Lobethal has always been a haven for tourists and locals alike to flock to, particularly when it comes to needing a much-needed getaway from the hustle and bustle of the city life. In recent months, it particularly garnered unwavering support and attention after the bushfires, where everyone was determined to, now more than ever, stay true to the "support local" mantra by supporting small scale businesses and help with keeping their livelihoods afloat.
One of the newest members to join the Lobethal Road family is family-owned and proudly South Australian: Hügel Wine Bar. Owned by Joshua Kleemann, Hügel boasts of an eclectic and minimalistic aesthetic, where plenty of sunshine and natural light illuminates their communal space that is adorned in lush lounges, larger-than-life plants, and timber-fitted bar tops that make every corner of this small yet social space a pleasing and relaxing one. Accommodating an intimate crowd of 20 people at a time, Hügel's location in the Hills attracts a ton of picturesque views of the landscape, so what better way to enjoy a nice day than by indulging in some of the best in locally sourced produce and wine that Hügel has to offer?!
Hugel Wine Bar in Lobethal (Photo by Fatema Sitabkhan)
There is a reason why Hügel holds a special place in my heart. You see, they opened their doors to the public after months of extreme hard work, blood, sweat, and tears on December 19, 2019 - one day before the catastrophic bush fires swept through the Adelaide Hills and changed the lives of (South) Australians in a major way. Now, with the recent COVID-19 pandemic, it yet again finds itself in a rather sticky situation where customer in-house dining and general business will be taking a hit due to the recent norm of social distancing. However, despite the rocky start to its chapter, upon speaking with Kleemann the other day, all I could hear was an overwhelming sense of hope and positivity through what is clearly a very dark, stressful, and concerning time for small business owners (like Kleemann) in Australia and beyond. Throughout the tricky times that are seeing small businesses navigate through this maze to keep their business flourishing, it is the positive attitude of business owners like Kleemann that make going through this uncertain time together a comforting and hopeful one.
Owner Josh Kleemann (Photo supplied by Hügel Wine Bar)
Offering menu options that can encourage everyone to enjoy a style of share platters, customers can expect to enjoy a range of tapas-style options such as house pickles & olives, crunchy sourdough with toasted dukkah & local charcuterie, house-made hummus & baba ganoush with seasonal crudités and flat bread, Saltbush lamb w/ pomegranate and walnut salsa, Heirloom tomato, Woodside goats chèvre and anchovy.
Assorted snacks selection to share (Photo supplied by Hügel Wine Bar)
Don't feel like sharing or are coming in with a big appetite? Go for the Hügel Reuben. I mean, you can never really go wrong with a Reuben, but the one from Hügel was especially quite wholesome and packed in a bunch of delectable flavours to leave you with a thoroughly satisfied tummy! While Hügel may temporarily limit the availability of larger plates during this time, it hopefully won't be too long before the bar and restaurant will be packed to the brim with groups of people wanting to try a bit of everything from their menu!
Coupling these meals, you must take advantage of the extensive wine list that Hügel has in place. You may find the regular favourites, but the line-up at Hügel is quite a unique and spectacular one, because it brings a collection of wines and base spirits that are new in the industry and looking to branch out and make a name for themselves. Notable favourites and up-and-coming labels include Unico Zelo, Camwell Wines, Gentle Folk, and Charlotte Dalton, with current mainstay residents including Murdoch Hill Wines, Hahndorf Hill Winery, and Uraidla Wines. In addition to the wines, Hügel is also fully stocked with Gins from Applewood Distillery and Ambleside Distillers, along with a regular rotation of beers and ciders from all over Adelaide and South Australia.
With the aim of helping other new businesses find a home (or be considered a tasty addition to your current palate), the Hügel wine bar and their impeccable walk-in wine storage space are a great snapshot that encapsulates the theme of supporting local and/or supporting small. They are packed with some of the greatest in food, wines, beers, and spirits that have been locally grown and produced to create a brilliant blend of ingredients to enjoy with friends, to complement your platters and charcuterie boards, or to simply unwind with a relaxing bath drawn for your leisure.
Applewood Signature Gin and Tonic (Photo by Fatema Sitabkhan)
With the recent times that have brought an unprecedented amount of pressure and uncertainty around the flourishing of small and local businesses, it has become imperative to do our part in helping their business stay afloat. Whether you are self-isolating, can't make your way to the Hills, or would like to wait till everything settles down, why not grab an online gift voucher (for yourself and/or your mates), order contactless takeaway, or simply play a small but vital role in supporting our local businesses such as Hügel?
Fit for a social gathering (Photo by Fatema Sitabkhan)
After all, once this is all over, we are going to want to celebrate surviving through one of the worst moments in our recent history, and with a beautiful space with exceptional customer service and delicious options of food and drink that are locally sourced and produced from within our gorgeous South Australian backyard, it's the least we can do to maintain a sense of security and stability for our local unsung heroes in the dining and wining industries.
Hügel Wine Bar is located along Lobethal Road and will be operating with a modified menu. Their opening hours will follow the usual times but may be modified with the growing development of government restrictions issued due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.
Other updates (as of 21/03/2020) worth mentioning include the availability of purchasing takeaway wines at discounted prices, free delivery of Hügel's menu to Lobethal and surrounding town residences, reducing their capacity of patrons and further spacing out their dining areas to comply with the new social distancing rules applied by the government.