As part of the Bill’s Farm commitment to buying more local Australian produce, we decided to take a trip to Adelaide and spend a long weekend in the beautiful Barossa Valley.
Our first stop was Alexandrina located at Mt. Jagged on the Fleurieu Peninsula just a short 1 hour drive from central Adelaide. Home to the delicious, award-winning, Alexandrina Vintage Cheddar (18 months aged), every Alexandrina product starts its journey as rich, creamy milk from 70 individually named Jersey cows feeding on long green clover pastures on the McCaul family farm. The family began making cheese in 1902 and third generation Dan McCaul and his family are continuing the cheese-making tradition.
The Vintage Cheddar has a golden colour and a rich aroma from the creamy Jersey cow’s milk and has a strong barnyard flavour with a sharpness expected from a well-aged traditional cheddar.
We headed north through the lovely town of Hahndorf where we stopped to try the delicious cheese at Udder Delights and the tasty smoked delicacies from Harris Smokehouse. Of course, you cannot go past a German sausage and a flight of German beers sitting in the main street watching the world (and lots of international tourists) wander by.
A short drive north took us to the small town of Woodside to visit one of the most innovative artisan cheesemakers in Australia, Kris Lloyd, the owner of Woodside Cheese Wrights. All of the Woodside Cheese is made using local cow, goat or buffalo milk and Kris has pioneered a range of cheeses that have a real point of difference. The Charleston Brie, named after the jersey cow’s milk collected from farms in the nearby local town of Charleston, has an exclusive flavour created by the different moulds that ripen the cheese from the outside to the centre over a period of six weeks. It develops a soft, creamy texture with a ‘farmyardy’ flavour underpinned by mushroomy notes.
We also loved the award-winning Woodside Edith – a French-style goats milk cheese with a bloomy rind which is rolled in ash to push further development of white mould and also impart a savoury flavour. The Woodside Jester, using Fresian cream and goats milk, is a decadent hand-made, washed rind, triple cream cheese that develops a lovely stinkiness as it matures. Introduce it to your next cheese platter with a dollop of quince paste and a crisp sparkling wine.
Our final stop for cheese was worth waiting for as we met the wonderful Victoria McClurg from Barossa Valley Cheese located in Angaston. Victoria created her company by committing to always be an artisan producer, sourcing milk from local producers and creating cheese with local character and the passion of the cheesemaker. Victoria is a qualified winemaker who began making cheese with her mum Frances at home in the kitchen and in 2003 opened the cheese cellar in the main street of Angaston where she still makes all her cheese on-site. We have now made sure that our 3 favourite Barossa Valley cheeses are now available at Bill’s Farm –
Barossa Triple Cream: a luxurious soft whitemould with pure cream added to create a smooth, creamy sweet palate (perfect with Riesling)
Barossa Camembert: an earthy, mushroom aroma with a mild creamy palate (serve at room temperature with Chardonnay)
Barossa Washrind: a small washed rind with pungent yeasty aromas (partner with Grenache)
It wouldn’t be a trip to the Barossa without some gourmet food, incredible wines and of course Maggie Beer. Whilst Maggie wasn’t in her kitchen on this day we tasted literally everything in her farm shop including the delicious aged red wine vinegar, verjuice and fig and fennel paste….all of which we have available at ‘the farm’.
We loved our degustation dinner menu at Appellation at The Louise in Marananga and our favourite wineries were the historic Langmeil (Tanunda), classy Henschke (Keyneton), and the picturesque Hentley Farm in Seppeltsfield. You also cannot go past the amazing Seppeltsfield Winery which should be your destination for lunch in Fino restaurant.
If you have a chance to stopover in Adelaide, treat yourself to one of the best meals of your life at three-chef-hats and 2018 Restaurant of the Year, Orana in Rundle street or for a more casual dining
option (and substantially cheaper) is Africola, just around the corner on East Terrace.
Till our next adventure,
Mark and Hakim