Swan Valley Wineries: A Region Like No Other

by Jacob King Stanley

World-renowned wineries, breweries, distilleries, artisan produce and so much more. Swan Valley is located just 25 minutes from Perth and is a destination like no other.

With over 200 years of history, dating back to the early colonial settlement in Guildford, Swan Valley prides itself on its uniqueness and so much more than just the amazing Swan Valley wineries.

The perfect day trip getaway, or an ideal place to spend the weekend – Swan Valley is the place to wind down and relax, enjoying the stunning landscapes and amazing offerings.

Sandalford Wines, Source: https://www.sandalford.com

Getting There

Located just 25 minutes from Perth’s CBD, and only a 10-minute drive from the Perth Airport – a day trip is definitely an option when planning a visit to this region.

Train or Bus:

You can catch a train on the Midland line, get off at Guildford station and either Taxi, Uber or hire a bike.

The Swan Valley is a 25-minute drive from Perth’s city centre. From the CBD, head onto the Great Eastern Highway to Johnston Street, onto Guilford Road then Meadow Street followed by West Swan Road before reaching the award-winning Swan Valley wineries.

Wineries In Swan Valley

Western Australia’s oldest wine region, with more than 40 wineries for you to explore, it’s hard to choose just a few. They say fine wine gets better with age, and the Swan Valley has over 180 years experience of winemaking.

1. Ugly Duckling Wines

A family-owned winery, selling grapes to local wineries over the years until 2007 reached and they decided to produce their own wine and label known as Ugly Duckling Wines.

Their first vintage produced around 3,500 Shiraz bottles and 4,000 bottles of Chardonnay. Since then, their premium range has constantly been expanding. In 2012, an expansion was on the horizon for Ugly Duckling, a new undercover area – perfect for larger groups was built and decadent cheese & meat platters were added to the menu alongside their famous gourmet pies. Only a year later, the winery continued to expand and live music commenced on Sunday afternoons later that year. 

The winery hasn’t stopped growing and continues to be one of the Swan Valley’s most sought after wineries. With stunning views, hearty food, and down to earth staff – this is a winery you’ll definitely want to visit.

2. Upper Reach Winery

A family owned and operated winery nestled amongst the banks of Perth’s Swan River. With an aim to produce only the highest quality wines from estate grown fruit – Upper Reach Winery continues to fulfil this promise.

Indulge in a wine tasting whilst overlooking impeccable vineyard views. Or stay the night at the Upper Reach Spa 1907 refurbished Cottage, a gorgeous two bedroom cottage, perfect for couples or perhaps a family. The cottage stands alone, so you’ll be able to enjoy the peace and quiet of your own 20-acre vineyard.

The owners at Upper Reach believe that great wine is essential in life, accompanied by great food, family and friends. And we couldn’t agree more!

Derek Pearse’s award-winning reserve Shiraz is a wine worth writing home about. Not only do they produce outstanding Shiraz, but they also create an extensive range of vibrant, full-bodied wines, each reflecting the vineyard in their own way.

3. Sandalford Wines

Known as one of Western Australia’s oldest and largest producers of premium wine, with a history that dates back to the European Settlement.

Sandalford Wines is known for producing an extensive range of wines under numerous labels – it will be hard to limit yourself to a select few. Advanced viticultural practices and a continuous increase in the winemaking team, Sandalford will exceed your expectations with not only their wine but their award-winning restaurant.

A relaxed alfresco area under 125-year-old vines, a unique wine tasting at the cellar door, a gift shop with wine-related goodies or a winery tour for those larger groups – Sandalford Wines has it all.

4. Fig Tree Estate

The name ‘Fig Tree Estate’ derives from the stunning 100-year-old fig tree on the property.

A younger winery, producing their first wine in 2011 – a Shiraz and Grenache combination. Fig Tree Estate is a family owned and operated winery. And despite their young age, they are very successful alongside the older vineyards in the Swan Valley region.

The Jenkins family believes in keeping things traditional, using handcrafted winemaking techniques to produce nothing but premium, unique wines with their own character. Not only do the Jenkins produce delectable small batch wines, but they also produce handcrafted cider if you’re in the mood for something a little lighter. Tasting plates, cheese boards, hand-made olives and wood-fired pizzas are the perfect accompaniment to the extensive premium wines on offer.

5. Olive Farm Wines

Known as the oldest farm in Western Australia. Olive Farm Wines was founded in 1829 by English Botanist – Thomas Waters. He was granted a large section of land in Guilford which eventually became home to olive trees. Shortly after, vines were planted amongst the land with wine being produced after the vines had produced enough fruit. Thomas Waters created an underground cellar which still remains on the property to this day and is now used as the cellar sales outlet.

Then in 1933, The Yurisich family purchased the property after moving to Western Australia from Yugoslavia. Fourth generation winemaker – Anthony Yurisich creates diverse wines in Swan Valley at his award-winning cellar door. There are more than 25 unique, premium wines on offer from sparkling to fortified and everything in between.

Enjoy a guided tour through the winery – learning all about Olive Farm’s history and how the wines are made today. Indulge in a cheese and wine pairing at the Cheese Barrel Cafe or immerse yourself in a tasting at the cellar door.

6. Windy Creek Estate

Previously Cobanov Wines, this family owned and run business has been producing wine to Swan Valley and beyond since 1937. The family uses both traditional and modern methods to produce and harvest their wines from fruit that is only grown on the estate.

Early on, the grapes from the estate were grown for dried fruit production with only a small amount used to make wine for Perth’s migrant community. Windy Creek produces nothing but premium quality wines at affordable prices. Discover their cosy cellar door and meet some of their friendly and warm staff. Enjoy the views of the acres of vines set amongst beautiful gardens – all whilst overlooking the stunning Darling Ranges.

7. Tyler’s Vineyard

Tyler’s Vineyard is a family run business, selling grapes to neighbouring wineries in the Swan Valley for over 23 years. Their vineyard may be small but alongside selling their grapes, they now produce their own wines under the Tyler’s Vineyard label. With Grenache vines older than 100 years, it is no wonder that Grenache-based wines are the Tyler family’s speciality. Non-irrigated vines are one of the numerous reasons that the wines at Tyler’s Vineyard are full of depth and intenseness.

A classic winery, with farm animals for you to greet, a rustic barn set amongst hundred-year-old vines and a warm welcome by owners Colin and Donelle. This smaller scale winery is one that you won’t want to miss when exploring the Swan Valley wineries.

8. Pandemonium Estate

A four-hectare vineyard with a modern twist. This boutique estate draws from Spain with its table and fortified wines. The winery offers platters and wood-fired pizzas – the perfect accompaniment to the impeccable wines on offer.

Award-winning white wines ranging from Chenin blanc to sparkling Moscato. Their reds are aged in oak and bottled for a minimum of three years until their ready to be sold and enjoyed. Enjoy stunning views of the Darling Ranges whilst chatting to owners Martin Buck and Loraine Donlevy and indulging in a free wine tasting.

This estate is on the smaller side compared to some of its neighbours. It was established in 2008 and its known for its range of both traditional and not so traditional wines. 

Things to Do

  • Explore the Swan Valley Food & Wine Trail

Indulge in the region’s best food and wine producers along the 32 kilometre scenic drive with more than 200 attractions. Fresh produce, wineries, distilleries, arts and crafts markets are just a few things on offer when exploring this trail.

  • Cycle along the Swan Valley Heritage Trail

Discover the history of the region and see its wildlife along a 12 kilometre bike trail. You will be able to ride past Sandalford Wines and the Margaret River Chocolate Companies. Explore the Aboriginal art galleries along the route or stop off at Whiteman Park or Caversham Wildlife Park.

  • Try hand-crafted beers in a boutique brewery

For those beer lovers and not so much the wine drinkers. Discover one of Swan Valley’s boutique breweries and try a hand-crafted beer or ask for a brewer’s handle and sample a range of their latest. We recommend visiting Feral Brewing Company or Ironbark for a great beer or two.

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