SA Stories - May 2014

NEW ACCOMMODATION AND ATTRACTIONS

Pike River Villas

 Pike River Villas, South Australia Studio apartment villa, Pike River Villas

Located on 15 acres of prime river frontage, two new studio apartments have joined the portfolio of luxury villas at Pike River. Dusk and Water have been built either side of a new business centre, which caters for up to 30 people. Perched on a cliff top with views of the Pike and Murray rivers, each studio apartment features two bedrooms, leather lounges, full kitchen, twin ensuites, under-floor heating, LED television and sunken spa and barbecue on the deck. The on-site solar farm provides enough power and water to cater for the entire property, which means you can indulge with the knowledge that the site is totally self-sufficient. Pike River Villas website

La Boca

Nicolas Arriola La Boca chef Nicolas Arriola

Adelaide has opened its doors to a new Argentinian restaurant in the heart of the CBD. La Boca is located in the Stamford Plaza on North Terrace and features an Asado grill fire pit as the centrepiece of a multi-million dollar refurbishment. The head chef is Nicolas Arriola, who was born and trained as a chef in Argentina. The moist meat is roasted for up to six hours and gets its flavour from the wood on the Asado grill, which was handmade by the chef’s uncle. The restaurant features long tables and booths to replicate traditional Asado dining, which is long and leisurely with lots of laughter, music and conversation. Smaller tables are available for small groups or couples, while an express lunch is available for those with limited time during the day. La Boca website

NEW TOURS

Kangaroo Island Outdoor Action

Fatbike Fatbike tours with KI Outdoor Action

You can already tackle it by sandboard, quad bike and kayak, but now there is a new way to explore Kangaroo Island – by Fatbike. Kangaroo Island Outdoor Action has added a fleet of the bikes to its portfolio and is offering a new tour. Invented for winter trail riding and racing in subarctic Alaska and the deserts of New Mexico, Fatbikes are ideal for taking advantage of the island’s all-weather bush trails. Featuring four-inch tyres, these bikes will give you a comfortable ride over any terrain and add some extra adventure to your stay on Kangaroo Island.

Captain’s Choice

Southern Islands by Private Plane tour Southern Islands by Private Plane tour

Southern Australia is home to some of the country’s most scenic landscapes and natural beauty and now you can see it all on Captain’s Choice new Southern Islands by Private Plane tour. Carrying just 30 guests, your privately chartered aircraft will take you across South Australia and Tasmania without the long drive. The 11-day tour takes guests to Southern Ocean Lodge on Kangaroo Island, Mount Gambier, the Coonawarra wine region and Flinders Chase National Park. Tours depart Melbourne and Sydney.

SA FACES

The Markeas Family

The Markeas Family The Markeas Family

From Greece to South Australia’s Riverland, members of the Markeas family have been taking control of their own destiny for more than half a century. Peter and Eleni met in Melbourne after migrating from Greece to join their siblings in Australia during the early 1960s. While most of the Greek and Italian community worked in factories, the newly married couple bought a property and moved to Renmark in 1968 to pursue Peter’s dream of working on a farm. “Dad’s family used to grow olives and potatoes, so he was always keen to go into agriculture but it was a bit of a dream as well,” their youngest son Jim says. “The opportunity to grow their own fruit and grapes and take control of their own destiny was the most enticing thing for them.”

Peter planted the first vineyard in 1969 with three acres of shiraz, but the property operated as a mixed farm – producing stone fruit as well as grapes. It was also where their sons Jim, Arthur and Sam grew up. “When I was a kid, I remember my parents would be working in the vineyard while I was in the fruit bin with my toys, getting moved along the road,” Jim says. “The country was always a good playground, but you make your own fun.”

Taking control of their own destiny is something they passed on to their sons, especially when the neighbour’s property came up for sale and an opportunity to grow the vineyard side of the business arose in the mid-1990s. Peter and Eleni expanded their property to three blocks, planted more vines and Mallee Estate Wines was born in 1998. Jim, who was in Year 10 at the time and planned to become a carpenter, seized the opportunity. He changed subjects, as he wasn’t studying science at the time, so he could get into winemaking at university. He studied by correspondence while working on the family business and his brother Arthur, who was a fitter and turner, returned home from Adelaide to work in the vineyard.

The family opened a cellar door in 2005, where visitors can get a taste of Greece in the Riverland. As well as wine tasting, they offer espresso coffee, antipasto platters and Eleni’s famous Greek biscuits. “She’s a really good cook and likes putting smiles on people’s faces,” Jim says. “Family hospitality is always great. You don’t get that at a normal cellar door, so it’s our point of difference.”

While the Riverland is known for its big winemakers, the Markeas family is part of a cohort of small, family-owned businesses making a name for the region in boutique winemaking. Arthur and Jim’s major wines are the Mallee Estate Shiraz, Cabernet and Sauvignon Blanc. Their flagship wine – P and E Markeas Shiraz – is dedicated to their parents and made of grapes from the original 1969 vine plantings. “We named it after them in recognition of all their hard work, everything they’ve done for us as kids and the good opportunities they gave us in life,” Jim says.

The Mallee Estate Wines cellar door is open seven days a week, from 10.30am – 5pm.

NEWS

Fall in love with the Clare Valley

South Australians are being encouraged to fall in love with the Clare Valley, as part of a new campaign promoting the region. Titled ‘Fall in love’, the new ad showcases Clare through the eyes of a young couple, who are drawn together during a weekend away. They discover boutique food and wine experiences, enchanting heritage and local characters. Set to the song ‘Caravans’ by local Adelaide band The Baker Suite, the ad features Clare Valley attractions such as the Mintaro Maze, the Riesling Trail, Skillogallee, La Pecora Nera, Martindale Hall and Clos Clare. The ad will appear in cinemas, on major TV networks in SA and on the South Australia Travel YouTube channel.

Fall in love with the Clare Valley

Tasting Australia to go annual from 2016

Australia’s premier food and wine festival has wrapped up this month, following a successful eight days of eating, drinking and thinking in some of South Australia’s top culinary locations. More than 80 free and ticketed events were held across Adelaide and regional South Australia over eight days. Many were sell outs – including the Origins Dinner, Langton’s Classification of Australian Wine VI, Nose to Kale with Fergus Henderson, A Neighbour’s Walk to Table and Lime Cave Degustation Dinner. The Town Square, which attracted tens of thousands of visitors, created heart and soul for the festival, bringing regional fare to the city and a central location for eating, drinking, sharing and thinking. Tasting Australia has been held biennially for 15 years, but will become an annual event from 2016. 

 

New museum app takes visitors into the wild

South Australian Museum mobile South Australian Museum mobile and tablet site

A new mobile and tablet application launched by the South Australian Museum offers visitors a digital gateway to the beautiful, beastly and bizarre animals in our state. The Field Guide to South Australian Fauna app, which is free for Apple and Android devices, has been developed in conjunction with museums across Australia and can be used in urban, bush and coastal environments. It gives locals and tourists access to data, images and sound effects to become better acquainted with more than 800 species of South Australian wildlife.  

Competition to capture South Australia

Budding photographers could feature in a photographic exhibition showcasing a day in South Australia. SA Today, run by Ochre Digital, is a free photographic competition for photographers of all ages and skill levels. Entrants are invited to capture a moment in South Australia during the 24-hour period on Sunday, May 18. Ten images will be chosen by a judging panel and displayed in an exhibition at the Adelaide Convention Centre during the 2014 South Australian Living Artists Festival. A public vote will decide the winner, while all proceeds from art sales will be donated to Barkuma. The winner will receive their image printed on acrylic, valued at $650.

Bricktopia for LEGO buffs

Thousands of little plastic bricks have been painstakingly put together for a LEGO exhibition this month. Being held as part of About Time: South Australia’s History Festival, Bricktopia will see more than 20 exhibitors displaying their creations on the theme ‘Transport Across Time’. Die-hard fans of the humble bricks will be able to see the only LEGO certified, professional brick sculptor in the southern hemisphere, Ryan McNaught, with his famous Love Boat creation. Organised by the National Motor Museum and the Southern Bricks LEGO Users Group, Bricktopia will be held at the Drill Hall in the Torrens Parade Ground, Victoria Drive, Adelaide from May 17-18, 9am-5pm. Tickets are $5.

STORY IDEAS

Uncover the Riverland’s organic side

Uncover the Riverland’s organic side Banrock Station

Wine is big business in the Riverland. Almost a third of Australia’s wine production happens here, while Berri Estates is also home to the biggest winery and distillery in the southern hemisphere. Yet there is a strong cohort of wineries making a name for the region in organic and alternative wine. Big and small wineries such as Banrock Station, Salena Estate, Mallee Estate and Kingston Estate sell alternative Italian varieties, while boutique labels such as Bassham Wines, Whistling Kite Vineyards and 919 Wines produce organic or biodynamic wine. Many others have cellar doors, including Caudo Vineyard, where you can dock your houseboat by the riverbank and head up for a house-made brew, wine or platter. Get out and discover what’s new in Riverland wine.

For more travel story ideas, visit southaustralia.com or see previous editions of SA Stories.

UPCOMING EVENTS

Clare Valley Gourmet Weekend
Winter Reds Cellar Door Weekend

Clare Valley Gourmet Weekend (May 16-18), Clare Valley
Celebrating the end of vintage each year with award-winning wine and food, this weekend event also features live music in the stunning Clare Valley. The Clare Valley Gourmet Weekend celebrates 30 years of the event this year.
www.clarevalleywinemakers.com.au

Bank SA Sea and Vines (June 7-9), Fleurieu Peninsula
Situated in the picturesque McLaren Vale wine region is one of Australia’s longest running and most popular annual food and wine festivals. It’s the perfect way to explore the region and discover new wineries in the company of friends and family.
www.mclarenvale.info

SA Truck & Ute Show (June 8), Riverland
New and vintage trucks and utes will be showcased at this day out in Mannum. Enjoy food, craft, mini market and a children’s entertainment area.
www.murrayriver.com.au

Winter Reds Cellar Door Weekend (July 26-27), Adelaide Hills
This is the perfect weekend to enjoy hearty food, a warm atmosphere and to wash it all down with a stunning glass of red.
www.adelaidehillswine.com.au

Targa Adelaide (August 17-21), Adelaide and regions
Join the excitement as Targa Adelaide returns for another year. This event is the first stage of the Australian Targa Championships and includes a night stage at the Adelaide Showgrounds and a street party.
www.targa.com.au

  • Colours of South Australia

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    Flinders ranges
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    Ethel Beach
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    Victoria Square
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