John Griffiths and Jane Micallef have had a 20-year love affair with the Swan Valley.

In 1997 they borrowed everything to establish their Faber Vineyard in the Valley.

It’s been damned hard work for the husband and wife team, but through their journey they have grown to love the culture of the wine growing region and have contributed to the evolution that has seen it

become a highly regarded wine region.

To celebrate Faber Vineyard’s 20th Birthday Celebration will be held from 11am to 5pm on Sunday, September 24 and Monday, September 25 over the Queen’s Birthday long weekend. A large range of wines

will be available for free tasting all day and wines will be available for sale by the glass. Food will be available from 11am to 4pm.

As well as live music there will be vineyard walkabouts and masterclasses throughout the day (voucher required). Vineyard walkabouts from 11.30am and again from 3 pm; a Swan Valley Masterclass from

12.30 pm to 1.45 pm, an Aged Shiraz Masterclass, from 2 pm to 2.45pm; and a unique Muscat Barrel Tasting from 12.30 pm to 1.30pm.

Food stalls on both days will feature home-made soups; barbecue prawns, Greek lamb and spicy chicken skewers; locally made kranskys, Italian and British pork gourmet sausages; and couscous and roast

pumpkin and green leaf salads.

The $65 per head entry fee includes two bottles of current release Faber wine, plus six vouchers for tastings of reserve wines, meals or masterclasses and special tutored tastings. Extra vouchers can be

purchased on site.

Prizes, giveaways and special wine offers will be available on each day with all wines available for purchase.

John Griffiths said the celebration was an opportunity to enjoy a wine focused day out in the Swan Valley at one of the leading wineries, tasting new and aged wines, discovering our vineyard and sharing our hospitality. A great introduction to Faber!

When he and Jane started out they hadn’t been able to afford to build on the property, but they’ve invested heart and soul into Faber to become leaders in the Swan Valley’s wine industry.

“Energy and winemaking skill have been the two most important elements in our success,” he said.

John was a highly respected winemaker at Houghton Wines when he and Jane took a huge gamble on the Swan Valley at a time when the region’s wines were not as well regarded.

“But I’d worked in other hot areas and I had no doubt that quality wine could be made here,” he said.

The winemaking was a bit old fashioned in the Valley at the time, with hot sheds and old equipment, but the 1990s saw modernisation and there was an explosion of new wineries.

Grape varieties like the chenin blanc, verdhello, shiraz and cabernet sauvignon that were already well established in the Swan Valley were given a new lease of life.

John says he loves the character of the Swan Valley.

“I love there are all these winemakers who have been here many years, and often their father and grandfather before them, and I love the history and culture.”

John and Jane bought the property in May 1997.  The first vines were planted in spring of 1998 and the first Shiraz grapes harvested in February 2000.  That 2000 Shiraz was released in January 2001 and

quickly sold out.

The winery was built in time for the 2005 vintage and cellar door sales were opened in 2008. The barrel hall was built in 2010. The last of their land was planted to vines in 2016 and 2017 providing 11 acres in total.

Faber Vineyard has allowed John to realise his ambition to be a successful winemaker, being able to consistently make high quality wines that wine lovers enjoy again and again.

“It is a great joy to be involved in every aspect of the winemaking process, from selecting the land and planting our vines, designing and constructing and equipping our winery, making each year’s wines,

developing our brand, meeting wine lovers and selling our wines.  We have developed a successful business that is our home and sustains our family.

“Besides striving to make great Swan Valley wine we’ve made it our ‘thing’ to be as close to our customers as possible.  From the beginning we’ve invited wine lovers to get to know Faber – who we are and

how we go about our business.  Originally we even invited customers into our home to taste our wines.  When we did build our cellar door a few years later we modelled it on our farm-style kitchen!  We still

work in cellar door every weekend to ensure visitors get a chance to meet the owners.

“Jane has worked exceedingly hard on our hospitality, catering for regular wine club events that combine her hearty home style cooking with real warmth, generosity and friendliness.  As a result we have

a ‘tribe’ of very loyal customers who come back again and again – and not just for the wine,” John said.

John had wanted to be a winemaker since school, and after leaving school in 1981 he studied Oenology at Roseworthy Agricultural College.  After learning his craft he came to Houghton Wines as winemaker

in 1993.  Over six years he came to know the potential of the Valley for high quality wine and got to know the Valley’s community of grape growers and winemakers.

“We are very proud to have been party to a renaissance of winemaking in the Swan Valley over the last 25 years,” he said. 

John has spent eight years as President of the Wine Industry Association of WA and six years as President of the Swan Valley & Regional Winemakers Association.  John has contributed throughout the state

as a wine judge at Perth, Mt Barker, Swan Valley, Geographe, Margaret River and Blackwood Valley wine shows.

He was employed as Lecturer in Wine Science by Curtin University for six years, and has consulted extensively.  John is proud to have trained, mentored and guided many young winemakers who have

developed successful careers for themselves.

Faber Vineyard has come to be known as one of the Swan Valley’s leading wineries.  Its wines have a track record of winning awards since its earliest vintages.

“We won our first Trophy for our 2001 Riche Shiraz and our first Gold Medal for our 2001 Reserve Shiraz.  At the Swan Valley Wine Show over 20 years we have won 13 Trophies, 26 gold medals and 125 silver

and bronze.  In 2015 we were awarded ‘Most Successful Exhibitor’.”

Australia’s leading wine critic James Halliday recognised Faber as one of Australia’s 10 best new wineries in 2002 and one of 10 “Dark Horses” to watch out for in 2006.  He rated Faber’s current release 2014

Reserve Shiraz as gold medal standard. 

The 2013 West Australian Wine Guide recognised Faber as “Small Winery of the Year”.  GT Wine Magazine has awarded Faber “Best Small Cellar Door” and “Best Cellar Door Tasting Experience” in the

Swan Valley in 2016 and 2017.

Faber specialises in three grape varieties that are recognised for their critical contribution to the Swan Valley’s wine history – Verdelho, Shiraz and Muscat. 

“From these traditional varieties we craft modern iterations that appeal to current wine lovers.  Wines with a sense of place that allude to the traditions of the Swan. 

“We don’t seek to revolutionise or be all things to all people – we have built on what the Swan Valley does best – richly flavoured and immensely drinkable wines, offered with honesty, our personal touch, and generosity,” John said.

Tickets are available from www.ticketebo.com.au/faberbirthday




Thursday 28th September project: Penguins

Tuesday 3rd  October                   project: Good luck elephants

Wednesday 4th October               project: Shaun the sheep

Thursday 5th October                    project: Owls

More classes will be held if required.

The classes run from 9:30- 11:30 am with a break halfway through. It’s a good idea to bring morning tea.

There will be 1 teacher for up to 8 children. The minimum number to run a class is 6. Most classes have 10-14 children with 2 teachers. The children will have a handmade project and work on a pottery wheel.

Due to lack of space all pieces will be kept for only 6 months.

The cost is $25 per child and includes clay and firing.

Booking is essential and payment is required in advance. Payment can be made directly into our account. Details provided on booking.

All children must have an adult responsible for them at the class. One adult can be responsible for several children.

To book phone Judy Nastov 92492362 or 0439 869 503 Email judess59@yahoo.com.au


Twin Hills Wines Cheese

Twin Hill Wines now stocks the following cheeses from Harvey Cheese (ALL $10)

Ash Blonde – a creamy camembert cheese made with a fine layer of vegetable ash beneath the white-mould rind.

Chilli Ring Stinger – a semi hard savoury chilli cheese, similar to a Romano.

Swiss – a mild and tasty semi-hard cheese.

Fettas – a cow’s milk product similar to a traditional Greek Fetta.

  • Herb & Garlic Fetta
  • Chilli, Rosemary & Thy

Harvarti – of Danish origin, has a mild paste and soft texture.

  • Garlic & Pepper
  • Caraway Seed
  • Natural



Elusive by Darlington Potters Group

Please join us for “Elusive” by the Darlington Potters Group, who will be exhibiting at:
Guildford Village Potters
22 Meadow Street

This is an exhibition and sale of works by  6 companion potters – Jenny Miller-Nixon, Robyn Bloom, Chris Wesolowski, Kath Wyatt, Kathryn Hanlon and Kylie Smyth.
The official opening, and opportunity to meet the artists will be Saturday 29th July 2017, 1.30pm to 3.30pm.
Exhibition will continue through to 22nd August 2017.

Please note that commencing 1st August 2017 our opening hours will be 10am to 4pm daily.

Any questions please contact: 9279 9859

Swan Valley Visitor Centre – Special Offer

Until the end of June 2017 the Swan Valley Visitor Centre is offering 30% off all merchandise   What a great opportunity to stock up for Christmas or special events!!  If you love premium wines and all things associated – openers, coolers, glassware, pourers – check the range out either online or better still call in.

The Swan Valley Visitor Centre is located in Meadow Street, Guildford and open 7 days a week 9:00am – 4:00pm

Guildford Courthouse Cnr Meadow and Swan Streets Guildford

Phone: +61 8 9207 8899 Email: visitorcentre@swan.wa.gov.au

Taste Bud Tours Supports Royal Life Saving

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.”

Harris Organic Wines

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.


Luxury Travel Award

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.


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