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For anyone who may follow me on the social medias, you will most likely be familiar with a recent flurry of images and hashtags referencing The Fruitful Pursuit.
For the last six months or so I’ve been part of an ever growing group of fun-loving folk with a passion for South Australian wine.
If you live in Adelaide, chances are you’ve been on a wine tour in one or more of our wonderful regions. Really, we’re spoiled for choice.
The difference I’ve had in the tours of recent times is that instead of the more generic experiences of larger and commercial wineries, we’ve had the pleasure of getting up close and personal with some incredibly talented, smaller scale winemakers.
Wine tours have always been one of my favourite recreational activities. You’re almost guaranteed an excellent time. A group of friends, some of South Australia’s most beautiful scenery, internationally acclaimed wine, great regional food and more often than not, a boozy singalong on the bus ride home.
One of the main points we’ve been trying to make is a focus on quality over quantity. We’ve been keeping our locations to about three stops, and spending a decent amount of time at each to ensure we’re indulging ourselves in the full experience and learning as much as we can about the wines.
On our most recent tour, we kicked off the day with the tidy stylings of Hither & Yon at Willunga. Hither & Yon offer an extensive range of dynamic blended styles, as well a handful of very juicy single variety wines that have swung into the local limelight over recent years. In terms of a cellar door experience, theirs in a very intimate one, boasting a retro and rustic vintage decor, broad table seating for a moderately sized group, delectable platter offerings from The Three Monkeys next door, and one very lovely Luka Van Cauteren attending to your every query.
We then set off to visit Wes Pearson, winemaker of Dodgy Brothers. Wes doesn’t have a cellar door, however we were blessed to set up a rendezvous at his office where he hosted a tasting of his entire range, and even a couple of unreleased gems. Without a doubt, one worthy of mention was an incredibly ‘smashable’ Grenache that will be released very soon, and is tailored to ANY style of session.
Wes is very humble about his booze, which we loved, across the board. His focus seems to be largely set on drawing the most from the fruit he selects, without the need for heavy wooding in his wines; let the juice speak for itself! Local catering guru, Billy Dohnt, put on an epic spread to complete our sensory feast. Pulled pork and slaw sliders, and slow cooked lamb shoulder on handmade roti bread… I’ll stop now in the interest of not dribbling on my keyboard.
Our last stop graced the secret gardens of Lazy Ballerina, up in Kuitpo Forest. Aside from the fairytale surroundings, we were overwhelmed by the warmth of this family enterprise, with father and son taking us through their small selection of very pretty wines. We sat wondering why this was our maiden voyage; it’s a place to spend an entire day, indulging in the finer things in a truly blissful setting. A few games of Bocce and a final charge of glasses drew our evening to a close while the last of the afternoon sun peeked through the trees. We knew we’d been spoiled.
An experience like this particular tour exemplifies the incredible talent we have in our fine state, and how to truly lucky we are, so go on, get out there.
Photo credit to Daniel Purvis