Farmed for its historic and well-known vineyards, the Swan Valley region is an epicurean’s dream these days.
Accessible by a short drive or leisurely cruise down the Swan River, the region offers up a number of foodie hotspots and cellar doors with a good dose of rich history. Named as the birthplace of viticulture in the state, the Swan Valley is home to two of Australia’s oldest wineries – Houghton, established in 1836, and Sandalford, which followed four years later. Generally the region produces excellent fruit, and varieties such as Verdelho and chenin blanc are ideal for its climate. Chardonnays can also be very good, while reds such as shiraz and grenache, many of the vines more than 100 years old, produce wines of exceptional quality. The many small family-run cellar doors are worth visiting to try wines that often don’t get to the retail shelves. An increasing number of the region’s producers also source wines from the south of the state, providing a nice diversity of styles and varieties. Although the number of the region’s famous fortifieds has dwindled, there are still some outstanding wines that are well worth seeking. Just 30 minutes from the CBD, the Swan District offers a range of activities, catering especially to food fanatics. Fine dining experiences abound as produce remains a valuable part of the area’s history. For microbrewery or distillery enthusiasts, there are myriad options with several pioneers of WA’s craft brewing scene calling the region home. Markets and special events, such as the Oktoberfest-themed Welcome to the Valley, add to the area’s popularity.