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Pack the rug and the family, and off to the picnic we go
It's November and that means it is time to head in to the hills again for the holding of the annual Picnic at Marble Hill on Sunday, November 22. Pack your picnic rug and an appetite for fine wine and food and you will be set for the afternoon. Designed as an intimate showcase of the wonderful artisan wine and food of the Hills region, Picnic at Marble Hill promises to cater for all taste buds while raising much needed funds for the Cora Barclay Centre and to teach deaf kids to speak.
From 11am-4pm a mouth watering line-up of the area's finest local produce will be served at the historic Marble Hill estate at 314 Marble Hill Road, halfway between Ashton and Cherryville. Organisers expect that all people attending the picnic will experience the wonders that the Adelaide Hills has to offer by creating their own picnic food from the variety of the freshly made, locally-grown foods. And then it is expected that family and friends will sit down and relax in the beautiful Marble Hill ruins that offer commanding views of the hills and plains down to the sea.
Marble Hill was the Governor's summer residence from 1880 until it was destroyed by the 1955 Black Sunday bush fires. The "People's Palace" lay in ruins for some 55 years until it was purchased by Edwin Michell and Patricia Bishop who have vowed to rebuild the property to its former glory. Guided tours of Marble Hill's ruins and museum will give attendees a valuable opportunity to learn about the estate, while also recognising the continued and progressive efforts of the current owners on the restoration program.
The Picnic at Marble Hill supports Adelaide Hill's boutique winemakers and gourmet food producers who have made the region renowned for it's world-class products. Adelaide Hills wineries Basket Range Wine, BK Wines, Boovability, Gentle Folk, Jauma, Lobo Cider, Marble Hills, Ngeringa, Ochota Barrels, Tansley Farm and Whisson Lake will be showcasing their wine varietals in the wine tent, while winegrowing legend Henschke, will feature wines from their Lenswood vineyard.
Local apple and pear ciders from Lobos will also be available for those wanting an alternative to wine. All drinks can be purchased by the glass or bottle, to be drunk on the day or taken home. Tasting glasses will also be on sale, with all proceeds going to charity. Other local gourmet food and drinks will be also be on offer including locally-roasted coffee by Moshico and handmade natural ice-cream by Natura of Hahndorf.
Ashton Valley Crush will be serving local juices and fruit alongside wood-fired pizzas by Stirling's Woodbake Café, and a selection of cheeses by Udder Delights. And for the savoury-hearted, the charity sausage sizzle, featuring locally-reared meats and sauces is expected to offer tasting delights for all.
Children will enjoy roaming the grounds and will find themselves in wonderland playing amongst the ruins and having their face painted. Although Picnic in Marble Hill is a not-for-profit event, proceeds made on the day will go directly to Cora Barclay Centre, supporting deaf and hearing impaired children. Volunteers from the Centre will also be on hand to answer questions and provide commentary on their ongoing efforts to help deaf kids speak.
Entry is $15 for adults (free for accompanying kids) which includes complimentary entry into the gourmet wine and food raffle. To maintain the exclusivity of the even, there are only 500 tickets available for sale, and in recent years they have all been sold before the day, so you will need to get in quick. There is also limited car parking, so organisers are encouraging car pooling.