Fleurieu Hills Vineyards cellar door is located a mere 45 minute drive from the Adelaide CBD in the scenic Southern Fleurieu wine region near Willunga at Pages Flat. Fleurieu Hills Vineyards is a family owned and operated single vineyard estate sitting more than 300 metres above sea level. Trevor and Linda Desmond purchased the eight hectare property back in 1990. A year later they began planting 330 cherry trees to create their very own cherry orchard. In 2003, more than a decade later, they purchased an adjoining four hectares and planted a much larger cherry orchard consisting of 3,500 trees. The cellar door is the newest kid on the block so to speak being built in 2013 and opening its doors to the public in July of last year. The cellar door overlooks the picturesque grassy, gum tree laden surrounds complete with a nearby dam and tiny row boat. It is here you will find comfy outdoor tables and chairs shaded by large umbrellas, picnic rugs and low-lying seats and even a large metal fire pit for the winter months.
Fleurieu Hills Vineyards currently have four small batch hand-crafted wines in their range for cellar door guests to taste and purchase. To begin with we were offered the Sparkling NV, a dry and fruity sparkling white wine that is perfect for summer celebrations. Next on offer under the Fleurieu Hills label was the Pinot Gris variety. Both the 2013 and 2014 vintages were light, refreshing and easy-drinking whites. Fleurieu Hills doesn’t forget about the red wine lovers amongst us with the last wine tasted being the 2014 Shiraz; a complex red wine with good depth and earthy tones. This was my pick of the crop and the one I chose to enjoy a glass of in the sunshine.
To accompany the wine Fleurieu Hills offer a regional produce platter which consists of four cheese varieties from Paris Creek, including a brie, camembert, cheddar and cumin and caraway gouda. The platter also includes dukkah, olive oil and fresh homemade bread, dried fruit, almonds and olives sourced from Willunga, mesclun greens drizzled with their very own cherry vinegar, crackers and homemade cherry relish.
If you noticed all the homemade cherry delights on the produce platter, then you’d be correct. During December-January Fleurieu Hills diversifies and under the banner of Fleurieu Cherries offer some of the freshest hand-picked cherries in the region. Trevor and Linda explained that in the off season these cherries are turned into some tasty in-house goodies, which include the popular Cherry Liqueur, cherry flavoured relish, jam and vinegar and not to forget their cherry flavoured ice cream. Mr N couldn’t say no and decided to try the cherry ice cream. The ice cream came served in a waffle cone and was notably jam-packed with chunks of real cherry fruit. If cherry isn’t your thing, they also offer homemade blueberry, mulberry or raspberry flavoured ice cream.
The Desmond family provide a warm, friendly and relaxing environment and encourage guests to bring along a picnic and enjoy the lovely surrounds at Fleurieu Hills whilst purchasing a glass, or bottle, of wine to share with friends and family. Fleurieu Hills is also a great location for the kids to get out and about and enjoy the great outdoors. Two very friendly and playful Border Collies named Kitty and Jazzy will help keep the kids entertained.
All of their wines are well-priced ranging from $17-20, $25 for the local produce platter and $22 for a bottle of their famous Cherry Liqueur, which is currently being bottled and will be ready for sale just in time for Christmas. But get in quick, it doesn’t last long and whilst you’re visiting Fleurieu Hills Vineyards stop and enjoy a glass… or two of their wines!
Words and Photos by Kelly Betterman
WHERE: 159 Pages Flat Rd, Pages Flat