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Wine: Grape Adventure | National Wine Centre of Australia

Adelaide, Australia, prides itself on its proximity to several of the country's historic wine regions. But now the city has a wine attraction of its own: the National Wine Centre of Australia.

A showcase for a booming wine industry--Australia has 50-plus wine regions, and the number of wineries there has doubled in the past 10 years--the center sits on the edge of Adelaide's beautiful botanic garden. The building makes an architectural statement, with curving wooden walls that evoke huge barrels, and industrial bridges and ramps that recall a winery's catwalks. It's a dramatic setting for wine classes (for people of all levels, from beginners to experts), a tasting gallery serving basic and rare trophy wines, and a duty-free shop selling many top bottles that are unavailable or hard to obtain in the United States, such as Grant Burge's The Holy Trinity and Centenary of Federation. But most intriguing are perhaps the life-size three-dimensional talking holograms of local wine and food personalities.

The center's restaurant, De Castella's, serves good modern Australian cuisine, but wine comes first: The menu lists wines in bold, then suggests a dish for each (corner of Hackney Rd. and Botanic Rd.; 011-61-8-8222-9222, www.wine australia.com.au).

Published June 2002
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