The two main north–south routes are the Bussell Hwy (passing through Cowaramup, Margaret River and Augusta) and leafy Caves Rd (running south from Dunsborough). Numerous bucolic back roads link the two. Pick up one of the excellent free maps, squabble over who's going to be the nondrinking driver, and dive right in. The other alternative is to take a tour – public transport is not a workable option.

Most of the wineries offer tastings between 10am and 5pm daily. At busy times (this includes every weekend), consider booking ahead for lunch before you set out.

Best Wineries

  • Vasse Felix Regional pioneer leading the way with its Heytesbury cabernet blend and Heytesbury chardonnay.
  • Cullen Wines Another Margaret River pioneer, with the 2009 Diana Madeline cabernet sauvignon merlot awarded Wine of the Year in the Australian Wine Annual 2012.
  • Leeuwin Estate Wonderful wines, especially its Art Series chardonnay and sauvignon blanc.
  • Watershed Premium Wines One of WA's best vineyard restaurants and renowned for its Awakening cabernet sauvignon.
  • Ashbrook Great quality, good value; try the cabernet merlot.

Craft Beer

The hoppy wave of craft beer that's sweeping many countries has also washed up on WA shores, and an innovative generation of brewers is proving there's more to beer than innocuous Euro lagers. Look forward to a global array of beer styles including India pale ales, Belgian ales and chocolate porters, and decide on a designated driver or join a tour.