I only discovered Ashton Hills Vineyard last November on a trip to SA with friends. It's a tiny little vineyard and the cellar door is only open weekends and public holidays - but the wine is bigger that you would imagine. The cellar door is situated on the side of a hill and filled with quirky artworks and sculptures made by local artists. The winemaker, Stephen George established the site in the early 80's and has been producing wines for well over a decade. It's the kind of winery that you wouldn't ordinarily stumble across because the production is quite small, but when you do discover it you're glad that you did. (And I'm very glad we did because I have quite a few of his wines on my rack now).
Ok on to the wine. This chardonnay was fantastic to taste. The colour is bright - think of fresh straw that still has tinges of green. The nose is pretty funky which is really interesting - think stinky cheese or mushroom notes and you'd be close. The tase however is fantastic. The palate is really lively with some strong stone fruit flavours but still holding great minerality. This was a great wine to taste and I really enjoyed the complexity of it.
I actually ended up purchasing some of the sparkling and reds from Ashton Hills as well. I really like the way the winemaker has made his wines just a little bit different to what you find in many mass producers. It was a fantastic experience visiting the cellar door and I love that when I open a bottle of the wine now those memories come back with the first sniff. It means that I enjoy both the experience of drinking the wine again today, and the memories I have of visiting.