How Elliot’s is raising money to help tackle the Australian bush fires, via delicious wine
We’re not doing dry January (how could we, with this array on our doorstep?) but if we were trying to, Manon Peaches 2017 orange wine at Elliot’s would probably be enough to lead us astray—and that’s just based on how it tastes. Even better, the couple behind the restaurant are donating a proportion of each sale to charities that are currently helping tackle Australia’s devastating bushfires, as well as supporting wine producers who have been affected. “My husband Brett, who opened Elliot’s eight years ago, is Australian and so am I,” says Samantha. “We’ve also got a strong Aussie team, so when we saw what was happening with the bush fires, it was just heartbreaking. We thought, what can we do from here that will help them?”
For each glass of Peaches purchased—or any of the other selected Australian wines on the menu—Elliot’s will donate £1 directly to the Adelaide Wine Relief Fund. That goes up to £6 per bottle drunk in house, and £4 when taken away. “It made sense for us as a restaurant to try to help the Adelaide Hills wine region, which is a significant wine region in South Australia. A lot of that area has been burnt or otherwise affected: smoke changes the flavour of the grape, while some families have lost whole vineyards,” Samantha laments. “We are getting in wines from a few different producers in the region, which are all really small, independent, family-run operations.”
A supreme food wine
Peaches is made on the Manon estate, run by a husband and wife duo who intervene as little as possible in the production process. “You can feel it in the wine,” says Samantha, “it has soul.” A blend of pinot gris, sauvignon blanc, savagnin and chardonnay, the skins are left on the grapes to macerate, resulting in a beautiful sunset orange colour and fruity, aromatic taste. “It has the acidity, freshness and fruitiness of a white, but the structure, tannins and body of a red,” adds sommelier Juuso. “The thing with this wine is, it’s aromatic and has a bit of tannin, which makes it a supreme food wine—especially with things like pork, or a rich chicken dish. There are so many aromatics here, when you have the first sip there’s almost a sweetness to it, but then it dries out and doesn’t leave a sweet aftertaste.”
What’s more, for the next few weeks, Elliot’s (along with fellow traders Padella and Wright Brothers) are asking customers for a voluntary donation of £1 added to the bill, which will go towards the Red Cross and rural fire services. “We’re going to match all of the money collected and donate it to help the voluntary fire services,” Samantha continues. “They don’t get funding from the government and they’ve been on the road for months trying to get this under control. With summer really kicking in in the next couple of months there, it’s only going to get worse and even more intense. We’re trying to do our part to directly support them.” Buying a bottle of wine from Elliot’s isn’t going to put out any bushfires—but it’s a highly enjoyable way of doing your small bit to help.