Visiting the Adelaide Hills

On Saturday I headed off to the Adelaide Hills for the very first time. I was really looking forward to it having only ever read about the wine region, starting when I did my WSET Advanced Certificate and Diploma. Then over the past 6 years while living in Perth, I’ve been able to taste lots of wines from this great wine region!

We didn’t have too long to spend in the beautiful town of Hahndorf with our 2 year old in tow but three hours was just about enough time to walk and browse the windows of the stores along the high street. It is a small little village with old cottages and buildings that line the centre of town. Founded in 1839 as a German settlement, there is definitely a lot of German influence from beers, merchandise and flags.

We went to Scott and La Prova which is open the first weekend (Saturday and Sunday) of the month from 11-5pm. The little cottage was just off the main street down a wide lane. The porch area was lined with red bricks and small trees and plants. We had the $10 tasting platter which consisted of 5 wines with a few crackers and goat’s cheese. Broadie and Simone, were very attentive and friendly staff telling us more about the wines and the history of Sam Scott. There’s only so much you can learn from a website and with Broadie explaining about how Sam Scott set up ‘La Prova’ it all clicked and made sense. ‘La Prova’ means ‘trial’ and Sam likes to trial different grape varieties and experiment, which in my mind is quite courageous. Thinking outside of the box, his excellence in winemaking with his trial of such different grape varieties really gives the wine aficionado something to think about.

What’s great about going to the cellar door/local wineries is that you can taste the most up to date vintage and any recently released cool side projects/small production wines they make. On the tasting table there were five wines; Prosecco, Pinot Grigio, Fiano, Aglianico Rosato and Lo Zingaro.

We had a Prosecco to start from 2017, sourced from the King Valley. So bright and light; lots of refreshing apples…wonderful. The Pinot Grigio, again from 2017 is sourced from 3 different vineyards and I loved the light refreshing style of the wine. Then the 2017 Fiano which had been partly aged in oak for texture and flavour, only about 100 dozen made Brody told us. I loved the floral notes and texture to this wine. Next up was the 2017 Aglianico Rosato – this was featured in the Liquor Barons On the Vine magazine, the spring issue. It is an amazing rosé so structured and dry. Love it. The final wine on the tasting table was 2014 Lo Zingaro (Sangiovese, Aglianico and Lagrein). I really enjoyed the texture and the layers of fruit and length. So unique.

In addition to what was featured on tasting, we were lucky to try a Pinot Bianco; only released today. It is a single vineyard with just 800 bottles. I found it had an abundance of wonderful summer fruits in this and melon and peach, so well integrated.

We also were shown Nero d’Avola 2016, their last bottle, which they source from the Barossa. The third red wine was Scott Syrah 2015 from the Adelaide Hills. I loved the differences and the textures, fruit structure in all the wines. They were so fresh. If my bank balance would allow me, I would have bought the whole line up plus the extras! Another time!

And I must say the cheese sample we had with the wines, with two crackers was lovely. It came from Udder Delights across the road, great they’re supporting local. Brody explained that the zing in cheese marries with the whites, I would tend to agree.

Such a wonderful tasting; the setting and the wines.  I’ll have to come back when I can sit, savour and enjoy it fully.