Discover award-winning wines hidden amongst the rolling green hills of the Ferguson Valley.
The Ferguson Valley is at the northern end of the Geographe Wine Region. Long associated with farming, the Ferguson Valley has soils high in nutrients and an essentially Mediterranean climate cooled by the Indian Ocean. Varieties that tend to grow well here include Chardonnay, Sauvignon Blanc, Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Pinot Noir and Shiraz.
The Ferguson Valley has many wineries that are now being recognised for their high quality production. Heading out on a day of tasting will introduce you to some world-class wines and scenery that is absolutely spectacular with rolling green hills interspersed with bushland, vines and cows.
The roads in the Ferguson are well signposted with arrows pointing to the wineries so it’s not a challenge to navigate your way around if you’re heading out on your own. Alternatively, winery tours can be booked out of Bunbury. Contact the Bunbury visitor centre for more information.
If you head to Ferguson Falls you can taste all five of their wines at the cellar door. As the wines have limited retail availability, you’re better off buying what you like by the crate on the spot. While they may be scarce, several of their wines are medal winning proving that quality, not quantity is what prevails at Ferguson Falls. Their cellar door opens from 11am to 5pm on weekends and public holidays or by appointment at other times, (08) 9728 1083.
Lovers of wine and art should check out Ferguson Hart Estate where not only do they make great wines, there’s also a gallery. If you’re starting to feel tired from all the sipping, swirling and spitting, you can grab a coffee from the gallery for a quick caffeine fix. The cellar door is open weekends from 11am til 5pm, and you can sample all of their wines on site. (08) 9728 0144.
Willow Bridge Estate is one of the better known wineries in the Ferguson, having won medals at several wine shows. Willow Bridge’s more popular wines include their Semillon Sauvignon Blanc 2002, Shiraz 2002 and Rose 2003, all of which you can try at their cellar door, which has beautiful views out to the ocean. Willow Bridge is open from 11am to 5pm all week, (08) 9728 0055.
Henty Brook Estate is situated at the top of the Darling Ranges and has a view unlike any other in the area. On one side the vista stretches over Bunbury and out to the ocean, and the other is over lush state forest. The award-winning wine is only available at their cellar door, open from 10am to 4pm weekends and public holidays. Visitors at the winery are welcome to use the private barbecue and picnic facilities. (08) 9728 1459.
Another medal-winning winery is Kingtree Wines. Here you’ll find a relaxing café where they enjoy matching food to the various wine styles and vintages. The café’s menu changes regularly but always features an antipasto grazing plate – the perfect accompaniment to a glass or two of vino. Accommodation is also available at Kingtree Lodge, which can accommodate eight adults in style. Bookings are essential. The cellar door is open between 11am and 5:30pm on weekends, as is the café. (08) 9728 3050.
According to James Halliday, Hackersley Estate is one of the top ten new wineries in Australia. Hackersley is worth a pit stop for a couple of reasons: the highly acclaimed wine, particularly the 2002 merlot, and the fabulous food. The restaurant has beautiful views overlooking the dam and hills, and serves a range of mouth-watering dishes from a menu that changes seasonally. Hackersley is open 10am to 4pm, Friday to Sunday and by appointment, (08) 9728 3033.
Other wineries to visit in the Ferguson Valley:
St Aidan’s, open weekends, public holidays and by appointment, (08) 9728 3007.
Wansbrough Wines, open from 11am to 5pm on weekends, (08) 9728 3104
Paradise Creek, will customise the bottle’s label for a special event, by appointment, (08) 9728 0222.