South Australia isn’t called the “Festive State” for nothing. Last weekend we were treated with some wine tasting at the Pinot Palooza which took place at Harts Mill in Port Adelaide. Unlike their first year in Adelaide, this venue had more of an open floor plan with soaring ceilings and plenty of room to walk around. Now on their second year in our state, Pinot Palooza had a line up of wine producers from some of the best wineries in Australia, New Zealand and beyond. Over 100 wines, 30 wineries, Beers, and even Bar Vermouth got a foot in the door and offered to join the crowd. We arrived on time for the doors to be opened at 12pm sharp to the public. Delicious food stalls such as Low and Slow BBQ and the Syrian Mobile Disco showed their support at the event by providing the perfect quick and easy bite to eat before, during or after the wine tasting.
We were then greeted by welcoming staff that handed out information booklets detailing all the wines that were there on the day. They also treated each one of us to a massive pinot wine glass for the tastings which we could then take home afterwards. DJ Skin Contact set the tempo by bringing the right touch to get this party started. We decided to do this the right way by making our way from the beginning of the first row through to the last, not wanting to miss a single wine stall as we went.
People who know me well know that one of my favourite things in life is wine, red wine to be precise. To be able to experience Pinot Palooza for the first time was unreal, as we unraveled some exciting updates and gained a bit more knowledge on wine as we sampled it (along with water to keep us going). Here are some of my top personal choices that now hold a special place in my heart.
This vegan friendly winery is proud to introduce a wine that has no trace of dairy products in it. There is also no added sugar or concentrate. I asked them what their favourite wine bottle was and they picked their limited edition Pinot 777. With a hint of green tea aromas, fresh rhubarb, macerated cherry, matured in an old French oak barriqués for 10 months. This wine is delicate yet leaves a fresh and delightful after taste.
This winery is based in Central Otago, New Zealand. Owned by a very friendly couple, Chrissi from Australia and PJ from New Zealand, their wine took second place on National People’s Choice 2018. I was very impressed with how crisp their pinot is. It’s all about plush, ripe fruit and abundance with a floral hint of bouquet to add depth into this wine, I couldn’t stop at one (sorry not sorry). This is definitely the type of wine that will age finely with time.
Shaw + Smith
Ranked a draw on second place with Charteris, I got to taste their fabulous Pinot Noir 2018 vintage that has concentrated core of red berry fruits such as raspberries and cherries. It is suggested to pair this with charcuterie and tea smoked duck, this is one not to be missed especially on a special occasion with loved ones.
We absolutely loved the way they decorated their stall. Neon lights and triangle shelves with all their customised beanie merchandise, giveaway stickers and generous tastings of Pinot Noir White Label 2018, but my favourite would be their rosé which was textural, dry yet zesty. Just like their motto “Fun on the outside, serious in the bottle”, this makes it very easy to drink during warmer weather. They can also be found at Lot 100 in Hay Valley.
Last but not least, family owned winery of six generations. The first commercial release of Henschke wine was in 1868. Isn’t that amazing? The demand of this wine inevitably grew and now they are one of the most prestigious wineries in South Australia. Being organic and bio dynamic is also the reason why this is on my list. ‘The Alan Reserve Pinot Noir 2015’ was truly an experience on the palate with a hint of vanilla and spicy black cherry with red currants, it is aromatic and gives a long lasting velvety finish after taste. Simply divine.
A special shout out for Twill & Daisy. To be honest, at the beginning they only caught my eyes with their pretty bottle because that’s important too, right? And then I tried their Twill & Daisy Pinot 2018. It was unquestionable, I fell in love. It was delicious, uncomplicated and perfect for any occasion in any season. Partnering with Saint and Scholar, this vineyard in Adelaide Hills definitely deserves more public recognition.
It has only been a few days since our last Pinot Palooza and we already can’t wait to go to the next one. I vote that we inscribe ‘Pinot Palooza 2020’ on all the giveaway wine glasses for next year to make it more special. Yes thinking a little ahead of myself at the moment. We left the venue feeling content and joyful. Who knew wines can make you feel this way? Oh, who am I kidding. Of course we all knew this! If you missed out on this year’s event please mark your calendar for the next one. It’s worth every cent!
Words by Dee Pene from Adelaide Food Authority