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Thursday, 29 July 2021

A taste of Italy in a Germanic village in Australia


The hamlet of Hahndorf offers a little slice of Germany in the Adelaide Hills - but it is also the perfect spot to get up to speed with Italian grape varieties and wine styles.

You'll need to time your visit just right, however, as the La Prova cellar door is only open the first weekend of each month - or by appointment.

Winemaker Sam Scott founded La Prova in 2008 to make Australian wines using Italian grape varieties that thrive in South Australia.

Until recently, there were two labels - Scott Wines and La Prova. In 2019, Scott took the decision to focus all his energy on La Prova.


During a career in Australia and California, he has long been a believer in Italian varieties and sees Australia as the ideal place for growing them, especially as temperatures rise.

There is also a long family wine history in the Scott family. The winemaker's great-grandfather, worked in the Penfolds’ winery with Grange-founder Max Schubert.

At La Prova, Scott aims to refine the traditional textural and savoury characteristics of Italian varieties to create approachable, sophisticated wines from varieties including nero d'Avola, sangiovese, dolcetto, barbera, nebbiolo, aglianico and prosecco.

There are two ranges; alongside La Prova is La Prova Uno, with single site expressions from exceptional vineyards.

Two of the newest releases are absolutely outstanding. Make sure to try the La Prova 2021 Pinot Grigio and the La Prova 2020 Sangiovese - both exceptional value for $26.


Fruit for the La Prova ranges is sourced from vineyards Scott deems best suited to each variety; largely from the Adelaide Hills, but from farther afield including prosecco from King Valley in Victoria and Nero d’Avola from McLaren Vale.

"Italian varieties need less water and thrive in warmer conditions," says industry veteran Scott. "Many are future-ready, supporting a production philosophy that is inherently sustainable and in our view necessary to ensure the future of Australian wine.

"We prefer hand picking, indigenous yeasts, older oak, and avoid filtering, fining, and additions except for minimal sulphites."

All vineyards from which La Prova sources grapes use sustainable vineyard practices and are pesticide free. And all the La Prova wines are vegan friendly.

The cellar door is at 102 Main Street, Hahndorf, and offers a lounge-style tasting experience with flights of five wines served with local chèvre cheese and crackers. Local prouce platters are also available - and are dangerously delicious.

The next open weekend is August 7-8 ,11am-4:30pm. See www.laprova.com.au/

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