A few years ago we dropped chocolate from our one day tours. “Guests want a bit more time at the wineries” we said. Cue the instant uproar, and we’ve had chocolate firmly on the itinerary ever since.
We’re also blessed with a handful of awesome fromageries – artisan cheese makers – in the region, and it’s always a pleasure to share a trip to check out their wares.
So, you’re on holiday, and you want to taste some of the superb chocolate and cheese (not to mention wine and craft beer) made in the region? Look no further – here’s our hitlist of some of the awesome producers who will happily let you taste their wares.
So, we present the ultimate chocolate and cheese tour of Margaret River. Grab a map and do a DIY tour or, if you’d rather relax and let someone else do the driving, let us show you some awesome wineries and more on the Eat Drink Explore one day tour.
We love this place – the free tastings of white, milk and dark chocolate are awesome, the truffles, coffees and cakes all delicious, and the variety of boxed chocolates is incredible.
Best of all though (and they don’t usually shout about this) is their commitment to some pretty important environmental issues. The local population of around 500 quokkas was nearly wiped out in the Northcliffe fires of 2015 – it’s estimated 90% of the quokkas died in the fires. Margaret River Chocolate Company donated the funds for 30 radio collars to track the quokkas, and General Manager Daniel Robe reckons the population is recovering quite well. WWF estimates that there’s over 300 quokkas in the fire affected area now.
So, next time you visit, buy a Chocca the Quokka to help support WWF’s quokka conservation and research.
MRCC is our #1 go-to chocolate tasting place for the daily Eat Drink Explore tours.
Open 9am to 5pm
Address 415 Harmans Mill Rd & Tom Cullity Dr, Metricup
A proper bean to bar producer, everything is made in-house at this family owned and operated gem. Cakes, ice creams, cookies, hot chocolates – not just chocolate! They source cacao beans from around the world and use them to create single-origin bars.
When we chatted in July 2018, they’d just won the Best Dairy Producer Award at the Royal Show for their ice creams, beating all the yoghurt and milk producers. Every ice cream flavour they entered won a medal, plus the overall Best Dairy award, a massive accolade.
We have a soft spot for the warmed chocolate chunk cookies – be warned, they’re pretty addictive!
Open 10am to 5pm daily
Address Corner Caves & Quininup Roads (14/5 Quininup Road), Yallingup
You’ll probably recognise their branding; Margaret River Dairy Company is a well-loved WA success story, and you can find their scrumptious products in major supermarkets now. A trip to Margaret River to visit their small retail space allows you to taste everything – bries, camembert, cheddar, yoghurt – right where it’s made.
Margaret River Dairy Company made the news in February 2018 when they got the Guinness World Record for the World’s Largest Cheese Tasting. Over 500 people took part!
You can also get the low-down on any upcoming product releases; they’re always working on something new, and we were thrilled to get a sneak-preview taste of their latest release full-fat yoghurt while it was still in research & development phase last year. Taste the new apricot, strawberry, vanilla full-fat yoghurts plus the peach and mango flavour which has returned after a few years hiatus.
Margaret River Dairy Company is usually on the itinerary of the Eat Drink Explore tours, unless our guests want to visit the next place on our list…
Open: Daily 9.30am-5pm except some public holidays
Address: 8063 Bussell Highway, Metricup
Winemaker turned artisan cheese maker, Alana Langworthy launched Yallingup Cheese a couple of years ago, and she’s doing a superb job creating some small-batch European style cheese. We can’t go past the St Julian, and usually bring one home in the esky!
A small tasting fee, currently $3, allows you to sample Alana’s five cheeses. There’s fresh cheese – a vache curd which is on many restaurant menus, marinated fetta and a mozzarella. The camembert is matured for 5 weeks, likewise the St Julian which is mould and yeast ripened.
Open: 10am – 5pm Wednesday to Sunday
Address: 1071 Wildwood Road, Yallingup
Another cheesy favourite is the Saturday morning Margaret River Farmers Market, held just south of the main street, rain hail or shine.
Koonac Heidi Goat Cheese make a beautiful haloumi cheese, plus a whole host of cheeses from the milk of their Heidi goat herd.
Cambray Sheep Cheese are from slightly further afield in Nannup, and make some highly aromatic camembert-style and a lovely herbed cream cheese.
Open: every Saturday 8am – 12 noon
Address: Lot 272 Bussell Highway, Margaret River
Learn more about the beauty of Western Australia and what is on offer. Read further on how wonderful of a journey it is and then come with us to experience something unforgettable.
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Neil and his wife Coralie and son Lincoln operate McLeod Tours from part of the old family farm that Neil grew up on, sharing the Margaret River experience with visitors from near and far.
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