Karridale's Glenarty Road is celebrating a big win at the 2021 WA Good Food Guide Awards, where the South West region has once again shone against strong competition from metropolitan venues.
The family-run, farm-style venue was named Regional Restaurant of the Year, which owner-operators Ben and Sasha McDonald said came as a complete shock.
"We were absolutely blown away," Sasha McDonald told the Mail this week.
"There are so many amazing venues in the South West, as shown by the incredible regional representation. We hoped, but we didn't we expect to be sitting up the top amongst them."
The pair run the winery and restaurant alongside a dedicated team of employees, family and friends with a strong emphasis on the land, and sustainable operations.
"Together, we are the lucky custodians of 240 acres of rich and fertile soil.
"This patch of land has been home to our family for five generations and we are so proud to be able to share it with people."
Today the farm boasts 10 varieties of grapes,16 varieties of hops, and more than 250 fruit trees.
"Every day we harvest two seasonal veggie patches which produce approximately 40 percent of our kitchen needs and raise 1300 wool shedding sheep, plus a few Chianina and Square Meter Cattle.
"We often have pigs in the winter to plough up new veggie patches and take care of kitchen waste."
McDonald said the restaurant, opened in 2017, is a homage to the produce grown on and around the farm.
"To be honest, we never set out to chase accolades or reviewers, we have just always wanted to grow delicious produce, in the most sustainable way that we can.
"We have just been incredibly lucky to have attracted some amazingly talented staff who are dedicated to the same cause and are continually striving to do their very best."
Unaware that they were set for a win on the night, the McDonalds found themselves on stage at the Optus Stadium gala event.
"We were all quite speechless when they called us up... I forgot English - my first language - for a moment, hopefully no-one remembers that!
"Ben then pulled out his party trick and successfully 'sabred' a bottle of bubbles with a champagne flute at the awards after party."
With summer on the way, Glenarty Road is preparing for the peak visitor season, with plans to extend their offerings.
"We are looking ahead to what was always going to be a busy summer season, we are excited to have a great team in place and a few new options to extend the experience at Glenarty Road.
"We will be opening up our farm tours daily, as well as launching a new garden tour, which is a fun way to start lunch for those interested in where and how their food is grown.
For more on Glenarty Road, visit www.glenartyroad.com.au
The South West Winners
Restaurant of the Year - Vasse Felix
Regional Restaurant of the Year - Glenarty Road
Regional Chef of the Year - Brendan Pratt, Vasse Felix
Regional Sommelier of the Year - Claire Tonon, Voyager Estate
Wine of the Year - Stella Bella Luminosa Cabernet Sauvignon