South Australia's best wine country eats

Author: David Sly

Exemplary fine dining at Appellation and Hentley Farm has inspired Barossa eateries to improve and diversify. Options stretch from beautifully balanced Vietnamese and Thai flavours at FermentAsian, to solid bistro fare at Vintners Bar & Grill (752 Stockwell Rd, Angaston, 08 8564 2488), and Karen Roesler's smart tapas at Fig 22 @ The Wheatsheaf Inn (2 Sunnydale Ave, Gawler East, 08 8523 5588).

Leading wineries are following suit. Jacobs Creek Visitor Centre (Barossa Valley Way, Rowland Flat, 08 8521 3000) has Genevieve Harris overseeing a smart kitchen led by Frank McWilliam, while Scott Liddell (ex-Magill Estate) cooks superior steaks at Salter's Kitchen at Saltram (Murray St, Angaston, 08 8561 0216). Artisans of Barossa (cnr Magnolia and Light Pass rds, Tanunda, 08 8563 3935) offers Sunday lunches by former Appellation chef Mark McNamara. The introduction of Fino at Seppeltsfield from late 2013 will add extra interest. Meanwhile, Fino at Willunga remains a pillar of McLaren Vale's dining landscape, which also includes d'Arry's Verandah, The Kitchen Door at Penny's Hill Winery and The Elbow Room.

A focus on sourcing prime local ingredients spreads to The Victory Hotel (Main South Rd, Sellicks Beach, 08 8556 3083). Fresh farm flavours define modest lunches at The Currant Shed (104 Ingoldby Rd, McLaren Flat, 08 8383 0232) and Producers of McLaren Vale (68 Branson Rd, McLaren Vale, 08 8323 0060). In Clare, chef Dan Moss shows flair and skill at Terroir Auburn (Main North Rd, Auburn, 08 8849 2509), providing a counterpoint to generous farmhouse flavours at Skillogalee Winery Restaurant (Trevarrick Rd, Sevenhill, 08 8843 4311). Pipers of Penola diversifies eating options in Coonawarra beyond French-accented bistro lunches in Upstairs at Hollick (Ravenswood La, Coonawarra, 08 8737 2752) or wood-fired fare at Fodder (Memorial Dr, Coonawarra, 08 8736 3170).

In the Adelaide Hills, diners can take in glorious views at The Lane Vineyard, Petaluma's Bridgewater Mill and Maximilian's Restaurant (15 Onkaparinga Valley Rd, Verdun, 08 8388 7777), where chef Tom Reid presents a robust meat and game-focused menu. The LocaVore (49 Mount Barker Rd, Stirling, 08 8339 4416) features a broad range of Adelaide Hills food producers and boutique labels.

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