South Australia’s first state cellar door wine festival!

 

On 25 February 2011, the first ever state cellar door festival was launched in Adelaide. Over 100 wineries attended, each presenting their best wares. It stretched over three days – Friday, Saturday, Sunday, and the perfectly chosen venue was the Adelaide Convention Centre near the railway station in the centre of Adelaide.

The general feel of the wineries and the attendees was that it was a roaring success with over 3,000 tickets sold for this inaugural event, and people were truly interested in the wines and the wineries, not just coming along to see how inebriated they could get – a criticism of some wine events! There was an overwhelmingly friendly and relaxed atmosphere and at every wine stand I went to I was welcomed warmly and shown the wines with enthusiasm and without pressure. I shall certainly attend in 2012 if they organise this again and would encourage wineries to participate and wine lovers to come along and enjoy it.

The $20 ticket included an elegant Riedel glass (RRP $20) which was perfect for the tasting and it entitled you to unlimited tastings. It also included a $5 token to buy a glass of wine – although some wines cost $10 for a glass, as was the one I chose – an Amadio sagrantino – see below. There were also a number of master classes at an extra cost.

I attended for the whole day on the Sunday (7.5 hours!) and did not run out of people to talk to and wines to taste, arriving at 10.30am and leaving as it was closing at 6pm. I barely scratched the surface, visiting a fraction of the stands, although I did my best for the sake of my readers!

The venue was ideal, with plenty of space and a very clear layout. Wineries were organised by key South Australian regions and there were also a few micro-breweries represented. (Full list at the end of this article.)

In addition, the premier sponsor of the event, A+ Australian Wine – Wine Australia, had a large stand with varietals – they were presenting a bottle from each of (most of) the wineries, giving an excellent overview of the whole event. The two clear standouts for me at this stand were Knappstein’s Clare Valley (Watervale) hand-picked 2010 riesling – which had great length, honey characters, strongly varietal and rounded fruit; and a Barossa wine that surprised me – Amadio winery’s 2009 sagrantino – an interesting Italian red variety that gave me tomato leaf, rhubarb and cherry. A pleasing amount of fruit sweetness balanced with modest oak, it was a medium-bodied red wine with a long finish. Fabulous – this is the kind of experience that makes these events memorable.

Looking at the regional stands, the first region I came to was Fleurieu/McLaren Vale. Although I am familiar with most of the wineries there, it is always good to refresh your memory and try their latest releases. I stopped by Serafino, Chapel Hill, Penny’s Hill, d’Arenberg, Dog Ridge, Hugh Hamilton and Vinteloper. There were so many to try that I mainly noted the standouts – purely subjective of course:

Penny’s Hill 2009 Cabernet Sauvignon – lovely fruit, great varietal characters, only $24.

Vinteloper’s ‘Adelo’ (meaning obscure) – a 2010 blend of touriga, shiraz and pinot noir – an obscure blend – but it worked for me!

My pick of Coonawarra was the Raidis Estate winery – I loved all of the wines I tried – the riesling, pinot gris and the cabernet sauvignon, all giving generous yet elegant fruit and all notably varietal. Typifying Coonawarra the cabernet had a gentle hint of eucalypt. The labels were memorable by the goats, signifying the goats that they have at the vineyards eating the grasses and cover crops.

I visited the St Mary’s Wines stand, representing the Limestone Coast and was pleasantly surprised to find some aged reds, particularly a 2001 merlot and 2006 cabernet sauvignon, made in the European, elegant Bordeaux style. The cabernet was just beautiful.

From Langhorne Creek I had to stop by and see Anne and Mac of Cleggett winery – of white cabernet sauvignon fame – I visited their winery recently and wrote the whole story behind their white and bronze cabernet sauvignon grapes (see “White cabernet sauvignon – sampling a world first from South Australia“). They had brought along some bunches of the bronze and white grapes to show people, picked that very morning (pictured).

Adelaide Hills is an area I am very familiar with so I went to a winery I was not familiar with – Coobara, in Birdwood. Their labels have a range of birds on them, making them memorable and attractive. I very much enjoyed their low alcohol 2010 riesling (10.0%) which had a fruity, zingy nose and a slight sweetness on the palate with a clean finish. The pinot gris was also pleasing with a smokiness on the palate, rounded generous fruits and great length.

I also must mention the Paracombe Adelaide Hills 2007 Cabernet Franc – always a good wine.

From Clare Valley a new winery for me was the Good Catholic Girl Wines. The 2007 shiraz was rich and flavoursome. A definite standout.

Neagles Rock presented some lovely Clare Valley offering, with great fruit, especially the sangiovese, a lighter style of red wine.

I had to taste some of the Paulett’s riesling too – always exceptional and did not disappoint.

Last but not least for me after a long day of tasting was the Barossa – I headed to my friends at Barossa Valley Estate – these guys always produce a most excellent shiraz for all ranges in the price spectrum, up to the E&E Black Pepper Shiraz, current release 2006 – an icon of South Australia in my opinion.

I sincerely hope that this event is supported even more strongly in 2012 as it has the potential to be one of the best wine events of the year. The list of wineries who attended is provided below and I have added a few photos to give you a feel for the day.

Cheers!!

Tigs

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For your reference, this is the list of wineries represented, plus a few SA micro breweries:

ADELAIDE HILLS
Amadio Wines   www.amadiowines.com
Coobara Wines   www.coobarawines.com.au
Golding Wines   www.goldingwines.com.au
Henschke   www.henschke.com
Hermitage Premium Wines   www.hermitagewines.com.au
Howard Vineyard   www.howardvineyard.com
K1 by Geoff Hardy   www.k1.com.au
Kersbrook Hill Wines   www.kersbrookhill.com.au
Longview   www.longviewvineyard.com.au
Nepenthe Wines   www.nepenthe.com.au
One Planet Cellars   www.oneplanetwine.com
Paracombe Wines   www.paracombewines.com
Petaluma’s Bridgewater Mill   www.petaluma.com.au
Protero Wines   www.proterowines.com.au
The Lane Vineyard   www.thelane.com.au
Tomich Wines  www.tomichwines.com
PRODUCER www.bdfarmpariscreek.com.au

BAROSSA VALLEY
Balthazar Barossa   www.balthazarbarossa.com
Barossa Valley Estate   www.bve.com.au
Craneford Wines   www.cranefordwines.com
Domain Day   www.domainday.com.au
God’s Hill Wines   www.godshillwines.com
Gumpara Wines   www.gumpara.blogspot.com
Hart of the Barossa   www.hartofthebarossa.com.au
Hentley Farm Wines   www.hentleyfarm.com.au
Jamabro Wines   www.jamabro.com.au
Liebichwein   www.liebichwein.com.au
Linfield Road Wines   www.linfieldroadwines.com.au
Milhinch Seize the Day Wines   www.seizetheday.net.au
Murray Street Vineyards   www.murraystreet.com.au
Penfolds   www.penfolds.com
Saltram Wine Estate   www.saltramwines.com.au
Schild Estate Wines  www.schildestate.com.au
Smallfry Wines   www.smallfrywines.com.au
Soul Growers   www.soulgrowers.com
St Hallett Wines   www.sthallett.com.au
Tomfoolery Wines   www.tomfoolerywines.com.au
Winter Creek   www.wintercreekwine.com.au
Wolf Blass Wines   www.wolfblass.com

CLARE VALLEY
Annie’s Lane   www.annieslane.com.au
Artwine   www.artwine.com.au
Good Catholic Girl Wines   www.goodcatholicgirl.com.au
Jeanneret Wines   www.jeanneretwines.com
Kilikanoon Wines   www.kilikanoon.com.au
Knappstein Enterprise Winery & Brewery   www.knappstein.com.au
Neagles Rock   www.neaglesrock.com
O’Leary Walker Wines   www.olearywalkerwines.com
Paulett Wines   www.paulettwines.com.au
Reillys Wines   www.reillyswines.com.au
Sevenhill Cellars   www.sevenhill.com.au
Stephen John Wines   www.stephenjohnwines.com
Taylors Wines   www.taylorswines.com.au
Tim Adams Wines   www.timadamswines.com.au
Tim Gramp Wines   www.timgrampwines.com.au

FLEURIEU – McLAREN VALE
Battle of Bosworth Wines www.battleofbosworth.com.au
Cascabel Winery   www.cascabelwinery.com.au
Chapel Hill   www.chapelhillwine.com.au
Conte Estate Wines   www.conteestatewines.com.au
d’Arenberg   www.darenberg.com.au
Dogridge   www.dogridge.com.au
Dowie Doole   www.dowiedoole.com
Halifax   www.halifaxwines.com.au
Hardys Tintara   www.hardys.com.au
Haselgrove  Wines – Modern McLaren Vale   www.haselgrove.com.au
Hugh Hamilton Wines   www.hughhamiltonwines.com.au
J&J Wines   www.jjwines.com.au
Kay Brothers Amery Vineyards   www.kaybrothersamerywines.com
Leconfield – Home of Richard Hamilton Wines   www.leconfieldwines.com
Oxenberry Wines  www.oxenberrywines.com
Paxton   www.paxtonvineyards.com
Penny’s Hill & Mr Riggs Cellars   www.pennyshill.com.au
Rosemount Estate   www.rosemountestate.com.au
Scarpantoni   www.scarpantoniwines.com
Serafino Wines   www.serafinowines.com.au
Ulithorne Wines   www.ulithorne.com.au
Vinteloper Wines   www.vinteloper.com.au
Wirra Wirra Vineyards   www.wirrawirra.com.au
Yangarra Estate Vineyard   www.yangarra.com
Zimmermann Wine    www.zimmermannwine.com

FLEURIEU – LANGHORNE CREEK
Bremerton   www.bremerton.com.au
Cleggett Wines   www.cleggettwines.com.au
Gipsie Jack Wines    www.thewinehouse.com.au
Hearland Wines   www.thewinehouse.com.au
John’s Blend by John Glaetzer   www.thewinehouse.com.au
Kimbolton Wines   www.thewinehouse.com.au
Lake Breeze Wines   www.lakebreeze.com.au
Rusticana Wines   www.rusticanawines.com.au
Step Rd   www.steprd.com

FLEURIEU – SOUTHERN FLEURIEU
Mosquito Hill Wines   www.mosquitohillwines.com.au

LIMESTONE COAST – COONAWARRA
Brand’s Laira Coonawarra   www.mcwilliamswinesgroup.com
DiGiorgio Family Wines   www.digiorgio.com.au
Flint’s of Coonawarra   www.flintsofcoonawarra.com.au
Hollick Wines   www.hollick.com
Leconfield Coonawarra   www.leconfieldwines.com
Penley Estate   www.penley.com.au
Raidis Estate   www.raidis.com.au
Rymill Coonawarra   www.rymill.com.au
Zema Estate – Coonawarra   www.zema.com.au

LIMESTONE COAST – PADTHAWAY
Henry’s Drive Vignerons   www.henrysdrive.com
Morambro Creek   www.morambrocreek.com.au

LIMESTONE COAST – PENOLA
St Mary’s Wines   www.stmaryswines.com

RIVERLAND
919 Wines   www.919wines.com.au
Banrock Station Wine & Wetland Centre   www.banrockstation.com.au
Mirabella Vineyards   www.mirabellavineyards.com
Spook Hill Wines  www.spookhillwines.com

SA Micro Breweries
Brewboys  www.brewboys.com.au
Knappstein Enterprise Winery & Brewery  www.knappstein.com.au
McLaren Vale Beer Company   www.mvbeer.com

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About tigchandler

English-born, lived several years in Wellington, NZ, then in Adelaide, South Australia, and recently moved back to New Zealand. With an economics background, I have worked in researching wine consumption patterns, marketing, economics and social media at the University of Adelaide. I also worked a vintage and in wineries in McLaren Vale so have seen both the research/analytical side of the industry and the practical/hands-on side. I have retail experience and many ongoing industry links all around Australia and overseas. This blog reflects my ongoing passion for everything related to the wine industry.
This entry was posted in Barossa wine, Cabernet sauvignon, Langhorne Creek wine, McLaren Vale wine, New World wine, Riverland wine, South Australian wine, Syrah/Shiraz, Wine events, Wine news, Wine varietals and blends and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

4 Responses to South Australia’s first state cellar door wine festival!

  1. WineQuota says:

    Nice one Tig! I liked Vinteloper’s ‘Adelo’ too! I reckon his Pinot Noir was even better.

  2. Amanda says:

    Great post on a fantastic event. it was an impressive weekend with only one or two tweaks required to make it perfect for next year – a credit to Olivia Stratton, the organiser.
    I struggled to pick favourites, but the Raidis Estate Cab Sav was new to us and particularly notable.

    • tigchandler says:

      Hi Amanda thank you for your comment. Yes a credit to Olivia for sure! I’m sure there were hundreds of standout wines, I couldn’t get round them all! I reckon I need to go all three days next time.

  3. Pingback: Encore! The second South Australian cellar door wine festival | Wine news from Tigchandler

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