In case there’s not enough in your diary this month, Cellar Door Fest returns this weekend, bringing 180 wineries, breweries, distilleries and food producers from 17 regions across the state to the CBD. The three-day festival will feature tastings, long-table dining, masterclasses, DIY workshops and more. Here’s the pick of the crop.
Iberia and Vinteloper Long Table Dinner
Rundle Street bar and restaurant Iberia will deliver a taste of the Iberian Peninsula (which encompasses Spain and Portugal, among others) at a special long-table dinner on Friday night. Expect smart, modern share plates that hero local and sustainable produce: Ngeringa pumpkin with manchego, almonds and pepitas; Spanish rice with kitchen garden vegetables and salted pork; and preserved plum tart with cultured cream. They’ll be matched with wines from Cellar Door Fest mainstay and Vinteloper winemaker David Bowley.
Fri March 2, 7.30pm–8.30pm
McLaren Vale Distillery Long Table Lunch
Enjoy a tipple or four from McLaren Vale Distillery at this elevated boozy lunch. Co-owner Chris Rochfort will showcase his award-winning single-batch, single-malt whiskies alongside a three-course menu: think seared eye-fillet steak with fondant potatoes, King Oyster mushrooms, whipped blue-cheese butter and jus; and for dessert, a silky chocolate torte with chocolate crème brûlée.
Sat March 3, 1pm–2pm
Battle of the Brewers Long Late Lunch
Two of our top brewers, Mismatch Brewing Co and Pikes Beer Company, will face off in a blind tasting where you crown the winner. You’ll hear direct from the maker while sampling a selection of boutique beers matched with an all-American spread. Get ready for a bacon-and-brisket cheeseburger served with a shot of smoked bacon broth and pickle foam; and barbeque platter of Texas-style beef brisket, spiced vinegar Louisiana pulled pork, and smoked hot link served with pickle slaw. To finish? Expect a buttermilk sugar pie; New Orleans-style sweet sugarcoated Beignet; and a scoop of peanut-butter ice-cream with a chocolate covered waffle cone. Enough said.
Sat March 3, 3pm–4pm
Emerging Winemakers Table
Discover your new favourite drop at the Emerging Winemakers Kitchen Table: a dedicated zone for the next wave of SA producers. Sample the wares from a whopping 20 up-and-coming wineries (those three years old or under), including A Fanciful Notion, Barossa Boy, The Stoke Wines and more, while learning the ins and outs of the industry through host and local wine expert Paul Henry.
Fri March 2, 7pm–8pm
Sat March 3, 1pm–3pm
Sun March 4, 1pm–3pm
East End Cellars Stand
Local culinary icon Simon Bryant will cook up a seafood feast on Sunday afternoon, championing local produce fresh from the drink. There’ll be Coffin Bay angasi oysters (a flat oyster native to southern Australia) shucked to order; Port Lincoln sardines, salt-baked with gribiche (a French mayonnaise-style sauce); and West Coast Ocean Jacket trunks, "smoked and smashed".
Sun, March 4, 1pm–3pm
Urban Winery Project
Feel the squish of grapes between your toes thanks to Vinteloper’s hugely popular Urban Winery Project. You’ll learn the art of winemaking from grape to glass and get hands-on (or feet-on) with the juice. Just swing by the Urban Winery Project stand at any stage throughout the Festival to reserve your spot in the stomping barrel. And don’t worry, there’s a foot-washing station for before and after.
Adelaide’s Man of Spirit Mark Reginato will join Applewood Distillery’s Brendan and Laura Carter for a deep dive into the world of spirits. The hands-on masterclass will teach participants about the art of making gin, including the use of raw botanical ingredients, and how to deliver an Aussie twist on the all-time favourite Espresso Martini. Leave with skills to impress your next dinner guests.
Sat March 3, 4pm–5pm
Food, Booze and Dancing Shoes
After a massive debut year at Tasting Australia 2017, Jessie Spiby’s rollicking collision of food, booze and music comes to Cellar Door Fest. Expect grazing platters (personally selected by Spiby) and drinks from a top-notch local line-up, including Alpha Box & Dice, Mismatch Brewing Co, Sunlight Liquor and Adelaide Hills Distillery. Kick back with a bottle and enjoy live tunes from Tim Moore, Delia Obst, Neon Tetra.
Fri March 2, 8pm–midnight
Tickets $60 (includes entry into the Festival; Food, Booze and Dancing Shoes; and a complimentary glass of wine from Alpha Box & Dice)
A Taste of Italy Workshop
It’s passata season. Learn from expert Mark Bergineti from Back 2 Basics Traditions as he shares the secrets of making traditional homemade pasta. Best of all you’ll get to take home a jar of freshly made tomato and basil passata. Finish off by making a classic Tiramisu. That’s dinner and dessert, sorted.
Sat & Sun March 3–4, 4.30pm– 6pm
Tickets $45 (seats are limited)
New Wave Winemakers
Meet four local up-and-coming winemakers in an interactive tasting session hosted by sommelier Jonathan Brook (Bistro Blackwood, Orana). Sample drops from emerging producers Turon Wines, The Stoke, Paisley Wines and SKEW – before your friends get on to them.
Sun March 4, 2pm–3pm
Cellar Door Fest runs from Friday March 2 to Sunday March 4 at the Adelaide Convention Centre. To buy a ticket or see the full program visit cellardoorfestival.com/