One of my favorite wine stops during my trip to Australia in April was a visit to Ashton Hills Vineyards in the Adelaide Hills area of South Australia. Ashton Hills embodies all that is great about small, boutique wineries – passion resulting in wines with real character.
The Ashton Hills tasting room (cellar door) opened in 1991, and currently produces about 1,500 cases of wine annually. I tasted seven wines during my visit, including two wines from their second label, Galah wines.
The winemaker’s wife, Peta (or Petra – sorry can’t read my own notes) was manning the tasting room during my visit. Peta and her husband, Stephen George, work and live on the seven-acre grounds of Ashton Hills, which sits just below the Mount Lofty range.
Peta was nice enough to take a break from pouring to help me look for a Koala Bear that resides on the property. Unfortunately, the Koala was MIA, but while touring the grounds I noted an easel holding a half finished painting that Peta was working on when I arrived. An artist, living on a vineyard… what more could you ask for?
Last Saturday night I was in the mood for Pinot and pulled out one of the Ashton Hills gems I brought back with me.
Ashton Hills 2006 Reserve Pinot Noir: One word – elegant! If this wine was a woman, would be Audrey Hepburn back in the day. $55AU/bottle ~ $42US/bottle. Raspberry and spice throughout. Pure cherry, plum and light earthy aromas also on the nose. Silky in the mouth with bright red fruit on the finish. Overall an excellent wine that will be even better in a few years.
Although New Zealand seems to be getting most of the recognition as the next frontier for world class Pinot in that part of the world, I feel South Australia is the most promising up and coming area for world class Pinot (ok, now all of the skeptics are calling me curse words with this amateur prediction).
Ashton Hills Tasting Room…