Everything's coming up Adelaide. Under the leadership of Emma McCaskill and Scott Huggins, the restaurant at Magill Estate has been a key part of the culinary push that has put South Australia back on the map for destination diners, and now the chefs are taking the wraps off Penfolds' new, more casual eatery. The menu at Magill Kitchen, says McCaskill, is guided by a fairly straightforward premise: "It's the kind of food we like to eat on our nights off."
That might mean potato and salt cod salad, local oysters, slow-roasted beef brisket with polenta and slaw, or a classic roast chicken with lemon, stuffing and roast potatoes for hungrier visitors. For kids, there could be flathead and salad or mini-cheeseburgers and, for the snacking-and-drinking crowd, the likes of pretzels with anchovy dip, pork rillettes, and a substantial selection of cheese and charcuterie. It's all set in a complex designed by Denton Corker Marshall that makes the most of the vineyard setting with indoor and outdoor seating.
The arrival of the Kitchen comes with the opening of Penfolds' new cellar door, which combines top-hole tasting facilities (wine, glasses and people who know how to work them) with a display of artefacts from both the historic winery and the larger Penfolds collection.
And on pour? A good selection of key Penfolds classics, plus a strong showing from its Cellar Reserve collection, most of them current-release vintages. And, this winery being the home to Max Schubert's grand experiment in multi-region red blending, there is of course Grange. The 2010 vintage is available by the bottle at a cool $1,000 a pop, or a mere $150 by the glass.
Word has it that Huggins and McCaskill are working with the company's winemakers to devise the perfect meal-in-a-bite complement to a glass of Australia's most famous red wine. We'll keep you updated on "Project Grange Sandwich", as it's code-named, as more news comes to hand.
Penfolds Magill Estate Kitchen, open daily 9am-5pm; cellar open daily 9am-6pm, 78 Penfold Rd, Magill, SA, (08) 8301 5943