Ultimate Winery Experiences Australia

Meet the Characters: Santiago Fernandez, Voyager Estate

There’s a poetic symmetry to Santiago (or Santi) Fernandez, Head Chef at Voyager Estate, and the love he shares for the surrounding Margaret River wine region, south of Perth.

Santi grew up in a small fishing town in Spain and his cooking career began with peeling potatoes at his parents’ restaurant. Later he became a chef as a means to travel the world, before moving to Australia in 2010 with his equally well-travelled wife. When the opportunity to join Voyager Estate arose in 2017, Santi promptly relocated to the striking Western Australian coastal wine region, and brought with him his keen understanding of sourcing from local growers.

“In a way I’m returning to my roots, but on the other side of the world,” says Santi. “I’m again getting to make beautiful food with organic produce, showing my love of local seafood and sustainable practices, and in a very beautiful place.”

Since Santi’s arrival, the estate’s restaurant has received wide acclaim as a culinary destination, and is routinely voted one of Western Australia’s best regional restaurants, offering four and seven-course degustations. Santi explains it’s a careful collaboration between himself and Voyager’s sommelier to craft a balanced menu.

“Here, the wine is the beginning – it gives us all the information we need to build the right dish,” says Santi.

The result is an ever-changing seasonal menu that thoughtfully complements the Voyager wines and showcases local ingredients such as Pemberton marron, Busselton abalone, Margaret River lamb and wagyu beef, and Manjimup truffles, as well as fresh herbs and vegetables from the estate’s kitchen garden.

Beyond the restaurant, you can also take part in winery and vineyard tours, as well as casual wine tastings at the cellar door. Voyager is working towards becoming a fully certified organic winery by 2023.