Tasting wines while looking out over sunlight-dappled vines is a fine way to go from working week to weekend. This December, a handful of Swan Valley wineries will open their cellar doors for Friday evening twilight tastings.

“The dusk hours out here in the valley are my personal favourite time of the day,” says Anthony Yurisich, owner and winemaker at Olive Farm Wines, one of the wineries involved with the initiative. “We get that wonderful soft lighting as the sun sets over the vineyards and beautiful colours from the sky, the vines and the ground.”

Just 25 minutes from Perth, the Swan Valley and its wineries, breweries, distilleries and restaurants are well within striking distance of the city centre. It’s also home to many a family-run venture where it’s more than likely the person serving you is intimately involved in running the business day-to-day. For many of the wineries hosting the Friday night tastings, the cellar door is their link to customers rather than through liquor stores. But they’re about more than just sales.

“It’s our chance to give people an experience of our lives – our rich history, our family stories and the personalities behind the wines,” says Yurisich. “People visit our wineries to learn about wine, the region and for a great time. The extended opening hours leading up to Christmas are just one more way to offer this.”

Twilight tastings will be held on December 1, 8, 15 and 22.


Garbin Estate Wines
209 Toodyay Road, Middle Swan
Open until 7pm. Cheese and crackers served during tasting with 10 to15 per cent discount on wine sales from 4–7pm.


Harris Organic Wines
179 Memorial Avenue, Baskerville
Open until 6pm. Customers can mention the promotion for 10 per cent off bottle sales. Bookings are essential for pizzas after 6pm. As this is a working farm, adults only please.


Providore
5123 West Swan Road, West Swan
Open until 6pm. Free chocolate tastings with wine tastings and 15 per cent off first bottle of wine purchased.


Olive Farm Wines
920 Great Northern Hwy, Millendon
Open until 6pm. Buy a bottle of fortified wine from the cellar door between 5pm and 6pm to receive a free box of port sippers (two-pack) valued at $15.


Edgecombe Brothers
1733 Gnangara Road, Henley Brook.
Open until 9pm. Buy three bottles of wine get the fourth free. Burgers available for purchase until 8pm.


Funk Cider
55 Benara Road, Caversham
Open until 8pm. For each week in December, Funk will be releasing a new limited edition cider exclusively for Twilight Tastings. Take away squealers will also be available with a 10 per cent discount off the special cider released on that night. Urban food mafia will be open serving food specials until 7pm.


Little River
2 Forest Road, Henley Brook
Open until 6.30pm. Free wine tasting, buy 12 bottles to get one free.

Black Swan Wines
8600 West Swan Road, Henley Brook
Open until 6pm. Happy hour is from 4.30pm to 5.30pm with 50 per cent off the regular glass price. Taste up to eight wines with cheese and crackers for $5 per person and receive a 20 per cent discount on all house wines (excluding Shiraz Port). Book a table for Friday night dinner and receive 10 per cent off total bill.