By Samuel Smith
Published: Thursday, August 27, 2020
Close in proximity, but worlds apart, South Australia’s regions form a tapestry of exceptional food, fine wine, abundant wildlife and natural beauty.
We chat to 6 locals about life in their respective necks of the woods.
Daniela Frangos, Editor at Broadsheet and Jane Reilly, Roving Reporter at FIVEaa
Where are the best places to experience Adelaide’s food and wine?
DF: My first choice is usually Leigh Street Wine Room. It’s been such an incredible addition to Adelaide’s already buzzing food and drink scene. Other places delivering hit after hit are Shobosho, Africola and Parwana. For drinks, I head to Clever Little Tailor, Proof and the Exeter. If I’m kicking on for the evening, I’m likely to be at Hellbound or Oddio in Bowden. The latter is a working winery so it only opens occasionally, but it’s always a good time when it does.
How would you describe life in Adelaide?
JR: I actually think it’s the perfect city. We’re big enough to have all the things you’d want in a city, but small enough that you don’t feel swamped by it. I mean where in the world can you be 20 minutes from gorgeous beaches, 20 minutes from the hills, and 40 minutes from world-famous wine regions? We’re so accountable for our food too – we grow amazing stuff in our regions. Go to the Central Market and nothing’s come further than 50km.
Any spots around town that are really special to you?
JR: I’ll always remember going to Rymill Park on Sunday with my parents. I remember the bridge, the playground, the kiosk. That was such a fantastic experience, and I still love going back to that park – it’s just got a charm about it.
RAA’s quick picks: Fly high at TreeClimb Adelaide, embark on a BBQ Buoy, tour the Central Market, explore the National Wine Centre or visit Pirate Life Brewing. Book now.
Alister Pike, Brewer at Pikes Wines
What’s the best thing about living in the Clare Valley?
AP: I enjoy the peace and quiet of living within the small township of Mintaro – the wide-open spaces and the slower pace of country life. You can’t really beat waking to the sound of native birds in the morning.
Where are your favourite spots to taste the region’s famous produce?
AP: The Magpie and Stump Hotel and The Sevenhill Hotel are my go-tos for a top-shelf pub feed, but if a restaurant is more your vibe, you can’t go past the SLATE restaurant at Pikes. We’re also lucky to have a great Italian restaurant in Clare – Umbria – which makes the most amazing homemade pasta.
Where do you go to relax and unwind?
AP: We’re a bit spoilt for choice when it comes to relaxing, with over 30 amazing cellar doors and lots of great cafes, restaurants and parks. We have lots of fantastic walking trails around the Valley. My favourite is the Spring Gully Conservation Park, which has beautiful trails and a picnic spot – Blue Gum Lookout – with views to the west of the region.
RAA’s quick picks: Drink and dine at Paulett Wines, Mitchell Wines, Claymore Wines and O’Leary Walker. Visit Martindale Hall, cycle the Riesling trail and eat at Seed Street Diner. For something special, try the Chef’s Shared Table at SLATE. Book now.
Jacky and Bill Jones, Park Managers at Discovery Parks
What’s the best thing about living in the Barossa?
JBJ: It’s a beautiful part of South Australia. Watching the valley’s colour palette change year-in, year-out makes the region an artist’s dream. There’s a large sense of community, but also some fierce rivalry during local footy season! There’s so much on offer for Barossans – food, wine, travel, outdoor activities, family events, business opportunities.
Where are your favourite spots to eat and drink in the Barossa?
JBJ: Seasonal produce is so well-used in restaurants. Just the other day we saw local hare on the menu, as a farmer happened to have some for sale. Some of our favourite spots are Vintners Bar & Grill, The Clubhouse and Musque Food & Wine. There are too many cellar doors to mention.
What are your favourite natural attractions in the Barossa?
JBJ: Mengler Hill Lookout, Barossa Bushgardens, the Whispering Wall and any of the tourist drives. [The Barossa is] a beautiful part of SA and is also the gateway to many other fantastic regions which are only a hop, skip and jump away.
RAA’s quick picks: Visit historic Chateau Tanunda, then sip and savour at Yalumba, Seppeltsfield, Barossa Valley Cheese Co and Jacob’s Creek. Spend the night at Discovery Parks Barossa Valley. Book now.
Kris Lloyd, Artisan Cheesemaker at Woodside Cheese Wrights
What’s the best thing about life in the Adelaide Hills?
KL: Just the drive here is glorious, and [the hills] are a food bowl, really. For me to be able to access all of this produce from the grower – it’s amazing. It’s just such a beautiful, clean environment and there’s such a lovely sense of community. Then there are the wineries, the distilleries, the breweries. I’ve just made so many friends up here.
How did the recent bushfires affect your business?
KL: We’re in an old heritage-listed building that almost burnt down in the fires – our surrounds are completely burnt out, and we’ve still got excavators bulldozing rubble around us. We’re lucky we’re still standing.
We had 4 days away from the place, and by the time we came back, we realised 60% of our stock had to be put to waste because of lack of refrigeration. I feel really proud of my staff for all of their tenacity, to want to keep going, and so grateful that our building remained operational despite the mess around us.
Where are your favourite places to relax and unwind in the Adelaide Hills?
KL: It’s such a tapestry. There’s stunning scenery everywhere, then there are the ghostly gums which are beautiful in their own way. Drive just about anywhere in the region and you’ll notice the roadside is dotted with gorgeous native flora. Mt Lofty Botanic Garden is just divine – so rich and lush, and the drive to Mt Lofty Ranges Vineyard is stunning, passing beautiful apple orchards.
Not to play lightly on the devastation caused by the bushfires, but it’s such a stark reminder of how wonderful nature is – that it can bounce back. You see these little tufts of green everywhere now – it really delights me.
RAA’s quick picks: Drink and dine at Shaw + Smith, Anderson Hill, Woodside Cheese Wrights and Lot 100. Stroll through the Mt Lofty Botanic Garden, indulge at Udder Delights or take to the trails with Escapegoat Adventures. Book now.