From Cabernet To Conservation - Wineries of WA
Small Family Winery Trail - Wineries of WA

Australia’s First Wine Sensory Garden

A unique and interactive wine experience, immersing all your senses, is now ten years old. A small family-owned winery only a short drive inland from Busselton, Whicher Ridge has been home to Australia’s first wine sensory garden for the past decade.

Cathy and Neil Howard’s passion for growing and making small batch wines is on display in their large, well-established wine sensory garden. The idea behind the garden’s creation was to provide visitors with an extra-special wine tasting experience that no other winery in the Margaret River Region was offering. Educational as well as enjoyable, the experience links the pairing of food and wine flavours in a unique way that is unpretentious, fun and easily achievable for anyone.

The wine sensory garden is adjacent to the vineyard, winery and cellar door, enclosed by hedges and designed in a figure-of-eight infinity shape, with sections themed for eight different wine varieties. Plantings of fragrant herbs and flowers excite the senses, while garden sculptures and coloured flowers and foliage add to the visual appeal. Tasty treats are spread throughout the garden with a wide variety of fruiting plants and vegetables, culinary herbs and edible flowers.

There are themed ‘Descriptor’ beds planted with fruit trees, flowers and herbs which describe the aromas and flavours of each varietal wine. The circular ‘Affinity’ beds have plantings of fruit trees, seasonal vegetables and herbs which pair well with the flavours, textures and styles of the wines made by Cathy and Neil.

The Pick and Sip Experience is the best way to get the most from a visit to the wine sensory garden. This is an in-depth educational tasting with Cathy, focussing on wine flavours, winemaking styles and pairing wine with food. There is also the option for a short, guided morning garden tour, or visitors can do their own self-guided tour using an informative map and the signs around the sensory garden.

The cellar door and wine sensory garden are open five days a week, Wednesdays to Sundays. The Pick and Sip Experience is at 10:00am, the Wander in the Garden experience is at 9:00am, and the seasonal vineyard experiences are on at various times during the year with specific details available on Whicher Ridge Winery’s website. Booking for all experiences is essential, either via the website or phone. The traditional seated wine tastings in the cellar door are from 12pm to 5pm.