xo INNoosa winemakers lunch

Wine Not – XO / INNoosa Wine Lunch

Image source: Contributed

Our next wine lunch will be one to remember with XO hosting a superb winemaker from the Adelaide Hills. Tony Cox provides a taste of what’s to come.

IN Noosa Magazine wine lunches have earnt a solid reputation for great food matched with outstanding wines in a fun and informative fashion. The next lunch will see the newly-revamped XO host Tom Northcott from Howard Wines in the Adelaide Hills to showcase someof the more elegant, food-friendly wines from their two Estate vineyards: Mount Barker and Lobethal.

The Mount Barker vineyard is situated at an altitude of close to 360m above sea level and is a warmer site compared to Lobethal vineyard, which sits just under 500m.

When discussing the lunch with Tom, he expressed excitement at teaming with XO given the vineyard restaurant has a strong Korean influence through the cuisine and the synergy with XO’s Asian cuisine and the wines is likely to be just as delicious.

Planted in 1997, Howard Wines is a family business growing all their own fruit. The Lobethal Vineyard focuses on aromatic whites as well as some pinot noir, which is utilized in the sparkling rosé. Being a warmer site, the Mount Barker Vineyard is utilised for slightly fuller-bodied reds including the cabernet franc which is grown for the cabernet franc rosé.

The Sparkling Pinot Noir from the Lobethal Vineyard is fresh and vibrant, the result of both early picking as well as being picked at night to preserve natural acidity. The wine undergoes full malolactic fermentation and time in French oak, which add complexity and texture but still remains dry.

The Pinot Gris won Gold at the 2019 Royal Adelaide Wine Show and Best in Class. From the Lobethal Vineyard, it is crisp and fresh with green apple and crunchy nashi pear flavours with a little texture through the mid-palate and high acid to close, making it a wonderful accompaniment to seafood.

The Sauvignon Blanc is again picked early to avoid an overtly ripe flavour spectrum. Eschewing the ripe tropical notes that can become evident in fruit picked later the fresh profile is more represented by zesty citrus notes, again the result of early picking to preserve the acid line, a light body and restrained passionfruit flavours. The fruit for this wine is drawn from the Lobethal Vineyard.

The Cabernet Franc rosé is sourced from the Mount Barker vineyard with the warmer site enabling later ripening fuller-bodied reds to ripen sufficiently. Based on the wines that Tom made in France, the grapes are chilled and receive a very brief two hours’ skin contact. A little time in used French oak oxygenates the wine slightly providing more palate weight and texture to match the savoury style. Flavour-wise there are red fruits, herbal notes and orange peel nuances to make a killer summer drink.

These are just a snippet of what Howard Wines produces and we look forward to meeting Tom and hearing him talk about his wines, which are sure to work beautifully with XO’s dishes. An exciting event the phone should be ringing off the hook for. Don’t miss out!

Join us at XO Restaurant Winemaker’s Lunch

Friday 5th February 12noon-3pm
Tickets $88| 3 Courses with matching wines.

Bookings essential Phone 5455 4460

About the Author /


After 25 years of sniffing, swirling, spitting and slurping various vinous temptations our wine writer has decided that his future lies firmly planted on the consumption and storytelling side. Tony not only still enjoys consulting about wine and other beverages but is now part of the successful Kate Cox Real Estate Team at Reed & Co. Estate Agents.

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