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Published March 15th 2015
Views and vino to savour for a long time
Nestled amongst the trees and the apples at Lenswood is the Mt Lofty Ranges Vineyard. Previously a small cellar door with some food, this Vineyard has undergone a transformation in early 2015 with the addition of a tree-top balcony and a contemporary weekend lunchtime and afternoon menu.
Our recent Sunday afternoon visit saw us secure the last table on the balcony, with two birthday / celebrative groups already taking the two largest tables amongst a number of other couples who were enjoying a beautiful afternoon in the Adelaide Hills. The north-facing vista from the balcony was exceptional with views across the vineyard-laden valley almost as far as the eye could see.
In the far north, views of the Mt Crawford Forest temper the horizon, and memories return of mountain biking through this area as part of South Australia's own Mawson Trail as well as hiking along the central section of the Heysen Trail. To the far east, apple laden trees are glistening in the afternoon sun.
We settle in, and choose our wines being the 2014 Sauvignon Blanc and the 2012 Pinot Noir Rose, while we peruse the food menu. The wines arrive in wonderful large glasses, which while they probably make little difference to the already great quality of the wine, they do make a welcome change from some of those smaller glasses that seem over-filled and indulgent.
Sauvignon Blanc and Pinot Noir Rose - Steve Hudson
We note the arrival of the pot pies on one of the other tables, and our mouths drop at the size and beauty of the dish. But given that we had a late start to the day, we chose two lighter dishes, and mentally noted that we'd be back for those pot pies at a later occasion.
The fetta, leek and yoghurt frittata arrived first. Four serves of frittata on a bed of rockets and drizzled with vincotto was melt-in-the-mouth food, and was consumed with admiration and respect for the chef.
Being always happy to support local, we elected for the regional produce platter to share. With three cheeses from Udder Delights, some Skara cured meats, marinated pickled onions, quince paste, Talinga Grove olives, Baylies lavash, and some local strawberries and sliced pear, it was quite a full platter. However once we started eating, the concept of sharing between each of us became a challenge, due to its delicicuosness.
After adoring our tasting platter, the coffee and sweets menu was placed in front of us. Coffee became a fairly easy choice, and a couple of lattes were soon on their way. The choice of sweets became a bit more delicate, but having seen the three main choices delivered to the other tables, there was little doubt that a serve of Eton Mess was on the cards for us.
Eton Mess was described as layers of meringue, pavlova, mango, passionfruit, vanilla bean cream and mixed berries, the majority of which was locally produced. And it was all of that, and probably more. The berries had a supreme tartiness about them that just offset the soft pavlova and bean cream perfectly. This dish was a perfect way for us to end our afternoon.
Mt Lofty Ranges Vineyards is located about 3km from Lenswood, or about 30km from the City Centre. The Restaurant / Cellar Door is open on Friday to Sunday from 11am to 6pm, with lunchtime bookings highly recommended.
For further details on the Mt Lofty Ranges Vineyard refer to their website or their facebook page. Click here for a copy of the menu to see the full range of irresistible lunch and afternoon offerings.