The Swan Valley is one of Perth’s most iconic regions, and there is a vast range of things to see and do. One of the best ways to visit the area is with Kate and her team from Black Swan Tours. With the convenience of pick-ups in several different locations across Perth, Black Swan makes cruising the Swan Valley convenient and enjoyable.
We headed out on a beautiful Autumn day, sharing our journey with some visitors from Germany. We chose pick up in Guildford, which has convenient parking and is walking distance from the train station.
Kate, our driver for the day and also the company’s owner warmly welcomed us and gave us an outline of where we would be heading, and then we were off.
Our first stop was Perth icon Yahava KoffeeWorks. We did a coffee tasting and watched a coffee roasting demonstration. This was the perfect start to our tour and gave everyone a morning boost before we headed to our next stop. Yahava also has a cafe and gift shop.
Lancaster Winery was next on our itinerary, a small, rustic winery that’s been in the Lancaster family for generations. Lancaster Winery offered two different types of wine tasting; a free and a premium option. We also indulged in a cheese plate. This is a very popular stop and was already packed, but their large tasting area meant no one was left waiting.
Kate was very knowledgeable about the Valley and its attractions. She told us the reason you frequently see rose bushes in vineyards is that they assist the winemakers to monitor for pests.
We headed across to Sandalford, a large winery with function rooms and manicured lawns, a beautiful backdrop for any special day. Sandalford is a favourite amongst wedding parties and regularly hosts three weddings a day over the weekend.
As we entered the winery we spotted wines dating back to the 1800s and it was mind-blowing seeing the size of the old vines. Upon entering the foyer you are greeted with many awards and mementos of the performances that have graced Sandalford over the years.
I’m by no means a wine expert. But Heather, who ran our wine tasting, was so passionate about wine it was infectious. Kate had advised us to try everything. As someone who had never favoured red wine, I was very surprised to enjoy many of those we tasted.
Next, it was on to Pinelli Wines, I love that this winery recycles their flagon bottles. It’s something that would have been done years ago by the wineries. Bring back your empties and get a discount off your next Pinelli bottle. We enjoyed a leisurely lunch at Pinelli after our wine tasting out on the veranda overlooking the scenic vineyards.
After lunch, it was time for something different – beer tasting at Elmar’s In The Valley. Elmar’s has a very festive feel and it’s a place I hadn’t been to, which was one of the bonuses of the tour.
Next was a place I certainly had been many times; the Margaret River Chocolate Company. With Kate you get an extra special chocolate tasting. We browsed the full range of chocolates before heading next door to Providores, where I was impressed by their range of products. They also offer wine and liqueur tasting, and you can sample products such as jams and chutneys.
I really enjoyed this tour; it was fun to be part of a group, nice to be able to sit back and relax, and lovely to get some special treatment!
Kate is a fantastic host with impressive knowledge of the Swan Valley, which she generously shares with her guests. Black Swan Tours offer a range of different tours and they are exceptionally affordable considering Kate will customise any tour to meet your needs.
The Swan Valley is certainly a unique and beautiful part of Western Australia, it’s not too far from the CBD but gives you a lovely country feel. This tour is perfect for tourists who want to get a taste of what the Swan Valley is like but also offers a fantastic day out for locals; after all, we often forget about the things that are right on our doorstep.