So, kangaroos were a pretty common sight now. They lounged all over the villa’s grounds in the mornings when we awoke, gnawing on grass, just like the sheep. Roos + sheep: it was confirmed, we were most definitely in Australia.
We started our day at a nearby beach, watching the waves crash into the western shore and taking a bit of a stroll. We very definitely saw a whale that day, breaching and blowing just off the shore, on a common migration route back to cooler waters.
We drove into the town of Yallingup itself for coffee and some bacon sandwiches. There we again saw waves crashing, and saw several people riding them — Yallingup being very much a surfing town. But surfing, whales and bacon be damned, today was about wine!
We visited eight wineries (!) in total:
- Swings & Roundabouts, where they were very nice but we didn’t buy anything
- Clairault, which looked stuffy but wasn’t (but we still didn’t end up buying anything)
- Laurance, for which we had such high hopes after our Cab Sauv two nights previous but which was, in the end, terribly poncy and not very good at all in the wine department
- Knee Deep, a very pleasant, friendly and proficient winery where we purchased a wonderful Cab Sauv and would have eaten lunch if we could have
- Woodlands, which he happened into completely by accident but which ended up being maybe the find of the trip replete with charm, friendliness and a happy dog, and from which we took a spectacular Pinot Noir
- The Growers, actually a consortium of several small producers which offered lots of wine at incredibly reasonable prices, though nothing quite remarkable enough to take home
- Deep Woods, in which we met a lovely Belgian gentleman who spoke BBC-perfect English and who, quite generously, offered us a nearly-full bottle of Cab Sauv to take home for dinner
- Swooping Magpie, our final (thank goodness!) stop of the day, where we had our favourite Shiraz of the trip to date, taking a bottle with us
In between cellar doors we stopped at Bootleg Brewery for an excellent sampler of beer, and returned to Swings & Roundabouts for a lunch of wood-fired pizzas on their outdoor patio. This, incidentally, was the first time during our first week in Australia that we had warm, sunny weather.
Earlier in the afternoon we’d decided to have a simple dinner back in the cottage, and so we picked up lots of meat, cheese, bread, pate and produce to go with all the wine we now needed to drink rather than carry it back on the plane.
You can’t see the many bottles of wine but trust me, they’re there.