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From paddock to premier visitor point
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A day or weekend exploring and visiting wineries is often an experience Mum and Dad cannot fully enjoy without the challenge of keeping the children entertained. “Are we there yet?” and “I’m bored” test any parent’s patience, even after of a couple of glasses of wine! Palandri Wines recognised this very special need in the market and developed a visitor centre designed to cater for all ages and interests – including children.
In October 1999, the Palandri Wines site north of the town of Margaret River was little more than cow-grazing farmland. Three months later that site had been transformed into a modern, state-of-the-art winery comprising a café, a cellar door boasting one of the best gift shops in the region, and a production facility capable of processing 3,500 tonnes of fruit a year.
Today, the Palandri Wines visitor centre welcomes close to 100,000 visitors annually.
“What set’s Palandri Wines apart from many other wineries and cellar doors, is the welcoming atmosphere and engaging staff, who encourage visitors to enjoy all aspects of the visitor centre,” said general manager Gabor Hernadi.
“From the beginning, we set out to develop a winery and visitor centre that provides a welcoming environment for everyone and one that eliminates the intimidation factor sometimes associated with winery cellar doors.”
And that is certainly the case. The Palandri Wines visitor centre offers a wide range of activities for children to keep them occupied while the adults enjoy the premium wine and food on offer. These facilities include computer games, toys and colouring in books for younger children, a large grassed outdoor area with a volleyball net, cricket and ‘Patonk’ sets available for use.
“We encourage our visitors to feel ‘at home’. It’s the small touches that make all the difference, from the couches that invite people to sit-back and enjoy their coffee while browsing the wine magazines, to the picnics rugs we provide for families to relax on the lawn in the warmer months,” said Hernadi.
The integration of a whole family experience extends to the adjoining Palandri Café. A “Kids Menu” compliments a diverse range of food offered for the adults. The head chef and chief winemaker work together to marry the food and wine experience using tasting plates suited for red or white wine varieties.
The fresh regional ingredients, extensive choice and affordable prices have ensured the Palandri Café’s popularity with all members of the family. Palandri Wines’ innovation in providing a family-friendly environment has resulted in success as a finalist in two categories in the 2005 Western Australian Tourism Awards.