The Wine and Waves Tour
A dream trip of two passions that collided
The Wine and Waves Tour came about when I closed my Pilates studio in 2015. It was a painful experience and I needed an outlet or a plan for the next phase of my life. I poured 12 years of blood, sweat and tears into my Pilates studio. I needed to do something different.
I wanted to travel for six months, but the harsh reality of closing my studio instead of selling it was soul-crushing. I broke even, which is a positive thing when you close a business, but I had no profit to show from the 12 years I worked to build that studio. The studio's closing process was not a pleasant experience and left me faithless in humanity after it. So solo travel was calling my name.
I had an idea to surf and work in a winery in different parts of the world. I researched vineyards around the world and surf breaks nearby and what do you know? I started mapping out them around the world.
At first, I chose Australia in Margaret River. It was the furthest away from the US and the most remote and unique place. It has wine, waves and nature and a great escape from my past life. Margaret River is known for world-class waves that the World Surf League has an event from year to year. It is located 260km south of Perth and Yallingup, near Margaret River, offers the best surf in the country.
Further south is the well known Surfer's Point, where the waves are not for the faint of heart. Maybe I will watch the surfers there! I found beginner-friendly waves in Secret Harbour, between Mandurah and Rockingham.
I started researching lodging. I found this cute farmhouse on Air BnB. It was a couple who were artists. The husband was a glassblower and had a studio where he held classes, and his wife was a theater person where she directed plays at the farm. Perfect! I can learn something new and resurrect my playwriting or acting skills. The couple took long term guests too! I saved that one to my Air Bnb.
I then looked into the wine region and vineyards. One of my friends sent me an article on a winemaker that was a surfer, so I saved that article. It talked about a winemaker, Damon Eastaugh, from Flying Fish Cove Winery. He is also a big wave surfer. I looked up their vineyard and mapped out how far it was from the Airbnb I chose. Not bad 40 mins. Maybe I can get a job on it?
The best winemaking is primarily in Margaret River. The well-known varietals that grow there are Cabernet Sauvignon and Chardonnay. Margaret River also has excellent Semillion and Sauvignon Blanc.
Of course, where there are great wines, there is excellent gourmet food. Around Margaret River, there are cute little restaurants and shops. Below is a list I found on a Western Australia website that sounded interesting to visit.
Black Sheep Deli,
Cambray Cheese and Cottages
Woody Nook Wines
Nannup Hot Bread Shop
Tiny Tea Shop
Go to this link for a complete list and description of the places to eat and visit.
You can experience hiking and other natural treasures that make the South West of Australia one of the world's 36 biodiversity hotspots.
After I loosely planned this trip, I made a list of the Ultimate Wine and Waves Tour with some countries researched.
The Ultimate Wine and Waves Tour
1. Fly into Paris
5. Biarritz- surf
6. Hossenger- surf
7. Provences- Tamaris- Mostly, a small wind swell wave breaks on the rocky reef, but sometimes it can be good. It gets busy as lots of surfers in the area and not many waves.
8. San Sebastian- Playa de A Lanzadasurf, surf, surf
9. Rias Baixas-wine
14. South Africa
15. Australia-Margaret River-wine and waves
16. New Zealand
I never made the trip to Australia. The stars were not aligned and the finances didn't add up. Instead, I moved to San Diego, where I surf almost every day, teach Pilates as a freelancer and work part-time in a wine bar. So you see, I live my tour every day here. I chose lifestyle over opening another business as my new path in life, but this trip helped me realize that. I will travel to these places, for sure. That is what surfers do! It is my ultimate bucket list.
First stop, Europe!