Kalmoesfontein is one of Swartland’s oldest wineries.
1. A Swartland Wine Farm Stay
An hour’s drive from Cape Town lies one of South Africa’s most exciting wine regions – Swartland
. Home to some of the country’s oldest producing wine farms, Kalmoesfontein (
was taken over by cousins Hein
and Adi Badenhorst
in 2008 after the winery had been neglected for over 70 years. Now one of the shining lights of the region, the original stables, silo and winemaker’s cottage have been renovated to offer a farmhouse-inspired accommodation experience – including open fires, private pools and access to the farm’s plentiful herb and vegetable gardens. Complete your experience with a private tasting and tour of the historic cellars. Christina Kaigg
➽ TIP: Stuck here in Oz? A selection of AA Badenhorst family wines are available via Stock on Hand Wines (
How quickly could you sabre sparkling wine bottles?
2. Sabre Away in WA
Test your sabrage skills as you try to be the fastest to slice open sparkling wine bottles of Howard Park Jeté
. Howard Park’s Jeté Sabrage Competition
is in its third year and held each August in a venue in Perth. There is an open call to attendees to try their luck on a bottle or two, then it’s competition time. In 2020, 15 competitors stepped forward to see who could sabre eight bottles the fastest. The winner, a principal dancer with the WA Ballet, took out the title of ‘Fastest Sabreur’. There is also the ‘Worst Sabreur’ award for the most calamitous slicing. In total 450 bottles were sabred under the watchful supervision of Howard Park staff. Check out Howard Park (
Facebook and Instagram accounts or take out a Wine Club membership if you’d like to attend in 2021. Fergal Gleeson
➽ TIP: You’ll need to be quick …. the winning time this year was 11.28 seconds.
3. To the Hills
The Summertown Aristologist focuses on sourcing local, ethical produce.
Nestled in the Adelaide Hills, SA, The Summertown Aristologist (
is one of the country’s most genuine dining experiences. ‘Paddock to plate’ is a term tiresomely thrown around in the dining scene – but not many do it with as much integrity as Aaron Fenwick
, Tom Campbell
and the ‘Risty crew
. Their nearby biodynamic veggie patch feeds the majority of the weekly changing menu, bolstered by goods from the most ethical of protein suppliers. Alongside this is a minimal-intervention wine list (strong local offering and extensive imports) that will overwhelm even the savviest of drinkers. While the wines may be a little challenging for conventional palates, I urge you to embrace the theme, as it speaks directly to the food. The way in which the menu is prepared, leaves you full in such an ethereal way – no amaro or siesta required post meal. Digestibility is a word used often here. Ollie Margan
➽ TIP: Visit over the weekend and park yourself at the newly opened cellar door adjacent; Commune of Buttons, Lucy Margaux and Chateau Comme Ci Comme Ca are all on for tasting.
4. Brisbane Wine Tour
Snack on saganaki and sip assyrtiko at Hellenika.
Brisbane’s bustling James Street Precinct
offers some of the best food and wine experiences in the country, all within a stone’s throw of each other. Kick off at City Winery (
, take a cheese and wine class, meet the winemakers, graze on platters or settle in by the fire. Stop for lunch at Hellenika (
, snack on saganaki and sip assyrtiko by the beautiful pool. Downstairs at SK Steak and Oyster (
, delight in fine beef, seafood, cocktails and wine: their oysters with a Champagne mignonette are simply delicious. Stroll across to Cru Bar (
, a ‘three-glass restaurant’ with an upmarket wine shop attached. Pick your own bottle and take it in with you for dinner. Josh Martin
➽ TIP: Treat yourself to a long weekend and base yourself at the luxurious Calile Hotel (thecalilehotel.com
5. Barossa Super Car Tour
One cannot come to SA without experiencing a culinary adventure in the Adelaide Hills
and Barossa Valley
. Book a stay at Sequoia Lodge
, part of the iconic Mount Lofty Estate (
and enjoy the onsen hot pools and spa. Spend Super Car Drive Day in a Lamborghini or a McLaren 570 with Prancing Horse (
and drive to the Barossa’s Hentley Farm (
. Then head back to Applewood Distillery (
the home of Unico Zelo. For dinner, visit me at Hardy’s Verandah Restaurant (
for a degustation curated by executive chef Jin Choi. Liinaa Berry
➽ TIP: If the wine pairing isn’t your thing, pick a bottle from the natural sandstone cellar downstairs.
Mount Lofty Estate has some incredible views of Adelaide.
The new Stoney Rise cellar door boasts stunning views of the Tamar River.
6. High Times in Tasmania
While I’m mostly based south now, I enjoy heading up to the Tamar Valley. The new Stoney Rise (
cellar door is a space where you can lounge around outside in front of a stunning view of the Tamar River
. There’s obviously the wines to sample but also a carefully curated list of other local and international wines. You can buy vintage Champagne, drink Holyman museum release estate chardonnay, and finish with a 375ml Brian roadie. And then do nude cartwheels down the hill. Stoney Rise is the spiritual and physical home of Brian Global International after all. Peter Dredge
➽ TIP: Sinapius, Bay of Fires and Kreglinger Wine Estates are also grand cellar doors.
7. Tour Margaret River
What better way to experience WA’s Margaret River
than with a tour hosted by GT WINE’s own Wine Man Peter Bourne
? The Food and Wines of the Margaret River Tour (
is scheduled for 20-24 March 2021, and features a jam-packed line-up including Leeuwin Estate, Cape Mentelle and leading biodynamic producer Cullen Wines. And don’t forget, all this is augmented by Peter’s expertise giving you all the inside knowledge you need about this exciting slice of wine country. Amy Northcott
➽ TIP: If time allows, give yourself some extra days to explore the region after your tour ends.
The view from this hill in Hermitage is beyond words.
8. Holy Scenes in Hermitage
Just south of Lyon in France is a town called Tain l’Hermitage. Tucked behind the town, a small but alluring chapel rests on top of a hill with a view that has to be seen to be believed. This is the spiritual home of syrah. Find yourself a bottle of local wine and an hour before the sunset make your way to the Hill of Hermitage. You can see the Rhône River, hear the birds and as the sun goes to sleep, as the French would say, revel in just how marvellous the view truly is. I’ll toast to your adventure – Santé! Stephanie Eyles
➽ TIP: Visit the bar Le Bateau Ivre (the drunken boat), Adrien is very knowledgeable.
9. Sunday Arvo in the Vale
Your Sunday arvo wind (or should I say wine) down is sorted with a visit to McLaren Vale’s Varney Wines (
. Start with a guided tasting of the range, (try the GMT blend and the grenache) before settling in with your favourite bottle either inside the charming renovated 1870s barn cellar door or outside soaking in the views. If you’ve got the time, make sure you book a spot at the on-site Victor’s Place Restaurant
, which boasts a seasonal menu championing local produce. Amy Northcott
➽ TIP: Beer fans are also in luck with the Victor’s Place Beer range on pour and available for takeaway.
Winemaker Alan Varney might even be around to host your tasting.
10. Taste of NZ
Write your own tasting notes at this cellar door.
Those in Christchurch
are fortunate to have the Cellar Door (
close at hand. In addition to the regular wine list, owners Kate Hide
and Tim Ogle
have crafted 18 different wine flights at their CBD venue – themed selections of four wines, which are accompanied by the wines’ production details, but no descriptions of the wine’s aromas and flavours. Customers are encouraged to write their own tasting notes as they enjoy the wines. The themes change constantly. Current favourites are All Blacks vs Blues, an exploration of NZ vs French sauvignon blanc, and syrah from around the world. Jane Skilton MW
➽ TIP: The kitchen serves dishes with an emphasis on local produce.