Recently I was asked my prediction for Australia’s hottest travel destination for 2015 (actually, it was when I was named as Adelaide’s top food blog on HotelClub’s list of Australia’s top food bloggers – yes, utterly shameless self promotion inserted seamlessly 😉 ) and without so much as a blush I named Adelaide and South Australia. The search for distinctive and unique food and wine experiences drives a great deal of travel these days and, with our remarkable wine regions and access to local, premium gourmet food (like raw milk cheese, for example), South Australia is making quite a name for itself in this field.
February and March (known locally as Mad March) here in Adelaide is when this town really let’s down it’s hair and becomes a magnet for anyone interested in theatre, dance, music, literature, fringe events and car racing – and right in the middle of all of this is the Cellar Door Wine Festival. I’ve supported this exciting, multi-award winning event since it’s inception and am very proud to be one of the social media ambassadors for the festival again this year. Last week I piled on to a bus with the rest of my fellow ambassadors and headed off to be treated to a look at two of the very special new experiences which will be available at next years festival.
Our first stop was at the picturesque Howard Vineyard, located near Nairne in the Adelaide Hills, to meet up with winemaker Tom Northcott. Next year’s festival will include the Long Table Series for both brunch and lunch and Tom is to be one of the hosts at the brunches. These long table events will showcase some of our premium food and wine products and your diligent ambassadors were out there testing the waters. It’s a tough gig, but we like to be thorough. We got to sit out under a shady tree in the beautiful surrounds of Howard Vineyard, tasting some of the delicious food cooked by their onsite chef (late of Luke Ngyen’s Red Lantern in Sydney) and sipping a selection of Tom’s work, including his delightful sparkling and his delicious Cabernet Franc. I really can’t think of better beverages for brunch.
From there we headed off to The Lane Vineyard at the back of Hahndorf. The Lane Executive Chef James Brinklow will be one of the hosts guiding Cellar Door Wine Festival Long Table lunch guests through his choice of dishes featuring local and regionally sourced produce. We sampled a few of James’ dishes which The Lane now offers as part of their guided tasting, including their beef tartare, oysters and crusted prawns, as we worked through our own tasting. The festival Long Table Lunch will be paired with a range of The Lane’s sparkling, white and red wines which I can only hope will include some of their sublime Reginald Germein Single Vineyard Chardonnay – my personal favourite of their range.
Our final stop for the day was at Penfolds Magill cellars. The Penfolds name needs no introduction to wine lovers and their iconic crowning glory, Penfolds Grange is a legend in Australian wine. This year visitors to the Cellar Door Wine Festival can take part in a vertical wine tasting of a selection the Penfolds range at the Penfolds Collection Master Class – including the Grange. Once again, your tireless ambassadors undertook this blissful experience. This is an exciting opportunity to taste an Australian wine legend – don’t miss it!
Check out the Cellar Door Wine Festival 2015 for more information on these and other stunning SA wine experiences.
Lambs’ Ears and Honey was a guest of the Cellar Door Wine Festival.