Wine Lists

Margaret River wines to try

By Halliday Promotion

23 Jan, 2024

These six wines offer a taste of the spectacular Margaret River region. Get to know the winemakers that produce them below. 

Over the years, the Margaret River wine region has developed a reputation for producing first-class chardonnay and cabernet sauvignon. There's more to the region than just these two varieties, however, with spectacular beaches aplenty, gorgeous walking trails, and a diversity of wine varieties, with many winemakers venturing into new territory. 

If you're visiting, be sure to check out the six wineries below and sample their wines, especially Aravina Estate's 2022 Single Single Vineyard Block 4 Chenin Blanc, Cape Mentelle's 2021 Chardonnay, Fishbone Wines' 2023 Vermentino, the 2018 Queen of the Earth Cabernet Sauvignon from Flowstone, the 2023 Wilyabrup Semillon from Lenton Brae, and Rosabrook's 2020 Single Vineyard Estate Chardonnay. 

Aravina Estate

Aravina vineyards

Winemaker Ryan Aggiss says: Aravina Estate is located in the northern subregion of Yallingup in the Margaret River wine region. Sitting atop the Leeuwin Naturalist ridge at 145 metres above sea level, our undulating and multi-oriented macro-climate provides an exceptional site for producing wines of intrigue and distinction. Planted in 1986, the vines are deep rooted and low yielding.

H. What do you love about making wine in Margaret River?
RA. The diversity of soils and climates on such a small area create wines of great individuality and style. Also the diversity and character of the people; not just the winemakers, but the growers, the tourism workers and cellar door staff create a sense of excitement and a perpetual desire to excel and learn. The wines from Aravina reflect the site, the proximity to the ocean, and the purity of the natural environment.

H. What can guests expect from a visit to your cellar door?
RA. The Aravina Estate cellar door is open seven days from 11am. We offer guests a tasting of up to six wines from the extensive wine list, while overlooking the estate vineyard. Guests can also pre-book the exclusive Estate Tour, offering a behind the scenes tour of the winery and vineyard, before finishing with a guided wine tasting.

Favourite local spot: Two places – Otheries Beach (my favourite secluded surf spot and the place I married my wife), and Big Rock reserve (an amazing place with a real sense of the history of the Wardandi people and phenomenal views across the bay).

Wine to try

Aravina bottleshot

2022 Aravina Estate Single Vineyard Block 4 Chenin Blanc

Pale gold with lime hue. Aromas of lifted honeydew, red apple skin and pineapple husk and subtle oak nuance of nougat. A powerful fruit flavour of white peach, bosc pear and orange with restrained natural acidity creating texture and phenolic presence on the palate. Enjoy now or cellar for up to seven years.

Best enjoyed: Pair with chicken, seafood, or pasta with a creamy sauce. Serve slightly chilled in a chardonnay-style glass for greatest enjoyment. 

RRP $33 | Drink to 2029 | | Shop this wine

Cape Mentelle

People having picnic with wine on beach

Chief winemaker and viticulturist David Moulton says: With three special vineyards across the region, that have been finely honed over a journey that commenced in 1970, Cape Mentelle is focused on the core varietals of Margaret River. Our cellar door is just four kilometres from the Margaret River town and is open daily from 10am–5pm. Join us for tastings in our historic barrel hall, a behind-the-scenes tour or a picnic platter in our beautiful gardens. 

H. What do you love about making wine in Margaret River?
DM. It’s not just about quality wines, we have an incredible lifestyle and are lucky to call this place home. For a small region, we punch above our weight. This comes from having favourable environmental conditions and people that are passionate about what they do. 

H. How do you approach the winemaking process?
DM. Our winemaking and viticulture teams spend a lot of time understanding our blocks and tweaking them year on year, in order to get the fruit sourcing right. As a team we aim for winemaking that is respectful of our vineyards, the varietals and the region.The fruit for our 2021 Chardonnay comes from our Crossroads and Chapman Brook vineyards, located just south of Margaret River. These cooler sites ensure natural acidity and aromatics are preserved; grapes are then carefully handled to ensure our wines are a true expression of terroir.

Favourite local spot: Foul Bay, the name doesn’t do it justice! Crystal clear water and pristine sands – at the right time of year you might get the entire beach to yourself. 

Wine to try

Cape Mentelle bottleshot

2021 Cape Mentelle Chardonnay

The palate is fresh and vibrant with a bright minerality and lovely biscuity texture. Succulent and salivating, opening up to frangipani, honeysuckle and lemon pie with the mouthfeel of silken tofu. Medium bodied with a crystalline acidity and beautiful fruit purity, finishing with poise and clarity.

Best enjoyed: This chardonnay is a perfect match to pork – and who can go past crispy pork belly? It's also great with pan-seared scallops, or ramen with shiitake mushrooms and fried tofu in a white miso broth. Serve not too cold and not too warm and with good company!

RRP $60 | Drink to 2036 | | Shop this wine

Fishbone Wines

Fishbone wines and food on table

Winemaker Stuart Pierce says: Located in the south-western corner of Western Australia, the 165-acre Fishbone estate is a picturesque expanse of gently sloping hills, falling into the Wilyabrup brook. From its beginning in 2014 to today, more than 22-acres are under vine and perfectly positioned to let the crisp and coastal properties of the Margaret River region shine through every drop of wine we make under the Fishbone and Joseph River Estate labels. Visit our cellar door for the opportunity to immerse yourself in the Margaret River lifestyle and our range of wines, or dine at our Japanese-inspired restaurant for a modern and unique take on lunch.

H. What do you love about making wine in Margaret River?
SP. As a winemaker it’s good to know that your fruit is going to achieve optimum ripeness in the best condition come harvest day, and what I like about Margaret River as a region is that it always delivers. In my 18 years of winemaking in WA, I’ve experienced only two challenging vintages: 2006 and 2019. These were notably cooler summers when some of the reds didn’t quite make it to full ripeness. I believe the greatest asset of Margaret River is the topography, with its undulating landscape, home to an abundance of wonderful native flora and fauna, all bound by some of Australia’s most iconic beaches.

H. How do you approach the winemaking process?
SP. For me it is critical to get your picking dates right, and from then on it’s all about making sure at all critical points along the process that the wine will eventually go to bottle in the best possible condition. My favourite part of the winemaking process is the blending, whether it be straight from barrel neat from a single vineyard or composing a wine blend of many parts, which can take quite a few attempts to get right. I find it is important to always look at the wine from consumers point of view; when blending or doing wine trials I mentally place myself enjoying the wine with someone in some setting and question, is it right? 

Favourite local spot: There is nothing better than exploring the walking trails that stretch over long distances, weaving in and out, up and down along the coastline. Looking for whales out in the distance whilst studying the native plants and animals along the path can be full of wonderful moments. Then, at the end the day, a cold beverage at one of the many fantastic local breweries is a treat that's hard to beat.

Wine to try

Fishbone bottleshot

2023 Fishbone Wines Vermentino

This special new-release wine is the first vintage of handpicked vermentino from our Wilyabrup home vineyard. Pale straw to the core with a pale green edge, a dry palate and white fruits with a delicate long finish and lifted perfume. The citrus and white fruits create a dry, refreshing palate while the soft and delicate finish lingers on the tongue. 

Best enjoyed: This wine is perfect with any type of seafood. Serve slightly chilled to enjoy its best flavours. 

RRP $48 | Drink to 2027 | | Shop this wine


Stuart Pym and Janice McDonald of Flowstone

Winemaker Stuart Pym says: Janice and I have been making wine in Margaret River for more than 30 years each. Planting the Flowstone vineyard, and starting the Flowstone brand, is a personal commitment to the region and what we Flowstone is a very small brand, located in the southern side of Margaret River, focused on the classic wine styles for the region (cabernet sauvignon, chardonnay, and sauvignon blanc, and a few exotics like touriga and gewürztraminer). Visits are by appointment only, and guests will receive a personalised tasting with me of all our wines. This will be done in the winery, in a very casual manner. 

H. What do you love about making wine in Margaret River?
SP. Margaret River is in a magical little corner of the world, where the weather is warm and consistent. We get good winter rainfall, but very little during summer and autumn. This is perfect for growing grapes. It's a region that excels at chardonnay and cabernet sauvignon, our two favourite wines, and it is also a beautiful place to live.

H. How do you approach the winemaking process?
SP. Our winemaking focus starts in the vineyards. We firmly believe the quality and style of a wine starts in the vineyard. We make wines in style that we enjoy, which do tend to be the more classic expressions of the grape varieties. The wines have complexity, texture, and fully reflect our vineyards and the region.

Favourite local spot: The Boranup Forest. It is a spectacular collection of Karri trees on wonderfully undulating land. The drive through is stunning, but there are also plenty of lovely walking tracks. It's magical.

Wine to try 

Flowstone bottleshot

2018 Flowstone Queen of the Earth Cabernet Sauvignon

A bouquet that defines Margaret River cabernet with its concentration of bold blue/black berry fruits, wafts of dry herbs and the gentle warmth of mocha and spicy oak notes. Opulent and layered on the palate, displaying an integration of perfectly ripe fruit notes and silken long fine tannins, deftly embellished with dense fine-grained oak tannins and flavours. The fine acidity and graphite-like savoury mineral structure support and extend the wine's long and lasting presence.

Best enjoyed: Pair with chorizo, manchego and fennel salad or wild mushroom and red wine risotto. Serve at room temperature, in a nice cool house, in RIEDEL Bordeaux glasses. 

RRP $86 | Drink to 2040 | | Shop this wine

Lenton Brae

Lenton Brae cellar door

Winemaker Vanessa Carson says: Lenton Brae was established in 1982 on a small but unique property in Wilyabrup. The vineyard is slightly undulating, encapsulating both easterly, flat and southerly aspects. Combined with the Forest Grove gravelly soils this results in a low-moderate yield of high-quality grapes, with the cooler aspects helping maintain the flavour and acidity of the grapes. Lenton Brae has just undergone an extensive renovation, so people visiting can expect a relaxed and inviting atmosphere when they arrive. With extensive lawns to sip wine on, you can make your own platter with produce from the region and enjoy a glass or two!

H. What do you love about making wine in Margaret River?
VC. We are lucky to be established in the Wilyabrup subregion of Margaret River. This sub-region is celebrated for its soils and its reliable and consistent climate. The viticultural approach to disease management is very much influenced by our proximity to the ocean, allowing us to have delightfully clean vineyards with low disease pressure. Aside from the viticultural aspect of the region, there is also a strong sense of community as the winemaking and viticultural community work together as a whole. It's definitely a highlight to taste together and then have a beer afterwards. 

H. How do you approach the winemaking process?
VC. Our approach to winemaking is majority reactive, with a lesser proportion being proactive. By that we mean we need to encourage the flavours in the vineyard to shine and not be dominated by any external winemaking artefact or technique. We like to see our wines (in particular the semillon) exhibit flavour, weight, be well balanced with its acid and show a little texture. The decision to pick is based on flavour, processing in the cool of night to retain as much flavour and freshness as possible is required. Free-run is kept separate and only used in our Wilyabrup semillon. A very small portion is sent to a French oak puncheon with the majority fermented in stainless steel. We keep the wine on lees for 10 months to encourage texture on the palate, before blending and bottling. Balance is so important in all our wines and that is what we strive for each variety and wine style.

Favourite local spot: We are suckers for the natural beauty of this region. In the summer, snorkelling at the natural Aquarium in Yallingup is a must, and in winter a drive through the Boranup Forest in the south. It's a truly beautiful region.

Wine to try 

Lenton Brae bottleshot

2023 Lenton Brae Wilyabrup Semillon

Lovely sweet lift of lychee and delicate jasmine florals on the nose, hints of citrus and orange blossom, all with a fine misting of sea spray and oyster shell. A full bodied palate that is textural, with some richness initially, an engaging mid palate featuring sweet fruits of lychees, cumquats, and honeydew melon, all driven along by a delicate yet integral acidity that gives the wine length for days.

Best enjoyed: This wine is best served slightly chilled, either at lunch or straight after a work day. In terms of food, pair it with barbecued marron with a lime cream sauce. 

RRP $40 | Drink to 2034 | | Shop this wine

Rosabrook Wines

Rosabrook winery and vineyards

Chief winemaker Severine Logan says: Rosabrook Wines was one of the first wine-producing pioneers of the Margaret River wine region. Owned by Calneggia Family Vineyards, the winemaking philosophy, carefully guided by the Calneggia family and myself, is to create elegant, fruit-driven wines that are a true reflection of the vineyard.

Rosabrook Wines produces a number of premium, classic Margaret River wine varietals and blends including sauvignon blanc semillon, chardonnay, cabernet sauvignon and cabernet merlot. The Calneggia family are also the pioneers of larger-scale plantings of the Spanish variety tempranillo in Margaret River and lead the way in its development in the region. 

H. What do you love about making wine in Margaret River?
SL. I love the maritime climate of Margaret River, not too cold, not too hot! We have cool nights and warm days during the grape maturation season, good rainfall at the appropriate time (most years!), and cooling afternoon winds in summer. Ancient soils form a complex mosaic in some vineyards, with a preference for our unique Forest Grove gravel for our red varieties. I love the intensity and freshness we get in Margaret River fruit. Beautiful flavours and great natural acidity in whites and finely textured tannins in reds.

H. How do you approach the winemaking process?
SL. I like to spend time in the vineyards and get to know the sites with all their complexity and quirks. My goal is always to adapt to the fruit as it presents itself, respecting and highlighting its natural qualities. I will approach each batch on its merits. I like to focus on the fruit and keep freshness in the wines, using oak and other techniques as a highlighter rather than being the focus of the wines. We source fruit from a number of our own vineyards across the region, with a focus on the northern part for reds and south for whites.

Favourite local spot: I love spending time in the forest all year round either foraging for mushrooms or admiring orchids and wildflowers. In summer and autumn, you can’t beat spending the evening at the beach watching the sunset while enjoying a glass of wine.

Wine to try 

Rosabrook bottleshot

2020 Rosabrook Single Vineyard Estate Chardonnay

Pale straw green in colour, showing a complex bouquet of intense citrus, roasted cashew and flinty notes. The palate is fine and creamy with a long, crisp finish.

Best enjoyed: Pair with shellfish, grilled salmon, or a pork dish in mild creamy sauce – no assertive spices! Great with roasted root vegetables or hard cheeses such as gruyere, comté or manchego. Ensure the wine is not too chilled when serving, 10 to 12 degrees is ideal to highlight texture and complexity. 

RRP $45 | Drink to 2028 | | Shop this wine