Introducing Megan Smythe from Passel Estate, she has worked in the Cellar Door for just over five years.

Megan moved to Margaret River from Perth because of her love for the stunningly beautiful region. Working in the wine industry seemed inevitable as she already had a love for wine and a thirst to learn more about such an interesting industry.

We chatted with Megan and asked her to share a few things with us.

What is your favourite varietal and why?

Chardonnay, I love the versatility of the grape. Having a lovely glass of Chardonnay at the end of the day or pairing it with my favourite foods is just bliss.

What is your favourite food & wine pairing?

Well obviously it has to be Chardonnay! I really enjoy an aged Chardonnay and I am currently drinking a 2017 Passel Estate Museum Chardonnay, this pairs beautifully with a lovely roast chicken with fresh herbs.

Where is a hidden gem in the region to visit?

Ellenbrook Road, I love driving along this road from Cowaramup in all seasons. Seeing the dairy cows grazing after milking, the lambing season in action, beautiful tall trees providing an important fauna corridor and rows of vines all the way down to Ellenbrook House, which has a lovely walk trail and a pristine beach.

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

Planning ahead and pre-booking to avoid disappointment and missing out on your wish list of things to do.

Your thoughts on what makes our region so special.

The stunning coastline, the beautiful forests, the strong cultural influence, the people and their passion for wine and enjoying life!

Discover more about Passel Estate.

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!

The Margaret River Wine Region is brimming with winemakers, wine educators and sommeliers just waiting to pour their wealth of knowledge into your glass, and this year’s Fine Vines Festival is the perfect way to deepen your wine understanding.

Whether you’re just starting your journey or are looking to take your understanding of this world-class region to the next level, there’s an event to suit your level. Here are a few of the ones we’ll be checking out.

Play Your Chards Right: Friday 20 and Sunday 22 October

What is malo? How does oak influence Chardonnay? And why is Margaret River’s climate so perfect for growing Chardonnay?

Learn how to properly taste this iconic Margaret River style in a masterclass with local winemaker and wine educator Charlotte Newton.

Discover the nuances that contribute to the versatility of this flagship white grape, tasting six Margaret River Chardonnays while undertaking a blending exercise using barrel samples, all under Charlotte’s guidance. The best blend takes home a bottle of Charlotte’s own label, ChaCha Chardonnay.

Book Play Your Chards Right

Busselton Wine Hop: Saturday 21 October

This progressive wine tasting through Busselton’s city centre is a multi-stop, self-guided wander where you’ll meet and greet with a swag of Margaret River region wineries at your own pace. Busselton’s best venues will host several small-scale producers, each on hand to share their wine and passion. Accumulate wine knowledge, taste and compare or just enjoy a low key day of vino and fresh air.

Wineries involved in the day include; Credaro, Black Cocky Wines, Churchview Estate, Di Latte Estate, Brookland Valley, Morlet Wines, Vallée du Venom, Cha Cha Wines, Wines of Merritt, Corymbia, Altair Estate, Skigh Wine and Passel Estate.

Want to your Saturday afternoon to keep going into the eve? Join the Shelter crew for Italian Disco – the official Wine Hop After Party!

Book Wine Hop

Behind the Bubble: Saturday 21 October

Have you ever found yourself wondering how they put the sparkle in sparkling wine? This Spring, craft your own bubbles with acclaimed Howard Park winemaker and sparkling wine specialist, Nic Bowen.

Follow the process from barrel to bottle with a winery tour exploring the ins and outs of tirage, disgorging and dosage. Put your skills to the test by creating the perfect sparkling wine.

Book Behind the Bubble

Somm Trek: Saturday 21 October

Uncover your next favourite drop, with the help of a Somm to decode the wine speak. This is the insider’s insider tour: a five-hour, sommelier-hosted vineyard trek with one of WA’s most respected sommeliers and wine educators, Foni Pollitt.

Criss cross the region visiting Windows Estate, Swings & Roundabouts, Marri Wood and Marq Wines with informed commentary from Foni about the wines you’re tasting and the region. Grazing platters await you at Windows Estate with lunch following at Swings & Roundabouts to top off your afternoon.

Book Somm Trek

In Conversation with Andrew Caillard MW: Thursday 26 October

Join author of The Australian Ark, Andrew Caillard MW, for a fireside In Conversation chat with co-publisher Angus Hughson at Voyager Estate. Scheduled for release in November, The Australian Ark is an epic three-volume tome that tells the story of Australia’s wine history from 1788 to the modern era.

Upon arrival, enjoy a selection of Voyager Estate wines and canapés to savour as the conversation begins to flow. A special event for those wanting to deepen their Australian wine knowledge as well as the Margaret River context.

Book In Conversation

Open Vineyards: Saturday 28 and Sunday 29 October

No cellar door normally means no visitation. But for one weekend, Fine Vines Festival has your exclusive invitation to get behind the gate and go between the vines to meet the makers at wineries and vineyards generally not open to the public. You’ll get to go behind the scenes at some of your favourite Margaret River Region wines and get to understand their own wine-making process – right where the magic happens.

Buy bottles and get the inside scoop from your favourite small batch producers including Burnside Organic, Jilyara, Frazer Woods, Cloudburst, Trait Wines and more.

View the Open Vineyards blog

The IWSC is bringing its international wine awards to Western Australia, in partnership with the Margaret River Wine Association.

Wine judging in Margaret River

The IWSC (International Wine and Spirit Competition) is delighted to announce it will be taking a panel of international experts to Margaret River to judge local wines ‘in situ’ in August.

The same stringent judging process will take place, but producers will benefit from a more convenient, local delivery and the opportunity to bring their wines to the global stage.

IWSC’s CEO, Christelle Guibert, commented, “We are thrilled to be taking our international awards to Australia this year. We have seen the success our immersive judging has had in other countries, including Georgia, Turkey and South Africa, and are sure to see the same triumph in Margaret River in Australia. Both the IWSC and Margaret River’s wines’ history date back over 50 years, and we look forward to joining forces and sharing these world-class wines with our community.”

Regional benefits

Margaret River Wine Association CEO Amanda Whiteland said she is so excited to have retailers, sommeliers and key media from the IWSC, one of the world’s most highly regarded international wine competitions, coming to Margaret River.

“We believe judging Margaret River wines in Margaret River will immerse the IWSC judges in the region, giving them lasting impressions, as well as providing our winemakers an opportunity to meet and create relationships with key buyers and influencers.”

“Partnering with the IWSC will help us showcase some of the best wines from our beautiful region to wine industry professionals and wine drinkers through a program of events and publicity of the awarded wines,” says Whiteland.

A panel of expert judges

The IWSC team of international judges include:

Local Australian judging experts will join the international judges:


Judging will take place from Wednesday, 30 August to Friday, 1 September and results will be announced online the following week on 4 September 2023.

Proudly supported by WA Wines to the World; an industry-led Export Growth Partnership coordinated by Wines of Western Australia, co-funded by DPIRD.

Send your favourite Margaret River Wines all over the world, thanks to our new international mixed case shipping.

It’s easy to enjoy Margaret River Wine in the comfort of your own home, even if you don’t live in Australia. Want to learn more? Ok.

The Margaret River Wine Association have teamed with 21 Margaret River wineries to bring you international mixed case shipping, which allows you to get your favourite drops delivered straight to your front door.

The Margaret River Box is perfect if you’re travelling home or visiting friends and family overseas. Taste your way around the Margaret River Wine Region, pick your favourite wines and send them almost anywhere in the world.

It’s a great option if you’re trying to avoid the high fees you could attract if you decide to book “additional baggage”, if you simply want to travel light or you want to surprise a wine aficionado friend.

The best bit? Being able to indulge on a drop of world-class wine, long after the holiday’s over.

Here’s how it works:

Step 1. Head to any one of the 21 wineries and ask one of the friendly cellar door staff for a Margaret River Box and invoice.

Step 2. Hit the road and visit your choice of wineries, filling your Margaret River Box with your top picks as you go. Please ensure staff fill in the invoice at each venue that you make a purchase.

Step 3. At the final stop, provide the cellar door staff your Margaret River Box, invoice and your personal details and they will do the rest.

Easy, right?

Rosé , amongst the lovers is a wine generally met with a smile. It speaks of summer sunsets, bright starts to long lunches, and a surprisingly eloquent ‘welcome-home-how-was-your-day’.  Choosing between them comes down to a matter of style, as does everything, and not all rosés (as we know) are created equal. The best are deliberate, focused, poised and generous, and show a bright array of flavours and textures.

Margaret River is making a really exciting variety of rosés, the best of which are scintillatingly layered, engagingly complex, and spicily dry. However, it’s challenging to talk about ‘rosé’ and ‘Margaret River’ in the same sentence, and not mention the winemaker who has sidled up and made himself synonymous with all things pink and see-through: Julian Langworthy. There is, since 2015, a rosé trophy at the Margaret River Wine Show. The winner gets a pink jacket. They’re pre-made funnily enough, in Julian’s measurements. He has won three of the past 5 Rosé trophies, so I suppose it is almost justified.

My TOP 5 of 2019:
Oates Ends Rosé 2019: Super pretty salmon colour… it’s a crushed oyster shell / pastel mandarin hue. I love the colour and would stare at it some more, were it not for the rose petals, strawberry and saffron spices wafting out of the glass. Pretty and generous. Love the texture through the mid-back palate. It’s chalky and fine, littered with fine white pepper. Wilyabrup tempranillo.

La Kooki Rosé Blonde 2019: Perfectly spiced, fine and layered, this has brilliant structure and generosity… Strawberry, hints of pomegranate and other red berries… but this is far from sweet. The Blonde is savoury and textural, driven by red currant, steered by spice, and carried through and over the palate by rippling acidity. My favourite Rosé Blonde yet – this has personality, energy and focus. M.R. Pinot Noir.

Thompson Estate Four Chambers Pinot Rosé 2019: Another Pinot Rosé, showing Goldilocks balance between ripe red berry fruit and fine exotic spice. A lovely, pure wine; ‘pretty’ was used thrice in the original note.

Nocturne Rosé 2019: The thing that really got me here, is the intensity of fruit flavour on the palate. This is concentrated. Sure: it looks good, it smells great… but I wasn’t prepared for the sheer volume of flavour on the palate. Big yes. Dry, textural, serious. Carbanup sangiovese, nebbiolo.

Deep Woods Harmony Rosé 2019: Can we even talk about rose from Margaret River without mentioning this little bargain? Unlikely. This is vibrant, fine, dry and knock-out value at under $15 almost everywhere you look. A surprising amount of structure and line for the price. Shiraz, tempranillo, grenache.

At the end of the day, whether you like it dry, lean and textural, generous spicy and layered, sweet, or otherwise (my personal preference is off the back of a boat over at Rotto in Summer, but we’re all different)… it’s a wine we love, and a wine we do pretty damn well here in WA.

As a little side note, since its inaugural trophy at the 2015 Margaret River Wine Show, the past five years of Rosé Trophy winners are:
2019 – Abbey Vale Premium Rosé
2018 – Coward & Black, Lady Margo Rosé
2017- Prevelli Wines, ‘Wild Thing’ Rosé
2016 – Deep Woods Harmony Rosé
2015 – Deep Woods Estate Rosé

Learn about the beautiful marri tree blossom and why it’s so significant to winemakers and viticulturalists during vintage.

Climate and soil are the most important factors when it comes to grape-growing, but did you know that the marri tree blossom plays a big part in Margaret River viticulture, too?

The marri blossom is a beautiful flower featuring fine hairs that fan out like a hat. Every year or two the flower blooms, transforming most of Margaret River’s treescape from green to yellow-white each summer.

While beautiful, there’s more to the marri blossom than meets the eye. A valuable food source for many of the region’s native animals (including the bee, which makes delicious honey from the flower’s nectar), the blossom also helps viticulturalists protect their prized grapes from hungry birds.

Just before vintage, the Margaret River wine industry turns their attention to the marri trees and their tiny flowers. The quantity of marri flowers help them estimate the amount of bird pressure they’ll have on their grapes – the more flowers on the trees, the less birds on the vine, and vice versa.

In 2019, for example, there was very little marri blossom in the region, resulting in high bird pressure. Thanks to plenty of marri blossoms all over Margaret River now, this year’s vintage is looking much more promising.

Alas, not all of the birds can be kept away by the sweet nectar of a marri blossom. To combat the birds from damaging a vineyard’s grapes, winemakers cover each of the vines with nets – a typical sight from February to April. It’s a sure-fire way to keep the birds at bay, and the grapes growing all day.