About Knee Deep Wines

The Childs Family

Dr Philip and Sue Childs and their 3 beautiful daughters Kelsea, Kim and Hayley are the family behind the Knee Deep vineyard, wines, restaurant and yacht. This family is now growing with son in law Jeremy McMullan married to Kelsea who now have 2 beautiful daughters of their own Azayley and Sunny.

A genuine love for the region led to the purchase of the property in 2000 and the subsequent development of the vineyard and the cellar door and restaurant.

Look out for Knee Deep’s Limited Release range of wines named after the beautiful Childs girls!
Kelsea’s Cabernet Sauvignon, Kim’s Chardonnay and Hayley’s Shiraz.

A Perth based surgeon, Dr Philip Childs is a regular golfer. Ocean racing has been a passion having skippered the Knee Deep yacht in 6 Sydney to Hobart races between 2004 and 2013. He’s now taking a break from racing to be at home more since the arrival of 2 beautiful granddaughters in the past 2 years. Although still working Phil has slowed down to spend more time at the vineyard and with family. At Knee Deep Wines in Margaret River you may find him working in cellar door, mowing & raking the lawn or being the handyman. If you do happen to spot him dining in the restaurant this may be one of the few times you will ever see this man sitting still!

Sue Childs is a retired nurse, carer and the calming influence of the team. She has spent the last 28 years providing full time care for Hayley, who has Down Syndrome, and has enjoyed every moment of it. Now that Hayley is living away from home, Sue has a little more time but still spends many hours involved in Hayley’s life and catching up with grandchildren and family.

Kelsea Childs is a qualified Animal Scientist with a passion for animals and enjoys travelling and a nice glass of wine with friends! Much of that has been blunted since the birth of her 2 beautiful daughters Azayley and Sunny. Husband Jeremy McMullan is currently driving tugs for the ore shipments out of Cape Lambert in the North West. Kelsea and the girls have recently relocated to the North West to enable the family to spend more time together.

Kim Childs is a nurse at SCGH. She loves going out with friends, shopping, playing with her new nieces and eating chocolate!

Hayley Childs is a fun loving social butterfly who enjoys bowling, music, movies and hanging out with her friends. She has a part time position at Target. Hayley is mad for chocolate and loves trying any creations that spill out of our Chef’s pastry section!


Knee Deep Wines, a quality Margaret River food and wine experience.
Taste estate grown premium wines, relax, dine at our award winning
restaurant and immerse yourself in the beauty of the region.
Create special memories forged from Good Wine, Good Food and Good Friends
in a beautiful vineyard setting.

Classic elegant varietal wines are created with passion from vines growing
in the Margaret River sub region of Wilyabrup.
The ancient terroir, pure ocean breezes, a warm mild climate and innovation in the vineyard and winery
consistently produce vintages of balance, complexity and quality.

Rob Broadfield restaurant review: Knee Deep

The WA hospitality industry’s night of nights, The West Australian Good Food Guide Awards, is just over a week away.

The awards celebrate excellence and acknowledge those restaurants and individuals whose labours and venues have enriched and improved dining culture in WA.

What better time to review a restaurant which is at the very top of the dining pack and a case study in a well-formed offer specific to where it is and its target market. This week we celebrate the excellence of Knee Deep in Margaret River.

Knee Deep is off-the-dial good. Better than we had imagined, based on our last visit, which was very good. Now, it’s even better.
The cooking of Baxter Newstead, the head chef at Knee Deep, has eclipsed all before him. His food has more polish than a hall mirror at a narcissist’s convention.

Baxter’s outrageous talent shines in everything on the plate. His techniques are at a level of accomplishment that only comes from the best training, followed up by Sisyphean levels of hard work and commitment.

We are delighted to report that Knee Deep is one of the finest restaurants in the State.

Thankfully, since our last visit, the owners have seen fit to zhoosh the place in keeping with the improved food on offer. It’s still a restaurant in a shed-like veranda in the middle of a vineyard but a paint job, new sconce lighting, floor-length glass windows, white tablecloths and a wall of barrels to keep the wine-tasting plebs at bay have improved its looks.

Mind you, looks aren’t everything, as they say. A 10-seat restaurant, Sukiyabashi Jiro, in a tiled thoroughfare in a Tokyo underground railway station, won three Michelin stars in recent years, so, yes, looks aren’t everything.

Before we get to the food, a moment on the wine. We completely understand when winery restaurants choose to serve only their wine. That’s the point of a winery restaurant. But — and we’ve nagged about this on and off for years — imagine when a winery restaurant thinks of the customer experience and adds a raft of non-domain wines to its list for nothing more than the sheer delight of its patrons. And so it is at Knee Deep. The list has good Champagne — the most obvious and lamented exclusion on Margaret River winery lists — and a smattering of Australian and old-world titles. Big, big, big tick. And thank you.

The staff at Knee Deep are also out of the box. The waiters knew every detail about every dish. When questioned about “this” or “that” dish or technique, they were on top of the brief.

First up, “duck egg”, $18. A molten 63C egg yolk was the sauce, the unction, the very knee-trembling kryptonite of this dish. It was teamed with an onion puree and a beef-fat emulsion, which for all intents and purposes was a sabayon, but made with aged, rendered beef fat instead of butter. Grilled asparagus tips added crunch and brought to the dish the flavour of the kitchen’s jarrah-fuelled wood grill. To mop it up, a flatbread made not with oil but beef fat. All this and yet the dish was delicate, wantonly flavourful, clean and balanced. It was a looker, too.

Stracciatelle, $20, was a cracker dish and one for the vegetarians. The stracciatelle was properly made from buffalo milk and its alabaster creaminess and tang were the perfect foil for shredded roast onions and a rye crumb made with house-made toasted rye and fennel loaf. Broad beans were grilled over the jarrah fire with smoked butter and dressed with elderflower vinegar. The “juice” — a sauce by any other name — was just that: juiced, fresh garden peas flavoured with geranium vinegar and dosed with a house-made rose petal oil.

Harvey beef, $38, was made with rump cap and the cleanest, clear-flavoured braise of oxtail we’ve ever tasted. The tail had been brined for two days before cooking, which leached most of the residual blood from the meat, leaving it sweet — yes, salt brine does that — and clean.

Lamb belly was also off the dial. Desserts, too: if the milk parfait is on, make sure you get it. Nothing can prepare you for the flavour or the clever-clogs technique which sees a house-brick sized parfait delivered to the table — a dish so light it could almost fly away.

Knee Deep is cooking exceptional food, from an exceptional chef. It is simply one of our great restaurants.
KNEE DEEP: Johnson Road, Wilyabrup (Margaret River region), 9755 6776, kneedeepwines.com.au

Cellar door: seven days, 10am-5pm
Restaurant: seven days, noon-3pm.
“Trust the Chef” menus $85 and $100
Entrees $21-$22
Mains $34-$43
Sides $9-$14
THE BUZZ: Awesome, exciting, superb, real.
SCORE: 17.5/20

Knee Deep Wines

The Knee Deep name reflects a passionate commitment to produce premium Margaret River wines. Established by Perth surgeon and yachtsman Phil Childs and his wife Sue, the Knee Deep venue has become a not-to-be-missed destination when in the region. The range of wines is already excellent and the award-winning restaurant is outstanding.

OWNERS : Dr Philip Childs
WINEMAKERS : Bruce Dukes and Remi Guise
ANNUAL CRUSH : 100 tonnes
VARIETIES : Chardonnay, Cabernet Sauvignon, Shiraz, Sauvignon Blanc, Cabernet Merlot, Sauvignon Blanc Semillon, Chenin Blanc, Rosé, Late Harvest Sauvignon Blanc

CELLAR DOOR : 160 Johnson Road, Wilyabrup
OPEN : Monday – Sunday, 10am – 5pm
WINE PRICES : $18 – 95
PHONE : 9755 6776
EMAIL : office@kneedeepwines.com.au
WEBSITE : www.kneedeepwines.com.au
DISTRIBUTION : Cellar Door, Wholesaler, Online, Mail Order

Knee Deep sauvignon blanc 2017 ($22)

A bright and punchy savvy with lots of interesting things happening on the nose. Lemon zest and limey gooseberry notes with some typical dusty snow pea characters. The palate is flavoursome and racy with a crisp acidity to the finish.
SCORE 89/100 CELLAR 2 Years

Knee Deep chardonnay 2016 ($28)

A subtle and quite delicately poised chardonnay. Has a light creamy character with fine cashew and grapefruit characters. Touch of charry oak is reflected on the palate which carries effortlessly to a nice precise finish. An appealing wine for the short term.
SCORE 90/100 CELLAR 3 years

Knee Deep Kelsea’s Limited Release cabernet sauvignon 2013 ($65)

Pure essence of cabernet is emphatically displayed on the nose. Leafy blackcurrant with a spicy old library book character. The structure is very good. Firmish tannins and quality oak applied cleverly to harness the fruit. Controlled and long finish.
SCORE 92/100 CELLAR 10 years


Our viticulturists rigorously maintain the health of the soil and the vines to ensure premium quality fruit is harvested at the optimum time and delivered to the winery. They adopt sustainable practices within the vineyard which include: open solarised canopies taking advantage of UV light to discourage disease and allow for good spray penetration to the canopy; most of the sprays used are elemental suplfur and copper; mixed clover grass swards grown between rows allowing for nitrogen fixation by clovers, and deep placement of organic matter by the grass roots; minimum till systems which build soil health; and alternate slashing of rows to allow insect population to re-equilibrate.

Jim Campbell Clause (BSc (Ag Hon)) & Colin Bell (Assoc. Deg. App. Sc. (Winegrowing), Trade Hort., Cert. 3 Food Proc.(Wine)) from AHA Viticulture, oversee the Knee Deep vineyard and work with our winemakers to capture the essence of our region and terroir in the fruit produced. Their expertise was used to select the block and make the first plantings from the commencement in 2000. Their team of experienced vineyard operators and their own technical and management skills ensure the vineyard produces consistant quality fruit around each set of seasonal conditions. Their experience and knowledge of the region ensures timely vineyard operations when climatic fluctuations could potentially create vine health issues. This has ensured quality disease free fruit from healthy well nourished vines.

Wine Making Process

The winemaking facility conducts it’s business in a manner that recognises the importance of environmental protection, sustainability and quality of wines. We are committed to minimising environmental impacts in all our operations. We strive to improve on ecological efficiency by exploring and challenging cleaner production methods; and to conduct ourselves using best practices in winegrowing which are environmentally sustainable.

Bruce Dukes (Senior Winemaker and Director of Naturaliste Vintners) was appointed as winemaker to Knee Deep Wines following the 2012 vintage. Bruce enjoys working and collaborating with vignerons Phil and Sue Childs, and our Viticulturists in the pursuit of greatness in wine.

Bruce has more than twenty five years of valuable postgraduate industry experience, shared between iconic producers. He has assisted in the establishment of several “five star” producers in the Margaret River area. He currently prefers to focus on hands-on winemaking and viticultural consulting. The viticultural consulting is biased toward fine-tuning vineyards to ensure that the fruit is farmed to suit the intended wine-style. His deep technical and applied understanding of viticulture, and how viticultural parameters affect wine quality result in very high quality wines and meaningful feed back to vignerons.

Bruce Dukes was awarded West Australian Winemaker of the Year 2011-2012. Naturaliste Vintners was awarded as the “Best Winemaking Facility in Western Australia” by the Wine Industry Association of Western Australia.

His approach to grape growing and winemaking has been shaped by a wide range of high quality industry experience, in conjunction with a degree in Agricultural Science from the University of Western Australia, and a Masters degree in Viticulture and Enology from the University of California, Davis.  Bruce has several publications in referred scientific journals, as well as recently having authored a chapter in a winemaking text-book.

Remi Guise (winemaker Naturaliste Vintners) was born in Cape Province South Africa. Remi completed a BSc. (Agric.) (Viticulture & Oenology) in 2006 at the University of Stellenbosch and then took up a position as Assistant Winemaker at the Meerendal Wine Estate in Durbanville, a 300 year old estate producing quality wines in South Africa. Remi joined Naturaliste Vintners in 2008, was promoted to Red Wine Specialist in 2009, Operations Winemaker in 2012 and now Winemaker after 6 years with Naturalist Vintners. Remi is passionate about New World winemaking and wines for their ability to equal or surpass their Old World counterparts in both quality and integrity, and to have an identity which is an expression of the New World and all it has to offer.

Bob Cartwright has been consultant winemaker to Knee Deep Wines finishing this role with the 2012 vintage. He brought a wealth of experience to the role. After 28 vintages as winemaker at Leeuwin Estate in Margaret River, Bob has produced consistently exceptional wines that have been attracting international recognition.

Knee Deep Wines

160 Johnson Road, Wilyabrup, Wilyabrup Western Australia, 6280


Phone 61 (0)8 9755 6776




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