It shouldn’t come as too much of a surprise.
Australia’s food & wine scene has always been innovative. Wines are now evolving toward natural, small-batch, organic and biodynamically farmed grapes. Processed with minimal intervention and no additives, the young and flavorful wines are becoming a hit region-to-region, though the movement began in a warehouse in Sydney before moving to South Australia where this wine revolution now resides.
The Adelaide Hills region in South Australia is now one of the largest natural wine producers in the world. The Cellar Door, alfresco courtyard and lawn at Ngeringa winery is a space for private tastings of biodynamic wines, and bites made from local produce and herbs that are accented with freshly made olive oils. Groups must try Eclat NV, a fresh, aperitif-style sparkling wine with hints of grapefruit, shortbread biscuits, green apples and peaches, while the Pinoir Noir 2016 is an enticing blend of smoky beetroot, raspberry and bramble scents and the faint aromas of pea blossom, crushed lavender and oak.
The small-scale batches at Gentle Folk generally sell out as soon as they are released, while Ochota Barrels’ Wood Oven Wine Lounge serves what Wine & Spirits magazine deems some of the best wines on the planet. These wines are produced with simplicity in mind and can be served to groups with paired dishes such as swineapple, or passata with wood roasted pineapple sauce that is cut with gay rum, smoked chipotle, sweet roasted bacon, jerk spice and mozzarella.
Adelaide’s laneways, meanwhile, are being transformed with hidden bars and eateries. La Moka restaurant has a must-try espresso martini, and the two-level Proof Bar offers rooftop space for events, as well as classic and sophisticated cocktails, spirits and wines and shared gourmet plates. For a more intimate setting, the underground bar Bank Street Social is the go-to for local craft beer and Australian spirits. This venue is available for buyout, or areas can be sectioned off as needed, including The Loft, an elevated private event space for 20 attendees.
Adelaide’s Central Market is a good introduction to South Australia’s rich bounty of flavors and is the epicenter of the city’s food scene. Here, groups can experience a dine-around of artisanal cheeses, pastries, honey, figs and more during a guided morning tour.