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/News/Emma Raidis’ favourite food and wine pairing

Emma Raidis’ favourite food and wine pairing

The wine industry has a tendency to captives people, and that’s exactly what happened to Emma Raidis when she began visiting Coonawarra. During regular trips to help in the vineyards alongside (her now hubby) Steven, Emma quickly fell for him, along with the people, the region and the world of viticulture.

Emma and Steven decided to take the plunge, and the Raids family vinevards to the next level, by starting the Raids Estate wine label in 2009. It’s now one of Coonawarra’s most exciting wine businesses.

Family, food, and sustainably produced wine is what Raids Estate are all about, “We reckon most things in life are better when they’re shared,” says Emma.

“At our place that’s done over the table – loaded with backyard produce, a bottle or two of good wine and surrounded by family and friends.”

All Raidis Estate wines are estate grown, and their two Coonawarra vineyard sites feature both the young and the old; regional classics cabernet sauvignon, shiraz and merlot along with more recent additions riesling, sauvignon blanc and pinot gris.

Through the winter months, the vines share the land with a small trip of goats who maintain the rows, doing their bit to contribute to the mics. limate and reduce the need for sprays.

Emma’s touch is on everything in the business, from pruning to winemaking, sales, logistics, events and accounting. Emma says she relishes each role for the various benefits it provides her – from working outdoors, to travelling the world, forming genuine friendships with customers and trade along the way.

“Steven and I often joke that everyone thinks if you work in the wine industry then you’re ‘Living the Dream’. It looks so glossy and enviable from the outside. And while it can certainly be loads of fun, and I love what I do, what people don’t see is all the hard and non-stop work that goes on behind the scenes.”

Would she change a thing though? “Absolutely not!” says Emma. “I love this wonderful and supportive community we live in and watching my son Riley and daughter Laila grow up so connected to the land. If you visit, you will find us at the table, glass in hand, ready to share a story or two. You might even chance upon Steve’s dad Chris offering up the backyard’s latest bounty.”

A delicious pairing with Raidis’ ‘The Kid’ Riesling.

Rocket, Fig, Prosciutto & Goats Cheese Salad

When asked to share her favourite food and wine match, Emma didn’t hesitate! Here’s her fave salad which she says pairs perfectly with Raidis Estate’s ‘The Kid’ Riesling.

Honey Vinaigrette
  • 1 tbsp Dijon mustard
  • 3 tbsp red wine vinegar
  • 1 tsp honey
  • salt & freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/2 cup plus 1 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
Fig Salad
  • 6 figs, halved
  • 2 tbsp melted unsalted butter
  • 1 1/2 tbps sugar
  • 1/4 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1/3 cup shelled pistachios
  • Leaves from 2 sprigs fresh thyme
  • Salt & cracked pepper
  • 200 g rocket leaves
  • 200g fresh goats cheese
  • 100g thinly sliced prosciutto


For the vinaigrette. Combine the mustard, vinegar, honey, oil and salt and pepper to taste. If you have a small jar with a lid, use that!

For the fig salad.

1. Preheat the oven to 180°C. Lay the figs out on a baking sheet, cut side up, and drizzle with the melted butter.

2. In a small bowl, combine the sugar and cinnamon and sprinkle the mixture over the figs. Roast in the oven until the figs are plump and juicy and just slightly softened, about 10 minutes. Allow them to cool to room temperature.

3. Meanwhile, place the pistachios, thyme leaves, salt and pepper in a small fry pan and set over medium heat. Cook, shaking the pan frequently, until the pistachios are lightly toasted and fragrant, 3 to 4 minutes. Transfer the pistachios to a plate to cool.

4. When ready to serve, scatter the rocket and lettuce on a long board or a platter and drizzle some of your vinaigrette over the greens (the greens should be lightly dressed, not drenched). Place the roasted figs, cut side up, all over the top of the greens. Add little chunks of goat cheese all around the figs, nestle thin slices of prosciutto around the figs and finally, sprinkle over the toasted pistachios. Serve the remaining dressing on the side.


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