Two years ago biochemist turned cheesemaker, Mark Potter, took the gamble and opened ‘Blessed Cheese’ in the McLarenvale wine region. The bright orange cafe offering local produce, local, national and international cheeses plus hands-on cheesemaking courses and do-it-yourself wine and cheese trails have been a big hit.
Mark, a SA Premier’s Food Awards Winner in 2004, says “Consumers have educated their palates with wine and are looking for a new toy, and wine and cheese have a natural connection”. Trail patrons set off with a picnic lunch including four different cheeses each matched to a different wine, plus a map and tasting notes to guide them on a self-drive tour. The concept is working for all involved – regional cheesemakers, artisan food producers and wineries.
Also happening in South Australia’s wine regions is an Australian-first – a cellar door pass, identifying carriers as ‘special guests – developed by Smartvisit Solutions.
$99 buys two travellers a package that includes a printed directory with maps and winery listings and a wine discovery CD, with commentaries from leading SA winemakers AND the Cellar Door Pass that entitles you to:
1) 6 bottles of wine (value $120);
2) Premium Wine tastings and Winery Tours;
3) Delivery of 12 bottles of wine anywhere in Australia;
4) Transit Insurance up to $240.
The idea is that Pass holders visit six cellar doors of their choice from more than 50 participating wineries across South Australia, collecting ‘free’ bottles of wine along the way.
The 50 participating wineries are spread throughout Adelaide & Adelaide Hills; the Barossa; the Clare Valley; the Fleurieu Peninsula which includes McLaren Vale, Currency Creek & Langhorne Creek; and the Limestone Coast which includes Coonawarra & Mt Benson.
In 2006 Mark is taking the wine and cheese trails national. Interested regions include:
1)Adelaide Hills, SA;
3)Clare Valley, SA;
4)Margaret River, WA;
5)the Pyrenees, Vic;
6)the Lake George region, NSW.
FOR MORE INFO VISIT www.blessedcheese.com.au
OR VISIT: http://www.cellardoorpass.com/index.html