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Tenafeate Creek Winery is easily overlooked if you're heading out to the Barossa or Clare Valleys for some wine tasting, but it really should be first on your list as it is an Adelaide Hills winery quite close to Gawler.
This boutique winery at One Tree Hill is located near the beautiful natural bushland and native wildlife of the Para Wirra Recreation Park. It stands on the crest of a hill and from its dining area you have splendid views across the valley.
I was fortunate to hear about Tenafeate Creek Winery several years ago from a friend who lives just down the road from here. We share an interest in big red wines, although his wife is also partial to lighter reds and whites. We quickly found that this Adelaide winery produced something to satisfy all of our tastes - it has an outstanding range of South Australian wines.
[ADVERT]Almost as importantly, the winery has a modest restaurant producing a range of gourmet pizzas, cheese platters, bruschettas and gelati. On a warm day the restaurant walls open up to give an outdoor dining experience that is absolutely delightful, while in winter there is heating provided.
Although personally I tend to avoid visiting here on weekends when it becomes busier, there is often live entertainment such as a jazz band provided for additional enjoyment while dining.
Unlike the usual bland tasting chain pizzas where a close examination is needed to identify the style and ingredients, gourmet pizzas from the Tenafeate Creek Winery are just superb. Made with the passion that only an Italian can demonstrate, the flavours are rich and strong from the fresh toppings.
When we went for lunch I couldn't resist one of my old favourite wines - the 2005 Shiraz Cab Sav. We all agreed that its rich flavour with a touch of pepper would be a delicious complement to the gourmet pizza "with the lot" that my friends' son selected. Priced at $25, this wine beats many of the competition hands down for its intense flavour, smoothness and balance.
I won't drone on about Larry's wines - I know that wine tasting is a very personal experience to us and everyone's taste varies.
But I will simply point at the list of the awards that Larry has won, and suggest that if you ever want an alternative to the major wine making brands that are owned corporately, then you must visit Tenafeate Creek Winery to compare.
The pizza with the lot lasted barely long enough for me to take the photo and murmur a few appreciative mumbles to the sound of mastication. It was followed quickly by a pizza margarita, which took somewhat longer for us to consume as we were rapidly becoming full.
It was soon time to return to the tasting area and browse to look for something to take away. I sometimes shudder a little at wine prices these days as my income isn't what it once was. But what I do like about Tenafeate Creek is that there is a good spread of prices.
Most importantly, at the lower price range the quality of the wine is still extremely good. I long ago stopped buying casks and cheaper labelled bottles at my local pub for a "quaffing wine" because I found their quality quite poor.
Cleanskins from Tenafeate Creek (unlabelled wines)
Instead I prefer unlabelled cleanskins from a boutique winery such as Tenafeate Creek where I know I am purchasing very good quality wine that simply did not fit in a main labelled run. And I do like supporting a small business rather than the huge corporate giants that constantly sell wineries from one brand to another.
Needless to say, I did not go away empty handed today either :)
The winery is open for tasting from Friday to Sunday, and you can find their Facebook page here.
I should note that while this article is very positive about this winery, I have not been sponsored in any way, and nor do I know Larry personally. But I do believe in supporting winemakers that are passionate and so clearly committed to quality. And Tenafeate Creek must be one of the better wineries Australia has at the moment.
Looks like a decent place for lunch. Must be the article you were alluding to in a previous comment. Imagined it had something to do with wine. I will stop by here next time I go up to Gawler. I always struggle to find a spot for lunch far north.