With the winter weather well and truly in full swing and here to stay a while, it’s easy to reach the end of the week and run for a cosy blanket and the couch. But Adelaide is full of hidden gems within the hills worth discovering, and you’d really be doing yourself a disfavour to not go out and explore.
This week, I wandered my way to Hahndorf Hill Winery to indulge in their ChocoVino Experience. With panoramic views of the vineyards and the ever-rolling hills, the View Tube is the perfect seat to sit back, relax, and lose track of the hours with the best of company; and I promise – this is easy to do.
As they say, a little indulgence never hurt anybody, and what better way to indulge than with some of the world’s finest chocolates and matching wine? With a selection of chocolates created with exotic beans sourced from Peru and Venezuela, by globally renowned French Chocolatiers including Michelle Clusiau, the ‘Discover Gourmet Chocolate’ experience captures hearts and is impossible to pass up.
Encased within an elaborate wooden box, the Valrhona ‘Caraibe’ Dark, Amedei ‘Chuao’ Dark, Daintree Estates Dark, Daintree Estates Milk and Haigh’s Milk are waiting to be discovered… And seeing as more than half of the chocolates are dark (which is technically a superfood), it’s not too bad, right?
When tasting fine wines, three senses are tapped into: sight, smell and taste. But as the French say, all five senses should be consumed when tasting fine chocolate, just as the connoisseurs do. Fine chocolate should be seen to have a rich, even sheen. To touch, it should feel silky, cool and dry, and as you break it, a sound described as ‘the crack of a twig in the forest’ should be heard. The freshly broken edges should smell rich and aromatic, with layers of natural flavours, creamy and rich, released when tasted.
But not only are the chocolates impossible to refuse, the matching wine is unparalleled. And what a proud moment for all of Adelaide that within the heart of our home, Hahndorf Hill Winery is the sole producer in Australia of select grape varieties to create prestigious wines, traditionally found and produced in Austria.
Hahndorf Hill Winery’s ‘Blueblood’ Blaufrankisch is created with the traditional red grape of Austria where it reigns in the Burgenland wine region south east of Vienna. Having grown and bottled this grape for over 25 years, you can save yourself the ticket to Vienna to taste it. Hahndorf Hill Winery’s ‘Blueblood’ Blaufrankisch has won many gold medals in Australia, Austria and Germany, which is easily understandable when tasted. The 2015 vintage bursts with blueberries, blue-black cherries and boysenberries, with a hint of caramel. From here out, it might be considered your go-to winter water. But if whites are more your style, set your sights on Hahndorf Hill Winery’s ‘GRU 2’ Gruner Veltliner, fermented in old oak barrels and combining citrus and butterscotch, it’s a little sip of luxe.
Surprisingly, one of my favourite parts of Hahndorf Hill Winery’s ChocoVino experience was the palette cleanser itself, Cape Grim. This is the purest water I’ve ever tasted and is a well-deserved luxury in between all that wine – literally. It was used at the Tiffany launch in London. It’s sourced from the remote north-west region of Tasmania, which is known for having the clearest and purest air in the world. The air travels 16,000 km across the Great Southern Ocean from Antarctica without touching any land or contaminants, and turns to rain when reaching Cape Grim. The rain is then captured and harvested only on days of the highest air quality. This water is so exclusive that is cannot be readily found. Which means a trip to Hahndorf Hill Winery is in order to taste it for yourself.
But, if your sights are still firmly set on that couch this weekend, I recommend you let Hahndorf Hill Winery’s little black dress of all wines, the White Mischief Gruner Veltliner be your company. It’s the perfect match for any takeout, and in line with this seasons trans seasonal theme in the fashion industry, it works well in the summertime too.
Words by Andrea Masson