Wednesday, November 8, 2017


Since Margaret River is noted for it’s wine, we would be remiss if we didn’t do a wine tour, so we booked to do the tour at Leeuwin Estate Wines at 11am for this morning.
We figured if we left early enough we could drive through Cowaramup and check out all the cows we had been reading about….

We left home around 8.30am and headed inland along the Bussel Highway towards Cowaramup.  What a beautiful part of the country this is,  rolling green hills and paddocks,  cows, lovely black and white cows and sheep grazing, picture card perfect.  
We arrived in Cowaramup before 9.30am so that gave us plenty of time to look around.  Cowaramup is situated on 12 kms north of Margaret River, so we knew we had a little bit of time here to have a good look around.  
They had these cow benches in town.

The name Cowaramup derives it’s name from Cowaramup Siding, which was located near the townsite on the now disused Busselton to Augusta railway.

The town originally back in the early 1900’s supported the timber and dairy industries, and it’s name is believed to have been derived from an Aboriginal word “Cowara” which means purple-corned lorikeet.  The locals in town refer to their town as “Cowtown”, it’s a reference to the use of “cow” in the town’s name and its history or dairy farming.

 It reminded me a little of home with all its cows everywhere.  They were up and down the main street in front of most stores, and then in the parks and paddocks, and the town had a really good vibe about it.

We walked the length of town, taking photos of all the cows and some of the parks and other nice buildings around.  
 We bought a couple of postcards to send home to our grandchildren and then proceeded to write them so that we could post them at the local supermarket before heading onto the winery.

We left Cowaramup and headed to Margaret River, as it is only 12 kms further on it didn’t take us long to get there.  We didn’t bother stopping to check it out, we figured we would be better off to arrive early at the Winery than spend time in town and it make us late. 
The drive out to the Leeuwin Estate Winery was lovely, again through green paddocks but this time with lots of lovely vineyards around….

This is such a beautiful region in  WA.

Leeuwin Estate is a family winery that really does celebrate fine wine, food and its long association with the arts.  It is located in one of the world’s most spectacular and isolated wine regions.   It has earned an international reputation for producing outstanding wines and it released its first commercial vintage in 1979, which quickly attracted international attention when Decanter Magazine gave its highest recommendation to the 1980 Art Series Chardonnay in a blind tasting.  The winery now exports to over 30 countries.

The Leeuwin “Art Series” wine labels
The Leeuwin “Art Series” wine labels
The Leeuwin “Art Series” wine labels
using the wine thief to test the wine...
barrels of red wine

Leeuwin Estate hold special events throughout the year, and they were setting up for the Big Wine and Food festival which is being held here next month.  They also bring in big names in the music industry each February for their annual alfresco summer concert series.

The Riesling labels - a set of four frogs.
The Leeuwin “Art Series” wine labels have also become very famous.  They have a wonderful gallery at the winery  which has more than 100 paintings from Australia’s leading contemporary artists that have been commissioned to paint a painting so that Leeuwin had feature them on the labels of their wine…

We very much enjoyed checking out the art gallery also.  

Our tour cost $25 which included an hour’s tour of the actually winery itself, where we were shown and told about the wine making process from how they grow the grapes, pick them, crush them, and then the taste testing as they mature.  I never realized that wind making was not only very scientific but also a real art.  
The wine tour also included going through the Gallery and we were showed the different paintings and the labels that they represented on their wines.  All very very interesting.  The end of the tour included some wine taste testing where we tasted about a dozen different wines.  Unfortunately, Leeuwin Estate does not make a really sweet wine which was a bit of a bummer for Steve who really does prefer a sweeter wine.  

 All in all it was definitely worth it’s money, and once the wine tour was over we were then able to spend as much time as we liked back in the art gallery, on the decks, in the restaurant or just walking around the grounds and vineyards.

It was well after 1pm when we left to head back into Margaret River where we had planned to have lunch.  

On our drive through town earlier in the morning we had noticed a Bakery in the main street so thought we would head back there and check out their pies.  We have been trying out bakeries right down the west coast checking out their pies, and sausage rolls and rating them.

This bakery turned out to be a very eclectic little café that was buzzing… it was really busy which indicated to us that it was good, and good it was.  We ordered our lunch and quickly found a table.  There were few free ones.   The bakery café had both charm and character and I will let the photos speak for themselves.  

After lunch, we had a wander around town.  It very much reminds me of Mount Tambourine in the Gold Coast Hinterland, with it quirky little cafes, art gallery, and craft shops, which a splattering of grocery stores, and other essential services.  I ended up seeing a Sports Power store and ended up scoring a new pair of joggers. My others were almost had it and the outer soles had collapses making it hard to walk properly. The relief on the feet was instant.  I walked out of the shop with the new shoes on my feet and I left the old ones behind for them to dispose of any way they liked. 

Around 4pm we decided it was time to head for home.  As we had traveled down the main Bussel Highway to get to the Margaret River, we decided to cut across from the Highway to Caves Road and take the scenic road back home.  
It was such a lovely drive, with rolling green hills dotted with cattle and sheep, and we even managed to see a deer farm as well. We did stop to snap some photos.  Although a full day, it was nice to get home and rest our weary legs.  Steve headed down to the beach to throw out a line.  

He has enjoyed staying at the campsite here as being right on the beach, he can just walk out and cast out a line whenever it suits him.  Most days he caught some kind of fish…. Mostly though he had to throw them back as they weren’t the legal size. 
We have decided to stay one more night, as we need to catch up on some washing and also do a bit of a grocery shop before heading off once again. Roll on tomorrow,  a day to slow our pace down and unwind, even though we will be busy catching up on cleaning, banking and housework…


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