Fleurieu Food – a simmering pot of energy and drive, seasoned with a tangible sense of freedom.
The Fleurieu Peninsula is a picturesque footstep at SouthAustralia’s southern tip. Bounded by the sea, this idyllicpastoral land of rolling hills and gentle sea breezes ishome to a small population from all corners of the globewho seek to live, work and relax within its easy rhythm.
The peninsula was first home to five indigenous tribes roaming the bountiful country long before Europeans arrived. The hunt for seals and whales lead the first Europeans ashore, quickly followed by a flurry of explorers.
Among those venturing to this new world were Frenchman Nicolas Baudin and Englishman Matthew Flinders – the happenstance meeting of their ships along the coast in 1802 made history with Flinders naming their meeting place Encounter Bay while thePeninsula took the name of the Comte de Fleurieu, then French Minister of Naval Affairs and the Colonies.
The English set about surveying this lush, green land south of Adelaide in 1838 and by 1840, there were groups of colonists in the region. That year, the Adelaide Chronicle carried a report of a beautiful valley called McLaren Vale, creating further interest in settlement.Soon farms and villages dotted the landscape.
A Bountiful New Land
Gazing across the Fleurieu’s gently rolling hills to the sea, one can imagine the new arrivals marveling at their good fortune, with the temperate maritime climate inspiring a wide range of farming enterprises across the length and breadth of the peninsula.
Cereal crops were widely planted, followed by mixed farms, fruit orchards and, in the Willunga basin, almond trees. Willunga soon became the world’s largest almond growing district south of the equator and remained so until the indomitable rise of the region’s wine industry.
The region proved to be a natural destination for Italian migrants during the 1900’s, refl ecting their innate understanding of its Mediterranean-like climate.
Thousands of acres of olives continue to thrive and are still a mainstay of the area’s production.
“The Fleurieu is a feast for all fi ve senses.
We are truly spoilt to be living amongst such treasurers.”
BRONWYN BUSBRIDGE, SPICE GIRLZ