My work mates and I spent an afternoon driving through the Swan Valley recently. On this occasion, we stuck to venues on and near to Great Northern Highway. After 2012 being full of hens days wine tours, I’d not been to the swan valley for a while. There were a few places I’d been looking forward to visiting. The Cheese Barrel and Sitella Winery in particular.
First stop was a wine tasting at Houghton’s modern cellar door. The historic winery is amongst gorgeous lawned grounds, shaded by the flowering jacarandas. Houghton have some pretty good wine too. I was very keen on their sparkling classic. I’ve been to Houghton before for food and I can tell you that their food patters are fantastic!
Next stop was the Kimberly Rum Company. Here spirits were on the menu! At this distillery you can try “Canefire” – their rum-like spirit. It is made from sugar cane, which is grown in the Ord River Valley around Kununurra. They also have vodka etc to try. We could have 3 tastings here and I opted for the slushy cocktails – the Fruit Tingles were the best!! The yummy cocktail mixers are available to buy – just add booze!
We then stopped at Mondo Nougat. We had a sample of the scrumptious nougat. I really liked the coffee flavour. If you are after an actual coffee, there is also a café at mondo, where you can sit and enjoy there wide range of sweet Italian delicacies.
Recently, local Perth Company Morish Nuts also set up shop next door to Mondo Nougat. There were a few different types and flavours of nuts to sample. The nuts indeed proved to be extremely Morish! I loved the wasabi macadamias and treated myself to a bag of them. The very best Australian nuts are used at Morish, they are all delicious.
Sittella Winery was a gorgeous place to stop. As we arrived there was a very festive air about the place and soon, as a bride appeared it became apparent why! Sittella is surrounded by lush vineyards and has beautiful gardens overlooking a dam and gazebo. We had a wine tasting at the cellar door, they lovely and knowledgeable Sharon guiding us through the various wines. My pick was the 2012 – SGT – Shiraz Grenache Tempranillo – I loved it.
We then headed to the Cheese Barrel. I’d heard good things about this cracking spot for wine and cheese. It’s right next to Olive Farm Wines (on Great Northern Hwy). I would recommend that you also visit the winery, as they have some stunning wines there. At the Cheese Barrel you will find very high quality farmhouse and artisanal cheeses from all around the world. Make your own cheese platter and pair it with locally produced Olive Farm Wines. If you’re the designated driver you can still enjoy a wonderful “5 Senses” coffee, they have a fantastic Synesso Hydra Espresso machine, imported from Seattle.
It is also very child friendly; down stairs is a large shaded sandpit. We shared a few different platters, being in a large group.
Each platter had a few different cheeses and accompaniments like fruit, olives, lavosh, smoked hams and chicken. There were some delicious cheeses. My all-time favourite, Irish Cashel Blue is on the menu. They also have genuine Brie – imported from the Brie region in France.
It was a gorgeous day, but unfortunately we didn’t make our last stop – Feral Brewery. Our bus driver said we had gone over our schedule and had to head back home. Oh well, that’s something for next time I think.