Welcome to a new year of wine, food and travel
Welcome to our subscribers from all parts of the world, whether you are sunning in summer south of the equator, steaming in Singapore, shivering in Scotland - or frosted in Florida, as one amazed subscriber emailed to tell us. We hope that you have all had a wonderful festive season and that the New Year brings you many happy things - including good wine, food and travels of course.
2010 promises to be a great year for VisitVineyards.com and WinePros Archive
- we have some exciting surprises on the way for you in the months ahead. But for February, let's take a look at how vintage in Australia is progressing, what's on in the antipodean world of wine events (lots!), and what to drink and eat as our summer lingers on - especially for the most romantic day of the year, Valentine's Day.
February is also when VisitVineyards.com's oldest Member Dame Elisabeth Murdoch
celebrates her 101st birthday (on the 8th), and perhaps she will be enjoying one of her favourite white wines, Delatite's Sylvia Riesling, for her birthday lunch. Join us in wishing her a very happy birthday, and you too may be able to enjoy this delicious wine if you enter our subscribers' competition below. If you are near Melbourne you can also enjoy an evening of jazz at her wonderful property Cruden Farm just out of Frankston at the gateway to the Mornington Peninsula on Saturday 6th February - check out the events section below
for details of this and other fabulous wine and food events coming up around Australia.
In this edition:
Keep up to date with the latest news from VisitVineyards.com - you can find us on both Twitter and Facebook.
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SPECIAL FEATURE - Tourism Tasmania together with VisitVineyards.com offers you the chance to win a A$3000 holiday in Tasmania's north, or one of 12 cases of cool-climate Tasmanian wine.
If you fancy a Cool Climate Getaway - keep reading! One lucky couple will be spending four days in Tasmania's Tamar Valley
getting up close and personal with some superb cool climate wines. With stylish accommodation at Rosevears Vineyard Retreat
in the heart of the Tamar Valley, flights, car hire and a delicious lunch at Estelle Restaurant all included, this is a fantastic opportunity to explore this wine and food-lovers paradise.
PLUS there are 12 cases of premium Tasmanian wine to be won by the runners-up. You could be sipping on wine from the north: Jansz
, Dalrymple, Bay of Fires
, Josef Chromy
, Leaning Church and Native Point
or from Pooley Wines and Nocton Park
in the South. Or perhaps from the only vineyard in the Tasmanian Midlands - Barton. Our friends at
The Wine Society have also provided three mixed cases of their own excellent Society Tasmanian wines. That's another 12 fabulous reasons to enter now! »
All you have to do as an existing subscriber is to refer one friend to subscribe. No, we won't ask you for five - that's imposing way too much - or even two, just one is fine. Just make sure they love wine, food and travel as much as you do!
Either forward this newsletter to your friend
and ask them to subscribe mentioning your name (they can then enter too), or email them and include this page link with competition details so they can read all about it »
Then, when they have subscribed, simply fill in the form on the competition page, and include their name. Read more about this fantastic getaway, great Tasmanian wines and, importantly, enter now »
WINE: News, travels, books, makers plus our Top 12 Boutique Brews
- Vintage report:
In wineries across Australia, tanks are being emptied, barrels cleaned and hoses checked as the 2010 vintage fast approaches. For many, this year's climatic conditions have been excellent with moderate weather and some good winter and spring rains to boost growth. After 2009's devastating fires and heatwave however, all vignerons are on tenterhooks and few will rest easy until the fruit has been harvested and safely in tank and barrel, gently fermenting away. While Victoria's Mornington Peninsula
escaped the deadly fires, the extreme conditions resulted in most vineyards losing anywhere between 10 to 100 percent of their crops.
Find out more about the 2010 vintage on Victoria's Mornington Peninsula »
- Diet conscious Australians
are driving a new trend towards lower alcohol wines which are soaring in popularity this summer. Wine drinkers are seeking lighter, more refreshing styles of wine that better align to their lifestyle. Which wines have become the new summer favourites?
- From the cellars of the Wine Society. Are you romancing, seducing, proposing or affirming with your partner this Valentine's Day
? Even if you're someone to whom 14th February is just another day, at least pour yourselves a decent drop of wine. From Champagne to wines for commitment, celebrate love with one of these Top 12 Valentine's Day selections from The Wine Society »
ITINERARIES AND PLACES TO VISIT:
- The ultimate winelover's guide once again lifts the bar with internationally awarded wine journalist, Nick Stock
, tasting his way through more than 8000 wines to select the top 1200 for inclusion in this latest wine bible, The 2010 Penguin Good Australian Wine Guide »
- For the first time, a 'food' book appears in our wine section. Why? Wine and Food
by winemaker, chef, restaurateur and tourism authority Kate Lamont of Western Australian fame turns what at first glance might appear to be a recipe book on its head. She puts the wine first, and teaches us the principles of matching food to the wine (not the other way around), so that we can do it ourselves with far greater confidence. Wine and Food
is destined to become a classic and should be in every wine and food lover's library »
COMPETITIONS: Getaways here and overseas, dining, wine, food and books
February might be a short month but we're not short on more fantastic prizes for subscribers and Members. There's a very special chance to get to the table with Tuscan Mammas at home in Italy, superb wine from Delatite and Angullong Wines, wine, travel and food books and did we mention the delicious Cocoa Farm chocolate packs? For Herald subscribers there's a 3 day gourmet adventure in Victoria's High Country plus dining and wine prizes.
1. SUBSCRIBERS' monthly competition - it's free to enter and you could win some great prizes so why delay?
- First prize: two half dozen superb aromatic wines from Delatite Winery
- celebrate Dame Elisabeth's 101st birthday with her favourite white wine, Riesling Sylvia 2008 and their 2006 Shiraz.
- Second prize: Discover hand-crafted, stylish Australian travel experiences with Australia in Style
. It's a visual feast of some of the best, but perhaps less-known outback options - luxurious but low key of course.
- Third prize: at home and in the mood
with Luke Mangan offers an array of recipes for enjoying with family and friends - one of the simplest and best joys in life.
- Fourth prize: no excuses for burnt meat or dripping fat on the barbecue again with a copy of
The BBQ and Grill Cookbook by Loukie Werle for The Heart Foundation.
2. MEMBERS' prizes for February - 12 prizes this month!:
- First prize
: from the foothills of the picturesque Mt Canobolas near Orange in NSW come these wonderful white wines from Angullong Wines. Get a taste of cool climate wine from ancient soils with one of four mixed cases of their 2009 Verdelho and 2008 Fossil Hill Pinot Gris to be won.
- Second prize: start your WA wine travel plans off with a copy of Pemberton Wine Region
by Alex Bond who has beautifully captured the vineyards, forests, lakes and spirit of this wonderful area.
- Third prize
: it's February and with talk of Valentines Day, oysters may well be on the menu! For any oyster-lover The House of Oysters by Bernard Lloyd and Paul County is a must -have. Not only are there over 50 recipes from Australia's A list of chefs, there's interesting history, biology and trivial information on the oyster.
- Fourth prize: what else can we say but yum! Cocoa Farm Chocolates
are probably the hardest prizes for the VisitVineyards.com team to keep their eyes off. We've got 6 mixed gift packs of these indulgent, delicious chocolates to give away. Who needs Valentines Day or Easter as an excuse?
3. SPECIAL PRIZE - experience the heart and soul of Tuscany - yes, in Italy !
Tutti a Tavola - Everybody to the Table! The Italian table that is. You could be at the table of the Tuscan Mammas in the heart of Chianti in Italy!
We're offering only lucky VisitVineyards.com subscriber a place at their famous four day culinary program
. If the thought of travelling the world enjoying regional wine and food along the way is even vaguely on your mind, then this prize could well be the prompter for your next trip away and an altogether unforgettable experience. For a taste of what you'd experience and entry details, read more here »
4. HERALD SUBSCRIBERS - a High Country gourmet adventure, dining and fabulous wine
If you're a Sydney Morning Herald or Sun-Herald Subscriber, you could be enjoying a three day gourmet adventure
amongst Victoria's rugged bush beauty with Hedonistic Hiking. With accommodation at a luxuty eco-retreat, a five course degustation dinner and a gourmet picnic atop a mountain this High Country gourmet adventure with an Italian touch. Flights and car hire are also included and there's more »
There's also another 16 great dining and wine prizes to be won including a sumptuous meal at the renowned Simone's of Bright
, fine wine from Delatite and Boynton's Feathertop Winery
and wine books.
Read on for more prize and entry details »
5. MAKE A V/LINE TO QUEEN AT BALLARAT
Like to be amongst the first in the world to see Queen - the Unseen Archive
at the Art Gallery of Ballarat in Victoria's Goldfields? It's the only place in Australia to show this amazing collection of unseen images, rare memorabilia and even some of Freddie Mercury's glamorous costumes. Win this gift pack from V/Line and you'll be on board and bound for Ballarat before you can say Scaramouche, Scaramouche....
6. MELBOURNE FOOD AND WINE FESTIVAL
On again this March, the Festival promises to be even better than last year. If you'd like to get prepared with a free copy of the MFWF 2009 Recipe Book
then email us now - we've got 10 to give away - first in best dressed!
ARE YOU A WINNER IN OUR JANUARY COMPETITIONS?
Subscribers and Members, don't forget to check to see if you won wine, books - including the fabulous Vineyard Cookbook - hampers and more on our winners' page. If you find your name there, please get in touch and we'll have your prize winging its way to you in no time.
The winners of the three Vineyard Cookbook lunch experiences in McLaren Vale, Margaret River and Launceton will be announced later - we have to read all your fabulous feedback first!
FOOD: Cookbooks and ideas for summer daze
For many Australians, summer means one thing - the sea - so now that the holidays are coming to an end, what better way to prolong the relaxed feeling of summer
than with lashings of fresh fish and seafood from our wonderful coastline? Oceans by Andrew Dwyer is full of great recipes as well as ripping tales from Australia's maritime history »
Get a taste for Australia's wild side as well as some more traditional fare in one cookbook, by trying out the recipes in The Produce Chef by rising chef Matt Clark »
If you're a Masterchef fan then you'll enjoy Luke Mangan's at home and in the mood. But this is not about plating up, it’s about shared dishes, served ‘family style’. And what better time than when we’re feeling chilled out after a holiday – and if you’re in Australia, while summer shines blissfully on?
Don't know your extra virgin olive oil from your pure? Robust from delicate? Over the past two decades the growing of olives and making of olive oils has proliferated in Australia and New Zealand. Find your way through the growing range of olive oils with A Guide to Australian and New Zealand Olive Oils »
Rose Gray and Ruth Rogers opened the legendary River Cafe on the River Thames in 1987 and have changed the way we cook, eat and think about Italian food. Their new cook book, The River Cafe Classic Italian Cookbook is about the traditional, regional food that they love to eat when they are in Italy, the food they cook at The River Cafe, and the food they cook at home for their families.
Escape the summer heat and head for the Granite Belt in Queensland
. The Granite Belt is unique in Australia combining severe winter frosts with Queensland's sunshine to produce a wide range of produce and intense flavoured apples, pears and stone fruit. Combine fresh regional food, outstanding award-winning wines, excellent accommodation, popular events, and country hospitality and it is not difficult to see why it has become a destination of choice in south-east Queensland.
MEMBERS: Lazy long lunches, romantic wine escapes, behind-the-scenes tours and more...
- Thinking of heading to the Victorian High Country? Then note Saturday, February 20 in your diaries as Hedonistic Hiking
invite you to their luxuriously Lazy Lunch: A Taste of Piedmont, at The Buckland Retreat. Exclusively for Members, take advantage of this too-good-to-be-true dining experience and bring along a friend for free - with a saving of $135 this will be an unforgettable experience for you both »
- For Members planning a trip to New Zealand's Marlborough wine region, consider staying at the luxurious
Bec Spa Resort Lodge in the heart of the region. Members, you are offered an indulgent three day Romantic Wine Escape at an exclusive price including two all day winery tours, a full body massage each, three-course dinner and much more »
- Visited South Australia’s Clare Valley lately? Jeanneret Wines
offers Members a generous 14 to the dozen for Members visiting the cellar door and a bonus nights' accommodation along with four complimentary bottles of wine for those who stay in their delightful Grace and Favour cottage »
- Tasmania’s Tamar Valley
has quite a reputation for its cool climate wines, beautiful vistas and friendly locals. A visit to Goaty Hill Wines ensures to reinforce this reputation as Members are invited to complete a cellar door tasting of the current vintages with one of Goaty Hill’s owners and to hear the story
of Goaty Hill thus far »
- Bago Vineyards, just outside Port Macquarie on the NSW North Coast
invites Members to their Annual Harvest Dinner on April 17th with a tempting 15 percent discount on the ticket price. Plan your holiday now, then look forward to an evening of fun, feasting and dancing the night away amongst the picturesque grounds of the estate »
- The internationally award winning Voyager Estate is a jewel in Western Australia’s Margaret River
region. Members are invited to join a behind-the-scenes tour
and will receive two tour passes for the price of one, a saving of $25. If you have the time, a meal in their divine restaurant may tempt you also - find out for yourself why it has won so many awards. Here, Members will enjoy a complimentary glass of the ultra premium Tom Price Sauvignon Blanc Semillon or
Tom Price Cabernet Sauvignon »
Looking for more wine and food experiences and benefits in other regions, or countries? Click here »
Not a Member yet? As a VisitVineyards.com Member you’ll enjoy 12 months access to over 260 exclusive benefits and experiences at wineries, restaurants, accommodation providers and more in regions across Australia and beyond. For $99 per single and $169 per couple, a VisitVineyards.com Membership is the best investment you’ll make all year »
EVENTS: Food and wine events around Australia
Holidays are mostly coming to an end but events around Australia are just starting to come to life. Just when you thought you were winding down after Australia Day, it's time to crank up with some of our biggest events and festivals including Valentine's Day and Chinese New Year. And there are some HUGE concerts in vineyards coming around the country.
Victoria will be the place to be in March with the largest celebration of its kind in the world - the Melbourne Food and Wine Festival
. From 12th-23rd March, Melbourne and Victoria burst with hundreds of flavoursome food and wine events. Learn the secrets of top chefs and winemakers from around the world at the Master Classes. Read about wine celebrities visiting for the festival »
Other events include:
- VICTORIA: VisitVineyards.com partners McClelland Gallery together with Dame Elisabeth Murdoch invite you to spend a summer's evening
enjoying Twilight Jazz at Cruden Farm on the Mornington Peninsula on Saturday 6th February, with all proceeds to their growing Sculpture Gardens, open year-round to the public.
- Enjoy a Big Night Out with Fifteen and Jamie Oliver
on 13th March at the first ever fundraiser event in Australia for the Fifteen Foundation. Five course dinner, entertainment, auction and lots of fun. Only a few places remain so get in early.
- The first of 2010's Regional Wine Showcases is on at Fed Square
on the evenings of 3rd and 4th February - the fabulous wines of the Mornington Peninsula kick off this year's schedule. Don't forget VisitVineyards.com Members simply show your card on entry to receive 20% off the entry price »
- Hedonistic Hiking and The Buckland Cafe
, near Bright in NE Victoria, bring Italy to you on 20th and 21st February with a fabulous four-course regional menu matched to premium Italian wines. There is also an exclusive Two-for-One bonus for VisitVineyards.com Members »
- Join the Tuscan Mammas on 23rd-25th February when they visit from Italy and cook at Enoteca Sileno in Carlton, Melbourne.
Experience the flavour of life in Tuscany with these fun cooking sessions including a meal served with Tuscan wine. Memorable and not to be missed so get in early! You can also join the Tuscan Mammas in Enoteca Sileno's Vino Bar on 24th February to share
a special Tuscan-inspired lunch »
- Tastes of Rutherglen 6th-14th March will be holding two gourmet weekends
. Meet the legends behind Rutherglen's world class wines and discover the passion of North-East Victoria's regional producers.
- ACT: Eat, drink, laugh and dance your way around the world at the
National Multicultural Festival 2010 in Canberra on 5th-7th February »
- NSW: Celebrate the Year of the Tiger in Sydney 12th-28th February.
Sydney's annual Chinese New Year Festival is the largest Lunar New Year celebration outside Asia, with plenty of fabulous food, lion dances and much, much more.
- In Sydney
in March you can sample signature dishes freshly prepared by world-famous chefs while enjoying fine beverages and a fabulous program of music and entertainment - at the Taste of Sydney Festival 11th-14th March »
- There's no city in the world that comes out to cheer on its gay pride event quite like Sydney. The
Gay and Lesbian Mardi Gras Festival runs from 13th February to 6th March with the Mardi Gras Parade and Party on 27th February »
- NT: In Darwin a tribute to honour and remember those who helped defend Darwin
in 1942 is commemorated each year on 19th February.
- QUEENSLAND: Harvest comes early in Queensland. Celebrate it - and the first of the season's apples - at a three day street party in Stanthorpe, the capital of Queensland's Granite Belt
, with great food and wine, markets, street stalls, attractions and entertainment - Stanthorpe Apple and Grape Harvest Festival 5th-7th March »
- SOUTH AUSTRALIA: Taste the Limestone Coast Festival 12th-14th February
is the ideal way to enjoy this essence of this beautiful food and wine region. The theme for 2010 is 'The Italian Way' - come along and find out why.
- The largest Fringe Festival in the southern hemisphere, the Adelaide Fringe Festival
, offers a huge twist of quirky fun and frivolity including the legendary opening night party, the Adelaide International Buskers' Festival and the Fringe Family Weekend. Join the fun from 19th February to 14th March.
- The Parade, Norwood, in Adelaide
comes alive for one indulgent afternoon on 28th February with an average 100,000 revellers enjoying the fantastic combination of food, wine and music that makes Natuzzi The Parade, Food, Wine and Music Festival Adelaide's favourite food and wine event.
- TASMANIA: If you're heading to the island State, don't miss Festivale in Launceston celebrating
the best of Tasmania's food, wine, beer, arts and entertainment - 12th-14th February.
- In Tasmania's north-west,
Taste the Harvest, a food and wine festival held in Devonport, will delight your taste buds with Tasmanian food and wine on 14th March.
- WESTERN AUSTRALIA: Over in the west, the Gourmet Wine and Food Festival
is a foodies delight with premium wines, cheese and olive oil direct from the Donnybrook area on 6th February.
- Voyager Estate in the Margaret River wine region
invites you on 12th and 13th February to enjoy a degustation menu sharing in some of the most exclusive of Voyager Estate's wine range matched to five exquisite courses. Included is an exclusive pre-release tasting of the much-anticipated Voyager Estate 2008 Shiraz. Bookings essential.
These are only a small selection from our national wine and food events calendar - be sure to check it out before planning your next short break or vacation, or for one of the amazing concerts coming up. You can view by State and/or by month - and if you like art, music or sport with your wine and food, you'll find plenty to tempt you.
(If you are an event organiser and your event is not listed, no matter how large or small - and in New Zealand too - please email us details asap, but preferably 3 months in advance!).
Keep up to date with the latest news from VisitVineyards.com - you can find us on both Twitter and Facebook.
We'd love to hear from you
Thanks to everyone who provided us with feedback in our quickpoll about your newsletter - and to those of you who sent us Christmas cards! Most of you are very happy with your newsletter, while some of you think it's a bit long - and we agree, but there is so much happening it's hard to cut it down... So we've decided to make it more seasonal. This means than instead of monthly we'll be sending you two newsletters instead of three per quarter up to June, when we'll reassess - or earlier if we get howls of protest!
We know you are busy people and have lots to read in your mailboxes, and we don't want to add to the clutter - but we don't any of you to miss out, either! So get in touch and let us know if you have any strong feelings on this change. In the interim you can keep up with wine events and happenings
by visiting our website regularly, checking out the events calendar
, joining our facebook group or on our twitter page »
And keep posting your comments as well - your feedback has been great so far, and it sure helps other people plan their visits! You can post comments on anywhere you've been to lately - just search for the name then click on the listing to add your feedback. Don't forget to add your star rating!
Also remember that if you enter any of our competitions, you'll need to check the winners' page at the beginning of each month. We will also email or phone you for Really Big Prizes, and we post notices of competitions on facebook and twitter too.
We'd love to hear your thoughts about the wine industry in this month's quickpoll, and your travel plans too.
Until next time, happy days and wine travels from
Robyn and the VisitVineyards.com and Winepros Archive team
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