On the 1st of November our members were treated to MRCCI’s first ever big bus tour! Planned to mark 50 years of wine in the Margaret River Region, the event was filled with incredible hosts, delicious food and of course amazing wine! The event took our members on a journey backwards through time, visiting Watershed Premium Wines, Cape Grace Wines and Willespie Wines; each host ensured a distinct and personal behind the scenes experience for our members.
Our guests were picked up by Lloyd Shepherdson, owner of Shepherdson Transportation and our driver for the afternoon. Thank you very much to Lloyd for providing such quick and safe travel. Each leg of the tour was enhanced by our wonderful MC and Deputy President Rebecca Hannan, who talked about the history of wine in the Margaret River Region and gave out important information about our hosts.
Our first destination Watershed Premium Wines released their first wines in 2002. We were greeted by Watershed’s owner Geoff Barrett who took us down into their barrel store and discussed his business and his award-winning wine! Then we got to taste Watershed’s delicious wine guided by their head winemaker Severine Logan and winemaker Conrad Tritt. A huge thank you to our host Geoff, Severine and Conrad for imparting their knowledge and experience with wines and for letting us taste them!
The second destination for the tour was Cape Grace Wines who planted their first vines in 1996 on land where Dr Tom Cullity founder of Vasse Felix initially was going to build his winery. The owners of Cape Grace, Karen and Rob Karri-Davies and their “hairy doorbell” Rusty the dog, met us in their vineyard for their white wine tastings amongst the beautiful scenery. Then we headed to their cellar door, past their hand plunged and basket pressed wines where we got to taste some of their reds. Thank you so very much to our hosts Rob and Karen for talking with us all about their vineyard and their hand-crafted wines.
Our final destination for the evening was a cosy and idyllic setting up on the balcony at Willespie Wines. Our guests got to talk with Kevin and Marian Squance the owners of Willespie who planted their first vines with their four kids in 1976. We are grateful to our hosts Marian and Kevin for talking to us about their family and their history while we got to taste some of Willespie’s fabulous wine.
Our guests also got to taste some scrumptious crocodile, emu and bison sausages barbequed up for us at Willespie, provided by Ian Newton owner of Mahogany Meats in Margaret River. Thank you very much Ian, the food was delicious! As the evening ended, our guests were asked to recall some of the important information given to them by our MC Rebecca and our great hosts throughout the night for a quiz. While many members had very creative answers for some of the questions, the eventual winner were all separated by only half a point!
First place from River Fresh IGA Debbie O’Connor and Kim Hill, got to take home a corporate gift pack from Yahava Koffeworks worth over 80 dollars! Second place, Kim Luciano and Heather Brown of All West Building Approvals received a hand plunged, basket pressed bottle of Cape Grace Cabernet Shiraz and in third place was Boyd Wykes and Karen Majer of Nature Conservation Margaret River Region who also won a bottle of Cape Grace Cabernet Shiraz.
With that MRCCI’s celebration of 50 years of wine drew to a close with our members full of tasty food, incredible wine and perhaps some new knowledge about the great wines and fantastic wineries we are lucky to have here in our Margaret River Region. MRCCI’s first big bus tour was thoroughly enjoyed by our members, who surely don’t want to wait for wine’s centenary celebration to be able to enjoy the next one!
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Margaret River Chamber of Commerce and Industry