Saturday 19 November 2022

Meet the 2023 Tasting Australia Drinks Curators

Two of South Australia's top sommeliers will join the Tasting Australia presented by RAA Travel creative team.

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Tasting Australia presented by RAA Travel
Meet the 2023 Tasting Australia Drinks Curators

Meet the 2023 Tasting Australia Drinks Curators

Two of South Australia's top sommeliers will join the Tasting Australia presented by RAA Travel creative team in the role of Drinks Curators. We welcome Banjo Harris Plane and Meira Harel – husband and wife duo – who will lead the beverage program in 2023.

Both widely recognised as leading beverage authorities in Australia, the couple relocated to Adelaide in 2019, bringing with them extensive wine and beverage knowledge from around the world and experience working at some of Australia's top restaurants.

A special thanks to our outgoing Drinks Curator Nick Stock for his contribution to the festival over the last four years. 'It has been an honour to help shape the festival's beverage program and showcase drinks in all their diversity. I look forward to seeing where the new team takes it next.'

Meet Meira & Banjo
Meira Harel

Meira Harel

Meira, originally from Israel, was named 'Sommelier of the Year' by The Age Good Food Guide in 2016 after working as sommelier and restaurant manager for Melbourne's The Town Mouse and The Lake House. Now happily settled in South Australia, Meira is General Manager of hospitality group Another Kind, that includes some of Adelaide's leading hospitality venues - Press Food and Wine, Peel Street Restaurant and Leigh Street Wine Room.

Banjo Harris Plane

Banjo Harris Plane

Banjo, who was awarded the 'Best Sommelier in Australia' twice over during his five-year stint at Melbourne's internationally acclaimed Attica, also opened two CBD hotspots of his own – Capitano and Bar Liberty. Banjo is also the founder of Good Pair Days, Australia's most personalised online wine business.

2023 Creative Team
Tasting Australia presented by RAA Travel

The South Australian Tourism Commission acknowledges and respects Aboriginal people as the state's first people and nations, and recognises Aboriginal people as traditional owners and occupants of South Australian land and waters.

Wednesday 19 October 2022

News from Adelaide Hills Wine Region - October 2022

Spring in Adelaide is a funny's like a lottery. One day it's beautifully sunny and 27 degrees. The next day it's rainy and 15. Then to really throw you, the following day is both warm and rainy. 

While showers may be predicted for the inaugural Sparkling Spring this coming weekend, the bubbles will still be flowing with a series of great things to do at the fifteen participating Adelaide Hills wineries.

Exciting Sparkling Wine tastings will be spread over the whole weekend at Tappanappa's Daosa Time & Tradition, Deviation Road's Discovery, The Lane's Taste the World of Sparkling and Croser/Golding Effervescence experience. 

Let's see what else you can do, day by day, over the Sparkling Spring weekend.
If you are living the dream (in other words you don't have to work this Friday) consider popping up to the Hills.

Some light hearted Friday fun is to be found at Anderson Hill with their Fizz Fashion and Fun! No bookings are required so you can simply turn up and enjoy platters of local produce, live music, market stalls and fashion parades. 

Alternatively, after work, be surrounded by stunning flowers at Karkoo Nursery for Bubbles and Blooms with a box of Asian inspired goodies and a glass of Golding's award-winning Marjorie Blanc de Blancs.
Nepenthe will be a great place to hang out on Saturday for a relaxed session of Eats, Beats and Bubbles with live music and food trucks setting a festive mood. For the artistic, be sure to enroll in Bubbles & Brushes so you can take home your own masterpiece inspired by their delicious Prestige Cuvée.

A different style of Sparkling wine is the increasingly popular Prosecco. Artwine Bianco and Rose Prosecco will be the go-to wine at their Italian Stravaganza with a mouthwatering Italian menu of antipasto and pizza by Bally.

Or, for a sit-down lunch, head south to Meadows for Karrawatta's Sparkling Spring Soiree where their Popsie Sparkling will be paired with a seafood feast by Adelaide’s first and only sustainable seafood restaurant, Angler at Stirling.

Then you could mix it up at Grünthal where Hesketh presents a Sparkling Snack-tacular of small plate delights from the kitchen with their Madeline Alice Sparkling, plus the added bonus of Udder Delights cheese being co-located.

Photo courtesy of Artwine
One of the highlights this Sunday will be at Mount Lofty Ranges Vineyard. The highly acclaimed winery restaurant will be serving its outstanding seasonal menu with an extremely limited release 2013 Late Disgorged Méthode Traditionelle Sparkling.

If your looking for a lovely garden, try Cobb's Hill Estate at Oakbank where you can enjoy a gourmet picnic with their delightful sparkling wines. Or for something different, Howard Vineyard presents Blush & Blanc with their Sparkling Blanc de Blancs or Spring-inspired cocktails made with their new "Blush" gin to accompany delicious lunch options.

Finally, one close to suburbia is Barrister's Block delectable Sparkling Spring High Tea at The Feathers Hotel at Burnside.

Failing that, you can always find Adelaide Hills sparkling wines at your favourite bar or liquor store. Here's five wines tasted recently by Tijana Laginin at Wine Pilot.
Photo courtesy of Sidewood
For more details visit 
Download Sparkling Spring brochure pdf

Get On yer Bike!

Here's a novel way to explore the Adelaide Hills - by electric bike!  Based in Uraidla, E-Go Bike Hire are locals so know the Hills like the back of their hands and offer tours or self-guided routes by gravel, bitumen, bike trails or off the beaten track. They've partnered with a number of Adelaide Hills wineries to offer a great service. You can hire their electric assisted pedal bikes for the day and pick up/drop off the bikes from any of these wineries: Blefari, Greenhill,  Tagai, Nepenthe, Shaw + Smith, Hahndorf Hill, Golding, Murdoch Hill, Simon Tolley and Lobethal Road.  A great way to stretch your legs after that decadent lunch.

Coming onto the Pinot stage

For a long time, Pinot Noir has been one of our best kept secrets. Not any more! Recently at the Australian Pinot Noir Challenge, the Adelaide Hills region was fully recognised for its Pinot Noir prowess with the creation of a regional trophy which until then had only recognised Victorian regions and Tasmania. 

The 2022 Best of Region trophy for the Adelaide Hills was won by the Michael Hall Lenswood Pinot Noir 2021.  Michael Hall said the win is a terrific endorsement for the quality of Adelaide Hills pinot noir.  “It was a strong field with so many beautiful wines... It’s very fulfilling for the Adelaide Hills to be invited to the top table of Australian pinot noir.”

In other awards news, after talking up the wonders of Grüner Veltiner last month, we are pleased to advise that Hahndorf Hill's desert wine, the Green Angel Grüner Veltliner Late Harvest 2021 was named Best Wine of Show at the Australian Cool Climate Wine Show. 

Also, three Adelaide Hills wines won trophies at the 2022 Royal Adelaide Show:
Most Outstanding White Wine of Show for Penfolds Bin A Chardonnay 2021
Best Sparkling Wine to Golding Marjorie Sparkling Blanc de Blancs 2016
Best Sauvignon Blanc for Saint & Scholar Graduate Sauvignon Blanc  2022
Park Fest - A No Rules Picnic
Park Wine Fest is a Lo-Fi picnic for adults. It's all about chilled vibes, sunshine, and great friends. On the afternoon of Saturday 29th October, Vinteloper founder David will be styling the beats as the live DJ on the lawns of Lot 100 for the launch of the 2022 vintage of Park Wine while Melita and Stephanie pour wines from the Datsun pop up bar. Ticket are for two and include a bottle of Park Wine, Muffaleta gourmet sandwiches and cannoli with lots of extras available.
What's on in The Hills
  • Daily 1 - 31 October - Taste the World of Sparkling at The Lane, $70 per person. Book here
  • Daily 1 - 31 October - Effervescence sparkling wine experience at Golding & Croser, $40. Book here
  • Thu 20 October - Gentle Folk Single Vineyard Masterclass at The Edinburgh. $26. Book here
  • Fri 21 - Sun 23 October - Sparkling Spring in the Adelaide Hills Wine Region. Various events. Learn more
  • Sat 22 October - Adelaide Hills Farmers Market, Mount Barker 8.30-12.30pm. Learn more
  • Sun 23 October - Fizzology at Sinclair Gulley Vineyard. Make your own bubbles. 11am-1pm $75. Book here
  • Sat 29 October - Vinteloper's Park Wine Fest at Lot100. $85 for 2 people. Book here

Visiting the Adelaide Hills Wine Region? 

Use the interactive map or download the pdf 
Meet the Producer - Neil from Jericho Wines
Neil Jericho with Spark, a two year old Kelpie x Smithfield

Jericho wines are made by the Jericho family which is headed by winemaker Neil, and it really is a family business. Even the family dog is an integral part!  

According to Andrew (Neil's son and fellow winemaker at Jericho): "With no sheep to round up Spark does the vineyard rounds instead. The highlight of his day is watching rabbits in the bracken scrub and occasionally a kangaroo, but he is very mild mannered, so it is a bit comical watching him pretend he will do anything about them."

How did Jericho Wines start? 
Neil: My Dad was a grape grower in the River Land so I grew up around grapes, and then moved into winemaking over 45 years ago. Our kids are also in the industry, so the beginnings of Jericho Wines started over Christmas family drinks. We had the winemaking, wine industry skills and history to create our own wine brand, so we went for it. Jericho is a family affair: Sally, Andrew, Kim, Kaye and me who bring a variety of wine knowledge and experience.

What's Jericho's winemaking philosophy?
Our styles are well thought out and considered, generally minimal winemaking influence. This is perhaps ironic, as we have 65 vintages of winemaking in the family, yet our first aim is to make wines that show no obvious winemaking intervention. For example, old French oak for the reds, a lot of lees contact for the whites, the use of wild yeast. There are plenty of ways to trick up any wine, but our approach is to keep it simple.

What is your favourite wine in your portfolio?
The 'Fume Blanc' is my favourite with great added complexity of oak and yeast to Sauvignon Blanc. It’s an old style I used to make in the ‘80s, so it's great to see it made in a more elegant way than we used to back then.

What is the one place that you would take a visitor to see/experience the Adelaide Hills?
Kuitpo. The vineyards and cellar doors in the Kuitpo regions have excellent range wines and experiences.

Visiting Jericho
Tastings are by appointment at the moment. We are in the process of licencing our vineyard shed, with a plan to do informal tastings from the vineyard. To follow the progress there, probably best to link in with the newsletter or social media.