Jock Zonfrillo’s Restaurant Blackwood will launch a long-table lunch series this weekend.
The four-course communal meal will be paired with low-intervention and natural wines from Gentle Folk (Basket Range), Jauma (McLaren Vale) and Patrick Sullivan Wines (Gippsland, Victoria), with Maidenii vermouth cocktails to kick things off.
The winemakers – Gareth Belton, James Erskine and Patrick Sullivan – will be there to discuss the “trials and tribulations” of their practice. It’s part of a growing dialogue between winemaker and consumer, following the lead of educational tasting events such as Young Gun of Wine and The Fruitful Pursuit.
“A lot of these smaller guys are really interesting, with fun stories to tell,” says Blackwood’s assistant wine director, Amber Gardner. “I’ve done events in the past where it’s all very clean and everything is good and no one ever knows about the things that go wrong. With these guys it’s very open and honest. It’s about embracing that not everything always works.”
This new crew of winemakers share a similar philosophy with Zonfrillo and his emphasis on provenance. “They place a big onus on terroir, and our menu really reflects that,” Gardner says. “We work closely with our butcher, Richard Gunner, and we forage a large amount of what’s on the menu, so this is a great opportunity to bring those two things together.”
The menu will feature a starter of saltbush, lightly fried and covered in vinegar salt; and kangaroo crackers with native mountain pepper sauce; before moving on to Kangaroo Island scallops; beef tartare; Spencer Gulf prawns; Goolwa pippies; and lamb shoulder, slow-cooked for six hours over hot coals. There will also be plenty of sides, including damper cooked over coals, and a three-cheese board from Woodside Cheese Wrights. A petite four for dessert will complete the meal.
Tickets are $140 plus booking fee and available here
The next lunches are on Sunday December 4 with Brash Higgins, and Sunday January 15 with Michael from Murdoch Hill. These events will be $120 plus booking fee.