So what happened to Margaret River’s wine tour industry in 2020? The suspension of interstate and overseas markets had a noticeable impact on tour operators and region has missed the thousands of keen wine connoisseurs from far and wide who usually visit.
The team at Margaret River Tours continued to operate wherever possible in what was nothing less than a changed wine tasting landscape, thanks to the pandemic mayhem of 2020. We remained committed to getting people safely to and from our great local wineries in what is a less dynamic, but active, local market and we hope that Western Australian people will continue to rediscover the many treasures of Margaret River. In doing so they will provide invaluable support to many people including hardworking winemakers, restauranteurs and experienced tourism operators in their efforts to keep their businesses financially viable.
When the risk of Covid-19 resulted in widespread closures of non-essential services, cellar doors were asked to modify their shop fronts and stop serving tastings for several months. As restrictions eased and tours were allowed on the road again, new policies came into place requiring operators to implement training programs and undertake improved hygiene/cleaning procedures. This compliance was happily done both to mitigate risk and also to instil confidence in us from our potential guests. Despite the economic onslaught to our local economy there are still plenty of reasons to feel proud of our community, the gracious ways we adapted and the sacrifices we all made. The challenge now remains, for us to continue engaging our local WA market in re-discovering their own backyard, keeping them captivated and motivated to support us until wider opportunities return.
Our products and services have not changed much despite a few things here and there. If you’ve been on one of our tours before you can expect the same comprehensive food and wine experience, with a couple of adaptations.
Many cellar doors limited the numbers of patrons we can bring to them at any time and Xanadu’s fabulous restaurant, where our Full Day Gourmet Wine & Dine Tour visits for lunch (see menu here) understandably made the decision to close two days of the week, both of which required us to adjust the itinerary and availability of our tours. In addition to meeting all training and regulatory requirements, we introduced individual cheese platters for our patrons to enjoy singularly, rather than as a shared platter, and allowed extra time across our schedules to ensure all safety obligations were met, behind the scenes and on the day of each tour.
With limited numbers still allowed in cellar doors and some venues offering only seated tastings that need to be booked in advance, it’s great to know there is still a VIP place for you to enjoy wine tasting as a guest with an experienced operator like Margaret River Tours.
The price has increased a little, to include those extra tasting fees we mentioned, but our tours are still excellent value for money, fun and informative and our buses and the places we visit are cleaner than ever (and we didn’t think that was possible).
Get onboard one of our iconic food and wine journeys in 2022 and let us help you get up close and personal with some of the most acclaimed wines in the region. You’ll have a great day and you’ll be helping Margaret River Tours come back stronger than ever in our mission. To celebrate and promote, the best of the best, food and wine in Margaret River.