By Fergal Gleeson
Sunday roast at Glenarty Road gets your mouth watering. Options include a Slow Roast Lamb Leg or Butter Poached and Wood Fired Cabbage and Cauliflower. The menu changes daily depending on what’s growing in their garden. Again bookings are advisable as they are a small operation.
Glenarty Road is a sustainable farming and winemaking venture based in Karridale. It’s run by husband and wife team Ben and Sasha McDonald. Ben does the farming and Sasha the winemaking.
They are both passionate about ecological farming. “My family have been farming for five generations,” says Ben McDonald “and I want us to be farming for at least another five. We are here for a long time not for a good time!” he jokes.
“The bugs we buy (which are seeded in the vine canopy to protect the grape bunches) cost the same as pesticides. But they are better because the grapes are happier.” says Ben.
“We have designed our gardens to have both form and function with bay leaf hedges, rosemary hedges, olives, coffee, green tea, to be able to use in the kitchen and cellar door,” Sasha says. “Our veggie patch also supplies a large amount of the kitchens needs. You can’t get much fresher than that!”
On the farm they utilise ducks, chickens and guinea fowl (you will see them roaming round the farm) for pest control, taking care of snails, grasshoppers and weevils.
“We always have a few friendly lambs close to the cellar door, entertaining the kids while the adults do a tasting. Two working dogs, Bob and Pepper come to greet every car with a wagging tail and a friendly cat is usually asleep in a basket in the cellar door,” she says.
There are two ranges of wines – Glenarty Road and Kerfuffle and the business is thriving.
“Glenarty Road is picked from blocks that best express the harvest,” says Sasha. The Kerfuffle range represents their entry level wines. They cover some of the classic Margaret River white and red varietals, Rosé and some less common styles such as a Savagnin and a fortified Sauvignon Blanc.
The Restaurant, the farm and the plethora of animals mean you don’t have to be wine obsessed to enjoy your visit. Though that will help!
More at www.glenartyroad.com.au
From Your Margaret River Region Magazine