Australia’s second oldest wine region, home to more than 40 wineries, is just 30 minutes from the Perth CBD.
Amongst the fresh valley air and pretty vistas you will also find five breweries, two distilleries, countless purveyors of gourmet artisan goods, handcrafted wares, bustling markets and vibrant artists’ studios.
English settler Thomas Waters started viticulture here, digging a cellar in 1830 at Olive Farm, the oldest winemaking establishment in Australia which was in use until the start of the new millennium. Two waves of immigration by Yugoslavs, in the early 20th century and after the Second World War, meant the Swan Valley joined the Barossa Valley (German) and the Riverland (Italian) as significant ethnically driven wine-producing regions.
Interestingly, the Swan Valley had more wineries than either New South Wales or Victoria for a time. The valley’s completely flat, alluvial river plain provides vineyards with soils that are immensely deep and well drained. The hot, dry summer means grapes ripen easily and quickly, with the climate ideal for table grapes and fortified wines.