Wine lovers rejoice! Tickets went on sale this morning for Fine Vines Festival, the Margaret River region’s newest festival celebrating all things wine, with a first-release program of over 30 events taking place this Spring between October 15th – 24th.
The program shines a spotlight on the people, places and passion behind the region’s much-loved and highly regarded wine and offers exclusive experiences you won’t find anywhere else.
Festival goers can expect to meet the winemakers and grape growers, see first-hand where and how different wines are made, taste the difference between vintages, terroir, oak, aging methods, and blends; discover new varietals or a new appreciation for old ones; stock their cellars with new release, museum and large format wines; and of course enjoy it all in the stunning locations of the Margaret River Wine Region that spans from Busselton to Augusta.
See below for a snapshot of what’s on the program:
Vintages, Do They Matter? At Fraser Gallop Estate - Winemakers view no higher cause than expression of terroir. At this unique event in the barrel hall join Fraser Gallop Estate winemaker Clive Otto and a special guest wine expert as they unpack the influence of climatic conditions and the seasonal moods of nature upon the nuances of the vineyard. Together you’ll explore two decades of Wilyabrup vintages to understand which years were better for which wines, and why. This is an opportunity to become intimate with Margaret River Wine Region terroir. Grazing boards to accompany.
Seafood and Sauvignon Blanc: Marri Wood Park x Lagoon Yallingup – A hyper-local dining experience. Join Marri Wood Park and Lagoon Yallingup for a chic seafood dining experience that draws together a distinct taste of this pretty pocket of the Margaret River Wine Region. Marri Wood’s boutique, family run and biodynamic vineyard will showcase its flagship Chenin Blanc and Sauvignon Blanc styles alongside Lagoon Yallingup chef-owner Ben Jacob’s refined seafood dishes.
Familiar Faces, Fresh Wines at Cape Lodge – Join Corymbia, Plan B! Wines, Flowstone and Wines of Merritt at the elegant Cape Lodge Country House for a morning tasting, hosted by four fiercely independent small batch producers with over 120 years of combined industry experience. Margaret River Wine Region has been fertile ground for the cultivation of smaller winemakers who choose intimacy and independence over expansion. First up, taste and learn about small batch wines with four tastings followed by a four course long lunch created by chef Tony Howell.
When Mr Barval met Lady Lola - Mr Barval winemaker Rob Gherardi has built a cult following producing small batch wines using a range of unusual regional varietals paired with traditional winemaking methods. His bucolic cellar door is the ideal host for a long lunch with wines straight from barrel, paired with the elegant European-style food of Michelle Forbes and Marinela Antonic, the hospitality veterans behind Dunsborough’s lauded Lady Lola.
Wine Geek Masterclass at Cape Mentelle – A ‘guess who’ tasting of Margaret River wines. Part technical deep dive, a little bit quiz show, and imbued with a whole lot of Margaret River region's wine story. Meet Cape Mentelle’s team and the people behind their wine, while experiencing a technical tasting (and quiz!) that will expand personal wine knowledge.
On the Lawn at Xanadu - A pre-vintage party celebrating 40 years of wine. The vines are budding and Xanadu is celebrating with a good vibes garden party for all. Celebrate 40 years of the winery’s prestigious Lagan Estate Vineyard as Xanadu turns it on with food stalls, separate bar zones, live entertainment, DJ and an opportunity to meet the artist designing the winery’s new labels. For those interested in diving deeper into Xanadu’s wines, purchase a ticket to one of the Xanadu Winemaker’s Masterclasses.
Sip ‘n’ Cycle – A two-wheel wine tour of Dunsborough. Guests can leave their lycra at home on this two and a half hour tour that meanders from one stunning private outdoor location to the next on Dunsborough’s pristine foreshore. They’ll get to meet-and-greet some of the region’s smaller wine producers on a private outdoor wine tasting.
The Art of Fine Wine at Leeuwin Estate - Discover the story behind Leeuwin Estate’s acclaimed Art Series Chardonnay, Cabernet Sauvignon and Shiraz in a two-hour, winemaker-led masterclass set against the backdrop of the Leeuwin Art Gallery. Experience the wines’ renowned age worthiness across 15 current and museum release Art Series tastings, connecting the emotion of wine expression to the contemporary Australian art works that adorn both the labels and the gallery walls. A three-course lunch finds its match in accompanying museum release Art Series wines after the masterclass.
Chameleon at Vasse Felix - A wild and imaginative anthology of Margaret River Chardonnay from the world of Vasse Felix. Chameleon is an immersive six-course dining journey for the vino valiant, where finesse, funk and fetching frills will set the tone for an unmissable culinary quest. This intimate exploration of the world’s original grape chameleon, Chardonnay and its Margaret River form will be hosted by Vasse Felix’s Chief Winemaker Virginia Willcock, with special guest, the Heytesbury Chardonnay.
Open Vineyards – A self-guided tour the region’s private producers. ‘No cellar door’ normally means no visitation. But for one weekend, Fine Vines Festival is offering festival goers an exclusive invitation to go between the vines and meet the makers at wineries that generally aren’t open to the public.
Busselton Wine Walk - Sip and stroll where city meets cellar door. No car. No designated driver necessary. This curated wine walk through Busselton’s city centre puts you in the driver’s seat to experience a swag of wineries from the Margaret River region on a multi-stop self-guided wander. Each of the half dozen Wine Walk locations will play host to small-scale producers, who will be on hand to share their wine and passion.
Fine Vines Car Boot Sale – With the Margaret River Wine Region now home to over 150 wine producers, the Fine Vines Car Boot Sale is the place to discover something new! Access multiple wine producers selling a wide range of varietals in the one place. Expect a one-stop-shop of wine, and rare access to wine not widely available.
Tickets to Fine Vines Festival events are now on sale via the festival website www.finevinesfestival.com.au.
Organisers suggest following Fine Vines Festival on social media via Facebook and Instagram for updates and to see what events are taking place. You can also visit the website www.finevinesfestival.com.au
The Fine Vines Festival is supported by Margaret River Wine Association, Margaret River Busselton Tourism Association, City of Busselton and Shire of Augusta Margaret River.