January 7, 2021

10 great SA cellar door restaurants

There’s no better way to finish a wine tasting than by settling in for a leisurely lunch at one of SA’s excellent cellar door restaurants.

Adelaide Hills: Sidewood Estate
This new Hahndorf offering, which opened in early 2020, marks a new chapter for the Sidewood brand at home among the region’s oldest apple orchard. The vibrant and contemporary space offers VIP day beds, booth seating, a cosy two-way stone fireplace, a petanque and lawn bowls area and children’s nature playground. The space feels warm with Australian hardwood, local stone and an eclectic collection of Australian art scattered throughout. Wines are best paired with the restaurant’s Australasian menu by local chef Ali Seedsman.

Adelaide Hills: The Lane
Producer of outstanding single-vineyard wines, The Lane has four distinct tiers of wines, best explored over a long lunch or through a tasting. The Heritage, Estate, Provenance and Lane ranges celebrate a strong sense of place with head winemaker Turon White at the helm. The Lane lies just outside Hahndorf’s town centre, including a contemporary restaurant and tasting room with spectacular views of the Mt Lofty Ranges.

Adelaide Hills: Lobethal Road Winery
At 475 metres above sea level, between the heritage villages of Lobethal and Mount Torrens, the vineyards at Lobethal Road Wines provide esteemed, award-winning Hills fruit nurtured with environmentally sustainable, minimal intervention practices. Since 1998 the vineyard and cellar door has operated entirely off the grid, supplying its own water as well as generating all power by solar energy. Offering a hearty rustic lunch menu that includes homemade sourdough and Middle Eastern slow-cooked lamb, the mud-brick cellar door is open Thursday to Sunday from 11am-5pm, plus most public holidays.

Fleurieu: Shingleback
Brothers Kym and John Davey are at the helm of this family-owned sustainable vineyard in McLaren Vale producing award-winning wines with distinct styles. The Shingleback tasting room is located in a late 1800s barn, restored in 2003, where visitors can experience a range of wine flights. Wander over to the Shingleback Kitchen and let Chef Horst impress you with a four-course lunch menu. 

Fleurieu: Shottesbrooke Vineyard
Try the unique “Explore, Wine, Dine” experience at Shottesbrooke, and discover first-hand the philosophies behind the wines. This guided tour allows guests to learn about the winery’s history, the winemaking process and how Shottesbrooke’s sustainable practices will continue having a positive influence on the region for years to come. After exploring the property, you will be hosted to a private, personalised tasting, featuring many of the wines that were discussed throughout the tour, and finish your day with a delicious three course, regionally inspired lunch at the award-winning restaurant, The Currant Shed.

Fleurieu: Maxwell Wines
The family-owned Maxwell Wines in McLaren Vale is home to a cellar door for wine lovers, a fine dining restaurant for foodies and a giant maze for kids or the young at heart. Owner and winemaker Mark Maxwell established the business with father Ken in 1979. Today Maxwell Wines is known for its robust wines with character, but it’s the unique function area carved into the limestone hill that also gets people’s attention. Lime Cave is where guests will enjoy special events such as birthdays or gatherings. Mushrooms are also grown in the cave and cooked in the restaurant, headed by Fabian Lehmann, who has built a career in Europe at Michelin-starred restaurants.

Barossa: Hentley Farm
Set among the rolling hills on the banks of Greenock Creek at Seppeltsfield, Hentley Farm is a single estate vineyard, with a unique diversity of soil, aspect, and altitude. The initial 60-hectare vineyard and mixed farming property was purchased by owners Keith and Alison Hentschke in the late 1990s and, in 2004, they acquired the high quality Clos Otto block. Hentley Farm produces exceptional wines that show the distinct hallmarks of vibrancy, velvety silk tannins and intense flavour richness. The award-winning cellar door and restaurant offer memorable wine tasting and dining experiences. 

Barossa: Harvest Kitchen
Harvest Kitchen’s menu features the flavours of southern Europe, influenced by the Italian heritage of their cellar door partner, Calabria Family Wines. The Vine Vale restaurant’s head chef Jamie Wall, formerly of Appellation @ The Louise, is a regular presence at the local Barossa Farmers’ Market, selecting fresh, seasonal produce from the wonderful array the region has to offer. The menu includes such dishes as beef cheek with braised onion and parsnip puree, crispy fried chicken, and their signature salted caramel popcorn dessert.

Clare: Skillogalee
Family-owned and operated, Skillogalee was the first winery restaurant in the Clare Valley. Today, they focus on small-batch wines, with modern techniques used for whites, preserving the fruit aromas and flavours, and traditional techniques for reds, to maximise flavour and colour. Book into the cosy restaurant to match their wines to your dishes, or take advantage of the gourmet picnic baskets on offer. Or settle in for a morning or afternoon tea – you have to try the scones.

Kangaroo Island: Kangaroo Island Trading Company
A favourite of locals and visitors alike, Amadio Wines’ cellar door and restaurant is conveniently located in a stunning heritage building on the main street of Kingscote. Since opening in 2017, the restaurant has brought a new dimension of authentic Italian cuisine and locally-made wines to the region with pizza, homemade pasta dishes, Italian charcuterie and a range of daily specials. With the venue operated by Kangaroo Island Trading Company, the wine list includes Kangaroo Island wines grown by the Florance family at their Cygnet River vineyard, with wine flights and pairings available.

This information first appeared in The SALIFE Food & Wine List 2020.


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