Australia

Swan Valley – A Guide to Australia’s First Humane Food Region

Swan-Valley-Vineyards-2

The Swan Valley is Perth’s premier food and wine region. It is the oldest wine producing district in Western Australia where the plantation of the first vines took place shortly after settlement began, in the area, in 1829.

Located just 30 minutes north of the city and 15 minutes from the airport, Swan Valley is easily accessible for all visitors to Perth.

The perfect way to explore Swan Valley is to hire a car and do a self-guided drive around the food and wine trail. Maps are available in all the wineries and restaurants, or you can stop at the Swan Valley Tourist Information Centre in Guildford. Tours through the area are also available if you prefer not to drive.

Swan-Valley-vineyards

In 2014 the Swan Valley was named Australia’s First Humane Food Region by the RSPCA. More than 30 of the restaurants in the area have signed on to the program and are committed to using and serving humane food in their restaurants.

While it is traditionally famous for its wine, the Swan Valley has diversified over the years, and you can now find breweries, cideries, restaurants, cafes and all sorts of gourmet products like chocolate, coffee, nougat, ice-cream, nuts, honey and so much more.

With more than 150 food and wine producers in the region, it is often difficult to decide where to go. As I am a local of the area, you can follow my suggestions below for the best of what the Swan Valley has to offer.

Houghton’s Winery

Houghtons-Cellar-Door

148 Dale Road, Middle Swan (entrance off Great Northern Highway). Open 10 am – 5 pm daily

Houghton’s is a well-known wine producer from the region. Their cellar door offers tastings for a small fee. Located amongst 50 hectares of vineyards, there is a large grassed picnic area surrounded by Norfolk Island Pines where visitors are welcome to bring their own food.

Little River Winery

Little-River-Wines

2 Forest Rd, Henley Brook. Open 11 am – 4 pm every day except for Wednesday and Thursday

Little River Winery is a boutique wine producer with a small French-inspired restaurant in a charming setting. The menu does not offer a lot of variety, but everything on it is well done. The cellar door is next to the restaurant, and there is an outdoor courtyard that looks over their vineyard. It is located off the main highway and has such a lovely atmosphere; I could almost call it my favourite of them all!

Whistlers Chocolate Factory

Whistlers-Chocolate-Factory

506 Great Northern Highway, Middle Swan. Open 9 am – 5 pm daily

Whistlers is Western Australia’s oldest chocolate company and is my pick for the best chocolate in the Swan Valley. They offer free chocolate samples and have a couple of amazing chocolate displays. There is a café at the rear of the factory that offers light lunches, cakes and coffee which opens out to a huge grassed area equipped with a couple of large sandpits for the kids.

House of Honey

House-of-Honey

867 Great Northern Highway.  Open 10 am – 5 pm daily

The House of Honey is a family run business that specialises in pure, unpasteurised honey and honey products. Samples are available, and their sale room is attached to a small café area where you can indulge in ice cream or a piece of their famous Bohemian Honey Cake. Light lunches are also available.

The Henley Brook

The-Henley-Brook

9810 West Swan Road, Henley Brook. Open Sundays 11 am – 8 pm, 11 am – 4 pm Monday and Tuesday, and 11 am – 10 pm all other days

The Henley Brook is a family friendly pub that is a favourite with the locals. The large grassed area, packed on weekends, has heaps to occupy the kids including a bunch of old truck tyres for them to climb over, a sandpit, and a tree swing.

Mandoon Estate and Homestead Brewery

Mandoon-Estate

10 Harris Rd, Caversham. Open 10 am – 8.30 pm daily

You get a 2 for 1 experience as Mandoon Estate is a winery attached to Homestead brewery. There is also a restaurant, pizza bistro and kids playground in the vicinity. Another local favourite, it is popular for weddings, birthdays and is used for any excuse to get together. Situated beside the river, with a jetty, there is also an art gallery on site.

Yahava Coffee Works

Yahava

4752 West Swan Road, West Swan. Open 8 am – 5 pm daily

Yahava Coffee Works is the ideal place to sample a variety of coffees. They freshly roast the coffee beans on site, and there is a gift shop with all sorts of coffee and tea related gifts. They also offer a variety of barista courses if you are interested in learning more about how to brew your own coffee.

Morish Nuts and Mondo Nougat

Morish-Nuts

640 Great Northern Highway, Herne Hill. Open 9.30am – 5 pm daily

Although located next door to each other, Morish and Monda operate as individual businesses. Mondo Nougat offers a variety of different nougat as well as some cakes and biscotti. Morish Nuts, on the other hand, has a variety of flavoured nuts. Samples are available at both stores so you can try before you buy. The Hot Macadamias at Morish Nuts are amazing and definitely worth a try.

Providore

Providore

5123 West Swan Road, West Swan. Open 9 am – 5 pm daily

Providore is located right next to Margaret River Chocolate Factory, so feel free to pop in there for a few free chocolate samples while you are at it. Providore has a variety of different food items like olives, jams and sauces. They sell chocolate and hazelnut liqueur which is delicious. Ask for a sample while you are there if you need to be convinced.

John Kosovich Wines

John-Kosovich-Wines

180 Memorial Ave, Baskerville. Open 11 am – 4 pm daily

John Kosovich Wines is my pick for the best of the small wine producers. It is a family run business and the oldest winery that is still running in the Swan Valley. They have an underground cellar where the tasting takes place. With so many wineries in the valley, it is great to have an authentic family run experience.

With such a vast assortment of options, you can’t go wrong by using the above list as your starting point for exploring the many wonders of The Swan Valley.

About the Author: Rochelle writes for her blog Love Family Life Travel and is a local of Perth, Western Australia. Her blog specialises in family travel within Australia. She is currently travelling around the country with her family and regularly updates content on her website. You can follow her on Facebook, Instagram, or by signing up for her monthly newsletter.

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