With the Lot

November 29th, 2018
With the Lot
Over the past three years, halfway down a gumtree-lined street in Hay Valley, alongside apple orchards and vineyards, something a little special has been brewing at 100 Chambers Road.

From 11am on Saturday December 8, visitors will be welcomed to Lot 100, a unique, conglomerate cellar door promising an experience like no other. The sprawling 84-hectare property is home to a distillery, winery, brewery, juicer, restaurant, function space and someday, live music. They’ll go hand-in-hand to provide a premier food and beverage experience.

It’s no empty promise. Lot 100 is brought to life by five award-winning Adelaide Hills companies: Vinteloper, Adelaide Hills Distillery, The Hills Cider Company, Mismatch Brewery and Ashton Valley Fresh.

So what do they all have in common?

Quite a lot, according to Ashton Valley Fresh’s Joyce Ceravolo.

“We’re all very similar,” Joyce said. “We want to be an integral part of the Hills, so for one thing, we try to be as sustainable as possible.”

“We think about longevity of our projects, and we want to make sure we give back to the Hills what we take out.”

Expanding on this is Leigh Morgan, one of Lot 100’s co-founders. He called the driving force behind Lot 100 a “philosophy of better”: the word a way to continually improve.

No detail has been spared at Lot 100 in terms of its sustainability, with the most obvious being the addition of a waste water treatment plant – one of the most expensive, and necessary, aspects of the cellar door - and the 1,700 square metres of solar panels that provide the energy. Every part of Lot 100 has been meticulously designed, according to Leigh.

“Lot 100 is better booze, better liquid, better balance,” Leigh said,

“Most of all, it’s a drive towards sustainability, and there were many layers of planning and research underpinning every element,” he said.

“The buildings were placed to harness the natural elements of light and sun yet protect guest areas during the cooler months, while our solar panels further support our goal of achieving self-sufficiency.”

“There is no resource more valuable than water and our state-of-the-art waste water system allows us to achieve a closed loop with every drop.”

While its creation spanned years, and a lot of hard work, it was something that “just made sense”, according to Joyce.

“We’re so glad to get it off the ground. It’s definitely testament to the people that are involved – they’re all really dynamic, hardworking forward thinkers,” Joyce said.

One of those forward thinkers is Sacha La Forgia from Adelaide Hills Distillery. When I ask Sacha how it feels now the launch of Lot 100 is on the horizon, he pauses. A second later, you can hear the laugh in his voice.

“I’m pumped,” he said.

“We’ve been working for three years to get to this point,” he said. “It’s the beginning, the start of the next page for all of us.”

As for the experience itself: “it’s probably the hardest place in the Hills to describe,” Joyce said.

“You’ve got everything from your apples on the trees to the polar opposite of the distillery itself.”

“It’s definitely not a run of the mill winery experience and that’s what we always pitched, that we had that point of difference. Our brand values are all about family values, and we wanted to encourage people to bring their kids,” Joyce added.

Alongside the cellar door experience is the kitchen and restaurant, headed by chef Tom Bubner, formerly of Pizza e Mozzarella Bar in Adelaide.

“The kitchen will embrace a paddock to plate ethos, helping the team to share the stories of South Australian farming and agriculture through locally sourced ingredients,” Leigh said.

“Whether they’re enjoying an Italian inspired meal from the wood fire oven or a picnic amongst the grounds, guests will be encouraged to slow down and embrace the change of pace.”

Lot 100 is already functional as an event venue – breezing through their first events with half a kitchen installed.

“Last week we had 130 distillers from around the country in Adelaide for the Australian Distillers Association conference. We had them up here for lunch and they were blown away,” Sacha said.

“You couldn’t wipe the smile off our faces – it’s very heartening.”

It seems appropriate that the founders of Lot 100 will be celebrating with a drink at the launch.

“It’s the end of a hard and long journey so we’ll all be having a few celebratory drinks at the launch,” Sacha said.

One person won’t be, however.

“Funnily enough, I managed to get pregnant this year and if you’d believe it, the launch day is my due date,” Joyce said.

“Both my long term projects are coming together at the same time!”

Lot 100’s opening party is on Saturday, December 8, and will incorporate live music, a drink on arrival, roaming canapes and a tour of the venue in all its glory.

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