Swan Valley, Wine and Sun

We ose from our lovely slumber around 8:30 and dined out on the balcony again. We are eating light breakfasts – some Weetbix and fruit with some mango yoghurt over it. Very nice indeed. Sitting out on the balcony in the fresh morning air is a real treat. The views are stunning and the company is delightful. We enjoyed a lazy morning around the apartment before packing our camera gear, water and wallets and heading out the door around 11.30.

Today we decided to take in a tour of the Swan Valley – a wine area that is about 20 minutes from the city centre. We stopped at The Boathouse coffee shop (the place we went for morning tea yesterday) and bought a couple of takeaway coffees and a very tasty melting moment. Mmmmmm. With coffee in hand and melting moment melting in mouth we drove north along the Canning Hwy toward Swan Valley Information Centre in Guilford.

The drive was over in 20 minutes (light traffic here in Perth!) and before we knew it we were being helped by the friendly tour guides in the info’ centre. In addition to the local touring maps, we walked out with a few Xmas gifts for the family – reminder to self – make sure The Princess brings her wallet! The Swan Valley wine trail is quite short so it didn’t take long before the first winery on our list came into view.

Our winery of choice was the Sandlford winery – one of WA’s oldest wineries. We took a look through the cellar before settling into the tastings. We were served by a German girl named Julia and a Scottish guy named Ricky. Both of these servers were on working visa and they obviously enjoyed their jobs. They knew their stuff and we really enjoyed the tasting and non tasting discussion we had with them. We sampled the full range of Sandlford wines and complimented the tasting with some cheddar cheese and crackers – a great way to spend a sunny Friday afternoon. A few of the wines left their mark on our pallets so we made sure we purchased a bottle each of the ones we enjoyed.
After whetting our appetites with cheese, crackers and some delightful wine we took a few photos of the stunning grounds that surrounded the cellar area then rejoined the drive north. Our aim was to find a place to have a late lunch however after stopping at some of the delightful eateries that were recommended by the tourist info staff we learnt that most of the kitchens close around 3:00pm. Our late start to the day plus our extended wine tasting resulted in the day getting away from us so it was closer to 3.30 by the time we were ready to dine.
Fortunately one of the boutique breweries in the Valley, Elmars, was open and it was here that we sat out under the verandah of the building and dined on some sumptuous German sausage meals. The rather large meals were just what we needed to compliment one of Elmar’s beers. The potted citrus plants, white river gums and noisy native parrots provided the perfect backdrop to the outdoor dining venue.
We rolled our full bellies out of Elmars around 5.00pm and went in search of a local honey producer. However, time beat us again so we continued our drive and paid a short visit to the Midland’s shopping area instead – an interesting experience that included The Princess witnessing a local native kid stealing some food from one of the closed dining outlets. Needless to say, we didn’t stay in the complex too long.
The short drive back to our apartment meant we were home in time to witness the beautiful sunset from our balcony. A great way to wind up a wonderful day out in the Swan Valley.
After unpacking the wine and some of the other goodies we purchased we took a walk down to the local pub – The Windsor with the view to listening to some live music. However, the queues were rather long so we changed our minds, bought some take away coffees and returned to the apartment for some port and a lazy holiday evening at “home”. In reality this was far smarter choice and just what we needed after a long day out.

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