Ugly Duckling is a small winery on West Swan Road, opening up to the public around 2011, with a tasting area at the back of a little California bungalow style cottage.
Since then a covered al fresco area has been set up, as well as other tables and chairs scattered around across the lawns, looking down to the vines at the back.
Simple meals are being served – very good pies from Bindoon Bakehaus – as well as platters – cheese, various meats – nothing out of the ordinary, but tasty, substantial fare.
And the added advantage, as well as sampling their wines, you can buy a glass or two and sit at one of the tables and simply enjoy – no need for food, but of course that is always an option – so it is almost like a small wine bar in the middle of the Valley.
The wines range from a sparkling, through chenin, chardonnay, rosé and shiraz, as well as a sweeter late picked style and a liqueur shiraz.
We dropped past on a wonderful autumn day (they are now open 7 days a week), had a taste and bought a glass each of the sparkling; sat out and gazed at the vines and the hills in the background and just relaxed.
The lawn area has a few rusting farm machines to add a touch of country flavour; it is so far from the bustling city in feeling, but in reality 30 or so minutes.
We are so blessed in Perth to be so close to such fantastic spots as the Swan and Bickley/Carmel valleys; excellent wine, a range of dining options – fine and casual – breweries, chocolate factories, local produce; really we should thank our lucky stars we live here – and Ugly Duckling is another of the great little places to visit – have a drink, have a meal, sit back and savour the pleasure of where we live.