Heralded as Margaret River’s founding estate, Vasse Felix is the natural place to start any tour of the region’s wineries.
The estate, which was first planted in 1967 by Dr Tom Cullity, still produces premium wines from its original vines to fulfil the simple mantra, ‘make the best possible wine’. Located in the ‘wine paradise’ of Australia, it’s the vineyard’s splendid isolation and rich growing conditions that make it a haven for winemakers and enthusiasts alike.
Each wine produced under the Vasse Felix label is grown, harvested, made and bottled on the estate. Grapes are grown and nurtured with minimal intervention, leaving it to the region’s maritime climate and gravel loam to work its magic. Cabernet sauvignon, chardonnay, shiraz, and semillon sauvignon are grown, with their signature ranges being the Heytesbury Chardonnay, the Filius Cabernet Sauvignon and the Classic Dry Red.
At the helm of the estate’s winemaking program is Chief Winemaker, Virginia Willcock. Since 2006, she’s not only picked up the baton and run it towards a soaring standard, but also added a few awards to her list. She was named Gourmet Traveller Wine’s Australian Winemaker of the Year in 2012 and was the only Australian nominee for the Wine Enthusiast Magazine USA’s Winemaker of the Year award in 2014.
The Vasse Felix Tasting Bar, Wine Lounge and Restaurant are also worth a visit. Headed by Chef Brendan Pratt, the restaurant offers a fine dining experience set against the stunning rural backdrop of the vineyard. The menu is seasonally driven, with dishes like snapper with pippis and cauliflower drizzled in passionfruit or emu with quandong, lettuce and yolk in the mix. If wine and cheese is more your speed, the Wine Lounge offers charcuterie boards and wine flights in a more casual setting.
More than once has Vasse Felix been named as the ‘benchmark’ Australian winery. As one of the region’s oldest and most prestigious wineries, it ticks the boxes for an enriching historical, vinicultural and foodie adventure in one clean sweep.