Longview Vineyard is a mere hour’s drive into wine country, but huddled in amongst the rolling green hills and towering gum trees, it feels like another land. Famous for their divine restaurant perched atop a hill, offering panoramic views of the surrounding vineyards, and their rosé that has won countless awards, Longview is a hidden gem amongst the Adelaide Hills.
One miraculously sunny Sunday when all the clouds decided to run away and offer us a rare blue sky amongst the days of winter grey, we were invited up to Longview to spend a lazy afternoon eating, drinking, and then retire to an apartment for the evening.
We began the day with a wine tasting where we sampled a variety of wines; red, white and sparkling. All the grapes used in Longview wines are from their vineyards only, which are slightly warmer than some of the others in the Adelaide Hills, but still classified as cool climate. Our two favourite wines that we tasted were the 2013 Willy Wagtail Brut, a sparkling pinot noir that was full of citrus and very refreshing after our drive, and the 2016 Queenie Pinot Grigio, a juicy mouthful full of sweet pear and apple notes. Queenie is named after owner’s Peter and Mark Saturno’s Grandmother, a cute little piece of family history woven into the business.
Walking into to the Blue Sky Restaurant, we were blown away by the gorgeous view offered from every seat. Large windows lined the walls, letting in generous amounts of natural daylight and giving diners a breathtaking view of the endless vineyards and greenery. For lunch we were to dine on Longview’s popular $50 tapas menu, available every Sunday and featuring an ever-changing menu.
The restaurant is named after it’s heritage, from back when it was called the Blue Sky Dairy Farm. The building was painted blue, because the farmer who used to work there noticed flies don’t fly towards the sky, so he figured they won’t fly towards a blue building!
We began with a bowl of the corn chowder, with house-smoked chicken and créme fraiche. The soup was ever-so-creamy and bursting with sweet corn, vegetables and tender chicken, and we mopped up any remnants left in the bowl with fresh, crunchy bread slathered in tangy smoked paprika butter. Accompanying this were little fried mushrooms with garlic aioli, tasty little bites that were packed full of flavour and made the waiting time between entrees and main fly by.
Anyone who knows us is aware of our extreme love for cheese, so the next dish of pan-fried haloumi with smoked sweet potato and harissa salad was a winner for us. We will admit we did eat all the haloumi before we got to most of the potato, purely because it was so salty, chewy and we couldn’t resist, however the smoked sweet potato held a lot of flavour and was enjoyable to eat on its own.
The cauliflower gratin with pork schnitzel and caponata was a delicious take on the traditional schnitty, with tender, chunky pieces of fried pork topped with a chunky salsa and accompanied by the creamy cauliflower.
The final main was polenta-crusted beef ragu pie, which was a homey and warming dish that resembled a fancy shepherds pie. Large chunks of beef pulled apart inside the pie, whilst the polenta crust was light and added some dimension to the dish.
Dessert brought forth a decadent spread of hazelnut meringue drops, chocolate raspberry cheesecake brownies and coconut panna cotta with coconut wafers, finished off with a lavish cheese spread. These final nibbles kept us lingering around the table into the evening, until the guilt of making the staff hang around until well after close carried us out through the door.
When we finally rolled to our accommodation, full of wine and food, we were surprised with the modern, clean and spacious fit out of the room. The far side of the cabin was taken up by a large window that looked out onto the vineyards and lead to a quaint patio with a table and seating to enjoy some of Longview’s delicious wine as the sun set (or rose, depending on your preference). The bed was large and covered in pillows, and faced a large TV perfect for watching old re-runs of classic movies and TV shows late in the evening. A minibar was stocked full of complimentary snacks, including bacon and eggs for breakfast, and the full range of Longview wines were available in the room. Our favourite feature however, was the incredible shower with a square head that poured water onto us and made you feel like we were under a waterfall.
We slept peacefully that evening, be it because of the wine or the ginormous bed, and woke refreshed and ready to start the week with new eyes. We would love to return to Longview in the spring, when all the vineyards are blooming, and sample their spring tapas menu!