The best of the Adelaide Hills’ food and wine offerings will be on the menu when the Brisbane Lions take on North Melbourne in the AFL Gather Round Festival of Footy.
The Terrace, a showcase of local produce, will serve up wines from the region’s award-winning cellar doors and distilleries and food from renowned Adelaide Hills’ producers and restaurants, at Mount Barker’s Summit Sport and Recreation Park.
Access to the purpose-built precinct will be available before, during and after the game for all footy fans who have snapped up tickets, so they can sample the delicious offerings while taking in the spectacle of the first AFL game held in the beautiful Adelaide Hills.
Wineries featured at The Terrace will include Bird in Hand, Golding Wines, Sidewood Estate and Howard Vineyard, while distilleries Lot 100 and Ambleside will serve up their premium spirit offerings.
Proceeds from The Terrace bars sales will go back to the local community with local football clubs in the Mt Barker Council district receiving an allocation and the remainder going to the Mt Barker Community Centre.
Iconic Adelaide Hills producers Beerenberg and Melba’s Chocolate Factory will reimagine their best produce for football fans to sample, and Lot 100 and The Haus will serve up favourite dishes from their menus.
Lot 100 will have wood fired pizzas cooking on site, while the Haus will focus on serving up premium takes on more traditional football offerings, with fresh Coorong mullet and chips, Haus burgers, hotdogs and more.
Tourism in the Adelaide Hills has been performing strongly, as out-of-state visitors return to the region which is easily accessible from Adelaide’s CBD.
Latest data shows tourism in the Adelaide Hills is worth $217 million, well on its way to the region’s 2025 target of $245 million. In the 12 months to September 2022, nearly 1.2 million day trips were taken by domestic visitors to the Adelaide Hills which is popular among interstaters for its world-class wine, gin and fresh local produce and its historic townships.
The end of March also kicks off a busy weekend for the Hills with the return of the popular Wellness Wander event – a collective of more than 60 events celebrating a program that either enhances, kickstarts or increases an individual’s mental, physical and social wellbeing – often required after the high octane of an AFL match.
Tickets to Brisbane Lions v North Melbourne at Summit Sport and Recreation Park on Saturday April 15 have sold out – twice, following the addition of grandstand seating to accommodate demand – however tickets to other AFL Gather Round Festival of Footy matches are still available at afl.com.au/gather-round.
Premier Peter Malinauskas said Gather Round will be a festival of football, but for the state it represents so much more.
“More than a third of the 151,000 tickets sold so far have gone to people interstate and overseas. This is a massive opportunity for South Australia to show the rest of the country all it has to offer,” Premier Malinauskas said.
“The Adelaide Hills are full of so many amazing food, wine and tourism experiences, and three years on from devastating bushfires, this marquee match at Mount Barker is a chance to capture the nation’s attention.”
AFL Executive General Manager Customer and Commercial, Kylie Rogers said it is thrilling to welcome fans from all around the country to one of South Australia’s premier destinations, Adelaide Hills, to enjoy the perfect mix of footy, fine wines, and world-class produce.
“The Terrace is a fantastic initiative to complement one of the most unique football experiences on offer during Gather Round,” Ms Kylie said.
Member for Kavel, Dan Cregan said the AFL is closely followed in the Hills and it is thrilling to be hosting the only regional game during Gather Round.
“The related marketing and tourism boost for the Hills is very significant,” Mr Cregan said.
Mount Barker District Council Mayor, David Leach said the council thanks the State Government for reinvesting the financial benefit back into the community and to areas that will make a significant difference.
“We are appreciative that our community will benefit beyond the Gather Round with, social and health programs, pathways to active recreation for financially disadvantaged families, and investment in grassroots and junior football programs,” Mr Leach.
“The council is thankful for the opportunities that have arisen from the Gather Round and our community is hugely supportive.”
Howard Vineyard Brand Ambassador, Wayne Collings said it is extremely exciting to be involved in this fantastic concept put together by the AFL and the South Australian Government.
“With so many world-class vintners making great wine from Adelaide Hills grapes, we are thrilled to be on the list of brands that will showcase wines at what will be an amazing event for the local community,” Mr Collings said.
“When the opportunity to take part in a showcase of some of the best of our region to a national audience was presented, we simply couldn’t say no!
“Thanks to local South Australian business owner Adam Ross and his team at Village Gate for creating a space that is sure to be the hottest seat in the house for those lucky enough to have secured a ticket.”
Owner / Managing Director, The Haus Group, Jason Duffield said as a food, beverage and accommodation provider in South Australia, it is thrilling that the AFL are holding a game in the Adelaide Hills for the Gather Round Festival of Footy.
“It will bring a major economic benefit to the town of Hahndorf, the region and our businesses, and we cannot wait for the amazing atmosphere around the hills that weekend. We look forward to welcoming both tourists and locals alike,” Mr Duffield said.