1 March 2019
1 March 2019
Long left in the shadow of its neighbouring wine regions, the Adelaide Hills may not have the international fame of McLaren Vale or the Barossa Valley, but that shouldn’t stop you from exploring this charming part of South Australia. Located on the doorstep of the state’s capital, the Adelaide Hills offer a fuss-free weekend away.
Spend your nights in a historic homestead
Our choice of accommodation is Mount Lofty House, an 1850s manor nestled among the vines. Despite a rebuild after the Ash Wednesday fires in 1983, the estate is a wonderful blend of historic charm combined with luxury amenities – think soft linens, decadent spa treatments and a three-hatted, award-winning on-site restaurant.
Hardy’s Verandah Restaurant, a relatively new addition to the hotel, is headed by executive chef Jin Choi, alongside master barman Simone Petronici. Treat yourself to either the ‘Short Story’ or ‘Long Story’ degustation – both showcase an eclectic mix of high-end fine-dining (think sea urchin wrapped lovingly in wilted kale) and tasty nibbles, including fried garlic chips and fresh wasabi. With tables wisely placed window-side, the experience is completed with panoramic views of the Basket Ranges and nearby Uraidla.
Drop into the best Adelaide Hills wineries
Of course, the best way to experience the Adelaide Hills is to explore any number of wineries scattered around the region. Though geographically near to the Barossa Valley, the high altitude of the region allows for a significantly cooler and wetter climate, making it perfect for chardonnay, pinot noir – and, significantly, sauvignon blanc. Even if you’re not usually a sauvignon blanc fan, the varieties on offer are quite different to their New Zealand cousins, and well worth a taste or two.
The best way to decide on a winery is to determine what kind of experience you’re after. For a smaller boutique winery, try Deviation Road, run by husband and wife Hamish and Kate Laurie, the latter of whom trained at the renowned Lycee Viticole d'Avize school in Champagne – unsurprisingly, they have an award-winning sparkling wine on offer.
For something more commercial, try The Lane Vineyard. Wine tastings are available for a small cost at the cellar door, while the award-winning restaurant perched above the vineyard makes for a glorious location to spend an afternoon.
Discover small town charm
Looking for something other than wine in the area? Venture to Uraidla, a sleepy town that has a number of excellent restaurants, despite the resident population hovering at just over 460.
Drop into Lost in a Forest for a whimsical take on your standard pizza and wine combo, with décor resembling something out of a Brothers Grimm fairytale. While you’ll have the option of trying any number of natural wines, including some from the Adelaide Hills region, you can take ‘local wine’ one step further and sample owner Taras Ochota’s personally grown and bottled wines.
For something a bit more typical, visit the Uraidla Hotel, a delightfully low-key venue located just across the road. The menu is packed with crowd favourites updated with an artisanal twist. Combine this with a sprawling garden and verandah, and it’s the quintessential place to spend a balmy night.
*Mercedes-Benz New Zealand Ltd at all times promotes the responsible service and consumption of alcohol.
By Hannah Louey