Cape Mentelle Class

It is without doubt one of the most fascinating and attractive wine producing regions in the world.

Margaret River in Western Australia is definitely not your typical wine producing area. It’s not like the type you would normally see in Europe, where hectares of vines seem to cling precariously to steep slopes which segue into mellow valleys through which broad rivers flow. Margaret River is entirely different.

For one thing, many of the Margaret River vineyards are surrounded by dense, harsh Australian bushland. Whilst you can see some vines from the main roads, most of them are hidden away from view, and to reach them entails journeys down narrow rural roads until you suddenly chance upon an entrance way where a deceptively long driveway finally leads you to the winery.

The award winning Cape Mentelle winery is just that. From the road you have no idea of the sort of place you will encounter, but once you enter the property, dense bushland gives way to paddocks covered with vines, before you arrive at one of the nicest wineries in the Margaret River region.

The wineries gardens are delightful, but in a rugged, informal Australian way rather than in that strict, perfect European layout. What’s more, they even cater for kids, as you walk right past a playground to enter the tasting hall.

The building at its Wallcliffe vineyard is just so typically Australian. It is a sophisticated and contemporary version of a rammed earth dwelling which lacks ostentation from the outside, but has been purpose designed inside to best show off the quality of the wines, the main feature being a magnificent barrel room where you can enjoy a degustation tour and tasting set amid hundreds of barrels of exquisite wines.

Cape Mentelle has an excellent pedigree, being one of the five founding wineries which kick started the tradition of producing fine wines in the region. The vineyard was established in 1970 and 13 years later the winery won one of Australia’s most coveted wine awards, the Jimmy Watson Trophy, a feat it repeated one year later.

The winery produces both superb reds and whites using various varieties of grapes. As well as its rich, dark cabernet sauvignon and shiraz, they also produce a highly-regarded and much sought after chardonnay.

Cape Mentelle is open daily from 10am until 4.30pm, and is just a few minuted drive from Margaret River township. Cape Mentelle is a coastal winery situated close to where the chilly Southern Ocean meets the warmer Indian Ocean, and it is the weather patterns caused by this mighty divergence which is partly responsible for the production of such great wines.

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