Category Archives: December

Swan Valley Restaurants for lunch

There are many Swan valley restaurants for lunch within the Swan Valley wine region. Many are booked out, particularly on Sundays. Doing lunch with friends and family is so popular on weekends.

A Swan Valley lunch particularly at a winery restaurant or cafe can be a remarkable relaxing afternoon event.

The best restaurants and cafes with some being down to earth and others al’ a carte. All are available for you to explore.

Research and review the best Swan Valley restaurants, we leave it up to you keep reading.

Swan Valley Wineries Lunch

There are over 40 wineries in the swan valley, some specialise in growing grapes and making wines while others have restaurants to entertain their guests. A full list of Swan Valley wineries for lunch can be found at the Swan Valley Visitor Centre

For more information on restaurants and cafes in the Swan Valley, ask the volunteers at the Swan Valley Visitor Centre, they are sure to assist you.

A Swan Valley winery lunch at one of the best Swan Valley wineries restaurants or cafes can be a lovely relaxing afternoon.

However, booking seats or a table is highly recommended, it also helps plan your Swan Valley Wine Tour.

If you are on the “west side of the river” as the locals say, you may like to visit Edgecombe Brothers.

Swan Valley Restaurant
Swan Valley Restaurant

Swan Valley Cafes

There are so many Swan Valley Cafes. There are lots of places to grab a light lunch to eat with family and friends.

Thus, visit a Swan Valley winery with a cafe, eat some good food, and your stomachs will be filled and your friends will be happy.

Restaurant for dinner

A Swan Valley restaurant for dinner, you ask? You will be surprised by how many restaurants in the Swan Valley are open at night these days.

Many years ago, Lamonts restaurant was the only place open in the Swan Valley for an evening meal.

However, these days there are quite a few open restaurants for dinner on a Saturday night.

Several on Great Northern Highway are:

  • Swan Valley Brewery
  • Brookleigh
  • Silver Oak Indian Cafe and Restaurant

Sunday Lunch – Swan Valley

Many years ago the Swan Valley wineries were the wine shops of Perth. Now doing Sunday Lunch in the Swan Valley is a must. There are many Swan Valley restaurants and cafes available for Sunday lunch. Make sure you are making a booking as Sunday lunch is very popular and many Swan Valley cafes and restaurants are fully booked on Sundays.

Swan Valley  Restaurants - Autumn colours

Swan Valley restaurant with playgrounds

Swan Valley restaurants with a playground. Yes, there are a few. To name a couple of restaurants that are kid-friendly, here they are.

  • Edgecombe Brothers in Gnangara Road.
  • Oakover Grounds

Restaurants with fireplace

What better is a Swan Valley restaurant with a fireplace in winter. I can just imagine that roaring fire, the radiant heat warming one’s bones with you and your friends with a good glass of Swan Valley red wine in hand.

Wood-fired fireplaces can be found in several Swan Valley establishments. The Abbey in West Swan Road or Alfreds Kitchen in Guildford both have wood-fired fireplaces, what better.

In conclusion, the Swan Valley has a wide selection of restaurants. Whether you are a couple wanting to have a quiet picnic, cheese platter or a family of friends, there is a Swan Valley restaurant to suit everyone.

Swan Valley Wine Tours

Swan Valley wine tours is a must if you are a resident of Perth or just visiting Perth, Western Australia, while on a holiday. Weekends can be busy at certain Swan Valley wineries.

But, on weekdays you will find the Perth weekenders are at work. However, this leaves you to have better service and more attention from the normally busy winery staff on your wine tour.

If you like to indulge in organic wine,  food or great beer, then a Swan valley tour is for you.

Showing the variety of Swan Valley wineries, beers, cider, chocolate, cheese and food that are Swan Valley’s fine wine trail.

There are an extensive range of Swan Valley Food & Wine Trail packages for indivuals and groups. The Swan Valley has a large range of full day, half day and sundowner wine tours, available  All can be tailored to your individual needs.

Swan Valley wine tours
Swan Valley Wine Tours by car

Swan Valley wine tour itinerary              

There are many different routes you can take to explore the Swan Valley. The Swan Valley has a 31 km ring road that circles the Swan Valley. With over 100 businesses to explore your wine tour itinerary could become quite complex.

However, the Swan Valley Visitor Centre in Guildford has a lot of wine tour itineraries you can choose from. If you have never explored the Swan Valley before the Visitor Centre is a must-see stop. Get a Swan Valley map and lots of free advice from the lovely volunteers too. They may even tell you where the only certified organic Swan Valley winery is located.

How to tour the Swan Valley?

You could take a Swan Valley tour by bus, private car, hire car or best of all or a Swan Valley wine tour by limo.

There are many Swan Valley bus tours you can choose from. Try a dedicated group tour that picks you up in the CBD or you can hire a bus for a day.

A Swan Valley wine tour by limousine will be dedicated to your day’s pleasure. Take in a few Swan Valley wineries, a spot of lunch and have a lazy afternoon exploring the Swan Valley.

Swan Valley winery vineyard
Swan Valley Vineyard

Swan Valley Bus Tours

If you are searching the internet for Swan Valley wine tours by bus, here are a number of Swan Valley Tours bus companies you can contact.

Some bus companies will charter you a bus for a group and others will have a regular run of the Swan Valley wine region, picking you up in Perth and returning you to your choice of destination.

Some Swan Valley bus and coach companies are:

  • Pink Bus Tours
  • D’Vine Tours (08) 9244 5323
  • Party Charters – Perth
  • Swan Valley Tours
  • Top Gun Tours

The Best Swan Valley Tours       

There are many really great Swan Valley Tours, some of the best are mentioned in this Swan Valley wineries blog. However, if you can borrow a mates car or take an Uber you can have the whole Swan Valley to yourself for a day on a private Swan Valley wine tour.


There are many ways to tour the Swan Valley wine region. Tour either by taxi, car, bus, bicycle, a walking tour or even a Horse Drawn Wagon Tour. Try a combination of taxi and walking by meandering around Memorial Ave, Baskerville. Check out the history of the 100-year-old vineyards by asking for information at any Swan Valley cellar door while on your Swan Valley Wine Tours.

Whatever you choose, you will love it.

Is there anything else you would like to know about Perth’s Swan Valley wine region?

Organic chickens in the vineyard

Chickens in an Organic Vineyard

Organic chickens

Organic chickens in organic vineyards are wonderful.  I would like to forget using the diesel tractor ploughing between vines, the latest must-have in my organic vineyard maintenance is chickens. Leading the way in the Swan Valley I have introduced chickens to the vineyard to help with the upkeep.

As an organic vigneron in the hot climate grape-producing region of Perth’s Swan Valley, I allowed my chickens to roam the vineyard. The chickens scratch and aerate the soil, peck, eat seeds and insect larvae. They are doing a lot of work for me.

Chickens in the vineyard

Ducks or chickens in the vineyard are an asset to any vineyard whether it is organic or not. Generally, they are quite hardy and independent. A well-tended vineyard and a source of fresh water and a safe place to roost are all that is needed during summer, winter and spring. Autumn is different!

All chickens are home lovers, meaning that they return home every evening so they are easy to handle, compared with ducks. We had some ducks many years ago and they would not go home, however, ducks do love grapes just as much as chickens eating grapes.

Every day they had to be rounded up or foxy would visit during the early evening and night and have duck dinner. This must not have been pleasant for the ducks and was not for me.

My chickens ( chooks)  are much more alert and a little wiser and survive the occasional fox visit.

Can chickens eat grapes?

During the late summer month’s (chooks) chickens in the vineyard is not a good thing unless your vines are on a high trellis. Chickens love to eat grapes; to see them jumping is cute. But not economically viable to lose the organic crop you have worked so hard for.

Here the vineyard chickens are locked up behind the house in a large run until all the grape picking is finished. Can chickens eat grapes? Yes, eating grapes is safe for chickens. Can chickens eat raisins and grape seeds? Yes, eating raisins is safe for chickens too.

However, dogs don’t have the right constitution for grapes. Subsequently, their kidney tubes atrophy and a long slow death is imminent. Seek the advice of your nearest vet.

There are reports of chickens devouring whole rows and looking very fat and healthy for their effort.

Can ducks eat grapes?

Yes, ducks will eat grapes just as well as chickens, however, they don’t reach or jump as high as chickens.

Video of; “Can chickens have grapes” in an organic vineyard.

In the late autumn chickens in the vineyard are wonderful. They clean up all the vineyard, after the grape harvest has finished, of old dried grapes and enjoy the fresh young shoots of new weeds and seeds.

Rescued Chickens

My current flock of chickens were rescued from a local egg farm.

rescued chicken
rescued chicken

The pale combed feather-less things were thin and poorly, but laying eggs every day for a few weeks. Due to the lack of night lights and high protein crumbed food they stopped their egg-laying.

With the winter’s shorter days this makes their ovaries shut down and go on holidays until the spring comes. During Spring the weather warms up, the days are longer and the chickens become healthier and start laying again.

When they first arrived they huddled together and did not know what to do. When allowed out of the hen house they did know how to scratch.

Later they turned the wood chip mulch over in one morning. For some unknown reason, they were very tame not scared of my hands and would eat food from them eagerly.

Chickens settling in

After eight weeks their feathers had all grown back and they started to look like well kept healthy chickens. Now when I open the hen house door in the morning they run out and off exploring as though they have no time to lose.

organic chickens
organic chicken at Harris Organic

We love our chickens, they are so inquisitive and cheeky, especially Wendy.  They take off in the morning to their favourite playground during the day. Sometimes the orchard, looking for grubs under the trees, the olives or the mulberry tree.

Other days it’s down the vineyard, turning over the ploughed ground. They search for anything nourishing and living. Grubs and snail eggs get a work out beside the seed bank from the previous winter’s green manure crop.

During a spring long table lunch in the underground cellar my chicken named Wendy came visiting, checking us out, saying hello and seeking any food scraps we may have dropped.

organic chickens in cellar
Wendy, the chicken in the underground cellar at Harris Organic

Organic Vineyard

Some years ago we had an outbreak of vine weevils, however, since the organic chickens arrived we have not seen another outbreak.

We were given a mother and some chickens by a couple who had to move house. The mother educated the babies and at night she would spread her wings so that they could all huddle underneath and keep warm.

It was such a delight to watch and so educational to me. All the chickens I have ever seen were all orphaned at birth and sent to the chicken farm to be raised into egg layers.

My organic chickens are so tame they will eat out of my hand. They will even talk to you in their peculiar way.  Have you seen a chicken smile?

I swear that once you have something for them to eat they will come running and smile, cocking their heads looking up at you and saying thank you.

We love our organic chickens, so feed a few cold grapes for chickens on a hot day, they will enjoy them!

Winery Volunteers

Perth and the Swan Valley’s only organic Vineyard and winery has volunteers during the year to help maintain the vineyard and home.

Workaway and Helpx are welcome at our certified organic vineyard and winery in Perth’s Swan Valley. We have a room for couples and a caravan that has space enough for two persons.

There is a variety of work all year around that is not too strenuous and plenty of time to learn new skills. Since 2006 we have been A-Grade Australian Certified Organic and now with Southern Cross.

To go to the Workaway Australia site, visit here or email Duncan Harris to enquire about staying with us while you are in Perth.
Please state your Workaway number and your age etc.. when writing to us.

Please note.. Be prepared to cook mixed meals for everyone. Drinking organic wine is voluntary!

Couples welcome and non-smoking is essential.

Thanks to all my volunteers in 2019.

A big thank you to every one of you. You make my heart sing with joy for the energy and vibrancy you bring to myself and Harris Organic. May you be home with your family at this time of year and if you are still in Australia I hope you have Christmas with some good friends to enjoy a few hours reminiscing about your travels.

Paula and I are off to New Zealand in January for ten days and will arrive home to start vintage in what may be a very challenging year for the organic vineyard. We won’t be praying, but hope there is some good rainfall before vintage starts on January 23rd 2020.

If you are returning to Perth give us a call so we can catch up before you depart for your home shores.

All the best and Merry Christmas.

Merry Christmas

Merry Christmas and a Happy new year.

What a Wwoofing / Helpx / Workaway year and has it gone fast.  Thank you to all you guys for helping me make Harris Organic wines the success it is. You are all welcome to return and stay at any time.

Hello Volunteers, many thanks for helping our in our winery during the year.

More info about volunteering can be found at Harris Organic Winery page.

The organic vines at this time of year

Did you see the picture of the pizza. Check out how to build a pizza oven here.

Wwoofing – 2017

Volunteering at Harris Organic Wines

2017 Photo Album of WWOOFs and Helpx

What a Wwoofing year and has it gone fast.  Thank you to all you guys for helping me make Harris Organic wines the success it is. You are all welcome to return and stay at any time.

Here is the link to the photographs.

Volunteering at Harris Organic

Volunteer, Helpx, Workaway and Wwoof at Harris Organic Wines is a wonderful experience.

“We are all visitors to this time and space. We are just passing through. Our purpose here is to observe, to learn to grow to love…. and then we return home.”    An Australian Aboriginal belief.

Volunteers are also visitors……

What is Volunteering?

WWOOF means willing workers on organic farms. WWOOFing occurs when a farmer exchanges food and board for work provided by the willing worker. But Volunteering is much more than that; it is a cultural exchange, about learning new skills and sharing a host experience. We love woofers!

Volunteers are all visitors to this time and space at Harris Organic. They are just passing through. Their purpose is to observe, to learn, to grow, to love…. and then they return home with a wealth of experience, new skills, new friends and a new way of life.

What is Helpx?

Helpx means help exchange for non/organic farms. is an online help exchange website where hosts and helpers can register.  In some ways it is better system than WWOOFing as there is no paper book, little cost for applicants and helpers and they can have their photograph and details of wants and experience. Hosts can view the profiles before accepting the helper. Hosts are also able to turn on and off their profiles so that they are able to accept workers when help is required. Its a system that works well for helpers and hosts, we love it.

Here are all the 2015 wwoofers, with Eva, Carl and Charlotte  staying twice. 🙂

[wppa type=”slide” album=”1″ align=”center”]Any comment[/wppa]

For more information about wwoof & helpx.

What sort of work happens at Harris Organic?

Today was a typical day. What did we do; we walked three rows of vines doing some thinning of the grapes, before the sun was too hot. Mowed some grass to clean up some leaves, made some pizzas for lunch in the shade of one of our large gum trees and after some sleep, cleaned some windows, watered some plants and then watched a movie before dinner.

Organic Wine Events

During the year we have a number of organic wine events to tickle your taste buds.


Organic Wine Events at the Organic Winery

Grape Pickers Brunch – 2nd Sunday in February

For those who want to experience a real organic vintage, come and help us pick some grapes and enjoy a morning tea on us, plus a tasting of the wine variety you just picked. 7.00am – 10.00am.  Get tickets here to ensure your place – a paid event. Harris Organic Wines.

The Post Vintage Weekend – 3rd Saturday in March


Harris Organic Wines is celebrating the 2021 vintage with a special Swan Valley Food and organic wine Sundowner at the Vineyard.  Come and join us for a glass of our hand-made ‘Methode Traditionale” organic sparkling wine, followed by several vintages of verdelho, accompanied by Mediterranean tapas. You will also be treated to our speciality dessert wine ‘pedro ximenez’.   Sundowner event – 6.00 pm Friday eve. Organic Sundowner Tickets

Grape Pickers Lunch – 3rd Saturday in February

Start your Swan Valley Vintage weekend adventure with us at the Grape Pickers Lunch.  Arrive at 5.30 am and help with picking a row of grapes and putting fruit through its first stage of processing, followed by lunch in the cellar and wine tasting in return! Get tickets   Grape Pickers Lunch here to ensure your place.

Long Table Lunch
Long Table Lunch


 organic wine event - Harris Organic Wines
organic wine event

Harris Organic Wines – Swan Valley

Questions & Answers – Interview

How long have you been operating Harris Organic Winery?

We invited Duncan Harris to give some questions and answers about his venture into winemaking.  He purchased the property in 1998. He has always grown organic grapes and made organic wine, however, only became certified in 2006. Prior to him purchasing the property the land had 13 years of rest as the vines were removed in 1985. The Baskerville property was sold by the original owners who held it from the 1920s in approximately 1985.

Obviously you grow organic grapes, do you grow anything else or are you a mono-crop?

I grow lupins, sour sobs, turnip, radish, vetch and grasses of varying kinds between the 30 rows of vines. I use these plants to create green manure. That is there’s a lot of goodness in the plants, I chop it up and turn it into the soil which provides nutrients to the soil. In the summertime, I grow watermelons and pumpkins. I also have olives and oranges growing in the orchard.

Organic wines
Organic wines

Do you do companion planting?

Yes and No. I plant lupins which produce nitrogen for the soil. There are nodules on their roots which are released to the soil microbes and plant roots to use. I grow it and harvest the seed for the following year. The plants take in carbon dioxide and produce cellulose, a carbon-based material, which in turn returns carbon to the soil.

Do you sell anything other than wine?

Yes, certified organic vodka and an un-oaked brandy I call eau de vie and three and 10-year-old wood-aged vintage brandy.

Have you ever had a year wine where you didn’t have any grapes to harvest? No, the Swan Valley is a most congenial place to grow grapes.

Swan Valley vines
Organic vineyard

How long does it take to create wine from beginning to end?

From the planting of the grapes, it takes 7 years for the best vintage wines. You can get a crop of grapes in 18 months but it’s not very good for high-quality wine. From the picking of the grapes to the bottling of the wine can take anything from nine months to ten years.

I grow 24 madeleine vines that produce delicious table grapes that go to organic retailers between Christmas and New Year. If you keep the grapes in your fridge they can last up to a month.

What do you do to manage pests?

I employ a variety of techniques. Chickens, known as chooks in Australia, help to manage the weevils and other soil-based bugs, usually the larva of such and we love the spiders in our vineyard – they eat some of the bugs and some of the bugs eat them! They also catch lots of different flies.

What are some sprays a conventional grower could use on their crops? Any known side effects? There are many sprays available to conventional farmers. Ask Monsanto about herbicide resistance and residue levels in domestic animals and humans!

Would you personally ever drink conventional wine?

There are lots of conventional wines I have tried. This gives a good basis to understand what good wines are available in particular styles. All part of a good education!

What kind of nasties can you find in there? Heavy Metals?

See our page on additives:
Wine Additives and the mean residual level in the grapes can be found here: Some of the greatest users of chemicals in the table grape industry.  Poisons used in vineyards.

What do you use to preserve the wine? There are natural preservatives in wine, they being alcohol, tannin and sulphur dioxide (SO2). SO2 is added to keep the wine fresh, clean and clear appearance in the bottle and give it longevity.  The organic standards allow up to 150 ppm SO2 even more in dessert wines.

Question: Do you have any preservative free wine?

What does this entail?

I have some small quantities of “pet nat wines”. Pet nat stands for petillant naturel. An ancient way of making a fresh preservative-free sparkling wine.

Question: Have you seen much growth in the organic wine market?

The organic industry continues to grow, promoted by the number of exports to other countries, including the USA and EU.

Question: If you turn back time would you do anything differently?

No, just keep learning from my mistakes.