FLEURIEU CHERRIES & FLEURIEU HILLS VINEYARDS
159 Pages Flat Rd, Pages Flat SA
08 8556 1314
The Fleurieu Peninsula isn’t the first place that comes to mind when it comes to wine and stonefruit. However, at Fleurieu Cherries and Vineyards, owners Trevor and Linda Desmond are changing the game, offering locals and visitors an insider’s look into the worlds of winemaking and cherry growing.
Trevor and Linda bought their Pages Flat property 25 years ago with the idea of growing grapes. Empty except for a small transportable house, they started from the very bottom, having little to no experience in the farming business. They started with cherries – planting 300 – before trying their hand at shiraz and cabernet grapes. However, the cooler climate, a result of their 300m altitude, meant they didn’t ripen well. This didn’t deter the duo, who then decided that pinot gris would be the answer, as it is an earlier ripening variety. Over 20 years later, they are now proud owners of a burgeoning wine label – and have over 4,000 cherry trees.
The success of their bountiful vines and cherry trees meant the expansion to building their own farm gate. With a growing customer base, attracted by the beautiful produce being sold on the Desmonds’ house verandah, they saw the need to create a purpose-built sales area, which included a Cellar Door.
Simon Parker is the Head Winemaker. Born in New Zealand into a family of grape growers, he was attracted to the Australian landscapes, moving first to Riverina and then McLaren Vale in conjunction with Peter Dennis to produce excellent wines for a number of growers. The property features marginally acidic, sandy loam with ironstone soil and a cool climate, a result of its high elevation. North-east facing, the ground is well-drained and rarely watered before Christmas. When the fruit – grown on single fruiting wire with two foliage wires – begins to ripen around mid January, they apply white netting in a stretched ceiling method to prevent birds from attacking, which would reduce the crop and affect its quality.
Their flagship wine is the 300+ Pinot Gris. It features vibrant nashi pear, lychee and citrus fruits on the nose, with a generous, fruit-driven palate and refreshingly crisp, dry finish. An elegant dry white wine, it is best paired with seafood or Asian-inspired dishes, including pork and chicken.
Fleurieu Hills Vineyards also produces a cherry liqueur that is unavailable anywhere else in South Australia. Made with 100% hand-picked fruit from their own cherry orchard, it is deliciously sweet and boasts rich cherry flavours. Serve as a dessert wine or savour it with a cheese platter or selection of chocolates.
At the beautiful Cellar Door, you can try their full range, which also includes a sparkling and shiraz, as well as the famed cherry liqueur. There’s a range of other cherry-based products available, including ice cream, chocolates, vinegar and jam.
Complete with lush lawns, fragrant roses, stunning country views, shady gums and a farmyard dog or two, Fleurieu Cherries and Vineyards is the ideal spot to spend a lazy afternoon. Bring your own picnic and grab a bottle to share, or match a platter of local produce with your drop – you can’t go wrong.