Three of Western Australia’s finest wineries have joined forces to launch a new Ultimate Winery Experiences Australia (UWEA) wine trail incorporating the annual Margaret River Gourmet Escape 2015 weekend.
Ultimate Winery Experiences members – Vasse Felix, Leeuwin Estate and Voyager Estate – have created the Ultimate Gourmet Escape, a three-day wine trail which takes guests behind the scenes during the Margaret River Gourmet Escape weekend in November, with access to exclusive experiences with winemakers and celebrity chefs, plus VIP passes and dinners at some of the hottest-ticketed events of the weekend.
Ultimate Winery Experiences Australia is a collection of award-winning wineries offering “beyond the cellar door” experiences including wine blending, food and wine matching, wine education and gastronomy in spectacular locations, in addition to regional wine trails which link the 14 member wineries with food producers and local activities to showcase the best the regions have to offer.
The Ultimate Gourmet Escape weekend begins on Friday 20th November at Vasse Felix, Margaret River’s founding wine estate, where guests will go behind the scenes with chief winemaker Virginia Willcock on an exclusive winery tour and tasting before joining Executive Chef Aaron Carr in the kitchen as he works with internationally-renowned chefs in the preparation of the Collaboration Dinner. Guests will enjoy a glass of Vasse Felix wine and gourmet bites before joining other guests for pre-dinner drinks, canapés and the Collaboration Dinner.
On the Saturday morning, 21st November, guests are taken to the Gourmet Escape Village, a buzzing world of culinary excitement where they can enjoy the tastes, sights and sounds of the festival with VIP passes. Guest chefs take part in cooking demonstrations alongside wine tastings, Masterclasses, Q&As and panel discussions.
A host from each UWEA member will take guests on an exclusive personalised tour of the village, introducing them to other local chefs, winemakers and artisans and highlighting their personal favourites amongst the wine, food and beers on offer.
Later that evening guests will be transferred to the Leeuwin Estate Art Series dinner, an annual event hosted by the Horgan family, one of the founding families in the Margaret River wine industry.
Guests will be able to meet with members of the family and the Leeuwin Estate staff and enjoy a private tour of the Art Gallery showcasing a selection of fine art pieces which feature on the iconic Art Series wine labels. This will be followed by a five-course degustation dinner, presented as a salute to the guest speaker, with each course matched by current and museum Leeuwin Estate Art Series wines.
On Sunday 22nd November, guests will be transferred to Voyager Estate winery for an exclusive chance to ‘meet the makers’ as Leeuwin Estate, Vasse Felix and Voyager Estate co-host the Ultimate Margaret River Tasting, presenting beautifully crafted Chardonnays, Cabernet Sauvignons and Sauvignon Blanc Semillon blends.
Lunch will be a Voyager Estate six-course wine-paired Discovery Menu meal, with each of the dishes representing part of the story of Voyager Estate’s grapes, from the vines to the table, and showcasing the finest seasonal produce of the Margaret River region.
Guests will leave Voyager Estate with a memento of their visit created by artist and long-time family friend, Simon Fieldhouse, before returning to their Margaret River accommodation.
UWEA’s Executive Officer, Sally Cope, said: “Guests on the Ultimate Gourmet Escape wine trail will feel as if they are on a private tour, with their own winery hosts, access to chief winemakers and top chefs, and personalised touring of the festival. The Margaret River Gourmet Escape 2015 is a fantastic festival and this new trail adds another “beyond the cellar door” experience only available through UWEA member wineries, in this case Vasse Felix, Leeuwin Estate and Voyager Estate.”
The Ultimate Gourmet Escape costs from $1,290 per person and includes return transfers from Margaret River accommodation, winery and art gallery tours and the hosted tour of the Gourmet Escape Village, tickets to dinners, VIP passes, Ultimate Margaret River tasting and Discovery menu lunch. A minimum of four guests is required for the tour to depart, with a maximum of 10. Accommodation is not included.
The Ultimate Gourmet Escape joins other regional wine trails which link the 14 UWEA member wineries with food producers and local activities to showcase the best the regions have to offer. Further information on these experiences and others is available at:www.ultimatewineryexperiences.com.au
Launched in April 2013 as a partnership between the member wineries, Tourism Australia and selected State Tourism Offices, UWEA aims to raise Australia’s profile as one of the world’s leading wine tourism destinations.
In addition to developing regional wine trails, since its launch UWEA has established a content-rich website atwww.ultimatewineryexperiences.com.au, a comprehensive suite of packaged experiences available year-round to visitors, a consumer brochure in English and Chinese and an Aussie Specialist online product training module for retail travel agents.