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Friday 19 May 2023

McLaren Vale gains a new wine tourism destination

McLaren Vale has a new destination for wine lovers with Dandelion Vineyards opening the Wonder Room, which is billed as "more than just a cellar door.".

Zar and Elena Brooks throw open the doors to the Wonder Room today.

Located on top of the ancient ridge of Firehawk Farm, the Wonder Room will offer visitors 180 degree views of the Firehawk Farm vineyard, the slopes of McLaren Vale, the Gulf of St Vincent and the Willunga Escarpment.

"We've dreamed of opening our Wonder Room ever since we started Dandelion Vineyards some 15 years ago," says winemaker and co-founder Elena Brooks.

"Firehawk Farm is the perfect location for visitors to experience our vineyard, region, and taste through our award-winning wines."

An old tractor shed has been repurposed to create a space "that seamlessly blends rustic features, warm tones, and clean lines".

The exterior steps are a standout feature of the Wonder Room, providing visitors with a comfortable place to sit and take in the views.

“The design takes in the natural assets of the location, and the re-use of the building highlights like none other what can be achieved through adaptive architecture,” says Elena Brooks.

With the opening, Dandelion Vineyards has also announced the appointment of chef Chris Bone to curate a selection of food offerings.

"Dandelion Vineyards' focus on single-vineyard wines and Firehawk Farm's biodynamic certification aligns perfectly with my approach to cooking and what I look for when showcasing ingredients," says Bone.

"Learning about Elena's Bulgarian heritage and food culture has revealed a great connection between my way of thinking as a chef and the traditional techniques of growing, pickling, and preserving. I'm excited to showcase the stunning produce of Firehawk Farm and beyond, to create memorable food for the wine experiences."

Visitors to the Wonder Room can choose from three tasting tiers, priced at $33, $66, and $99.

The top-tier tasting offers visitors the opportunity to explore premium wines and rare museum releases.

The team recommends allowing 75 minutes for the tasting experience.


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