Hands up if you’ve heard of the Swan Valley. I hadn’t before last week, but now after getting a little taste for some of their food and wine, I certainly want to hear more. If you’re looking for a reason to make the trek over to the west coast, this is it.
Swan Valley is located 25 minutes out of Perth and is home to an array of chefs, winemakers, brewers, artists and a range of other gourmet artisans. In 2014, the region was named Australia’s first Humane Food Region by the RSPCA. Humane food is food that is animal welfare friendly. In the Swan Valley there are 30 restaurants and cafes committed to serving humanely farmed eggs, chicken and pork. This is a region that not only produces delicious food, but also food that you can feel good about eating.
Last week I was invited to Parliament House for an event showcasing the best of the region. So I nabbed one of my good friends and we made our way up the hill ready to eat and drink our way through all the goodies that Swan Valley has to offer.
The evening launched with a Welcome to Country and a performance by some young Noongar men who had flown all the way over from Perth for the event. The Noongar people are the traditional owners of the Swan Valley and the young men really put on a show.
We spent the rest of the evening eating, drinking and chatting to some of the local Swan Valley producers. There was a lot of good food and wine going around. Unfortunately too many stallholders to mention here, but instead I thought I’d highlight a few of my favourites.
Taylor’s Art and Coffee House was the first stall we stopped at and we had a great chat to Caroline, one of the Swan Valley’s passionate ambassadors. It was so nice to hear someone get excited about what they do! We found ourselves going back again and again to her stall to have another go at her food. I mean, just look at those brownies.
Wine tasting was definitely a highlight of the night and lucky for us, the Swan Valley wineries were well represented. We had a little taste of most and liked them all, but Little Black Dog was a stand out. It is a family-owned boutique vineyard producing delicious single vineyard wines – after trying a fair few, I can definitely recommend their Shiraz.
If you’re more of a beer drinker, don’t worry, the Swan Valley still has you covered. Feral Brewing Company is a family-owned and operated microbrewery and their beers are handcrafted and delicious. My pick of their selection is the White Feral, a Belgian-style wheat beer. Yum.
By the end of the evening, we’d had more than our fair share of food, wine and beer, but it wouldn’t have been complete without a little taste of some Swan Valley spirits. Wild Swan Distillery produces vodka, vodka-infusions and gin. We tried a little of everything and were pretty impressed. Their straight vodka went down smoothly, as did their gin, but the outright winners of the night were the unusual pavlova vodka and cold-drip coffee vodka that were just as delicious as they sound.