Every January the Adelaide Hills hosts the Crush festival. It’s held across a weekend and there are a variety of ticketed and non ticketed events.
The Adelaide Hills is, geographically, a pretty big region and it’s best to get a handle on that and the distances involved before committing yourself to a manic schedule.
Now we have Master 5 in tow we’ve found that finding ONE family friendly venue and making that our only stop is definitely the way to go. Last year we really enjoyed Pony in the Vines at Tomich and we would have done that again had I note received an invitation to Longview.
Longview is at Macclesfield – closer to home for us but well out of the way of the area with the densest concentration of wineries.
Longview’s Crush USP is that it hosts the Piece Project. The Piece is Longview’s flagship Shiraz and the Piece Project pits four street artists against one another in a competition to create the wine’s label. Punters get to watch the artists in action and there was also a display of winning art works from previous years.
It was a perfect day for it – clear blue skies but not too hot. When we arrived (about an hour into things) the car park area was busy but not out of control.
One thing that was a bit disappointing was that, as we wandered up to the main area, we were stopped and asked if we had any drinks with us. With small child in tow OF COURSE we had his drink bottle with us and we were told to take that back to the car. While I absolutely appreciate that they don’t want people bringing their own wine, beer or even soft drinks (all of which were available to purchase), the water thing might have been a touch heavy handed!
There was plenty of shade to be had – a huge marquee was set with casual tables but it was pretty noisy with the DJ so we found ourselves a quieter spot under a big gum tree. The cellar door was operating, along with some outside bars, and there was no wait for drinks. We started with glasses of the Wagtail Brut before deciding it was time to check out the food.
The food was ‘low and slow’ BBQ style but what really impressed me was that the kitchen area was set up to deal with large numbers of people quickly. Even though there was a reasonable queue, I was in the line for a very short amount of time. I thought that the approach of offering smaller portions of food (for less money) was excellent.
At too many festivals, you find yourself parting with in excess of $10 for a not overly generous plate of food, only to find yourself a bit peckish at the next venue and going through the whole rigmarole again. At Longview, most of the dishes were around $4-5. We tried a hot dog and a pulled pork burger. There was also macaroni cheese and a larger (and more expensive) brisket option. The hot dog was just a hot dog but the pulled pork got the thumbs up.
Longview’s one of a handful of Adelaide Hills wineries making Grüner Veltliner so I tried that while Andy tried the Shiraz Cabernet. Of course, a day out a festival is not a time for serious wine tasting but these things always make me realise how I should try just a bit harder to become super familiar with the wines on my doorstep*.
After a couple of hours, and a boysenberry ice cream for Master 5, it was time for us to head home. We appear to have perfected our approach to Crush and we had another enjoyable day out. Children will love watching the street artists work and there is plenty of space to spread out and enjoy your food and wine.
You don’t have to wait til next January to enjoy a day out at Longview. The cellar door is open 11-5 daily and if you plan and book in advance, you can head down for Sunday tapas year round.
Macclesfield SA 5153