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Friday 25 July 2014

Aravina Estate - a beautiful Margaret River winery you may never have heard of

The name Aravina Estate may evoke shrugs from even the most knowledgeable wine aficionados, but the former Amberley Estate facility is quickly becoming one of the "must visit" cellar door facilities in Margaret River.
Aravina Estate cellar door

The kitchen here is one of the major drawcards with former Cape Lodge chef Tony Howell creating some superbly innovative dishes; many with an Asian twist. 

Howell spent 14 years at luxury bolthole Cape Lodge before leaving to take up a position at nearby Aravina, which was established in 2010 by multi-millionaire Perth businessman Steve Tobin.

While the name is new the property is not; it was established in 1986 and now has 28 hectares under vine with plantings of cabernet sauvignon, merlot, malbec, shiraz, tempranillo, sauvignon blanc, semillon, chenin blanc and chardonnay.

Tobin has completely revamped the cellar door areas, giving the rooms a French provincial feel, opening a private tasting room and the Aravina Gallery store selling homewares, as well as installing a children's play area and manicuring the beautiful gardens.

The Gallery sells everything from tea pots to cushions, books, jewellery and stemware. 
Chef Tony Howell

Under the Tobin regime, Aravina uses innovative viticultural practices, including the use of natural pest reduction remedies and minimal application of chemical sprays.

Chef Howell's team source local ingredients to showcase the meats, seafood, vegetables, fruits and cheeses available in the Margaret River region, sourcing organic and sustainable produce where possible with their seasonal menus. 

Some of the ingredients are sourced from their own potager and many guests choose to lunch outside on the deck, taking in the afternoon sun. 

Starters may include the likes of grilled palm sugar Carnarvon prawns with papaya salad and coconut and pandan rice ($24); crispy pork belly served with oxtail soup and noodles ($34) or braised Arkady lamb neck with house-made pappardelle, spinach and fetta. 

If is on the menu you must try the steamed duck yellow curry, crispy skin, fried peanuts, pickled chilli, herb salad (pictured left), while the flourless chocolate cake with marquise is another favourite among an impressive array of desserts.

There is also a new sports car gallery that will delight rev-heads and lovers of old vehicles, with the collection including a 1965 Aston Martin DB5, a 1973 Ferrari 365 GTB/4 Daytona “Competition”. a 1974 Holden L34 Torana and a 1984 Porsche Carrera 924 GT. 

Aravina Estate is at 61 Thornton Road, Yallingup, Margaret River. (08) 9750 1111. 

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