A fun fact about Pixies is we love swinging from trees and merry-go-rounds.
So, when I spied one with my little pixie eyes a beautiful sign that declared Swings & Roundabouts well, I simply couldn't resist!
Fluttering through the entrance felt very grand indeed.
A gateway that seems to rise from the landscape, all shades of earthen stone, timber, and greenery opens into a welcoming, rustically chic, refined space.
You can tell that the masterminds behind this delightfully intelligent venue knew the meaning of the words good times and friendship.
In 2004, some kool cats, who happened to be great mates and gifted visionaries, shared the dream of establishing a winery that said, "Hey, we are casual, relaxed, yet rock a solid menu and wine list."
A place that told the tale of Yallingup's unique regional personality, with those west coastal Aussie vibes.
Fast forward from pizza on the luscious lawn to today's artfully curated shared plates of scrumptiousness (the word itself just gives you a tingle in your toes), and you have a destination!
"Swings in Yallingup reflects our beautiful, laid-back, welcoming region. A place where you can enjoy friendly service, authentic, quality food, and premium Margaret River wines in a down-to-earth environment," says Amanda Keady, Swings Sales and Marketing Manager.
"The essence of the Swings brand lies in creating an inclusive and comfortable space where anyone can kick back and savour a wonderful Margaret River experience."
Their Yallingup-flagship vineyard site is an ode to the iconic Australian backyard lifestyle, with classy food on the deck.
They certainly hit this note on a high.
So much so that at the first glimpse of the expansive plush pool of jade-coloured grass-giddy roly-polys might have come to mind.
Dining amongst the vines is what our region does so superbly. Swings undulating vines are pretty as a picture, and the wine croons with quality. With their newly appointed on-site Vineyard Manager, Jaden McLean, I can tell these tunes will get noticeably louder with this fellow's expertise.
"I am a big advocate for organic and sustainable farming methods. I think it's essential to improve and make a positive difference in everything we do, particularly where it comes to looking after the land and vineyards," Jaden says.
"I have always loved the fruit and wine profile of the northern Margaret River region.
"Our Caves Road site has beautiful old Cabernet and some new young Tempranillo and Vermentino plantings, which look incredible.
"Our first vintage for these new varieties will be in 2024. Swings Vineyards have great planting aspects and soil profiles, which is inspiring and really exciting."
From the vines to the fun, fancy, and festive-this place has it all. And yes, even swings! The coveted Insta famous swing seats are the ultimate in giggle gastronomy.
Set against one of the finest views in the region, you'll swing beside a long table full of friends (or meet some new ones) as you grin, graze, and share a feast while sipping on some beautiful wines.
Pixie tip: these are popular, so it's best to book your 'Swings Backyard Story Experience' ahead.
But, be careful when you sit down, as I might still be blissfully swinging there...
Towering gum trees frame views that could be mistaken for postcards.
Rolling layered slopes, a painted palette of the hues of nature stretches along the horizon.
Just imagine yourself sitting back admiring the scene, wine in one hand, the other rubbing a fabulously full belly whilst your little poppets run free with glee and out of your hair.
The new addition, 'Ice Cream Shack', will beckon your children like my Uncle Aladdin's cave.
A sugar high may follow; however, the playgrounds will be the entertaining cure.
And hey, after a few wines, perhaps you'll be King of the Castle Fort yourself. One must keep that childlike spirit!
Food, glorious food, is what pixies live for! And talking about glee, the Swings & Roundabouts menu is just that.
It's thoughtful deliciousness and straight-up great food: a symbiotic fusion of classy, creative, and craving satisfiers such as woodfired pizza and cheese boards.
But don't be lulled into thinking any ordinary pizza will land piping hot on your table.
The Norcina, a crispy charred masterpiece of mozzarella, homemade sausage, talleggio, potatoes, and radicchio, is an adventurous and exquisite expression of the word 'Yum'.
And that's just a teaser. For my gluten-free lovelies, their GF bases are perfecto-they may even turn a few non-believers.
Shared plates create a collective experience; dive into Heirloom Beetroot heaven, a multi-coloured and sensory exploration of just how good this earthy vegetable can be. Juiciness meets burnt honey, labneh, woodfired grapes, granola, and fresh herbs.
The Homemade Crostini transported me to the Spanish seaside: a snap of the crispiest cracker, a crackle of pickled jalapeno spice, a spritz of ocean spray from a fillet of white anchovy atop a summery pop of orange zing with fennel and dill. The sea offers a jewel in the Grilled Octopus dressed to impress with romesco, nduja, cannellini beans and lemon.
Land lovers will savour the succulent Beef Carpaccio lounging seductively over smoked beetroot puree, lightly kissed with BBQ black garlic sauce, shaving of parmesan, and zesty rocket leaves.
And you must sweet surrender yourself to their Chocolate Delice; the segments of velvety mousse, nestled amongst glistening drops of rhubarb rosé puree, dusted with a nutty crunch of macadamia crumble.
While the views, service, and food alone are enough to make this venue one of your top spots to loiter, the wine will boost its possie on your list.
And as you know, this little pixie loves finding wine treasures for you. Swings & Roundabouts is a master at intelligent innovation. They have a thoughtful ear for what their clientele desire and have recently unveiled a stunning new tasting room for those who wish to sink into the wondrous world of wine.
The atmosphere is funky and fresh, carrying that seamless bubble of friendliness that pulses in every corner of the business. Moody lighting makes for an exclusive lux feel in this stunning room, where you can wander in and have the space and the expertise to assist you in discovering the fruits of their labour.
"Our recently renovated cellar door reflects a strategic initiative by Swings to elevate the customer experience. Designed to provide a more inviting atmosphere for wine tastings, the space also serves as a platform to showcase innovative educational sensory experiences," Amanda says.
"This thoughtful approach not only aims to enhance the overall enjoyment of visitors but also to offer a deeper understanding and connection to the winery's offerings. Swings & Roundabouts wants to go beyond traditional tastings, providing our visitors with insights into the intricate nuances of their wines and the art of winemaking."
As I basked in the ambience of the cellar door, I developed a wee crush on the 2023 Backyard Stories Sangiovese Rosé. A wine that bridges the transition from spring and summer like an exquisite stroll through a sunny garden.
Now, the colour of Rosé can either surprise or affirm a preconceived notion.
Is it sweet or dry?
Complex or light?
The questions that can make or break the deal.
2023 Backyard Stories Sangiovese Rosé
This Sangiovese Rosé, with its soft pastel salmon hue, conjures daydreams of riding a bicycle through the lush fields of Provence in France. The nose and palate deliver a picnic basket loaded with perfectly tart, not-to-sweet, freshly picked strawberries, pomegranates, and rhubarb compote. A pretty floral bouquet garni of violets and rose dotted with hints of marjoram and thyme, entwined with a savoury twist, subtly adds to the mood. This basket effortlessly showcases the striking charm of Sangiovese. It's complex in all the right places, steely and crisp like a spring morning, with the bright acidity of the summer sun.
Ahhh, to drink this under the Tuscan sun or by an aquamarine lake in France would be a match made in vino heaven, but serving this alongside a kingfish ceviche, fresh prawns and crayfish or a crusty baguette with cheese will be just as damn good.
Discovering a delightful Australian Sangiovese stirs this pixie into giggling backflips, especially when it speaks of the passionate and talented artist behind the precious drop.
"I love this vineyard site. It's a great piece of land with the best view; sampling it each year is a pleasure," says Swings Head Winemaker Jodie Barton.
"The vital part of making this wine shine is picking it at the right moment.
"Not missing that window ensures we get the balance of fruit and texture perfect, and of course, the colour!
"Sangiovese is a great variety to use for this style of Rosé- it's such a beautiful grape."
Good vibes are the foundation of all that blossoms in life-and Jodie's enthusiasm reflects the core of this brand.
The minds, hearts and people behind Swings & Roundabouts are a unique union.
Their collective expertise, passion and dedication to the brand are as infectious as the true, uninhibited laughter of children.
You can't help but fall in love with this special place.
Swings flawlessly balances class with a chilled atmosphere, making everyone feel at home and content.
The future looks bright for this Yallingup gem, with a top-tier new wine range, more exciting renovations, and a new Sunday session section on the horizon-the team are pretty pumped.
So stay tuned...
"What excites me the most is the prospect of weaving our evolving narrative into the fabric of our brand story," Amanda said.
"As we approach the milestone of 20 years producing Swings & Roundabouts wines in 2024, there's a unique opportunity to craft a compelling tale that not only celebrates our two-decade journey but also encapsulates the heart and soul of our winemaking legacy and how far the business has come in that time- in a way that makes you want to pull up a chair and join the party."
Swings & Roundabouts is a place that genuinely makes you happy.
Needless to say, I left humming an impromptu ditty I called 'Swing Into Summer'.
The Pickled Pixie