As Cellar Door Fest enters it’s tenth year it continues to be the chief wine festival in Adelaide. Growing in popularity exponentially, Cellar Door Fest has evolved to cover a plethora of regions, as well as Gin and the best wine accompaniments in foods and snacks. Providing Masterclasses, Dining Experiences and presenting both the biggest brands in the business while showcasing young and emerging producers. Cellar Door Fest has become so much more than the sum of it’s parts and we’re elated to bring you our top picks here at AFC.
The Great Wine Capitals Discovery Space has gotten even bigger, illustrating the best that SA has to offer with some first rate wineries. Winner of 2020’s Best of Wine Tourism awards for Architecture and Landscape, Kimbolton Wines go on to prove they’re not just a pretty face. Based in Langhorne Creek, presentation is key for them in enhancing the wine experience. My personal highlight being the 2016 Cab Sav Shiraz. A refined blend that dances between a smooth chocolate aroma, sweet blackberries and apples. Their display in the Discovery Space eases you into picking up the notes in the wine with the suggested flavours in front of each bottle.
If Vintage graphic design is your jam head over to the Killibinbin wine stall located in the Langhorne Creek section. Their striking labels are sure to catch your eye and their wines are of equal dazzling quality. Their 2013 Scream Shiraz gets every thing right with its traditional flavours. With notes of vanilla and coffee beans this doesn’t do anything new in the way of flavours. It’s superiority comes in the way of it’s balanced acidity and smoothness. The slightest bite with a clean finish. This is an easy drinking red that’s not too soft.
d’Arenberg has for a long time been my go to for quality wines and this year is no exception. Another 2020 Best of Wine Tourism Award winner this time in the Innovative Wine Tourism Experience category. Anyone who is familiar with The Cube knows this is a well deserved accolade. There wines aren’t anything to scoff at though. The Footbolt I would say is the one a lot are familiar with but I urge those of you that visit to try The Derelict Vineyard. A 2017 Grenache, it’s immensely fruity with a kick of spice and cedar. This creates a taste that though somewhat dry still feels easily drinkable. An ideal food pairing drink.
It’s probably somewhat obvious by now that I have a ‘slight’ inclination to red wines but for those of you more disposed to white wines there’s still plenty to wet your appetite. Artis Wines from the Adelaide Hills region made it’s debut last year in the Emerging Wine section yet in a short time it has gained a following and is continuing to display inspiring white wine concoctions. Their 2016 Riesling is a Clare Valley Single Vineyard product. Another example of an ideal food pairing wine. The Riesling has an off-dry bite that accentuates the lime and citrus flavours that aerate through the palette. It’s mid strength acidity and texture gives it a lasting essence which is exactly what you want in this kind of wine.
Need to get drunker faster? Well then head to The Distillery where Cellar Door Fest break the mold with their display of local spirit brewers and when I say spirits I mean Gin, because that’s all you really need. The exploding Gin trend cannot be denied and there are plenty on connoisseurs in South Australia that have taken the challenge to produce amazing home grown Gins. Red Hen, based in the CBD, pride themselves on doing things properly. Instead of experimenting with 100 different botanicals and trying to make 10 different Gins at once. Red Hen have taken the one recipe at spent years painstakingly perfecting it. The result is a classic gin that is earthy with a touch of pepper that is as smooth as can be. Give the Red Hen stall a try. It won’t be hard to pick what to taste, there’s only one and it’s stellar.
It’s not all about wine though. More than any other year, food produces have been invited in to represent the best in condiments that we love to have with a good drop. Australian Native Food Co from the Emerging Producers section are more that just a producer of great food. They are an initiative to provide real world and authentic opportunities for Indigenous Australians, at-risk youth and those in the disability sector. Offering a selection of Native Australian Superfoods, Australian Native Food Co have created a number of enticing jams and other accompaniments that echo the spirit and authenticity of our own Australian Outback. The true flavours of our own slice of nature sit within these recipes.
It makes sense that being it’s 10th year Cellar Door Fest have gone above and beyond to make this a next level experience. A huge selection of producers, dining and workshop options and a section dedicated to those who were affected buy the recent bushfires. Without a doubt take some time to visit this wine stalls that a now in the process of rebuilding.
Cellar Door Fest goes from the 7th to the 9th of February. Sat and Sun sessions from 11am-6pm.
Words by Jonathon Tonkin