Hahndorf is a small town in the Adelaide Hills and was first settled back in 1838. It is named after a Danish captain and is Australia’s oldest surviving German settlement. Previously a centre for farming and services, it is now an important tourism spot in South Australia. Adelaide Food Central, along with other media, were invited to visit a cheese factory and a selection of wineries. All food and drink were provided free of charge.
Hahndorf Hill Winery
Our first stop this morning was at the Hahndorf Hill Winery. Expecting a typical round of wine tasting, we were surprised with the Choco Vino experience. It was quite educational for a Sunday morning as we learnt how to appreciate chocolate and wine.
Inside the wooden box was a cacao pod which we all broke open and tasted. All too often, we experience chocolate loaded with sugar and that’s what we’ve become accustomed to. Inside the pod was chocolate in its purest form. The bean was bitter with a lovely intense flavour. Fresh apple slices were included for cleansing the palette. We were given two types of chocolate; one milk and one dark. The chocolate should be kept below room temperature and the snapping of the chocolate should sound like a twig breaking in the forest. When eaten, chocolate should slowly melt in your mouth so the flavour can be savoured.
While apple was a good palate cleanser, the other option was the Cape Grim water. It’s water in its purest form and harvested from rainwater in Antartica.
Scott & La Prova
It was only about 2 months ago since my last visit to Scott & La Prova. What struck me about this place was their cool and funky surrounds, and the upbeat music playing in the background. Of course, this works perfectly well when you’re about to sample their tasting flight.
First up was the 2015 Prosecco which is fermented twice; the first time to capture the bright and subtle varietal flavours, while the secondary fermentation creates the bubbles. The wine is light, bright and vibrant with notes of citrus blossom, apple and melon.
The 2015 Bianco is a blend of Pinot Grigio, Fiano, Garganega and Bianco d’Alessano. The Pinot Grigio adds a bit of zip to this blend, Fiano the texture, Garganega the tartness and the fruitiness from the Bianco d’Alessano. A very aromatic and textural wine.
The fruit for the 2015 Fiano was handpicked on three occasions, chilled and then bunch pressed. 80% of the juice was fermented with fluffy lees while the remainder was filled straight off the press tray into old French oak. This wine has aromas of Summer flowers, hazelnut and guava leading to bright and dry palate.
The 2014 Rosso is a blend of Lagrein, Sangiovese and Nero d’Avola. Made from three parcels of fruit that have been fermented separately and blended prior to bottling, this wine is both succulent and savoury.
The 2013 Lo Zingaro is a blend of three distinctively different varieties. The dark juicy fruits of the Shiraz provide richness; the bright red berries of the Sangiovese for the savoury finish; and the Lagrein for the structure and density.
For lunch, we headed over to Udder Delights and enjoyed a delicious meal with the owners, Saul and Sheree. They were such a friendly, down to earth couple with a fascinating story about how the business was formed.
Sitting on plates in front of us were freshly baked bread, pickled gherkins and onions, cured meats and pear.
The items on the plate were dipped into a cheese fondue. The sauce was made from two different types of cheeses and wine. I thought chocolate fondues were good but cheese fondues are just as delicious. This is very addictive and anything dipped in the cheese tasted amazing. My favourite was the pear. The natural sweetness worked surprisingly well with the soft, gooey, melted cheese. As the cheese levels lower in the fondue, there is a crusty layer of melted cheese at the base of the bowl. It’s burnt melted cheese and it’s mind blowingly good.
After the fondue, we sampled some of their Goats Curd on the freshly baked bread. It’s dense with a light texture, and a tangy refreshing finish.
Sheree and Saul are super talented. Not only do they make a range of delicious cheeses, but they also make their own port. It’s sweet and accompanies the King Saul Raw Experience.
King Saul is a raw milk blue cheese that is served with Tortas and Muscatels. Tortas are these Spanish biscuits that have a light sugar coating, while Muscatels are like a poached pear. The star of the show is the raw blue cheese which tastes absolutely amazing! Sharp and crumbly in texture it is very addictive. If you like blue cheese, it’s a must have when you visit Udder Delights!
Rockbare wines are known for being pure and intense, and use varieties that are suited to growing in the cool, maritime climate of South Australia’s McLaren Vale region. We didn’t have to travel far from our previous location and it was all systems go with the next lot of wine tasting.
The Mojo Chardonnay Pinot Noir Sparkling had subtle flavours of peach, green apple and wild strawberries.
The 2014 Alta Sauvignon Blanc had hints of citrus blossom, spicy lemon grass and honey dew melon.
The 2013 Shiraz is a mulled wine with notes of oak, cherry and mint chocolate.
The 2013 Barossa Babe Shiraz is dark in colour and has sweet flavours of boysenberry, chocolate covered dark cherry and mocha.
The 2013 Coonawarra Cutie Cabernet Sauv is another sweet red with hints of ripe boysenberry, mulberry, pomegranate and red currant.
The 2010 Tideway Shiraz is yet another sweet red with aromas of dark berries, sweet vanilla, dark plum and chocolate.
The 2012 Cane Cut Viognier Sticky is a delicious dessert wine with notes of ripe apricot, fig, floral musk and honeysuckle. Very addictive!
Last but not least was the 2015 Mojo Moscato. It was very aromatic with flavours of musk, lemon blossom, Turkish delight and ruby grapefruit. Another favourite of mine.
Bendbrook Wines & Beef
Bendbrook do great wines, but they also supply premium quality beef. When we visited their cellar door, we were greet with some delicious Wagyu patties on their authentic crusty French baguettes. The patties were well seasoned, tender and succulent, and the mustard base added plenty of depth to the dish.
The first wine we tasted was the Savvy which won a gold medal at the Adelaide Hills Wine Show. It has flavours of lemongrass, lime, citrus, wet stones and green nectarines. The flavours are quite intense which is supported by a tangy acidity that promotes a length finish. The subtle nutty lees adds character to this delicious drop.
The Chardonnay was elegant but funky and mildly oaked. Grown in a cool climate, the lees are gently hand stirred and then fermented in oak for 10 months.
The Peony Riesling was very aromatic and flinty. The main aromas were apple, lime and a touch of pear. The taste was very acidic and almost like a tart fruit juice.
The Yarnspinner uses leftovers from the Pound Road and Goat Track. It is a rich, soft and dense red with aromas of berries and plum.
The Pound Road has notes of fruit, cassis and tobacco with some spice mix and earthy tones. The tannins are fine and focussed. It has good cleansing acidity with a gravelly and savoury finish.
The Goat Track Shiraz is hand picked and hand pruned and originates from a single vineyard. It has a rich nose and is full of ripeness. The flavour is similar to a rich dark fruit cake.
The last stop for the day was a winedown at Somerled. Having just been here over a month ago, the previous wonderful experience was still fresh in my mind.
To start us off, we dug into one of their delicious Spanish Platters. The platter consists of Spanish manchego cheese, local bread, local olive oil and olives, sundried wild figlets and housemade anchovy sticks. I finally discovered that you eat the figlets whole. Anchovy sticks were still a favourite as was the manchego cheese.
After a full day of drinking I only had one glass in me left. That was the Rose with its lovely pale, elegant colour. Very aromatic and tasty with a supple creaminess about it.
The thing I love about Hahndorf are the close proximity of all the wineries. With the exception of one winery, everything was within walking distance and we got to sample some high quality wines. While the town is known for its German influence, there is also a good variety of shops and eateries along the main strip. The construction of the South Eastern Freeway has made the town more accessible, and is not only a popular tourist destination, but a perfect way to spend the afternoon. Public transport also makes its way up here if you don’t have access to a car.
Adelaide Food Central would like to thank the staff at Hahndorf Hill Winery, Scott & La Prova, Udder Delights, Rockbare, Bendbrook Wines & Beef, and Somerled Wines for hospitality. While it was a big day of eating and drinking, everybody had an enjoyable experience and left very satisfied.
Hahndorf Hill Winery – 38 Pains Rd, Hahndorf
Scott & La Prova – 102 Main St, Hahndorf
Udder Delights – 91 Main St, Hahndorf
Rockbare – 102-104 Main St, Hahndorf
Bendbrook Wines & Beef Cellar Door – 79 Main St, Hahndorf
Somerled Wines – 89 Main St, Hahndorf