Cellar Door Festival Preview

Cellar Door Festival is fast approaching and here at The Adelaidian we couldn’t be more excited. Where else would you have the opportunity to experience the best of South Australian wine, beer and food (180 producers to be exact) with the convenience of a city location? The festival is run over three days with single and multi-day passes available, so you can pop past for one day, or live at Cellar Door Festival indulging in wine for the entire weekend.

With wine and beer master classes, long table lunches and cheese experiences all part of the itinerary there really is something for everyone to enjoy. We are looking forward to the ultimate Friday night knock off drinks at Cellar Door with cheese, chocolate and bubbles as the focus. Is there a better combination? There is also a kids corner to keep the little ones occupied while mum and dad peruse the stands.

Last week we were invited to a preview of what to expect from the up coming Festival of Deliciousness with the opportunity to check out three Adelaide based cellar doors.


Tidswell Wines

Tidswell Wines

Starting off at Tidswell Wines, this family owned and run cellar door is conveniently located on Sydenham Street in Norwood. The winery offers six varietals all from the family’s estate on the Limestone Coast. The tasting was run by the winemaker himself, Ben Tidswell, and was both informative and entertaining.

For those of you with an interest in viticulture the limestone coast has a Mediterranean climate with cool sea breezes. It includes the famous Coonawarra wine region and its Terra Rosa soil (a red clay like soil produced by the weathering of limestone). Although Tidswell is seven kilometers away from the Coonawarra boundary it also has that magic red soil and creates just as incredible Cabernet Sauvignons.

A Meats and Cheese Platter from Bottega Rottola

A Meats and Cheese Platter from Bottega Rotolo

Our picks of the wines would have to be the 2010 Jennifer Cabernet Sauvignon which retails for a very reasonable $65 per bottle. Named after the winemarker’s late sister, this wine has spent two years in new French oak and is wonderfully fruit driven with cassis, ripe summer berries, hints of peppermint and a soft tannin structure. Another stand out was the 2015 Vermentino. With an unbelievable freshness, incredible textural acidity and flavours of unripe peach and pear this wine is a steal at only $19 per bottle.

Whilst being blown away by the wines on offer we were also treated to a selection of cured meats and cheeses from Bottega Rotolo. It is easy to see why Bottega Rotolo is a staple shop for Adelaide foodies as it really offers a selection like no other.


Ruby Spice

Signature Wines

A two minute walk around the corner found us at Signature Wines. Upon approach it looks like more of a distribution facility or warehouse than a cellar door. However, as we entered though a side door we were greeted by candle light, soft music and a long table already set up with tasting glasses. The setting reminded us of a tasting in a Napa Valley wine cave or an Italian cellar and was an absolute surprise. We were treated to a tasting of four wines with fruit sourced from the Barossa, Adelaide Hills and Mclaren Vale with chocolate, cheese and fruit platters liberally distributed along the table.

This winery is really an example of small distributers offering the absolute experience, where it is not just about the wine but also how you drink it, whom you drink it with and where you drink it. It is laidback luxury and quintessentially South Australian.


Wine Tasting at Tidswell

Our pick would have to be the NV Sparkling Chardonnay, Pinot Noir Blend. It is made in the method traditional (meaning the wine undergoes a secondary ferment in the bottle to create the bubbles) which require extra care and time, the result it a clean, crisp and mildly sweet sparkling that matches perfectly with the ripe strawberries provided.

Whilst sampling the wines we were offered some sustenance from Ruby Spice (which was welcome after a few hours of wine tasting) in the form of pulled beef burgers with their Memphis Magic BBQ Rub. Smoky, spicy and delicious, the seasoning was heaven combined with the slow cooked beef. The brioche bun it was served on added the right amount of sweetness to counteract the spice. We were sent home with a sample of the seasoning to recreate the flavours at home.


Tomich Wines

After a blissful hour of wine and food it was time to travel to the next Cellar door, Tomich Wines. This winery was not within walking distance, but luckily for us Signature Wines had the transportation solution. We were taken to the Hyde Park cellar door in a Cadillac Hearse that has been converted to fit 6 (living/alive/not dead) passengers in the back. The car, which was also featured in the Inspector Gadget movie, is also available to hire for private wine tours!

As we disembarked the hearse at Tomich we were handed a glass of the Slightly Pink Sparkling. Made with Adelaide Hills fruit, it is lightly acidic with flavours of stone fruit and melon and is definitely a dessert bubbles, an excellent choice to match with the final foodie of the evening, Red Cacao. The Adelaide Hills based chocolatier and dessert bar talked us though the whole chocolate making process with samples at each stage, followed by coffee and two of the finished products. We do not think we have ever had better chocolate! We had a beautifully tart raspberry truffle filled with the silkiest raspberry ganache filling and the rummiest rum and raisan truffle. By rummiest we mean it was liked eating a chocolate and washing it down with a shot of rum at the same time, truly an extremely decadent and adults only dessert.


Throughout our cellar door journey we only saw 6 of the 180 producers that will be showcasing their ware at the Adelaide Cellar Door Festival. It is a small taste of the plethora of talent that our state has to offer. Cellar Door Festival really allows us to see the vibrancy and variety of South Australia all with the convenience of an easy Uber home!

For more info or to buy tickets for Cellar Door Festival, click here.

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