The quest for culinary honours at South Australia’s cellar doors is hotting up, and nowhere more so than in the Adelaide Hills, which is rapidly catching up with the high flyers of the Barossa and McLaren Vale.
In a move indicative of the increasingly sophisticated cuisine now almost considered de rigueur at leading wineries, The Lane, which for the past seven years has had a highly successful restaurant under executive chef James Brinklow, has introduced a Chef’s Table.
If the view was the only good thing about The Lane, 3km from Hahndorf in the Adelaide Hills, it would probably be enough. It has one of the best winery restaurant locations in South Australia, overlooking a landscape of neatly-tended cabernet sauvignon vineyards, rolling hills, gum trees, dams and grazing cows.
Brinklow clearly hasn’t let the change in ownership from winery founders John and Helen Edwards to the UK-based Vestey Group put him off track. Indeed, under general manager Martyn Edwards, John and Helen’s son, the drive towards finer dining has continued with even greater vigour – hence the Chef’s Table.
Available for up to eight guests, at a secluded end of the restaurant nearest the kitchen, an exclusive menu will be created by Brinklow on the day of dining, matched to wines specially selected to suit each dish.
The number of courses will vary but expect at least five, plus a series of tiny tasting dishes at the start of the meal such as smoked trout with pickled ginger on a rice cracker.
Larger courses might include a gorgeous spring vegetable tart with brassica flowers or seared Coorong Angas rump cap with buttered radishes and burnt turnips.
A unique element will be tastings of available barrel samples matched either with current The Lane wines or a selection of high-end European wines. When possible, winemaker Michael Schreurs will be on hand to talk about the wines, just as Brinklow or one of his chefs will pop out from the kitchen to introduce each dish.
Edwards advises guests to allow at least three hours to take it all in.
The Lane, Ravenswood Lane, Hahndorf, is open for lunch daily (8388 1250).
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