Regularly finding itself on top of ‘SA’s Best Regional Dining’ lists, the restaurant at Hentley Farm is just as well known as the cellar door. On the wine front, the key to success here has been the soil. This part of the northwestern Barossa is traditional farming country, but with the aid of a 1950s geological survey map, winery founders Alison and Keith Hentschke zeroed in on some acres of deep red soil over limestone bedrock – a solid shiraz set-up – and bought the farm in 1997. The first Hentley Farm wines – shiraz, zinfandel, grenache and viognier – rolled off the (charmingly modest) production line in 2002, all grown within the estate’s boundaries.
Today, Hentley Farm is memorably high-end, but remains understated, unhurried and un-snooty. Cellar door tasting fees (redeemable with purchase) vary with quality, quantity and duration, starting at $15. But why not stay for lunch? Hentley Farm restaurant is a total knock-out, serving up chef Clare Falzon’s regional fare, all sourced from the farm, from along nearby Greenock Creek, or from local farmers’ fields and veggie gardens.