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The Lane – “Bring your tastebuds, leave your stilettos at home”
Best Wine Tourism Restaurant
As soon as you drive up to visit the Lane in the Adelaide Hills you get a taste of the three-pronged attack on the accolade for Best Restaurant in the Great Wine Capitals Awards: The View.
Turning off onto the driveway to get up the hill you move through some beautifully manicured vineyard rows and the restaurant only reveals itself once you are getting close to the top. Combine this with exquisite food (prong number 2) and a strong belief in finding the impeccable pairing with wine for each and every patron (number 3!) and you get why these Adelaide Hills guys won big.
General Manager Marty Edwards however, recounts winning the Great Wine Capitals Award as David winning the battle with Goliath. The contenders in the restaurant category seemed to tower over the small family business that the Lane is. I think though that the strength of this little David is exactly in its humble yet amazing qualities coming together. It is easy to say that the view would win over any restaurant critic (and still, it would), but it is actually the chef, the winemakers and the front of house team coming together equally as a unit what makes this place tick.
Getting up in the middle of your exquisite lunch to taste a couple more wines? Well, why not? The restaurant and tasting room are set up exactly for this! Not sure if the recommended wine pairing is for you? Ah well, you can always try something to suit your taste! Going for a walk into the winery to see the full winemaking process and have a chat with the winemakers? Yes, let’s do it! You might want to leave the stilettos at home for this little cellar adventure, but you should definitely bring your tastebuds – there might be a barrel tasting on the menu if you are up for it!
“The food is absolutely paramount, but we are looking for balance and harmony between every aspect of your dining experience”, Marty explains. Chef James Brinklow’s approach is to find dishes to suit the European, food-friendly and lighter style of the Lane’s wines. Marty lets James come up with the food – seasonal, changing menus – but together they are always aiming for a flawless combination of what is on your plate and in your glass. Marty’s favourite at the moment is pickled ox tongue; a beautiful dish that works really well with the Lane’s Pinot Meunier. The balanced acid and meaty flavours of the wine match amazingly with a perfectly brined piece of meat.
Balance and harmony are definitely descriptors I would pick for a glass of the Lane’s wine, and I can see how they are bringing it to the front in their restaurant as well. Next time you drive to the Hills you might want to forego the pie at the bakery and book a table instead. Just remember you might want to clear out the rest of the afternoon as well to fully enjoy your little trip through the Hills tasting by tasting and from the comfort of a good chair with a great view.
Words by Dr Lieke van der Hulst
Image credit: The Lane Vineyard