I have been sitting on this post for three weeks now. I just haven’t gotten it out. Two reasons: number one is time, and number two is perfectionism. I wanted it to be good, because Adelaide Hills was soooo good. It deserved a good post. Yes, time was my worst enemy, and I think perfection can wait until next time. Good enough is what rules today. Adelaide Hills is a cute area next to Adelaide city with vineyards, little towns and a wildlife reserve.
We drove up a day before New Year. Even though, just a few days earlier we had been ecstatic about arriving to a proper city again (after Cairns), it felt great driving up and down lush countryside roads. It was a change of scenery. Again. But it was great. We stayed at Mount Lofty House, a boutique hotel up on the hill (Mount Lofty), with great views over the Adelaide valley.
As it was close to New Year, many of the wineries were closed. Even winemakers need a vacation. However, we found one place that was open, Ashton Hills winery, which is said to be one of the most acclaimed Pinot Noir producers in town. And at Ashton Hills, the friendly ladies knew who else was open. The winemakers in the region all seem to help eachother out. The other winery we visited was a small winery named CRFT. Just amazing single vineyard Grüner Weltliner and Pinot Noirs. We bought six bottles.
Many of the cellar doors (tasting rooms) in Adelaide Hills serve free tastings. Some take a small fee, which is removed from the price if you buy a bottle of wine. Some sell finger food and picnic baskets, which you can enjoy on the terrace or lawn of the winery with a glass (or bottle) of the winery’s wine.
Not all wineries have their own cellar door. Some smaller ones “reside” in local restaurants, such as Lost in a Forest and Summertown Aristologist. The latter was closed for the holidays, however Lost in a Forest was the perfect place for trying some small, progressive wines. They are the “cellar door” for example for a great local winery Ochotta Barrels. Lost in a Forest also serves awesome wood oven pizzas, not to mention that the restaurant and bar is in an old stone church. Very cool! Summertown Aristologist serves for example Commune of Buttons and Lucy Margaux Farm wines.
Last but not least, I have to give a special mention to our hotel, Mount Lofty House. The house is the former home and residence of Arthur Hardy (local politician), built some 170 years ago. The house burnt down in 1983, however was reconstructed to its original form. Today an M Gallery by Sofitel, the hotel makes their own sparkling wine from local grapes, and there is an introductory bottle in the guest room (at least we had one in the fridge). The hotel also has a fine dining restaurant, Hardy’s, with fabulous views over the valley. I can warmly recommend the tasting menu and the wine flight. No cheaping out by the restaurant as they served very nice wines with the help of the Coravin. Tip: ask for a table on the glassed veranda.
Just looking at the pictures makes me want to go back (and perhaps the piles of snow outside our door have something to do with it as well).