While music is always an important ingredient, it would be nothing without the encouragement of food and wine and I propose that if Julie Andrews had spent her glory days twirling about on the slopes of the Adelaide Hills, the songs may have turned out a little differently.
In place of curtain-clad children picking fruit, there’d be vignerons and seasonal pickers gathering the best vintage bunches, and Sister Mary such-and such would be replaced with worshippers of the wine-variety, out of the convent and into the cellar, as is (the wine) god’s plan.
At the peak of this food and wine musical would be the Brothers Saturno – owners and guys-in-charge of the Longview Vineyard estate and all of its operations. Season after season they are the ones leading Longview’s charge and deliver a sensational performance in the art of food and wine.
One-hit-wonder winemakers of the ‘80s have a lot to answer for but thankfully the plight of under-appreciated Chardonnay is getting stronger after years spent in the buttery shadows. Longview’s Blue Cow is a dazzling example of a refreshed version, with only a light hint of oak and tastes of stone fruit and citrus that will suit even the most reserved of palates (while still pleasing judging panels around the country, considering the number of medals this drop has been awarded).
Another favourite white is Queenie, a delightfully aromatic Pinot Grigio named after the owners’ nonna, Tarquinia (who received the first bottle of this tribute as a surprise on her 90th birthday). A Sunday matinee is the best (and only) time you’ll get to try the tapas menu at Longview’s restaurant or balcony bar, unless you are lucky enough to be invited for a special event or wedding.
Course after course of bite-sized offerings and tasty treats are prepared in a kitchen of extras brought in to create the scene every weekend at this charming rustic restaurant space. Longview serves a refined Spanish-influenced menu that includes an entrée starter of juicy marinated olives and grissini, spiced pumpkin dip that packs a punch, served with hand-made corn tortillas and a leek, potato and cheese tortilla.
All simple ingredients, but seasoned and spiced precisely, and matched perfectly with the Willy Wagtail methode champenoise Chardonnay and Pinot Noir sparkling and hand-picked Iron Knob Riesling – gaining a gravelly mineral undertone from the estate hill where the grapes are grown. Next come the main course dishes, jumping from the plates with colour and flavour.
A smoked peppered chicken served with a chargrilled vegetable mix of capsicum, zucchini and eggplant atop a bed of baby rocket, drizzled in a marvelous house-made mayonnaise is the dish of the day, only slightly ahead of the mini slow-cooked pork and oregano pies (with the flakiest of pastries), served with a green salad and side of hand-cut sweet potato chips. A warm roasted carrot, lentil and labne salad comes next, coated in a well-balanced harissa yogurt that will get your tastebuds whirling.
This does feature some fairly underwhelming BBQ lamb kefta, though. Dessert is a cascading romantic vintage comedy of tiered cake stands, filled with naughty R-rated delights including salted caramel chocolate shards, almond butter cookies and petite chocolate éclairs, along with some divine little domes of vanilla and raspberry jube, sprinkled with lime sugar. It’s enough to make you blush.
The cheese plate that follows includes aged-Cheddar with candied walnuts, guava paste and fresh apple atop poppy seed lavosh. The perfect encore that leaves you suitably sated. McLaren Vale might be the gateway to the southern sea and vines, and the Barossa Valley may be consumed, but the Adelaide Hills are alive with the sound of vino, and Longview is full of your favourite things.