Be nourished by the gourmet treats of this WA region
One of the things that makes Cullen Wines’ Rose Moon sparkling red such a distinctive drop is what’s not in it. Like every wine made at this biodynamic vineyard, it’s entirely free of additives. There are no pesticides or herbicides used on the grapes, and nothing is added during the winemaking process. This is wine at its purest, packed with antioxidants – and with flavour.
Cullen Wines – a carbon-positive winery that also grows the biodynamic produce served in its restaurant – sums up much of what is wonderful about Margaret River. This sun-drenched region three hours’ drive south of Perth is celebrated for its natural beauty, from its pristine beaches to the ancient karri forests, where trees soar 60m into the sky. Perhaps Margaret River’s greatest gift, however, is its fertile soils and the producers that grow health-giving food and wine here.
“Cullen Wines - a carbon-positive winery that also grows the biodynamic produce served in its restaurant - sums up much of what is wonderful about Margaret River.”
The region is home to more than 200 wineries, many of which use low-impact farming methods. Near Cullen Wines in Wilyabrup, the off-grid Arimia winery has gained a following for its food as well its wines. Much of what’s on the menu at the estate restaurant is grown or reared on site using regenerative farming techniques, including everything from pork to delicate freshwater marron.
Margaret River’s artisanal growers, who produce food to nourish your body amid stunning landscapes that feed your soul, are also worth a visit. At Olio Bello organic olive farm, set in a sea of silver leaves rippling in the breeze, the fruit of 10,000 olive trees is pressed to make acclaimed extra-virgin olive oil, rich in antioxidants and anti-inflammatories.
The team at Southern Forests Honey looks after 350 portable beehives that they move up to six times a year, taking advantage of the region’s distinctive plants as they come into flower. Each jar of Southern Forests’ raw honey carries the flavour of the native blossoms – either karri, redgum, jarrah or manuka – on which the bees feed, and contains healthy helpings of antioxidants, antifungals and antibacterials. If you need another reason to pick up a jar or two, research shows that raw honey is also great at reducing bad cholesterol and raising good cholesterol.
The simplest way to graze the region’s gourmet delights is to head down to the delightfully laidback Margaret River Farmers’ Market, held every Saturday at the Margaret River Education Campus. Pick up some snacks from Yallingup Cheese or from Margaret River Venison, which also makes smallgoods using kangaroo, emu and buffalo, or munch down on a banh mi bursting with pork from Jindong Free Range.
“The simplest way to graze the region’s gourmet delights is to head down to the delightfully laidback Margaret River Farmers’ Market”
While you’re in the region, don’t forget to make a stop at Yallingup Woodfired Bread where, unusually for bakers, they have the ovens on all day. (Hint: the fruit loaves tend to come out around four in the afternoon.)
Or sink your teeth into a very different perspective on the area’s natural bounty with Josh Whiteland on one of his Koomal Dreaming tours. You will learn about how Josh’s ancestors lived in harmony with the land as well as discovering some unusual flavours as you forage with Josh for bush tucker such as quandong and saltbush.