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

Cabin Fever returns for 2023 in a little under two weeks. Spanning 10 days and nights from 14 to 23 July, it’s a time when the Margaret River Wine Region truly comes alive.

The region has such wonderful produce, and together with talented chefs and winemakers, you will be treated to world-class wining and dining.

And this year, wine lovers, you’re in for a treat – there are 21 wine events to choose from!

It’s time to grab your winter jackets and escape the house. Enjoy some good company, feast on wintery fiery delights and taste some fine wines made by our local legends.

Here we’ve selected our top picks for Cabin Fever 2023.

1. Flames + Games: Saturday 15 and Sunday 16 July

Spend an afternoon in front of the fire playing your favourite card and board games with a glass of wine.

Hosted by Clairaut Streicker, this free event will liven your weekend and eliminate any winter blues. You can compete for prizes, join the fun of the communal jigsaw puzzle, feast on smoked and woodfired delights from the kitchen and soak up the live blues music. Winter weekend perfection!

2. Ransack the Cellar: Saturday 15 and Saturday 22 July

On consecutive Saturdays during Cabin Fever, Cape Grace is offering a tasting event like no other. Red wine lovers you won’t want to miss this intimate tasting!

This exclusive vertical tasting will take you through their single vineyard, estate-grown Cabernet Sauvignon, from the 2012 vintage to 2016. Guided by Head Winemaker Conrad Tritt, you will explore the nuances and evolution of these exceptional wines.

3. Yarri at Snake & Herring: Sunday 16 July

Are you curious about winemaking and the processes involved in blending red wines? This is the event for you.

Join Snake + Herring winemakers Tony “The Snake” Davis and Redmond “The Herring” Sweeny in this fun and interactive blending session. You’ll get to taste unfinished wines and learn what’s involved when taking fermented juice to finished wines. Followed by a delicious long-table lunch catered by the team from Yarri.

4. Pie Meets Wine: Monday 17 July

What could be better than sitting amongst the Karri trees in Boranup forest with a winter pie and a selection of red wines?

Award-winning Boranup Pies & Ale will be bringing their award-winning winter pies to warm your insides while you enjoy a wine flight of Fermoy Reserve Cabernet Sauvignon, hosted by Fermoy Estate winemaker Jeremy Hodgson. Sounds like a deliciously wholesome afternoon feast!

5. Savouring the Art of Shiraz: Friday 21 July

Savour Syrah and Shiraz at this stunning Masterclass, led by Leeuwin Estate Chief Winemaker Tim Lovett.

Starting with a tasting in the Leeuwin Art Gallery, encompassing two brackets: benchmarking five Shiraz from regions across Australia, followed by a deep dive into Leeuwin Estate’s Shiraz with a tastings from five vintages accompanied by canapés.

After the Masterclass, you will enjoy a three-course Shiraz-centric lunch in the Leeuwin Estate restaurant, paired with the new release 2021 Art Series Shiraz alongside the spectacular 2011 Museum release.

6. Red Hot at Swings: Saturday 22 July

Swing’s Yallingup is opening their doors for a celebration of museum red wines and fiery performances for the final weekend of Cabin Fever.
Enjoy treasures from the Swings ‘Wine Library’ and special access to back-vintage wines, with flame-touched canapés and tasty woodfired bites.

All the while, immerse yourself in the soundtrack from the dual DJ sets of Simon Mellor and Ru Teweeh, for a sensational Saturday night in the Margaret River Region.

7. Rise & Dine: Sunday 23 July

Be treated to a five-course Sunday brunch paired with award-winning wines at Xanadu on the final day of Cabin Fever.

Feed your soul with warm delights from Head Chef Andrea Gasparini’s kitchen and ease into your Sunday afternoon with live music in the cosy winery restaurant.

Head to the Cabin Fever website for more info and to purchase tickets to the events.