A cultural day today. Off to a winery tour (behind the scenes) at Cape Mentelle.

Day 05

Cape Mentelle Wines

A long time coming, we finally managed to book a “behind the scenes” winery tour.

Our tour started with a visit to the Wallcliffe Vineyard (est 1970) that produces their award-winning Cabernet Sauvignon.

The guide discussed the viticultural practices and the influences on wine styles and quality. This continued with the historical reasons for the siting of the vineyard and beginnings of Margaret River as a wine growing region.

After leaving the vineyard we visited the winery and saw in detail how the wine is made.

2021 – 01 19 – January 19th – Margaret River – Cape Mentelle Wines

Crushing/destemming, fermentation, maceration, pressing and barrel ageing. We also learnt the different techniques required for making wine and red wines. Many questions were asked of the guide. We visited the Barrel Hall and learnt about the different types of oak barrels and their influence on the wine.

The tour guide then lead the group past the white cellar and through to the historic oak vat cellar which was built in 1977. Several original large French oak vats stand proudly in the rammed earth building, the first registered in Western Australia.

History

The winery takes its name from the nearby Cape, named by the French ‘Baudin Expedition’ which charted the coast of Western Australia in 1801. They named the Cape after two notable French scientists, geographer Edmund and his cartographer brother Francois-Simon Mentelle, who lived in Paris in the early 1700’s.

2021 – 01 19 – January 19th – Margaret River – Cape Mentelle Wines

White Elephant Cafe Gnarabup

A cafe. On the beach. With a view.

The Food – a range of simple yet creative beachside meals for breakfast and lunch. And muffins and cakes. 

2021 – 01 19 – January 19th – Margaret River – Gnarabup – White Elephant Cafe

The Drinks – all your coffee favs made to perfection with Dimmatina coffee plus a range of smoothies and other thirst quenching options.

Prevelly Surfer’s Point

In recent times it has become a fashionable haunt because of its pristine location, the sublime surfing conditions and the arrival of a number of resorts and cafes. It is still underdeveloped and has only a small number of houses spread across the vast sand dunes which rise from the edges of the Indian Ocean.

Prevelly was privately subdivided by Geoff Edwards in the early 1960s and named Prevelly; the shire petitioned for a townsite to be declared in 1977 and it was duly gazetted in 1978.

From Surfer’s Point looking out to the ocean, you will see four surf breaks (5 at a stretch) from left to right.

2021 – 01 19 – January 19th – Margaret River – Prevelly – Surfers Point
  • Bombie
    • The basics: Left and right-handers over shallow reef. Experienced surfers only.
    • Swell: S-SW swells E/NE winds. 10-12ft+ and handles big waves.
    • Tide: Mid tide is best.
    • One of the biggest waves in the region, The Bombie is where surfers go to get a nice scrub between the ears during wipeouts. The brave paddle-out and you might spot a few surfers towing-in.
  • Southside
    • The basics: Left and right-handers over reef.
    • Swell: SW-W swells at 4-10ft and E winds.
    • Tide: Mid to high tide.
    • Both left and right has a steep, unforgiving takeoff. However, the right is an overall easier wave. Left is long, hollow, and for experienced surfers only.
  • Mainbreak
    • The basics: Left and right-handers over reef.
    • Swell: SW swell at 3ft+ and E winds. Can handle up to 25ft.
    • Tide: Mid to high tide.
    • Of course, no guide would be complete without, Surfers Point in Margaret River, arguably the most iconic wave in WA. The left tends to be friendlier than the right. Paddle out is located a few steps north of the staircase where you’ll find an easy-to-spot keyhole. With strong currents and shallow reef, it is best to watch Surfer’s Point for a few minutes before heading out. This wave is also a popular wind and kitesurfing spot for when the seabreeze kicks in. It start working at 3-4 ft and holds up to over 20 ft which makes it a go-to spot for grommets and maniacs alike.
  • Fraggle Rock
    • The Basics
    • Swell
    • Tide
  • Rivermouth
    • The Basics
    • Swell
    • Tide
    • There is a sculptural quality to the Rivermouth landscape. This topography moves. As the Margaret River level rises and falls with the movement of seasons and changes in the volumes of water flowing from the catchment some 60 kilometres up river, her banks expand and contract, shaping the surrounding sand banks and altering her course as she spills into the ocean at Rivermouth beach.
    • The river has a calm, brackish quality at odds with the wild, salt pound of waves dumping on the shore.
    • It’s a contrast played out by the people who come here. Young kids on boogie boards paddling the river. Young guns on short boards racing the wave face as it curls toward rock and shore.

Redgate Beach

After a day of surfing heavy reef breaks, Redgate offers a nice easy beach break set among beautiful coastal dunes and ancient granite boulders. It can be great for beginners in the right conditions, but beware of rips. It likes a swell from the south to south-west with easterly wind, but its location offers some protection, so it’s worth a look when all else fails.

2021 – 01 19 – January 19th – Margaret River – Redgate Beach

Prevelly River Mouth Sunset

Prevelly is where the Margaret River meets the ocean. A great place for swimming, fishing, kayaking, and walks through the beautiful landscape.

2021 – 01 19 – January 19th – Margaret River – Prevelly – River Mouth Sunset

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