Published on 22 December 2023

Award-winning Onkaparinga

Welcome to Onkaparinga’s new column ‘Award-winning Onkaparinga’.

This first column recognises Australia's best wine for 2023, one of Australia's top wine venues, and the state’s favourite Christmas lights.

The column will be a regular feature of Onkaparinga Now and will highlight local businesses, organisations, groups and individuals that have won state, national or international awards in their chosen field.

Because there’s so many great things happening in our region, Onkaparinga Now is keen to hear from you about local winners. See Submission Details for eligibility and submission details.

Australia’s best wine for 2023

The Yangarra Grenache McLaren Vale Ovitelli 2021 has been named best Australian wine in 2023 by JS Wine Ratings.

The perfumed and elegant Grenache is the proud product of Yangarra Estate Vineyard.

It is sourced from a single block of 1946 vines, fermented slowly and enriched throughout autumn on skins in large ceramic eggs.

Eleven other McLaren Vale wines featured in JS Wines Ratings’ top 100, with the region’s world-class Grenache finding pride of place, along with local Syrah, Riesling Semillon, Rubato Fiano and Shiraz.

These dozen wines are the product of local wineries including Thistledown, Bekkers, Brash Higgins, Chalk Hill, Coriole, Koomilya, Ministry of Clouds, Vanguardist and, the winner, Yangarra.

National Wineslinger trophy winner

The Silver Sands Beach Club in Aldinga has won the national 2023 Wineslinger Maverick award.

Each year, 150 of the country’s leading sommeliers, winemakers, hospitality tastemakers and journalists vote for Australia’s top 50 wine venues and select four major award winners: Wineslinger, Maverick, Best New Haunt and People’s Choice.

The Silver Sands Beach Club’s cheeky juxtaposition of beach vibes and top-end wines makes it the perfect Maverick award winner.

Wine writer Nick Stock and hospitality and wine specialist Mark Kamleh launched the wine bar/restaurant in the Aldinga surf club in 2022.

“We won the Maverick trophy because we’re doing something unexpected in the wine world,” says Nick.

“Most wine venues are formal but we wanted to redefine the wine experience to make it fun.

“People are surprised that we’ve teamed up a casual, seaside location with one of the best collections of local and international wines in the country.”

And it’s not just the wine. After winning the Wineslinger award earlier this month, the Silver Sands Beach Club now boasts one of SA Weekend’s top 23 dishes for 2023.

According to restaurant reviewer Simon Wilkinson, the club’s hand-made squid ink pasta is an “inspired expression of our aquatic bounty with an ocean view to match”.

For Nick, recognition of the hard work to create the venue, wine list and world-class menu has been fantastic, but better still is the community’s overwhelming response to the Maverick award.

“Since we won the award the locals have streamed in through the door. They’ve been over the moon for us,” he says.

“We’ve worked hard at making this about community and so their support has blown us away.”

McLaren Vale’s Salopian Inn was also named one of Australia’s top wine venues, making it into Wineslinger’s top 50 list.

SA’s favourite Christmas lights

Keeping the holiday spirit alive… congratulations go to Brett Macnab for winning the People’s Choice Award for the Mix102.3 Christmas Lights Competition.

Brett’s awesome display in Wilma Court, Aberfoyle Park is a wonderland of more than 50,000 LED lights which take a month to set up. There’s also a snow machine and a five-metre smart tree!

The Mayor’s Christmas Lights Competition was also recently announced. Sims Court in Old Reynella took out the best street, while the best house award went to 41 Mina Parade in Onkaparinga Heights.


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