An easy fee to swallow

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THE Two Hands winery in Marananga raised almost $33,000 for charity in less than a year by charging a small fee for wine tasting. It's one of two Barossa vineyards that charge for tastings, justifying the move by offering a structured, educational approach rather than pouring to fill visitors' random requests.

The Two Hands tasting goes from 'drink now' styles to the longer-cellared, premium wines. They say it helps people understand the different price levels and the effects of maturation on flavour.

Winery owners Michael Twelftree and Richard Mintz were approached by the Kain C+C Charitable Foundation to get behind its Uganda Project to help children orphaned through AIDS, war and diseases.

Cellar door manager, Sally Pellew, said 95 per cent of visitors were more than happy to pay $5 for the tasting. "We used to have a payment that was redeemable against any purchases but now it's a straight donation to the charity and people are liking that a lot more. They feel good about it," she says.

Two Hands Winery is also on the cheese and wine trail where its Brilliant Disguise Moscato is matched with Ballycroft's fresh fust cheese. The cheese, made on Mondays and sold from the following Thursday to Sunday, is drained and dry-salted by hand before packaging. It's a mild-flavoured curd and works wellwith the equally fresh, slightlysweet moscato.

Two Hands Wines, Nelder Road, Marananga. Phone 08 8562 4566, see