Photo: Lancaster Wines, Swan Valley

Where to Eat and Drink in the Swan Valley

Just half an hour by car from Perth city central, Swan Valley has all the makings of an eating and drinking paradise.

With almost 200 years of grape-growing history to its name, the Swan Valley is one of Australia’s oldest winemaking regions. While the area’s vignerons continue to produce ripe, full-flavoured wines, these dedicated women and men are joined by chefs, brewers, distillers, growers and other passionate food and drink professionals. Here are five essential experiences for your Swan Valley itinerary.

Savour rich, multi-generational fortified wines

When was the last time you tasted a wine made by multiple generations of winemakers from the same family? Throughout the Swan Valley, producers such as John Kosovich Wines, Talijancich, Lamont’s and Olive Farm Wines are preserving the region’s rich history of fortified wines: gloriously luscious and rich dessert wines made by blending numerous young and old wines. With some of the base materials in these wines approaching 80 years of age, they are some of Australia’s rarest treasures.

Mandoon Estate and Homestead Brewery, Swan Valley
Photo: Mandoon Estate and Homestead Brewery, Swan Valley

Explore the Swan Valley’s brewing scene

“You can’t make good wine without good beer.” This sentiment is often heard in wine circles, yet it feels especially true in the Swan Valley, where craft breweries abound. For Germanic beers and smallgoods, join the party at Elmar’s in The Valley; for beer and schnitzels, Duckstein is a go-to; Mash Brewing Co combines craft beer with comfort eats. The Feral Brewpub, meanwhile, is the place to try Feral Brewing Co’s latest Belgian-style sour beer experiments.

Enjoying a meal at Mandoon Estate and Homestead Brewery
Photo: Mandoon Estate and Homestead Brewery, Swan Valley

Visit the region’s one-stop eating and drinking destination

A family-friendly day out. Celebrating special occasions. A casual afternoon out with friends. It’s rare to find a venue that ticks so many boxes, yet historic Mandoon Estate makes it look all too easy. This self-described “village of makers, doers and delighters” is home to myriad eating and drinking options. Picnic tables, a children’s playground and garden bar make The Lawn an irresistible weekend proposition, Homestead Brewery specialises in great pizza and beers, while the contemporary cooking of Wild Swan makes it one of the Valley’s best places to eat. Brilliant wines and boutique accommodation seal the deal.

Get your caffeine fix at some of the state’s most unique cafes

The Swan Valley has a knack for attracting passionate types not scared of doing their own thing. Exhibit A: the region’s diverse cafe options. Take Hazelmere’s Bolt Coffee Roasters, a cafe and roastery inside the grounds of Trillion Trees nursery: owner Steve Lomax began his roasting career on a modified barbecue. At Willing Coffee, Tim and Veronique Willing (a former Australian cycling champion and classical singer respectively) bring Italian-inspired sensibilities to historic Guildford, while Maison Saint-Honore in Caversham specialises in French macarons.

Couple walking through the vines at Upper Reach Winery
Photo: Upper Reach Winery, Swan Valley

Visit the region’s newest – and oldest – market

For more than a century, Herne Hill’s heritage-listed Swan Settlers Co-Op building has fostered local entrepreneurial spirit. This year, the space was reborn as the Swan Settlers Market, an active market with more than 40 stalls run by local producers and businesses. Drop in to Annie’s Collective Wonderland and rummage through retro treasures and knick-knacks; snack on everything from savoury crepes to Kansas City-style barbecue; and taste regional products including kombucha, mead and honey. The market is open on weekends with the vintage section and garden centre also open Thursday and Friday.

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