Tips for Making the Most of Your Cellar Door Experience

The Margaret River Wine Region is always ready to welcome guests from Western Australia, interstate and overseas. Every year, the region attracts a staggering 1.5 million overnight visitors, who are drawn in by the appeal of the 100-plus cellar doors that range in style from quaint owner-operated tasting sheds, through to many of Australia’s most coveted winery destinations.

There is no denying that the Margaret River Wine Region has cemented itself as Australia’s principal region for wine tourism. This status attracts some serious wine aficionados, but the region prides itself on catering to all levels of wine lovers with a range of experiences for you to explore. That being said, navigating a wine-tasting can often feel overwhelming for newbies so we thought we would lay out some helpful tips to consider when visiting the many wineries our region has to offer.

Make a booking

To avoid disappointment, it is always best to book ahead. As mentioned above, the Margaret River Wine Region is an extremely popular destination and although you can always find a quiet corner to escape the crowds if you want to go to a certain winery then booking in advance is always the way to go. By making a reservation, you are ensuring that the winery is ready to welcome you and give you the best possible experience.

Don’t fret the Tasting Fee

The days of wandering in a winery and tasting through their full range without spending a dime are behind us. The good news is that now for only a small tasting fee, you get a curated, unique experience that will leave you with a deeper understanding and appreciation of wine. Plus, the fee is often redeemable with a bottle purchase, but bear in mind this is not always the case.

Don’t walk through the vines

Help protect the vines that make Margaret River wines so special. When visiting our pristine wine region, please refrain from walking amongst the vines as your shoes and clothing can spread pests and diseases. By refraining from doing so you are helping to preserve our unique terroir!

Go beyond the Cellar Door

COVID changed everything when it comes to wine tasting. Now that we are on the other side, things are returning to normal, but one of the best outcomes was the increase in amazing bookable wine experiences whether that is a tasting flight or a full-on winery and vineyard tour. Take advantage of these new opportunities to go beyond the cellar door. It may mean you won’t be able to see as many wineries in one visit, but the once-in-a-lifetime experiences you will uncover will be well worth it!

Don’t pour your own wine

We have all thought about it once or twice. When there is a bottle of wine right in front of you begging to be poured, it is tempting to do it yourself, but please leave it to the professionals. If a bottle happens to be left in front of you it is most likely so you can snap a picture for Insta or admire the artwork on the label. It is not an invitation to serve yourself.

Yes, you can spit

When tasting a wine, it is customary to observe the colour first as it can tell you quite a bit about what is in the glass. Next swirl the wine to fully unleash the array of aromas then use your nose to assess the many layers of a wine's bouquet. Finally, after using sight and smell to observe the wine, it is time to sip. Enjoy and savour the wine as it moves through the palate revealing flavour, texture, and acidity. Then feel free to spit. It is common practice among wine professionals and is not considered rude. By spitting out the wine, you can taste at multiple cellar doors and still ensure that you are drinking responsibly.

Take a Trail

Plan out your route! The Margaret River Wine Region spans 110 kilometres and with over 100 cellar doors, it can be quite overwhelming. That is why we recommend that you plan out your trip. Find wineries and restaurants you want to go to and then map out the best route to visit them.

If you need a little help with planning your trip, look no further than our self-drive food and wine trails. With eight different tailor-made routes covering everything from Chardonnay to Cabernet, Lo-Fi to family-owned, it is a wonderful way to discover what makes the region so special. Here is the link:

Drink Wise

While we want you to come to the region and visit as many cellar doors as possible, we also encourage you to remain responsible with your consumption of alcohol. We recommend that visitors to the region don’t drink wine on an empty stomach, drink plenty of water, use spittoons and if planning to drive, choose a designated driver or take a guided wine tour. Bear in mind that tasting pours are generally 15 millilitres so 6 pours equal one standard drink. #drinkwise #drinkaware

Don’t feel like you have to pick and choose

With so many cellar doors in Margaret River, there are plenty of options to choose from, but when it comes to shipping the region’s wine home you don’t have to choose. With the region’s mixed-case shipping option, you can select a range of wines from different producers to send in one box. Find out more through this link:

Don’t forget food

The Margaret River Wine Region and surrounding areas of the south-west of Western Australia are renowned for exceptional local produce that complements the wine perfectly so why not add a culinary experience to your visit? Whether you are interested in a gourmet platter or six-course degustation, you can find plenty of fabulous options dotted across the region. Plus, it will help you to drink responsibly!

Dress to Impress

Being a coastal region, it is quite tempting to head out for a tasting straight after a swim at the beach. This is even encouraged at some of the more casual cellar doors in the region! However, for the most part, you want to aim for smart casual attire. At the bare minimum make sure you have something to throw on over your bathers plus some shoes!

If you happen to be taking advantage of one of the many local, bespoke experiences, be sure you were the appropriate shoes. Generally, if you are going to be touring a winery or vineyard, you will need close-toed footwear. Also, it is always good to note not to wear perfume or aftershave when wine tasting as it can interfere with a wine’s subtle aromas and nuances.

In conclusion, we wish you a wonderful wine tasting experience in the Margaret River Wine Region. At the end of the day, what is most important is that you enjoy yourself, discover something new, and learn more about the delicious drop we so adore. Happy tasting!



Help protect the vines that make our special wines.

Margaret River is one of the unique wine regions in the world that can grow vines on their own root system due to the absence of the vine pest Phylloxera (fil-ox-era). The minute aphid-like pest attacks grapevine roots and causes decline in vine health and ultimately impedes the vine’s capacity to produce. For more information visit the Phylloxera website.

Your shoes and clothing can spread pests and diseases.  Please ensure you help protect Margaret River vines from phylloxera and other pests and diseases whilst visiting our region.

Please don’t walk amongst our vines.
Please do not enter vineyards without permission
Please observe biosecurity protocols during your visit.

Margaret River wine sign