When wineries are oddly resistant to trading seven days a week, their ambivalence can be somewhat seductive. This is your guide to accessing the inaccessible and gaining entry to three of the region’s more private and intimate cellar door experiences.

Intimate Cellar Door Experiences - Moss Wood
Moss Wood is one of the 'founding four' wineries in the region.

Moss Wood

Margaret River Royalty

Moss Wood are one of Margaret River’s greatest wineries. They are considered one of the ‘founding four’ wineries in the region and Moss Wood Cabernet has been recognised over decades as one of Australia’s greatest. Their Chardonnay, Ribbon Vale Merlot and Cabernet and Elsa Sauvignon Blanc are also benchmarks. Value hunters look out for Moss Wood Semillon and Amy’s Cabernet blend.

But as Hugh Mugford, Assistant Winemaker tells me “At Moss Wood our visits are the privilege of our members and are by appointment only. Anyone can become a Moss Wood member by visiting our website and there is no charge to join.”

“Our visits are guided by knowledgeable and experienced personnel through the winery and you will be introduced to our history, philosophy, vineyards and wines,” Hugh says.

“You will taste wine from barrel and tank and visit the museum where you will view back vintages of Moss Wood wines.

Contact Moss Wood for appointments. An $80 per group visit fee is redeemable on any purchase made at the conclusion of the visit.

Amato Vino Founder and Winemaker Brad Wehr
Amato Vino Founder and Winemaker Brad Wehr.

Amato Vino

The Wild Side

Amato Vino have opened a new urban Tasting Bar three days a week in the historic Darnell’s Trading Post.

Founder and Winemaker Brad Wehr is excited “We’re located in a beautifully restored heritage-listed building in the small hamlet of Witchcliffe. It’s an intimate experience, a personal trip through a selection of our wines and our story. Visitors may choose to join us around the ‘kitchen bench’ in the tasting room, or outside in the courtyard and terrace area. We offer seated tastings, rotating samples of 5 wines each week.”

“Visitors can also pre-book a tutored tasting in advance with myself or my co-winemaker,” Brad tells me. Wine flights are offered with a small food accompaniment in the warmer months. “By summer the main rooms will house a gallery and café/wine-bar,” Brad says. “The entire building is actually a work of art, inside and out!”

The Amato Vino range includes the eclectic ‘Wilds’ label made from rare and emerging varieties such as Marsanne, Savagnin, Teroldego and Nebbiolo. The ‘Mantra’ label covers Margaret River classics. Finally, there’s the ‘Fusa’ label- Fusa Bianco, Rosso and Tramonto are made for easy and early drinking.

Brad says that while there are no firm favourites with consumers “there is usually considerable interest in some of the more obscure varieties and where they originated from!”

Music and New Spring Wines @ Devaleski Cellar Door
The Devaleski cellar door also doubles as a contemporary art gallery.


Organic Intimacy

Devaleski is located along the iconic Caves Road – which exhibits all the showy charms of Yallingup; undulating hills and expanses of vineyards stretching out left and right.

Owners, Mick and Debi Spencer-Smith made a tree change (or vine change) to the region in 2015, when they purchased the vineyard. They leased the vines back to previous owner, Ben Gould from Blind Corner, for a few years and then set themselves the challenge of producing organic wines. Their first vintage being in 2020.

Fast forward to today, they have welcomed a new cellar door – which is open Wednesday to Sunday from 10.30am – 4pm and by appointment Mondays and Tuesdays. Visitors can expect a tasting experience that shares Mick and Debi’s personal winemaking journey. They’ll take you through the design of the label and discuss the process of producing certified organic wines.

The tasting room was custom-built by owner Mick, who is a marine engineer by trade but who fosters a strong passion for woodwork. Visitors can browse contemporary photography and challenging furniture pieces which are available for purchase. Debi says “The contemporary gallery concept was initially for Mick to show his bespoke furniture pieces and platters made out of old barrels. We also wanted to use the space to share artistic works from new and old artists in the area. This concept is one that will evolve as time passes”.

It’s an intimate space – with Mick and Debi’s appreciation for culture at the forefront. There is even a baby grand piano – a representation of Debi’s love for jazz (she majored in music at University) – and they encourage budding players to have a tinkle.

When it comes to the wine – Debi says, “Our philosophy is based around leaving the smallest footprint on the earth which we are able to do for our children and grandchildren’s future.”

Tastings are $10, which is redeemable upon purchase of a bottle of wine. Look out for foot crushing experiences during vintage and enquire about their ‘make your own wine’ workshops too!

Bungalow Pet Nat Party for Fine Vines Festival - Credit Lauren Trickett
Fine Vines invites you to explore all aspects of the Margaret River Wine Region.

Fine Vines Festival

A Feast for the Senses

Another way to access some incredible bespoke wine experiences is by attending events at the Fine Vines Festival which will be held across the Margaret River Region from the 14th – 23rd October 2022. The inaugural 2021 was a roaring success and this year promises to be even better.

Fine Vines Festival brings together a curated selection of more than 30 unique events showcasing the quality and depth of the Margaret River region’s premium wine offering.

Aimed at a broad church from fine wine lovers to novices, Fine Vines invites you to explore all aspects of the Margaret River Wine Region through exclusive museum tastings, tours, dining experiences, masterclasses, garden parties and more.

Over 10 days you’ll get insider access to the vines, experts and wines from over 80 local producers, many who do not have cellar doors, that have shaped the Margaret River Region over the past 50+ years.

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