From Friday July 28 to Sunday July 30, the annual Winter Reds festival will descend on our most accessible wine region. More than 30 wineries and venues throughout the Adelaide Hills are on board hosting long-table dinners, wine tastings and day parties. We’ve scoured the jam-packed program. Here’s the best of the bunch.
Winter Reds newcomer Unico Zelo is taking over Glen Ewin Estate’s Pulp Shed for a Nordic, Viking-style feast. Shannon Flemming (ex-Orana and Restaurant Blackwood head chef) will man the fire pit serving food as it’s ready. It’ll be paired with a host of Unico Zelo reds (and a token “white for red drinkers”). Unlike a traditional wine event, you’re encouraged to leave your table manners at the door – there are no courses, and no cutlery. Return bus transfers can be purchased with your ticket.
Saturday July 29, 7pm–11.30pm
Lower Hermitage Road, Lower Hermitage
The Adelaide Hills aren’t quite the French or Austrian Alps, but The Lane Vineyard’s “Chalet Bar” will have all the makings of any good après ski day party – minus the snow. Expect mulled wine, hearty winter fare and @Alistercat spinning vinyl. There’s also a tongue-in-cheek “Aspen chic” dress code (if you’re that way inclined). For a more informed experience, tasting flights of back-vintage treasures will be on-pour in the Tasting Room.
Saturday 29 and Sunday July 30, 10am–5pm
Ravenswood Lane, Hahndorf
Nothing screams “Winter Reds” like a full-bodied shiraz. In that spirit, Shaw + Smith’s four-wine tasting flight will hero shiraz, and shiraz only. Expect the strictly limited single-vineyard Balhannah shiraz, the just-released 2015 shiraz and two museum wines. Local and international cheeses will pair with the quartet. Because capacity is limited, bookings are required for groups larger than six. Smaller groups are also encouraged to pre-book.
Saturday 29 and Sunday July 30, 11am–5pm
136 Jones Road, Balhannah
This isn’t your average wine and cheese soiree. Udder Delights will trade in the humble cheeseboard for a pot of bubbling, cheesy goodness. Get dunking with locally smoked bratwurst, cornichons, balsamic pickled onions, seasonal fruit and warm ciabatta. It’s $39 per person, for a minimum of two people. To counteract the fondue, a glass of 2014 Henschke Giles pinot noir is included in the price.
Saturday 29 and Sunday July 30, 9am–5pm
91a Main Street, Hahndorf
Sidewood head winemaker Darryl Catlin and Maximilian’s Restaurant head chef Jamie Laing are joining forces for a five-course, wine-matched degustation. Catlin will pair Sidewood wines with equivalent drops from all over the world. You’ll decide how they stack up in “blind”, course-by-course tastings. Sidewood beat the French last year. Can it conquer the world this time around?
Saturday 29 and Sunday July 30, 7pm for 7.30pm start
15 Onkaparinga Valley Road, Verdun
Wicks Estate only opens its doors to the public once a year, and it’s for this family-friendly affair. Mangia, Mangia! by Andre’s Cucina is taking care of the food, available to buy on the day. Think grazing antipasti; its signature polenta chips; a couple of pasta options; and sweet, deep-fried zeppole. Cosy up with a glass of red to tunes by acoustic rock outfit The Happy Leonards. Get in early, it’s first in, best dressed.
Sunday July 30, 11am–5pm
29 River View Road, Woodside
It’s hard to beat the uninterrupted view of the patchwork Piccadilly Valley from Hardy’s Verandah Restaurant. It’s the perfect setting for this long winter lunch, which will feature six courses crafted by HVR executive chef Wayne Brown. Working in collaboration with wineries Tapanappa, Elderslie and Howard Vineyard, sommelier Patrick White has hand-picked a wine for each course.
Saturday July 29, from 12pm
74 Mount Lofty Summit Road, Crafers
Entry to all non-ticketed events is free. Designated drivers can collect a wristband at participating venues to receive a complimentary non-alcoholic beverage. Read the full program of events here.