Chocolate, cheese and wine tasting at Hahndorf Hill Winery
Autumn is a wonderful time to visit a winery. All the colours in the vineyard; red, orange and yellow make it so beautiful. Plus the cooler yet sunny days make it more inviting compared to the heat of the summer.
Hahndorf Hill Cellar Door
Hahndorf Hill Winery, Swanny Cellars’ winery of the month in May, is based in the Adelaide Hills. Not only are they pioneers in growing and making award winning Austrian grape varieties in the Adelaide Hills region; the winery also has a famous cellar door. Gourmet Traveller Wine has awarded Hahndorf Hill cellar door as one of Australia’s Best Cellar Doors for 2018 for the ‘Best Tasting Experience’ in the Adelaide Hills. Our team member Ruth went to visit one sunny morning.
The restaurant is just off the cellar door where there is the tasting counter and comfy couches. The restaurant overhangs the floor below and so it feels as if you’re really among the vineyards. It isn’t only the wine tasting experience which is impressive, the staff knowledge and attention to detail is remarkable.
Wine and Cheese
We ordered ‘Meet the Austrians’ Wine Flight with a cheese platter which came with the below wines:
- ‘Gru’ Gruner Veltliner 2017
- ‘Reserve’ Gruner Veltliner 2016
- ‘Zsa Zsa’ Zweigelt Nouveau 2017
- ‘Blueblood’ Blaufrankisch 2015
Although I have years of experience tasting wine, I still enjoy it when you’re taken through the wines and how they work with the different cheese; you’re always learning something new. Austrian grape varieties are not common in Australia and so it makes it even more special to have the opportunity to try these alongside the cheese platter of brie, goat’s cheese and cheddar. Sloan, at the cellar door, took the time to explain the different varieties and cheese styles to us. Trying the wines in isolation then again with the cheese changes the profile of the wines slightly and you can see how they work well together.
Chocolate and Wine
When I initially started tasting wine, I didn’t think you could match wines with chocolate. Thankfully Hahndorf Hill Winery has a” ChocoVino” tasting. According to their site, “this has been included in CNN’s ‘Top 10 global adventures for chocoholics’, and it also ranks in the ‘Top 10 food and wine touring options’ of South Australia. Qantas magazine has also rated ChocoVino as one of Australia’s best cellar door experiences.” With such great reviews, I had to try it!
The Extreme Chocolate Experience consisted of:
- Bahen & Co ‘Brazil’ Dark
- Bahen & Co ‘Chili & Salt’ Dark
- Cuvée ‘Grand Cru’ Dark
The wines to match were;
- Reserve Gruner Veltliner 2016
- Rosé 2017 (made with Trollinger, Pinot Noir and Merlot)
- ‘Compatriots’ 2015 (Shiraz/Cabernet Sauvignon/Merlot blend)
I enjoyed taking the time to sit, taste and savour the wines. Sometimes our busy lives don’t allow us to just take time out and enjoy the moment. When it came to the chocolate tasting, I appreciated Sloan’s recommendation to look at its sheen, to smell it and to listen to it ‘snap.’ If there’s too much sugar or fat in the chocolate then it won’t ‘snap’. I never knew that!
For the nutritionally astute combining cheese, chocolate and wine, it is a sinful day out but for sheer drinking and eating pleasure, it is a must do when visiting the Adelaide Hills.