Geographe region offers alternative

Emily AceSouth Western Times

Visitors are being encouraged to get alternative on their next wine tasting pilgrimage, with the Bunbury Geographe Tourism Partnership and Geographe Wine Industry Association launching WA’s first Alternative Wine Trail.

The partnership’s tourism marketing and development manager, Michelle McCully, said the self-guided trail included eight wineries in the Geographe region where visitors could sip and swirl more than 12 alternative varieties.

“In developing the trail, the aim was to work with leading local wineries to raise the awareness of Geographe’s strength in producing alternative wines and simultaneously create a unique visitor experience,” she said.

Association board member and Vineyard 28 owner Pippa Nielsen said local producers had embraced alternative varieties.

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“Most importantly, for our winemakers, it’s all about paying attention to the terroir and focusing on varieties that suit our Mediterranean climes,” she said.

Australia’s South West chief executive Catrin Allsop said the trail was an easy-to-follow guide of the “must-tries” within the region.

“Western Australia has been identified as a predominantly self-drive destination, and the trails provide visitors with a great start to their South West road trip,” she said.

“We hope these trails will encourage visitors to head off the beaten track and explore parts of the South West that they may not be familiar with, but they no doubt will fall in love with.”

The alternative wine trail brochure is part of Tourism WA’s growing selection of food and wine trails, titled the Taste 2020 Food and Wine Trails, to be launched in front of 2000 people at Yagan Square in Perth on Sunday.

Three South West chefs will join Bunbury-born WA Food Ambassador Don Hancey to serve up a taste of the region at the Buy West Eat Best Taste of WA South West Region campaign, which will run alongside the launch of the food and wine trails.

South West Development Commission acting chief executive officer Rebecca Ball said this would allow people from the metropolitan area and visitors to Perth to sample the flavours of the South West. They would also hear from the chefs who were inspired by produce from the region.

“We want people to come along to this event and have their appetite whet for a trip to the South West, either to plan their own gourmet getaway or to attend one of the many fantastic foodie events that take place in the region,” she said.

Copies of the trail are available at the Bunbury Visitors Centre.

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