Amedei chocolate, Barossa Babe, Bendbrook wines and beef, Cape Grim water, cheese fondue, ChocoVino experience, Goat Track Shiraz, goats curd, Gruner Veltliner, Hahndorf, Hahndorf Hill Winery, Hills Cider, King Saul blue cheese, La Prova, Mojo, Pinot Noir Rose, Rockbare, Savvy, Scott, Scott and La Prova, Shiraz, Somerled, Spanish platter, Udder Delights, wagyu patties
Just 30 minutes from Adelaide, up the South Eastern freeway, lies the township of Hahndorf. A tourist destination for local, interstate and overseas travellers, its German history is still present today.
We began at Hahndorf Hill Winery where Marc Dobson took us through the ChocoVino (wine and chocolate) experience!
We learnt about the origins of chocolate, the cacao tree, and where it’s grown. Biting into a roasted cacao bean, it was crunchy as you’d expect, bitter, an intense flavour but without any of the sweetness that we associate with chocolate.
We cleansed our palate with fresh apple and drank sparkling water from Cape Grim, Tasmania, claimed on the label to be “the world’s purest”. Marc explained that when tasting wine we use three senses – sight, smell and taste – but when tasting chocolate we use touch and hearing as well.
We tasted two wines, Gruner Veltliner (white) and Shiraz, with three pieces of chocolate, including Amedei from Tuscany – the world’s best and most expensive chocolate!
We sipped the wine then tasted the chocolate to see how the flavour developed in the mouth. Everybody has a different experience, but I found the white wine bought out the sweetness of the milk chocolate and the dark chocolate highlighted the dryness of the red wine.
We then headed to the Scott & La Prova winery cellar door in the main street. Luckily the rest of our stops were relatively close by and we could walk between them all. We experienced a ‘Tasting Flight’ where we sampled five different wines; four La Prova and one Scott.
It was then time for lunch – at Udder Delights! And as mentioned in previous posts – I looooove cheese!
We were joined outside on a long, beautifully set table, by owners Sheree and Saul . What a magnificent setting! Overlooking the main street, we heard the incredible story of how Udder Delights came into being and the risks that were taken. The passion behind the business was so clear from our hosts.,
We were treated to the most amazing cheese fondue. The fondue pot is first rubbed in garlic and the cheese mixture is 70% cheese (Gruyere and Emmental) and 30% wine. We had fresh crusty bread, pear, cornichons, pickled onions, and cured meats, including kabana and mettwurst. The cheese was rich and gooey and when it was nearly gone, a thick crusty layer developed on the bottom, which we also indulged in! And the Hills Cider Company apple and pear cider paired nicely with the richness of the cheese!
And then we were in for an amazing treat. A taste of the King Saul blue cheese – Australia’s first raw cow’s milk blue cheese. Just 500g of this retails for $150 and our generous hosts shared some with us. It’s 18 months old and each box is individually numbered. Saul explained to us the arduous process they went through getting this to market and the rigorous testing it goes through to make sure it’s fit for human consumption.
We were served some with home made port, Spanish tortas and dried pear. The King Saul was creamy and crumbly with a strong flavour but not overpowering.
It was then onto the next cellar door, right in the main street of Hahndorf.
Rockbare uses a variety of grapes from different regions. We tried eight from the tasting list, with regions including the Adelaide Hills, McLaren Vale, Coonawarra, Barossa and Langhorne creek. Labels they produce are Rockbare, Barossa Babe and Mojo.
Bendbrook wines and beef have just opened their cellar door in a historical 150-year-old building in the main street, also serving tapas. John Struik greeted us a we tasted six wines, including a sparking red which hadn’t been bottled yet.
The Bendbrook property is located in Macclesfield, where the vineyards and cattle mingle, after vintage. Our wine tasting was accompanied by a tasting of wagyu patties on crunchy baguettes with seeded mustard. They were very tender and moist and the mustard added a tang.
And our final stop in the main street was Somerled cellar door. Lucy Moody explained the history and their connection to the Oakbank horse races, where her great-grandfather raced and won in 1908 on a horse named Somerled. We indulged in a Spanish platter which included Spanish Manchego cheese, crusty bread, local olive oil, sundried wild figlets and housemade anchovy sticks.
I enjoyed a final glass of wine, the Pinot Noir Rose, a beautifully light and refreshing drop.
When was the last time you visited Hahndorf? It’s certainly changed since the last time I was there. If you get a chance, spend some time in the Adelaide Hills. I will be, with the family!