The program for Cellar Door Fest promises a weekend spent enjoying and exploring the state’s hottest wine, spirits and produce all without leaving the CBD.
Cool pairings, unique experiences
This will be Martin Radcliffe’s first Cellar Door Fest where he won’t be chilling out as a guest, a glass in hand.
Regardless, the new general manager of the Adelaide Convention Centre is truly excited to have oversight of this year’s packed program of events.
If previous years are anything to go by, he expects the venue will be buzzing with festival-goers eager to experience something new.
For Martin, Cellar Door Fest is all about “bringing the regions to the heart of the city to celebrate South Australia’s vibrant food and drink scene.”
He sees the three-day event, held in the first weekend in February, as an unmissable event that is grander than the sum of its talented stallholders.
“We’re creating experiences, which link to all the great things that are happening in our wine regions and across our state,” he says.
Happening from Friday to Sunday, festival-goers will enjoy complimentary tastings, along with masterclasses, long-table dining events, cooking demonstrations and even a yoga and gin session. It’s a solid lineup of fan favourites, plus lots of fresh and engaging sessions to bring the fun to a day or night out.
Kicking off the three days is the wildly popular Friday evening session from 5pm—9pm, which makes for the ideal setting for after-work drinks.
In terms of what’s new this year, Martin says native ingredients will come to the fore in some of the sessions.
“Adelaide Convention Centre is committed to delivering our guests and visitors a true taste of native Australia,” he says.
“We’ve partnered with a number of First Nations growers to deliver a dining experience that really celebrates native produce and flavours.”
That dining experience is A Taste of Australia – Celebrating Native Flavours, a long table lunch on Saturday. To quote the website, it will be “part dining, part discovery”.
Diners will be guided through the four-course menu by globally experienced and innovative chef Gavin Robertson; Indigenous food entrepreneur and founder of Seven Seasons spirits Daniel Motlop; and Unico Zelo winemaker Brendan Carter.
Connection to Country through cuisine is something Martin says has come to the fore in recent years.
“Following two years of COVID, we asked our clients what was really important to them – and these are clients from all over the world, interstate and South Australia – and certain themes came through really strongly,” Martin says.
“One is the celebration of a connection to Country, and that’s why we’ve made that a really prominent part of the event.”
In addition to the A Taste of Australia long table lunch, connection to Country will be evident through various parts of the festival, including Jessie’s Kitchen – the live cooking demonstration stage.
For those who like their drinks served with a garnish of knowledge, this year’s masterclasses include the new and unexpected, as well as returning favourites like Cheese and Sparkling.
Sidewood Sparkling vs Champagne is a must-do, says Martin.
“The sparkling wine we produce in Australia is really getting up there, in terms of quality, with the French champagne,” he says. “So that will be a really, really interesting experience. And at Sidewood, they do that theatre very well.”
The ascendant pairing of wine and potato chips garners masterclass status in Elderton and Small Victories Wine Co: Wine and Potato Crisps, while the global award-winning Langhorne Creek: Grapes for Good will deliver a guided tasting through wines created by six Langhorne Creek wineries to support the critical conservation efforts of Zoos SA and Monarto Safari Park.
Festivalgoers can ease into Sunday with the debut of Gin and Yoga, a collaboration between Ellement Wellness and Storytellers Distillery that will see a mindful yoga session rightfully finish with a soothing gin cocktail.
Cellar Door Fest will showcase more than 150 South Australian wine, spirit and food producers, with a dedicated zone for Emerging Producers; The Fromagerie, showcasing the state’s finest cheese producers; and The Great Wine Capitals Discovery Space, celebrating winners of the South Australian Best of Wine Tourism Awards.
No festival experience would be complete without food. To fuel the tasting journey, The Eatery will also serve up a delicious smorgasbord from Adelaide’s favourite food trucks, including Moi An Viet Street Food, Uz Gözleme, Pearla Tuck Shop, Forage Supply Co, Chilli Shack and Soza’s, among others.
Martin says bringing the event’s many producers together is “all about the partnerships that we’ve developed across the state. We wouldn’t be able to put the event on without these great partnerships.”
To elevate your festival experience, you can add on masterclasses and other experiences to make the day even more memorable.
To browse the full program and purchase your tickets, visit the website.