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Sunday 17 March 2024

Adelaide Hills icon springs back to life

It is all change in the Adelaide Hills with a major revamp of the former Maximilian’s site.

Leading chef Kane Pollard and artisan distiller Full Circle Spirits are the new guardians of the iconic 1850s property at Verdun with a tasting experience showcasing luxury spirits paired with food offerings in a setting with vineyards, gardens and sweeping views.

Initially, four tastings are being offered including a white spirit tasting; liqueur tasting; whisky tasting; and a non-alcoholic tasting.

All the drinks are made by Full Circle Spirits, which has winemaker Rose Kentish as its award-winning head distiller.

Chef Pollard, who is also the chef and owner of Topiary and Tasting Australia’s 2024 food curator, will showcase guests to a small-plate menu which has been inspired by the property, its surroundings and the seasons.

To be known as Ondeen, the new project aims t give visitors an appreciation of the journey of flavours from farm to table.

So think produce from local growers, botanicals foraged from nearby gardens or forests to use in spirits, or wild fennel and river mint enlivening a plate.

The initial offering of tasting plates to complement Full Circle Spirits will be housed in a newly renovated part of the homestead, which is just 25 minutes from the Adelaide CBD. 

This is part of longer-term plan to turn this heritage site into an experiential destination.

“Visiting Ondeen will be an immersive learning experience for guests, who will be given a close-up
view of makers, whether they’re in the kitchen or distiller’s apothecary,” Kentish says.

“In tastings and workshops, visitors will be guided to use their senses to recognise flavours and aromas, and in some, they will be able to create their own cocktails using spirits such as Full Circle’s Honey Malt Liqueur or Orange and Bay Gin.

“We’re looking forward to welcoming guests and encouraging them through aroma and flavour to
explore the abundance and beauty of the 35 th Parallel South. Stop in for a drink with friends, or stay 
a while and enjoy a guided tasting or a deep dive masterclass.”

Ondeen will act as a lighthouse for local producers and artisans, says Pollard. 

“This will be sustainable, personalised tourism that sits in harmony for and within the local landscape and community.”


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