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Laura Pearse
16 May 2020 | Laura Pearse

Virtual Wine Tasting Class | Fortified

As we're coming into colder weather, it's time to get the fire blazing & dive into our stickies & fortified. 

Upper Reach will be doing this  Tasting Class exploring Fortified Wine and all its warming deliciousness.

We will take a look at our:
- Tawny
- Liqueur Muscat

We'll be talking about tasting notes, food pairing, and in particular ageing fortified, the fortification process & how the Swan Valley is unique for its dessert wines.


Time Posted: 16/05/2020 at 7:20 PM
Laura Pearse
9 May 2020 | Laura Pearse

Virtual Wine Tasting Class | Sparkling Wine

By popular demand from our last Livestream, Upper Reach will be doing this weeks FREE Live Tasting Class that will explore Sparkling Wine in all its GLORY.

We will take a look at:
- 2014 Sparkling Chardonnay
- 2018 Sparking Chardonnay (Pre-Release)

We'll be talking about tasting notes, food pairing, and in particular the process of making our sparkling, disgorging & riddling and how we make a rich creamy mousse.


Time Posted: 09/05/2020 at 7:03 PM
Laura Pearse
2 May 2020 | Laura Pearse

Virtual Wine Tasting Class | Shiraz

Virtual Wine Tasting Class | Shiraz

By popular demand from our last Livestream, Upper Reach will be doing this Tasting Class that will explore our exceptional Reserve Shiraz & how it's unique micro-climate influences it's character.

We will take a look at:
- 2016 Reserve Shiraz
- 2009 Reserve Shiraz

We'll be talking about tasting notes, food pairing, and in particular age-ability & how age influences flavour. We will talk about cellaring conditions and how long to keep a Shiraz.

So get your Shiraz ready to drink so we can make your Saturday in isolation a little less boring :D




To host your own tasting at home, you will need these shiraz. Enjoy!

Time Posted: 02/05/2020 at 7:42 PM
Laura Pearse
25 April 2020 | Laura Pearse

Virtual Wine Tasting Class | Chardonnay

Virtual Wine Tasting Class | Chardonnay

By popular demand from our last Livestream, Upper Reach will be doing this weeks FREE Live Tasting Class that will explore Chardonnay & the use of Oak Barrels.

We will take a look at:
- 2019 Unwooded Chardonnay
- 2019 Reserve Chardonnay
- 2013 Museum Reserve Chardonnay

We'll be talking about tasting notes, food pairing, age-ability & how Oak Barrels influence the flavour profile of White Wines.

So get your Upper Reach Chardonnays ready to drink so we can make your Saturday in isolation a little less boring.

If you are unable to collect our wines or have them shipped to you in time, for the purpose of this class you can substitute our wines with an Unwooded Chardonnay, an Oaked Chardonnay and aged Oaked Chardonnay.

After how much fun our last Live stream was, we're very excited for our subsequent Virtual Wine Tasting, we hope you are too! We hope these are interactive classes , so you will be able to type your questions and comments through out the class with other like minded wine enthusiasts.


Time Posted: 25/04/2020 at 7:11 PM
Laura Pearse
19 April 2020 | Laura Pearse

Virtual Wine Tasting Class | Trio of Reds

Virtual Wine Tasting Class | Trio of Reds


Back by popular demand from our last Livestream, we have decided to explore Red wines ranging from Light - medium-Full Bodied and explain the difference. 

We will take a look at:
- 2018 Grenache
- 2017 Cabernet Sauvignon Merlot
- 2016 Petit Verdot (NEW CLUB MEMBER RELEASE)

We'll be talking about tasting notes, food pairing, age-ability & the wine making processes make for a light/full bodied Red Wine.


Join us next session for Chardonnay MasterClass. We will be looking at Good, Better, Best....(in our opinion) of the Chardonnay varitey. Unoaked vs Oaked.... winemaking secrets, food and wine matching and tasting notes.

Time Posted: 19/04/2020 at 1:52 PM
Laura Pearse
14 April 2020 | Laura Pearse

Virtual Wine Tasting Class | Verdelho

Virtual Wine Tasting Class

Verdelho 2014 vs 2019 vs 2020

Bringing the Tasting Room to you whilst we social isolate...This class was run live via facebook so everyone could give their thoughts and ask questions.   

Find out about the history of Verdelho in Australia, the wine making process and of course practice how to taste it, what the 'expert' thinks it smells, tastes and even looks like!

Along with tasting notes, food suggestions and aging tips.



Well that’s our first virtual tasting!
Ideally you'll be watching this with at least one of the Verdelhos in your glass to taste with us.

If you would like to try the wines in this video you can get them here

If you are needing a top up of wine, please support local & family owned first before going to the bottle shop.

Next class On Saturday 18 April will be for all the red wine lovers, with a trio of reds.
We'll taste Upper Reach's 2018 Gig Grenache, our 2017 Cabernet Merlot and the just released 2016 Petit Verdot

We'll focus on the different weight and body of these wines, and so have choosen a light, medium and full bodied red to contrast and compare.
You'll explore their differences, we want your food reccommendations and let's discuss how to navigate a resturant's red wine list.

Of course it would be best to taste the three featured wines, so just pause this and buy them now. 😜

If that's not possible, grab a red from your wine stockpile and have some fun with us while you work out how much body your wine has!

Let's keep doing the things we love!   🥂 🍷

Time Posted: 14/04/2020 at 4:42 PM
Laura Pearse
24 September 2019 | Laura Pearse

Dog Friendly Winery Here in the Swan Valley

‘Wherever wine is made, you’re likely to find a loyal canine snoozing in the cellar or roaming the vineyard …celebrate the working (and relaxing) dog in the wineries, vineyards and tasting rooms’

 -Wine Dogs 2019


It’s a thing, almost every family winery has a dog or two hanging around the cellar door or vineyard.

I’ve been thinking about it and I reckon its because every vigneron (the technical name for a grape grower and winemaker) spends a lot of time on their own, particularly during the growing season.

In winter Derek and our winery dog, Indi ,spend two and a half months hand pruning the vineyard. It can be a race to get this done before the buds start to burst in early September.

All through Spring the two of them are flat out in the vineyard monitoring and managing the growth of the vines, their canopy, flowering and the fruit.

You will find Indi literally flat out- sleeping at our entrance. (except for lunch time when she’s back at Cellar Door waiting for pats and hoping for treats!) Indi has a huge instagram following, there are more pictures of her on our instgram page than wine! Next time you are here, get a selfie with Indi and post to our page so we can share.

At lunch time you will find Indi watching our diners on the deck enjoying a fabulous lunch with stunning views. She is hoping there is a morsel for her...dont fall for those pleading eyes!

Important Note: Please do NOT feed winery dogs, all and any of them, our dog is a Golden Retriever she’s an absolute greedy guts- she’ll eat everything. She is literally a walking stomach! I promise I feed my dog, and anything that you give her is extra, and is just making her fat, which is already affecting her knees and hips.

We all love dogs at Upper Reach and your fur baby is welcome to visit, however as this is a public space there are a few reminders:

Dogs are welcome on lead
Please don’t allow your dog to bark, so that everyone can relax
Dogs may not enter the Restaurant
Obviously please pick up their poo, but if you could take it away with you that would be much appreciated (apparently in Canada you have to empty dog poo down the loo and flush it away before putting the bag in the bin!)

Lunch or Breakfast with your dog:

If you’d like to have a meal accompanied by your dog, RiverBrook Restaurant will do their best to look after you. You and your fur baby can sit on the Lawn Terrace under the pergola, however food service there is always at the Restaurant’s discretion, if they are super busy they may not be able to look after you outside of the restaurant. I’d suggest getting here at 12 and getting your order in early, as peak time is 1-2pm, so give yourself the best chance.

Nearby Walks with your Dog:

Bells Rapids close by is a fabulous walk for you and your dog is welcome there too. There are a variety of walks of differing lengths, from 30 minutes to 1.5 hours long. There is a three hour walk, which I’ve never done. We also have a lovely walk here at Upper Reach  going through the vineyard and down along the Swan River Bank. 

Apparently behind every great winemaker sits a loyal, taste-testing, crumb removal, grape testing, lawn-watering pooch. These gorgeous dogs are the real palate-power behind the skilled business of making wine.

Time Posted: 24/09/2019 at 4:47 PM
Laura Pearse
28 August 2019 | Laura Pearse

Tasting etiquette at a winery- what to do? And how to look like you know what you are doing!


Let’s face it, we all find walking in to a winery for wine tasting a little daunting. I sometimes feel the same, and I work in a winery! Will I be judged? Will they think I don’t know about wines? What do I ask for/ how do the wine tastings go?

Here are some things you should know before you head off to your local wine region this weekend.

Tip number 1: The tasting notes

The winery will usually put the wine tasting list in “tasting order”- from top to bottom.  

Driest white wines at the top, sweetest white wines at the bottom for the whites…. Lightest/softest reds at the top to more full-bodied red wines at the bottom, for reds list. 

So, if you are in doubt over where to start on the list, start at the top and work towards the bottom.

If you know you only like sweet wines, or a certain type of wine, say a full bodied red, ask for them. Cellar door staff are happy to show you around the wine list. You do not have to try all of the wines. Especially if the winery has an extensive tasting list.


Tip number 2: Have a conversation.

There is nothing more awkward than silence while watching someone struggle with a wine list. It is ok to say, look, I like sweet wines, or dry whites, or I usually drink Sauv Blanc- what do you suggest? Actually, we love that! It also helps us get a feel for what you like, so we can make some suggestions for you to try.

Chat about the wine you like, the food you like with your wines, even if you just like a “drink now” style wine for under the pergola, tell us.

A tasting at cellar door should always be a conversation, never done in awkward silence. We aren’t going to quiz your wine knowledge. Good conversation and wine go together like…well, good conversation and wine!

Tell the cellar door staff what you usually like to drink and be guided by them….you might stumble across a variety or style you would not have otherwise tried that you love. That’s what wine tasting is all about.

Handy tip: we love a good chat about the footy and cricket too if you are not THAT into wine!


Tip number 3: Tasting fees

Some wineries charge a tasting fee. So be prepared. Some producers will charge a one-off tasting fee to taste all wines. Others may charge for only the premium wines on the tasting list, if you choose to try them. Sometimes the tasting fees are waived if wine is purchased. There should be no expectation that wine tasting is free.


Tip number 4: The Spittoon

The dreaded spittoon….so scary sitting on the counter for the novice…. can I really spit out the wine? Can I pour wine into it? What’s it for?

The spittoon is there for those that do not want to swallow the wines, just sip, get the flavour of the wines then spit it out (they might be driving). This is perfectly fine etiquette. But that is not its only function.

You might have tasted a wine that’s not your favourite and decide not to finish the sample, it is perfectly fine to tip the rest out into the spittoon.

Rinsing the glass with water between tastings is common (but not essential) you can either drink the water to cleanse your pallet or tip the water into the spittoon. I personally only rinse my glass after the white wines going onto the reds or before going on to dessert wines. I don’t rinse after each sample.


The big no no: What is not ok is putting your chewing gum into the spittoon. That’s gross. Don’t do it. Ever.


So there you have it… walk into your next cellar door with confidence! When was the last time you visited the Swan Valley Wineries? Now is the perfect time to get out and see some terrific local producers and make a day of it.



Have we whet your appetite? Would you like to REALLY learn about wine? We have terrific beginner "Wine 101 "wine classes in Perth ( Swan valley) that are fun, friendly and we will start you at the very beginning and show you how to taste and appreciate wine like a pro.

We wont leave you there…Wine 102 , the next step of your wine journey. Take an educational winery and vineyard tour where we show you have we grow the grapes and make the wine. Learn the winemaking process from grape to glass!

We will have you being that very annoying friend that "talks wine at you" in no time!

Time Posted: 28/08/2019 at 3:30 PM
Laura Pearse
4 May 2018 | Laura Pearse

5 Perfect Gifts for Wine Lovers


Buying wine for a wine lover can be hard. Wine is so subjective, and personal preference can make selecting the right bottle tricky. So here at Upper Reach Winery, we have put together some gift ideas that will absolutley thrill a wine lover. 

A Wine Appreciation Class  |  A terrific way for them to get a true understanding of wine and wine styles. Perfect for beginners and wine lovers alike.

A formal seated tasting experience, in the back of the working winery surrounded by tanks, barrels and winemaking equipment with a friendly casual vibe.

Learn about the difference between sweet/dry, what oak does to a wine and aged wines. You will get a very good understanding of the basics and be tasting like a pro in no time. There will be wine tasting throughout the class, so you can put your new knowledge into action. Due to CIVID-19 classes temporarily suspended, but will resume as soon as restrictions are lifted. Vouchers available via the Wine 101 link below.


Wine 101  $55pp     |      Wine 101 & Lunch $105pp

Wine 101 vouchers


A Winery Tour  |  An all-inclusive tour experience is the perfect way to explore a boutique winery to get a real understanding of what it is like to grow grapes and how we make our wine. 

Walk through the vineyard, discovering the grape varieties that make the region so special then tour the working winery, wine tasting as they go while we explaining the whole winemaking process. Sample the wines directly from tank or barrels, just like the winemaker. Tours have been suspended during the COVID-19 situation but will resume as soon as it is safe to do so. Get mum a voucher so she can book a tour and have a treat to look forward to in the coming months.

         Winery Tour & Tasting $40pp     |      Winery Tour, Tasting & Lunch $95pp

Winery Tour Vouchers


Get them their very own vineyard for the night | Treat them to a break in our vineyard Spa cottage. Our historic cottage is the original workers cottage built in 1907.

The cottage has a stunning views from the deck overlooking our vineyard. Settle down for the afternoon with a glass of wine, a platter, or BBQ on the rear deck and watch the most amazing sunset over the vines. Walk the vineyard trail down to the Swan River, there is only one cottage so they will have the whole vineyard to themselves.

            Weekday 2 Night Stay $398  |  Weekend 2 Night Stay $598

Cottage Gift Vouchers



Upper Reach Gift Cards  |  What better gift to give a wine enthusist but wine?!? Great gift idea for the last minute gift.

Instant gift cards available $50  $100  $250 

These gift cards can be used for our winery tours, wine classes, cottage stays, and of course Wine! Perfect if you are a little unsure what wine styles they like (we can be a little snobby, us wine folk, when it comes to personal wine preferences)

Gift Cards


Value 6 packs | These great value 6 packs can be ordered online with your personal message included in the box and shipped to the recipients home or office anywhere in Australia. There are 4 value packs to choose from, so you can be sure to find the perfect bundle at a really great price!


Choose a Value 6 Packs


Time Posted: 04/05/2018 at 1:00 PM
Laura Pearse
18 September 2017 | Laura Pearse

Spring Lamb - the perfect match for Cabernet Sauvignon

Winter has passed for another year!  If like us, you've had enough of hearty soups, slow-cooked casseroles, and stodgy puddings, it's time to celebrate Spring which calls for a juicy, tender Spring lamb dish washed down with a smooth and silky Cabernet Sauvignon.  A carefully aged Cabernet is a perfect match for lamb.

The Swan Valley produce a terrific fruit driven style of cabernet - it's a softer, less astringent style to its Margaret River counterpart.  This makes a Swan Valley Cabernet more accessable as a younger wine with the trademark minty/ eucalypt nose. With age Swan Valley Cabernet Sauvignon shows softer, dusty tanin which is mellow and ready to drink this Spring.

So, what exactly is Spring Lamb and why do we love it so much?  Here's what our Aussie butchers have to say about why it's so good.....

"The reason we have come to associate Spring with lamb season is that this is when lambs are most plentiful and consequently cheapest in Australia.

Most of the lamb in Australia is produced in Victoria, New South Wales and Western Australia where rainfall and grass growth is highest in Spring. Farmers take advantage of this by having more stock on the ground during this time. As such a typical Spring lamb is birthed in Autumn and sold between September and November when it is between 50- 60 kg in weight.

Contrary to popular belief Spring lamb is not exclusively milk fed, milk fed lambs are called sucker lambs. Because lambs are able to graze on lush grasses they take up nutrients from these such as Omega 3 and 6 making Spring lamb a healthy family choice. As the lambs have not reached full maturity the meat is much leaner and tender while also having a deliciously mild flavour".

So it's official! Spring lamb is best and we've put together one of our favourite recipes from Yotam Ottolenghi's book "Ottolenghi" for you to try at home.  All you need is a sharp knife, a bottle of the Upper Reach 2012 Cabernet (pour a glass to steady your hand) and a group of friends to share it with.....

Photo courtesy of Yotam Ottolenghi's book "Ottolenghi"

12 lamb rib chops, French trimmed
1/3 cup olive oil
6 thyme sprigs, leaves removed and chopped
1 sprig of fresh rosemary, leaves removed and chopped
2 garlic cloves, crushed
1/2tsp sea salt
1/2 cup orange juice
1/4 cup red-wine vinegar
3 tbsp honey
1 cinnamon stick
1 star anise
1/2 cup walnuts, coarsely chopped
100 g goat cheese, crumbled
1/2 cup flat-leaf parsley leaves
1/3 cup mint leaves
2 tbsp olive oil
1/4tsp salt
4 fresh figs, quartered
Open the wine, allow to breathe.... then rub lamb chops with oil, thyme, rosemary, garlic and 1/4 tsp salt in a large bowl. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 4 hours.

Pour yourself a glass of wine...then combine the orange juice with vinegar, honey, cinnamon stick and star anise in a small saucepan and set over medium-high. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat to medium-low. Simmer until sauce is reduced by two-thirds, 30 to 40 min. Remove from heat and cover.

Toast walnuts in a small, non-stick frying pan over medium, about 5 min. Cool.
Pre-heat barbecue or grill pan to medium-high. Have another glass of that delicious Cabernet...

Sprinkle chops with remaining 1/4 tsp of salt. Season with fresh pepper. Oil grill, then barbecue chops 3 to 4 min per side for medium-rare. Transfer to a cutting board and let stand about 2 min before serving.

Toss walnuts with cheese, parsley, mint, oil and 1/4 tsp salt. Season with fresh pepper. Top with figs. Drizzle lamb with sauce.

Welcome your guests and if there’s any wine left in the bottle, share around ….. if not, open another! 
Time Posted: 18/09/2017 at 1:01 PM