The West

Margaret River wine talk (inc. Win a Bottle of Wine)
Margaret River wine talk (inc. Win a Bottle of Wine)

Wine tours tailored to your needs

Margaret River wine tour operators say business hasn’t been hurt by the apparent economic perfect storm wreaking havoc on the production industry, but it has forced them to change their marketing strategy.

“Because of the economy, we probably don’t have as many international guests as we use to,” Margies Big Day Out operator Jaime Werren told the Times.

“Our biggest demographic is still the Perth market – we still have a lot of people coming down from Perth on the weekend.

“And the difference is they are now staying for three or four nights, not just for two days, which is positive for the region.”

Vintage Wine Tours owner Tony Barugh said recent problems within the wine industry and global economy had not affected his business as much as the cooling climate. “At this time of year it always quietens down with the worsening of the weather,” Mr Barugh told the Times.

“But I personally feel, this year, the numbers have been very good.”

Mr Barugh, who had been running his tours for less than 18 months, credited the hard word of region promoters, including Tourism WA and the Augusta-Margaret River Tourism Association, for keeping the industry afloat in tough times.

“There hasn’t been a significant drop in clientele,” he said.

“The tourism industry has done a good job to keep the focus on Margaret River and we’re pleased with how the business is going in comparison to the state of the world economy.”

Taste of the South Tours owner Sabine Schaaf said they designed evening-specific deals to cater to the swelling Perth-based market in light of a drop off in foreign visitors.

“People who come down from Perth don’t always want to start a tour at 11am,” she said.

“We do (a) night tour, which starts around 3pm and we go to a few wineries, do an evening meal and go to a few more wineries that open especially for us and drop people off at 9pm.”

Juices flow from a corking drop

Winery: Woody Nook
Wine: Cabernet merlot 2010
Reviewer: Mike Gadd, Wino’s

The Olympics are still going and I’m still staying up to God knows what hour blankly staring at the television.

I don’t know what it is about Greco-Roman wrestling that I just can’t take my eyes off of. The outfits? Anyhow, after last week being beguiled by the salty and buxom Woody Nook chardonnay, I’ve decided to run with the theme and look at the Woody Nook cabernet merlot 2010.

The 2010 vintage was great in my eyes with more moderate harvest temperatures and a little more time for the fruit to just kind of “hang” on the vine and get a little more depth in character.

My first observation. After thinking that there is something wrong with me in not being able to twist the screw cap, I realise it’s under cork. Really?

Now I have to try and find that corkscrew that even in a house full of winemakers, never seems to be anywhere obvious.

That done, and the draconian piece of tree bark is removed, it’s on to the wine. Luckily the one in 12 chance of the dreaded cork taint isn’t evident here.

Nose in the glass and the first thing is barbecued meat with a satay sauce.

It almost made me salivate and get those 2am munchies.

That blows off a little and I get more of the cassis and plum, nutmeg and native bush that we have come to expect from the blend in Margaret River.

The palate is as plush as nan’s Chesterfield up front, and has plenty of the black forrest cake character I’ve spoken of before.

For those who remember last week, this also has a slightly salty finish on it.

Again quite beguiling. It’s a mix of salted plum, some ink and a light sanguine character. Again I’m craving some meat. At 2am. Maybe it’s the influence of the Greco-Roman wrestling.

I like this wine. It gets the juices going and screams for a barbecue.

Word of warning. If taking on a picnic remember to dust off that corkscrew or, unless you know the trick of opening a wine by banging it against a tree, your barbie will be a dry one.

To win a bottle of Woody Nook send the name of the wine and your contact details, including your name and phone number to

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