Published on

The Best Wineries for Tasting and Lunch in Margaret River

  • avatar
    Rijnard van Tonder

Margaret River is a truly special place to visit for wine tasting and a top pick for me in Australia. If you're heading out from Perth it's a bit out of the way, but so worth the trip. I only had one week to tour all of Australian wine country and in this post I'm sharing my picks for Margaret River for wine tasting and lunch.

Margaret river

Vineyards in Margaret River

A quick intro—

Hi 👋 I'm Rijnard. I'm a credentialed Certified Sommelier (Court of Master Sommeliers) and a Certified Specialist of Wine. My day job is programming, and I earned my PhD in Computer Science from Carnegie Mellon University in 2019.

Getting into wine changed how I spend my free time, and I want to make your wine experiences more valuable. I hope this article will lead you to authentic life-long memories with people and places.

I spent two nights in Margaret River and visited eight wineries. It would be easy to stay busy for 4 nights or more, especially if you want to also spend some time by the gorgeous nearby ocean coast. If you're mostly interested in lunch, my best choice is Vasse Felix. For wines, you want to try Chardonnays and Cabernet Sauvignons in this region, with Shiraz as a follow up. Take note of some uncommon varieties I found in this region as well, including Malbec, Viognier, and Riesling.

Table of Contents

Whicher Ridge

I'll remember Whicher Ridge for a long long time. Here' an opportunity to have the winemaker Cathy herself guide you through a tasting. Not only that, but there are some unique varietals and quaffable wines here: Viognier and Malbec. I think the Malbec is excellent value for money; buy with confidence. You'll also find a sensory garden to accompany your tasting. An extremely enjoyable experience for the connoisseur and uniquely authentic. I booked the day of, but I'd recommend booking ahead of time during the busy season. I personally think this place is under the radar (and it won't stay that way for long). It's a perfect stop between Perth and Margaret River, lying a bit north of Margaret River town.

Wine Tasting at Whicher Ridge
YearNameMy Tier Rating
2022Whicher Ridge Sauvignon BlancB
2020Whicher Ridge Le Puissant MalbecA
2016Whicher Ridge Cabernet SauvignonB+
2021Whicher Ridge Mademoiselle ViognierB
2022Whicher Ridge ChardonnayB+

Domaine Naturaliste

A beautiful, spacious tasting room and a professional tasting experience. I thought the wines here were really excellent, and loved the Chardonnay. The tasting is fantastic value for money, about $15 AUD for a really premium tasting. The Cabernet Franc deserves a special shout out. This winery is also a bit north of Margaret River town, and worth and stop if you're driving in that direction. You should be able to just walk in!

Domaine Naturaliste (click to expand)
YearNameMy Tier Rating
2021Domaine Naturaliste Floris ChardonnayB+
2021Domaine Naturaliste Purus ChardonnayA
2021Domaine Naturaliste Artus ChardonnayA
2019Domaine Naturaliste Rebus Cabernet SauvignonA
2020Domaine Naturaliste Cabernet FrancA
2018Domaine Naturaliste Morus Cabernet SauvignonA
Margaret River

Domaine Naturaliste, Margaret River

Gralyn Estate

Gralyn was the most generous winery throughout all of my tour in Australia. A premium lineup of wines, including vintage wines, and some very special dessert wines. With the amount of wines to taste, you could spend an entire day here. It is a smaller, boutique style tasting room, so I highly suggest going early in the morning or late in the afternoon if you want to make the most of it. Also consider going on a weekday or during off-season. I should mention, I travelled light and didn't buy any bottles during my trip. Except for one bottle I bought at Gralyn. Which bottle? Their Unoaked Cabernet Sauvignon. During my tasting, I realized I just had to spend more time with this dessert wine that had uniquely gorgeous tea notes. It is something very different, so keep a look out.

Gralyn Estate (click to expand)
YearNameMy Tier Rating
2022Gralyn Chardonnay Semillon Wilyabrup WhiteB+
2022Gralyn Late Harvest White Semillon ChardonnayB+
2021Gralyn Unoaked Cabernet SauvignonA
2021Gralyn Racy Red Cabernet SauvignonB+
2022Gralyn Late Harvest Cabernet SauvignonB+
2012Gralyn Black Label Cabernet SauvignonA+
2018Gralyn Reserve ShirazA
2013Gralyn Reserve ShirazA+
2015Gralyn Reserve Cabernet SauvignonA+
2014Gralyn Reserve Cabernet SauvignonA+
2013Gralyn Reserve Cabernet SauvignonA+
2022Gralyn White Fortified Semillon VerdelhoA
2022Gralyn White Chocolate Semillon VerdelhoB+
2020Gralyn Vintage Fortified ShirazA
2021Gralyn Chocolate Ruby Cabernet SauvignonA
NVGralyn Rare Tawny Shiraz Grenache (20 years)A
NVGralyn Classic MuscatA
NVGralyn Artizan Rare MuscatA

Leeuwin Estate

You need to try the Chardonnays here, but especially the Cabernet Sauvignons (which I ended up liking even more). Keep an eye out for older wines on their tasting menu (I had the 2014 Art Series Chardonnay and 2013 Cabernet Sauvignon). These are pricier but well worth the tasting if you're an enthusiast. You'll find a lot of media raving over Leeuwin's Art Series, and in my experience it's well-founded. Great staff, and I did my tasting at the bar counter. I did not try lunch here, but Leeuwin Estate's restaurant ought to be a strong choice, so check their lunch offerings beforehand.

Leeuwin Estate (click to expand)
YearNameMy Tier Rating
2021Leeuwin Estate Prelude Vineyards ChardonnayB
2020Leeuwin Estate Art Series ChardonnayA
2014Leeuwin Estate Art Series ChardonnayA+
2020Leeuwin Estate Prelude Cabernet SauvignonB+
2022Leeuwin Estate Art Series Cabernet SauvignonA+
2013Leeuwin Estate Art Series Cabernet SauvignonA+
2020Leeuwin Estate Art Series ShirazB+
2016Leeuwin Estate Art Series ShirazB+
2015Leeuwin Estate Art Series RieslingA
2022Leeuwin Estate Art Series RieslingB


Xanadu stood out especially for their Chardonnays which I found particularly high acid (great for me!) and tart. Wonderfully friendly and knowledgable staff (like most of Margaret River). Xanadu is a solid stop, and it's easy to just walk-in and try their wines. Arguably one of the best retail prices by the bottle too, if you like Chardonnay.

Xanadu (click to expand)
YearNameMy Tier Rating
2021Xanadu ChardonnayA
2021Xanadu Boodjidup Brook ChardonnayA
2020Xanadu Reserve ChardonnayA+
2021Xanadu Cabernet SauvignonB+
2020Xanadu Boodjidup Brook Cabernet SuavignonB+
2019Xanadu Reserve Cabernet SauvignonA

Vasse Felix: My Choice for Lunch in Margaret River

Vasse Felix has a lot to offer for tasting and lunch, and I made it my lunch stop. The restaurant sits on the second floor, offering views over the vineyards. First thing I loved about their restaurant: I could try vintage wines by the glass from their lunch menu (I had a 2008 Heytesbury Cabernet Sauvignon). Second thing: they offer a yummy à la carte menu. I find that many wineries offer set menus, which may or may not be up your alley. I also tried a their Syrah with my meal and it was all a hit. Do make a reservation if you plan to have lunch, it was bustling despite visiting on a Monday.

Vasse Felix

Walkway up to Vasse Felix restaurant and tasting room

Vasse Felix (click to expand)
YearNameMy Tier Rating
2008Vasse Felix Heytesbury Cabernet SauvignonA+
2021Vasse Felix SyrahA

Cullen Wines

I did a special tasting here, a Diana Madeline Cabernet Sauvignon vertical. The sommeliers here are top class. Look out for tasting experiences of their Kevin John Chardonnays, I highly recommend those wines, and one of my favorites of the entire trip. In fact, if you made it out to Cullen Wines and they're selling Kevin John Chardonnays, seriously consider walking out with a bottle. Cullen Wines is an excellent lunch option if you want a premium dining experience with exceptional wine pairings. They would be my lunch choice on a return trip.

Cullen Wines (click to expand)
YearNameMy Tier Rating
2021Cullen Wines Diana MadelineA
2020Cullen Wines Diana MadelineA
2019Cullen Wines Diana MadelineB+
2017Cullen Wines Diana MadelineA
2016Cullen Wines Diana MadelineA
2013Cullen Wines Diana MadelineA
2012Cullen Wines Diana MadelineA
2021Cullen Wines Mangan Vineyard Sauvignon Blanc SemillonB+
2022Cullen Wines Grace Madeline Sauvignon Blanc SemillonB+
2012Cullen Wines Cullen Vineyard Sauvignon BlancA
2021Cullen Wines Kevin John ChardonnayA+
2021Cullen Wines Legacy Series Fruit Day Kevin John ChardonnayS
2021Cullen Wines Legacy Series Flower Day Kevin John ChardonnayS

Cape Grace

A fun and easy winery to visit, simply walk-in! The space is smaller, though you'll find a nice variety of grape varietals in the tasting flight. Pay attention to their Shiraz and Cabernet Sauvignon, which were particularly good.

Cape Grace (click to expand)
YearNameMy Tier Rating
2022Cape Grace Chenin BlancB
2022Cape Grace ChardonnayB+
2022Cape Grace RoseB+
2022Cape Grace Cabernet Sauvignon ShirazB+
2019Cape Grace ShirazB+
2019Cape Grace Cabernet SauvignonA

Lunch and Dinner options in Marget River

If you're spending time in Margaret River town, take note of Settler's Tavern. It's a very large restaurant with excellent dining options in a casual setting, and you'll likely get by without a reservation. I was impressed by their fantastic wine selection by the glass or bottle. I had a memorable 2014 Vasse Felix Heytesbury Chardonnay here with fish and chips.

The River Hotel also has a restaurant in casual setting with great food à la carte menu and generally thoughtful by-the-glass wines. Smaller (though spacious) and a little more tranquil than Settler's tavern.


If you're based in Perth, it's worth mentioning Mandoon Estate in Swan Valley. This is a large winery with fine dining, casual lunches, plenty of areas of tasting, and a playground for kids. It's one of the most accessible and family-friendly lunch stops close to Perth!

If you like wine bars, check out Lalla Rookh wine bar in Perth. Here you'll find great international wines if you're looking for something different or classic, like Burgundy reds or Barolos from Piedmont. It is quaint and no dining options, though there is an adjoining restaurant. Check out Casa Perth for a restaurant that offers a great combination of food and wine.

I hope this helped you enjoy happy touring! I want to hear from you and your experience. I'm human and you can talk to me on instagram / twitter / e-mail.