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Guest blog by Carrie Raymond

We’ve found Kangaroo Island’s best kept (family-friendly) secret. *Hint: it involves wine!

If you’re anything like me and are always on the look out for those rare venues that are both adult AND kid friendly, then this, my friends, is the place for you! Run by Julie and Jamie Helya, False Cape Wines is KI’s largest vineyard and it ticks all the boxes for a family day out.

Photo :: False Cape Wines 

Set on 60 acres of breathtaking Australian countryside and just 12km out of Penneshaw, you’ll quickly realise that these guys have thought of everything as soon as you drive through the gates. I knew as soon as I spotted a designated basketball area, that my kids would not be whinging about being ‘bored’ while I was trying to make my way through the award-winning wine menu. Tick!

After getting out the car, we were greeted by the winery dog Loui, a friendly Jack Russell who loved a belly rub from our dog-loving kids. Another tick! Side note: you’re also welcome to bring your own furry friend with you for the day. Bonus!

Whilst taking in the stunning panoramic surroundings, my eyes caught the attention of something else — a fenced off area with two sheep and a baby lamb… a baby lamb! For my daughter who begs me every day to buy her a farm, this was actual paradise!

There is also a cubby house, a sandpit, a grassed area and balls for the kids to kick and shoot hoops with. What I’m getting at is that you will NOT feel like you are an inconvenience bringing your kids here (we’ve all been there). Tick, tick, tick!

Photo :: False Cape Wines 

Now that the kids have disappeared (wink), let’s continue…

In regards to the actual purpose of this sensational establishment — the wines! I highly recommend you do a wine tasting paddle to experience a selection of what they offer, and then go from there. Many of their wines have won awards, like my personal favourites, the Chardonnay (Kangaroo Island White Wine of the Year) and their Shiraz. Oh, and you’ll probably want to leave a little space in your car for some souvenirs (ie. a few bottles or cases to take home). Just saying.

The cellar door also offers a small but delicious food menu consisting of cheese boards, chunky home made pies and salads. The kids are also looked after with a couple of options of their own and I was really impressed that the prices for the kids’ food was so reasonable.

Photo :: False Cape Wines 

Having taken four years to complete, the cellar door is a topic of conversation in itself. It’s obvious that a lot of their own blood, sweat and tears have gone into planning and building this labour of love. For example, the limestone used for the walls and outdoor fireplace was sourced from the property itself and the weathered timber pillars were brought in from various jetties in KI and South Australia, and the wrought iron used on the walls was recycled from rusty old sheds. You could not get a more quintessential ‘outback Aussie’ feel if you tried, and it really feels like the space tells a story.

Photo :: False Cape Wines 

Speaking of recycling, False Cape Wines is leading the way in sustainability. Bonus ticks! Their farm is entirely off the grid and runs on solar power alone. Free-range turkeys roam the vineyard for pest control purposes and sheep are used during winter months for weed management and to encourage soil biodiversity.

All in all, I’ll give False Cape Wines ten out of ten ticks for an all-round experience. Whether you have kids or not, I highly recommend you make it a destination on your next visit to KI.

Carrie xx

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