There is a romanticism about wine, food and cellar door locations in South Australia that sometimes has me considering moving (or mini-breaking) to a regional location with beautiful views and growing my own produce or running a South Australian produce shop. So when I heard about South Australia’s First State Cellar Door Wine Festival in Adelaide from 25 – 27 February 2011 I had to go.
I reviewed the website, liked the Facebook page and knew that I could buy tickets at the door on Saturday afternoon so off we went – Aimee (my 19 year old daughter) and I. Held at the Adelaide Convention Centre, we bought our tickets, received our Passport with details of the 100+wineries by region, and festival wine tokens.
Starting at the Riverland’s Banrock Station we worked our way around the regions via the micro breweries to the Clare Valley’s Annie’s Lane, Coonawarra, Limestone Coast, Adelaide Hills, Barossa Valley, Southern Fleurieu and Lake Breeze in Langhorne Creek finishing in McLaren Vale (my favourite region) with Wirra Wirra’s pink moscato. I was disappointed that Rosemount didn’t bring along their O, instead they had a new wine and when I ask the guy what was the reason behind the decision [only having 1 wine] he said “well everyone knows what O tastes like” – such a mistake not to help people move from what they know to a new product. There was a great mix of newer wineries and more traditional such as Penfolds, Saltram, Wolf Blass, Knappstein and Sevenhill.
The layout was thoughtful with master class rooms and wine cloaking (think place to store you cloak I mean wine), water fountains, a kids zone and Regional Farmers Market or food court with long trestles and crates with cushions tied on top as your chair plus recycling stations throughout. Decorations included lots of lighting with images of grapes, large air-filled balls/bubbles, mushrooms, suspended bicycles, wooden trees and wheel barrows full of fruit. We picked up a goodie bag to take home too.
Suggestions for next time building on a fabulous festival would be more micro breweries, cider like beer featuring with a designated area, an actual farmers market with produce and wine trails – for example I’m going to research and write a sweet white trail across South Australia.
A couple of things to look out for over 2011 – the Clare Gourmet Weekend, the Barossa Vintage Festival, Wine Courses at the National Wine Education & Training Centre, and Touch Wine 2011 in Adelaide’s South Parklands.
Well done to the organisers and sponsors of the Cellar Door Festival and I look forward to attending the next one!