Loris Harding has been involved in the tourism industry in Perth’s Swan Valley for 18 years now, when she started the Swan Valley Wagon Trails tour and learned just how amazing this part of Perth is.
Five years ago she started a new business, Taste Bud Tours, which takes tourists on a ‘speed grazing’ food tour of the Swan Valley, sampling a range of the food, wine, coffee and treats the region has to offer. Two tour options are offered – morning “Good Food, Wine & Cider” or afternoon “Good Food, Wine & Beer”. Loris conducts a morning tour on Wednesday and both morning and afternoon tours Friday, Saturday and Sunday, catering for up to 16 people in each session.
In 2011 Loris started supporting Royal Life Saving Society WA by taking our Quackers fundraising money ducks on her two tour buses and encouraging her patrons to make a donation. Loris says “It works really well, at the end of the tour I always tell people we’ve had an extra person travelling on board today, and they look around and notice Quackers high up on the wheelchair hoist. I then explain that if they have any loose change it would be great for them to pop some money in there to support Royal Life Saving.”
Soon afterwards Loris increased her support, by offering to provide a double tour voucher each month to businesses that support us by hosting a Quackers money box on their counter. Every month the business that raises the most money in their duck receives this tour voucher in thanks for their support.
This support, together with the money raised in her Quackers ducks, has seen Taste Bud Tours provide close to $5,000 worth of fundraising assistance to us over the past three years. Loris says it’s a pleasure to be able to assist “Royal Life Saving is such a valuable organisation. I’ve always been involved in some sort of sport, and when I was young I was part of a swimming club so understood the value of those who put their life on the line to help others in trouble. I also recognise how important it is to make sure our young people can swim.”
Last year Loris was recognised with an award at our AGM, receiving the President’s Award for her support of Royal Life Saving over the previous four years, for dedicating her time not only to fundraising for us, but also educating the community about the work we do.
Her business regularly receives tourism industry awards; most recently Taste Bud Tours received the Trip Advisor 2016 Certificate of Excellence for the high number of extremely positive reviews received by her business from those who’ve taken part in her tours.
Taste Bud Tours also recently became Royal Life Saving Society WA’s first Silver Affiliated Member, offering our individual members a 15% discount off tour bookings at the company. Anyone can become an Associated Member of Royal Life Saving by completing a membership form. Individuals also become members by volunteering for us, completing one of our training or first aid courses, supporting our fundraising programs through a donation or buying a raffle ticket, or participating in one of our sports competitions or events. Business organisations who support our fundraising work in the community are also Affiliated Members of the Society.
Loris says it’s a real pleasure for her to be a Silver Affiliated Member of Royal Life Saving, and offer a discount for our members. “I’m really glad to have a continuous relationship that’s beneficial to both parties and to Royal Life Saving’s members and my potential passengers. It’s really exciting, and I’m happy to be linked with an organisation like Royal Life Saving Society WA because it has merit and it’s good for the community.”
Beginning June 2016 Harris Organic Wines will be joining the weekend morning Good Food, Wine & Cider tours. Here’s little insight into Harris Organic Wines …..
Harris Organic Wines is owned by Duncan Harris. He manages all aspects of his business, including pruning, picking of his organic harvest and seeing the wine transforming from grape to bottle. All this is performed on the premises.
Duncan’s ancestors first came to Australia on the first fleet, landing in Sydney in 1788. They were an entrepreneurial lot, with one Francois Girard, owning the Sydney Hotel and another, Michael Hayes, operating one of the first illegal distilleries in Australia in 1805.
Duncan as a 7th generation Australian, grew up in Tasmania’s Tamar Valley, and came to Perth in the 1990s, eventually buying the property at Baskerville in 1998. While working full-time as an engineer, he spent every spare moment working to establish his winemaker’s dream of an organic vineyard and wine-making facilities at the Baskerville property. The winery cellar door opened in 2000.
In 2006 the business name became “Harris Organic Wines” as we became certified organic with ACO as he wanted to highlight the organic wines and the organics industry.
The first sparkling wine that was made on the premises is named “Madeleine Claire” after his daughter – this traditional method is a vintage sparkling blanc de blanc and sparkling shiraz.
As of 2010 the first Australian certified organic brandy became available from Harris Organic Wines.
In 2013 the first malbec wine was produced; October 2015 saw the end of Duncan’s two year tenure as president of the Swan Valley & Regional Winemakers Association and in May 2016 Duncan celebrated 10 years of organic certification of his vineyard and winery, the oldest plot of Australian certified land in Perth.
Not a bad effort. Any questions, see him at his cellar door, open 6 days per week from Wednesday to Sunday.
Taste Bud Tours has been shortlisted for the internationally acclaimed Luxury Travel Guide Global Awards 2016. In the last 12 months million travelers have been asked to vote on their favourite travel experience and as a result Taste Bud Tours have reached the shortlist with the Winners announced in early June.
Below is a very interesting article written by one of our tour destinations Morish Nuts on Almonds. From the shell to the husk to the actual nut. Click the link below for the full pdf article. Almond Pdf
Morish Nuts recently celebrated their 21st anniversary with much fanfare across the nation. From a tiny stall at Fremantle markets to fully-fledged retail outlets at three different locations in Western Australia, Morish Nuts has become a household name over the past two decades. Owners Archie Moroni and Marie Mapp attribute much of the company’s success to international visitors, particularly from China, Malaysia, Indonesia and Singapore.
Today, the confectionery store has a much larger product mix that caters to all tastes. Wasabi Macadamias and Abalone Macadamias are two such products that fly off the shelves on a daily basis. Hot Macadamias, Hot Cashews and Hot Peanuts are also very popular among customers as the nuts are a perfect combination of sweet and spicy, a Yin and Yang technique that has been directly derived from Asian cuisine.
A visit to a Morish Nuts outlet is a must for all. The company’s modern production facility and retail outlet in the Swan Valley enables customers to witness the art of confectionery making through a viewing window whilst tasting the diverse range of products on offer.
The Morish experience will leave you feeling as though you want ‘just one more‘.
For a link to the full review please visit the link below.
The concept of speed grazing is brilliant: you get driven around the Swan Valley at a pretty cracking pace, eating and drinking as much as you can in a fairly short time, while learning about the produce you’re sampling and watching demonstrations. It’s the brainchild of Loris Harding, who’s been a tourism operator for more than 17 years and seems to know pretty much everything about everything that happens in the Valley. Here’s a rundown of her tour:
We got picked up from the Swan Valley Visitor Centre in Guilford, but there’s also a pick up point in the Perth CBD. Loris drove us into the Valley, pointing out landmarks and talking about the history of the region all the way. The first stop was Yahava KoffeeWorks (which was just as well since it was 8:45am on a Saturday morning). The philosophy of the place is “life’s too short to drink bad coffee” and I couldn’t agree more.
First up, we did a coffee tasting, which included three different coffees from different regions around the world. All through the tasting the tour guide gave us really interesting information about coffee, as well as demonstrating several different contraptions for brewing it. We also got a quick explanation and demonstration of roasting coffee and got to throw some chocolate coated coffee beans in our mouths before we headed out the door.
Next up was the Windarra honey shop, where the owners gave us some really interesting information on the importance of bees to the world’s ecology, as well as explanation of how they harvest honey. We also got to taste several different types of honey, which all had very unique flavours. The showroom also contained a hive with glass on both sides so you can watch the bees at work.
Next we moved on to Maalinup Aboriginal Art gallery, which is one of WA’s only Aboriginal owned and run art galleries. As well as a large showroom of beautiful and colourful art, we also got to taste a range of ‘bush tucker’, including sandalwood nuts and bush tomatoes.
Next was Oggie’s ice cream, where Loris rushed out from behind the steering wheel of the bus to head behind the counter to offer us tastings of all the different flavours of ice cream, including mascarpone and wild fig, snickernut and whiskey cream. Note: the serving sizes here are huge!
Loris then drove us up to the All Saints church, the oldest church building in WA, which was built in 1837, near the site where Captain Stirling first camped on the banks of the river.
From there, we arrived at Edgecombe Brothers, one of the original families in the Swan Valley. Here, we got to try fresh asparagus that had just been picked that morning, which enticed us to promptly buy a tray to take home.
Next we finally got to try some wines, at the picturesque Windy Creek Estate, which Loris informed us has the largest selection of wines in the Swan Valley. The wines we tasted were all really good, and came with delicious cheeses and chutneys to compliment them.
Next it was on to Mondo nougat, where we saw the nougat makers at work in the factory before getting to taste some of the fruits of their labour. Then it was straight next door to Morish Nuts where we sampled several varieties of nuts, with the highlight definitely the wasabi macadamias.
To cap off the tour, we went to Whistlers chocolates, who are third generation chocolatiers. They had a little sample pack waiting for us and the favourite for me was the chocolate-coated raspberry licorice.
Four hours after we’d been picked up, we were back at our car, stuffed full and with a new appreciation for all the amazing producers in the Swan Valley