Sun. Sand. Vines. The south-west has all of your summer-getaway essentials covered. More recently, WA’s winemaking heartlands have – perhaps surprisingly – added great regional wine bars to their collective CV. From championing local producers, to exploring and celebrating the diversity of planet vino, these bars deserve a spot on any holiday itinerary.
Settlers (Margaret River)
There are country pubs, and then there’s Settlers Tavern: the local any neighbourhood – rural or otherwise – would gladly call its own. The cellar has been awarded pretty much every wine-list award of note and celebrates regional pioneers (Cullen, Vasse Felix, Leeuwin Estate and new-school locals (LAS Vino, LS Merchants) equally. All this in a regional pub and concert venue with an on-site TAB.
Liberte is a love letter to the winemakers and producers of the Great Southern, written by the bar’s chef-patron, Amy Hamilton. The list makes no secret of its owner’s fondness for maverick winemaking, so brace yourself for outre local wines such as Brave New Wines’ Dreamland riesling – which is subtly perfumed with native botanicals – and creamy pétillant-naturel sparkling wines from La Violetta.
Many Denmark locals fondly remember Attila Hagymas and Ranee Wilson as the force behind fine diner, Six Triple Three. For their newest venture, the duo has transformed its organic grocer into Stomp’d, a casual wine bar serving local wines at attractive prices: The line-up runs from long-players such as Galafrey in Mount Barker to charming chenin blanc produced by the funsters at Express Winemakers. The menu is concise, accessible and designed to comfort: think platters of pickles and smallgoods, and chicken ragu orecchiette.
Treehouse Tapas and Wine Bar (Pemberton)](https://www.facebook.com/treehousetapasandwinebar/?ref=br_rs)
Hiding in plain sight on Pemberton’s main drag, Treehouse is a cosy, easy-going hangout perfectly calibrated to the area’s unfussy nature. The clipped wine list is rich in wines from local Southern Forests producers – the pinot noir produced by Picardy, the winery’s top-flight tete de cuvee, in particular, is considered by many to be the state’s best expression of the variety – and the bar regularly hosts live-music performances.
Tall Timbers (Manjimup)](https://www.talltimbersmanjimup.com.au)
Does this ambitious regional pub and restaurant really serve – as advertised – Western Australia’s biggest range of wines from the south-west? Maybe it does, maybe it doesn’t, maybe you won’t really notice because you’re too busy scaling the wall of enomatic wine machines dispensing WA vino. Manjimup-based producers such as Batista rub shoulders with Margaret River brands such as Redgate and Howard Park, while wines are available by the glass and in various tasting sizes. Best of all, Tall Timbers doubles as a wine store, so you can get something for drink-now and takeaway enjoyment.