Why Julie and I thought we could walk around the vineyards of Swan Valley is beyond me. A vineyard requires land, a lot of land, for the vines and I think we were caught out by the scale of the beautifully laid out map. Everything looked so close by, on paper!

We headed out to the Kimberly Rum Distillery – home to the fabulous Cane Fire Rum as there were bottles to be purchased by Julie for a lucky someone back home. Starting your day with rum tasting can only be headed one way….

Thank goodness for Uber, they managed to get us around. As time was limited, we selected to visit the most recommended wineries. Our first stop, Lancaster, and we were not disappointed. The setting was marvelous, relaxed seating by an open cellar door with surrounding views of the vines, a small cheese tasting board carefully paired with the wines, and a collection of witty but honest tasting notes. We were in the right place. We tasted another spectacular sparkling and also a complex full bodied Cabernet, but it was the sticky Shiraz that rounded out my suitcase collection. To me, this was Christmas in a glass and my countdown to the festive time of the year has begun.

The wonderful ladies of Lancaster recommended Mandoon for more tasting and lunch – a fantastic move on our behalf as we rounded up this spectacular trip with a bottle of their wonderful sparkling and a mouth-watering lunch. If you find yourself in Swan Valley, I would happily recommend this place. 

The end to a trip full of learning for me. Who knew that South Western Australia made such smooth and luscious sparkling wines, deep complex pure Cabernet Sauvignons and a plethora of fabulous fortified and dessert wines. The best thing, they make it their way, the way that suits the region, the soils, climate and their individual visions. It truly was a breath of fresh air.

As I head back to London, I have a host of exciting plans and other trips planned around Europe, and I am excited to share it with you all.

If you are interested more specifically in wine and developing your knowledge of that, please do follow me on my Instagram page @learning_wine

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