Taste Buds Tour Swan Valley
Our WA blogger Pia discovers the secrets of Western Australia’s oldest wine region!
Imagine having access to the fresh produce of the Sydney markets, the restaurants of Barossa Valley and the wines of Margaret River on your very own doorstep. Well as it turns out, the people of Perth are sitting on a food and wine lover’s gold mine, an untapped source that manages to go about its business without all the spectacle of its showy rivals. Thankfully, Loris Gundry, owner and tour operator of Taste Bud Tours, is opening our eyes (and mouths) to the delights of this delicious region. She’s helping us discover the magic of the Swan Valley.
In intimate groups of up to 10 people, Loris takes her guests on a personalised journey of the beautiful Swan Valley. She manages to prove that with its rich history, beautiful scenery and best of all, delicious food, WA’s oldest wine region has so much more to offer than just that infamous Spring in the Valley weekend in October.
The Taste Bud Tours food and wine trail is certainly a treat for the taste buds, but more than that it offers an experience to excite all your senses. There are sensational aromas and delightful sights: freshly roasted coffee and spicy chai at Yahava Koffee Works, lavender scones with lavender-infused strawberry jam and cream at Cape Lavender, shelf upon shelf packed with homemade nougat and cakes at Mondo Nougat, and mountains of chocolatey goodness at the Margaret River Chocolate Company. We even got our hands dirty picking fresh, crunchy asparagus to munch on at Maggie’s Place.
The tour is jam packed with places to visit, and while guests are given the opportunity to sample the wines and beers the region is known for, food remains the primary focus. The owners of the small businesses we met along the way have a clear passion for what they do. Hearing their stories and tips was one of my favourite offerings from the tour. From Rupert the bee-keeper, who taught himself how to look after bees at the age of eight, to former WA Country Woman of the Year and self-confessed ‘locavore’ Maggie, who introduced me to the sweet nectary goodness of elderflower juice, they are a wealth of knowledge when it comes to their produce.
With all it has to offer, and less than half an hour from the city, the Swan Valley is a refreshing change from the usual WA hotspots packed to the brim with tourists. I can’t wait to head back to pick up some more delicious goodies and to indulge in lazy Sunday lunches at some of the wineries and restaurants I discovered along the way. But right now I’m looking forward to spending the cold nights snuggling up on the couch, taking in the cinnamony goodness of my latest best buy – spicy chai latte!
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