate since February 2017.

Rob was working in Leonora at a gold mine during the late 90s. When the price of gold dropped and the mine closed, Rob picked up a job behind the bar at the Margaret River Hotel. After working in a few bars, including Wino’s, now Swings Tap House, his passion for wine landed him a job at Juniper.

Rob’s favourite varietal is Riesling, and he would love to one day visit Germany, especially Mosel, for the fantastic Riesling.

A lover of nature and the coast, Rob is partial to fresh-shucked oysters (Coffin Bay, Streaky Bay or Tassie) and (you guessed it) a glass of Riesling.

We caught up with Rob and asked him a few questions about working in the Margaret River Wine Region.

What’s your favourite varietal and why?

It’s a tough call, but I would have to go with Riesling. I love the way it shines in its youth, and the aromatics and texture it develops over time. It is so representative of it’s time and place, and reflection of the winemaker that I think it is truly a wine that can offer something to everyone. It was also my first serious love when I started drinking wine (Thank you Pikes).

What’s your top tip for visitors to the region? 

Take your time. There is so much to see and do that if you try to cram in to much in too short a time you’ll only end up missing out. Remember, WA stands for ‘Wait Awhile’.

Where is a hidden Gem in the region to visit? 

Are there any hidden gems left in Margaret River?! I’ve always loved nature and exploring. Check out the rock pools along the coast around Yallingup and maybe spot an Occy (watch out for the pretty ones with blue rings). Discover Deadly – A fantastic reptile park in Carbanup and the Boranup Karri Forest.

What makes our region so special?

For me, it’s the diversity of people it attracts. In my role in the cellar door I’ve had the pleasure of meeting and speaking to all kinds of people from all over the world, from farmers to astronomers, and everyone has a story to tell.

Cara Newton – Hay Shed Hill
Cellar Door Manager

Meet Cara Newton, for the past 8 years Cara has been working at the Hay Shed Hill cellar door. 

Cara has lived in the Margaret River Region for over 18 years, first working in winery restaurants and then at Clairault Strieker in the cellar door. 

While the Loire Valley, Burgundy, and Italy are on Cara’s bucket list to explore, she is also deeply passionate about the region she lives in, and loves to share her local knowledge with the visitors to her cellar door.

She’s partial to a glass of Chardonnay and loves the pairing of lobster profiteroles from Rustico with Hay Shed Hill’s Block 6 Chardonnay. 

We caught up with Cara and asked her a few questions about working and living in the Margaret River Wine Region.

What is your favourite varietal and why? 
I don’t have one favourite but one of the top ones for me would be Chardonnay. It’s so versatile.  I love how beautifully it can express where it is from and I love that the winemaker can have such an influence in the end result. I love how well it can age and how beautiful and fresh it can be young. 

What’s your top tip for visitors to the region?
Talk to a local. One of my favourite parts about my job is sharing with customers all the awesome experiences I’ve had down here. 

Your thoughts on what makes our region so special?
There is something for everyone down here. So much incredible produce, such a diverse range of places to eat and drink, so many great places for kids. Epic bushland, endless beautiful beaches. Our land here is so ancient, that’s super cool.

Samantha Bradley – Xanadu Winery
Cellar Door Assistant Manager

A sea change from Perth in search of world-class wine, unspoilt coastlines and beautiful forests led Samantha Bradley to quit her engineering job in Perth and buy a house in Margaret River.

As a long-time customer and big fan of Xanadu Wines, it was the first place she contacted for a job after completing her wine studies and the rest as they say is history.

A daughter of a wine merchant in the UK, Sam always had a strong interest in wine and food, with Champagne and smoked salmon blinis or Vermentino and ceviche as some of her favourites at the moment. Chateau Montelena in Napa Valley is on her travel bucket list, but it is Chardonnay, particularly from Margaret River, more specifically Steven’s Road, that she really finds exceptional.

With some wine studies and two years as the Cellar Door Assistant Manager at Xanadu, Sam has not looked back!

We asked Sam a few Q’s to share with us: