Swan Valley Food and Wine Trail Western Australia

Swan valley vines

The Swan Valley is about a 30-minute drive from the centre of Perth, Western Australia, in normal traffic, and is an area that is known for the quality of its locally-made wines.  Wines have been produced in the Swan Valley for about 175 years.  The vines prosper thanks to the quality of the soil and the excellent Mediterranean-type climate.  Perth averages 8 hours of sunshine for 365 days of the year.  That doesn’t mean that it never rains, it just means that it rains at the right time, mainly during winter, so the growing season is usually predictable.

The two major wineries in the Swan Valley are Houghtons and Sandalford.  They both started as small family-run wineries, but have since expanded to be part of big corporations.  In fact, Houghtons White Classic, which used to be known as Houghtons White Burgundy before any reference to other wine producing areas had to be removed from wine products, was one of Australia’s most revered wines and was created by a Swan Valley legend, winemaker Jack Mann.

Many families of mainly Italian and Slav origin have settled in the Valley over the years to set up their own vineyards, and many are producing great wines that are available for tasting at cellar doors.  Over the past decade, or so, the Swan valley has become more sophisticated and a number of wineries have opened restaurants on their properties, and many other complementary businesses have opened so that now the Swan Valley has become popular with locals and visitors who wish to sample the Valley’s many gourmet delights.

As well as its many wineries, the swan Valley now boasts seven small breweries and two distilleries, plus cheesemakers, coffee producers, chocolate and nougat producers, fresh produce, artisan galleries and entertainment.

It has become popular to follow the Swan Valley food and wine trail, and whilst most people take their own cars for flexibility, there are a number of tour operators who do run tours which include visits to wineries, breweries, wildlife parks and other attractions, and which usually include lunch at a winery or restaurant.  For those who wish to take a couple of days to discover the Valley, there are plenty of places to stay, ranging from The Vines Golf Resort to attractive B&B’s.

The Swan Valley has wineries which suit any budget and some of the bigger wineries have good picnic areas for those who wish to provide their own food.

If you are planning a visit to Perth, then make sure you allow yourself a day or two to discover the Swan Valley, it really is a terrific experience.

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