Experience McLaren Vale’s best kept secret and
dine in Maxwell’s enchanting, 100 year old Limestone Cave.
Be enthralled as an exquisite 6-course dinner is
prepared before your eyes by one of our regions finest chefs.
Taste mushrooms grown metres from your table and appreciate
carefully matched wines grown in the vineyards above you and rooted
in the Limestone at your fingertips.
With Christmas looming, an extremely rare opportunity to experience
what is ordinarily the most private of affairs.
Seats are extremely limited. Secure yours today.
Saturday 16th December @ 6:30pm
Meanderings mailing list $220 (join today)
Clan members $200
Contact Alecia: 08 83232 8200
E: [email protected]
What do we do in winter? I get that question a lot. In the vineyards, winter is an important time to set the vines up for the next season. There is mulching and planting in our Eocene block, training new canes to grow along wire that may have been broken by a harvester, and general pruning.
We are trialling a delay process on the Cabernet by pruning them quite late in the season to see if we can stall their life cycle. The aim is for the grapes to ripen later, after we have picked the other varieties, and miss the hottest part of summer.
In the winery, we generally keep a consistent work program of racking the wines out of barrel, tasting the wine then washing and refilling the barrels. We also blend and adjust mature wines in readiness for bottling.
And not to mention mead! We are in vintage all year round, with winter the perfect time to be fermenting our mead and brewing up the spices.
In keeping with the progression of the business, a visit to the Maxwell cellar door now offers so much more.
Our latest addition is ‘The Mead Flight’, a selection of petit fours paired with four different styles of fermented honey. The Sparkling Mead, for example, is paired with torched mango-marshmallow with freeze dried passion fruit.
The great thing about this experience is that there is absolutely nothing else like it. Maxwell is the home of mead in Australia, finely crafted with traditional and contemporary interpretations. When showcased next to typically creative sweet treats from Head Chef Fabian Lehmann, it is easy to see just how well they enhance and are in turn, enhanced by food.
The Mead Flight is available every day of the week. Groups of up to six can experience the structured tasting without reservation at Maxwell Cellar Door, or up to sixteen by appointment.
An exclusive group tasting room called ‘The Loft’ offers a number of different personally hosted tasting experiences for larger groups. This intimate tasting room caters for group bookings for up to 16 people for experiences such as back vintage verticals and a wine and canapé pairing master class.
Naturally our familiar and welcoming cellar door bar is still available for hosted tastings through the ‘wine’ range.
There are some amazing vineyards in our region, tended by some outstanding viticultural talents. In our case we are fortunate enough to have an ideal geology for our style of wine. One vineyard we treat with a different approach is our ‘Eocene’ block. This 2000 vine parcel is cultivated and the mid rows are planted with beans as a cover crop which is then rotary hoed into the soil to offer nutrients to the vines. We prune to only allow a small yield of 2 tonnes/acre and trim the growing canopy to ensure the ripening bunches get plenty of direct sunlight. The resulting wine is rich and persistent, recognised by the recent Halliday review giving the wine 95 points.
“Now I am excited,” says Chef Fabian Lehmann, “because right now I have all of the new season foods coming in for me to play with.” Like Willunga asparagus, raw and freshly shaved, sugar snap and fresh garden peas danced over sous vide organic McLaren Vale chicken, finished at the table with tarragon jus. Just one of the dishes on the new Spring menu at Maxwell Restaurant. The dish gives a tip of the hat to the brilliant greens of the landscape that roll by the window of the dining room and the crisp textures which snap at first and then melt in the mouth.
Honing the dining experience into what it is today has been a journey, both challenging and rewarding. Nice then to be recognised in the ‘Top 10 Regional Restaurants’ at this year’s prestigious Gourmet Traveller Restaurant Awards in Sydney. This follows on from a showing as finalists in the ‘Best New Restaurant’ category at this year’s Restaurant & Catering Awards. It is encouraging to know that people are noticing the quality coming from the kitchen and front of house team.
Also new to the dining room at Maxwell is our Sommelier and Host Simon Schumann who is working with Chef Fabian on the evolution of the Maxwell Experience.
“I’m really happy to be working him,” Chef Fabian explains their partnership, “He brings an element of theatre and execution. He is a really knowledgeable guy with a clear passion for food, cooking and wine.”
Simon explains, “What’s amazing is that this wine was picked on the limestone of that hill behind us and anyone can come here and see the vineyard and drink the wine at Cellar Door. When they do, they will be able to see the open fermenters where this grape juice became wine, right through the window”.