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Regional wine, food, holidays and events – there's lots to enjoy in July!


Hello,

It may be winter in Australia but things are hotting up on VisitVineyards.com and our associated website Winepros Archive . Following our subscribers' survey in March we've been hard at work in alliance with the motoring organisations the RACV and RACT, to bring you a wider range of discounts at cellar doors, food growers and makers, microbreweries and more in both Victoria and Tasmania

If that's not enough, we're also offering you all a Winter Welcome special – join VisitVineyards.com as a Member or renew at a very special rate until the 31st August. More on both these initiatives below.

And I can't believe how many goodies we have to give away this month! There's a four-day holiday in Northern Tasmania, dinner with James Halliday AM on 28th July to launch his 2011 edition of the Australian Wine Companion (both for two), nine cases of cool climate Tasmanian wine and another four from Queensland, six double tickets to Tasmania Unbottled, chocolates, hot stone massages.... lots of reasons to drop us a line!

Click on the quick links below to take you to the relevant section(s), and enjoy your July newsletter.

In this edition:



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Upgrade and become a Member - 'Winter Welcome' special price of A$49 for a single and A$69 for a couple


 
 


Quick Poll:

Enter our quickpoll below this month to go into the draw to win a bottle of wine from Best's Great Western!

Q1. Are you a member of RACV, RACT, NRMA etc (any state or national AAA automobile association)?
Yes
No
Don't know

Q2: If so, Which state or country:



Q3.
Did you know you can use your AAA membership card to receive discounts as part of the global Show Your Card and Save program?
Yes
No

Q4. Have you every used it to receive discounts?
Yes
No
 

You might like to look at the new program of wine and food discounts now available in Victoria and Tasmania

 
 

 
 


NEW: Show Your Card and Save in Victoria and Tasmania

This month we bring you not one but two exciting new initiatives – both an Australian first! Together with the RACV in Victoria, and the RACT in Tasmania, current members of both these motoring organisations and of any other state (eg NRMA, RACQ, RAA etc) or visiting AAA members from overseas can now enjoy a range of exclusive discounts at selected Victorian and Tasmanian:

  • wineries and vineyards
  • food producers, makers and sellers
  • regional restaurants
  • microbreweries, and
  • boutique accommodations and attractions (Tasmania only).

as part of the Show Your Card and Save program – the world’s largest member benefits program – brought to you by VisitVineyards.com.

Great news for wine and food lovers, and anyone who enjoys travelling in regional Victoria or Tasmania!

This is phase 1 of this exciting new development, so if you live in other states, please be patient and we hope to be able to include your state in 2011.

 

Who is involved and where can I use my card?

Just go to our new RACV Regional Wine and Food Program microsite, where you can search and save in Victoria's wonderful wine and food regions . New regions and businesses are being added weekly, so please ensure you check this new site often. The website address is http://racv.visitvineyards.com (no www)

If you are in or planning a visit to Tasmania, check out Wine and Food Selections with RACT which opens today on http://ract.visitvineyards.com (no www)

 

More participating businesses will be added in both states during the coming weeks, so please check the sites regularly. If you have any favourites or suggestions that you'd like to see included (or have your own business and would like to be involved), for Victoria please email Sara and in Tasmania please email Kerry. We anticipate including other states in 2011, so please email any other suggestions here »

 


 Winter Welcome special

To celebrate, and to invite new subscribers to take advantage of our Membership program benefits, we are offering 50% off VisitVineyards.com Memberships to 31st August, for both new Memberships and renewals!

In today's world, many of us want to meet and connect with our food and wine producers, to enjoy and learn more about fresh food, good cooking and wine – and to have more fun.

Now you can, simply and easily, as a VisitVineyards.com Member »

VisitVineyards.com is Australia's leading wine and food travel guide, and – as well as your free newsletter subscription – we have a Membership Club with

  • extra benefits,
  • exclusive experiences, and
  • exceptional value when you travel in wine and food regions.

 

By becoming a VisitVineyards.com Member, in addition to the special discounts that your RACV or RACT membership card now gives you, you can also enjoy

  • behind-the-scenes access e.g. special tours of wine-making facilities, barrel rooms, cheeseries etc;
  • meeting the makers – wine, food (even chocolate!), art and more;
  • visiting places the public can't get into;
  • special lunches and dinners, featuring regional produce and other treats;
  • tasting exclusive samples;

and having truly memorable experiences – the sort you'll want to tell your friends about, and do again and again. All this for under A$50 a year.

There are already over 250 different experiences, discounts and offers for VisitVineyards.com Members, in almost all States. Not interested in wine? There's plenty more to choose from – food, dining, art, spas, shopping, tours...

Even better, you can use your VisitVineyards.com Membership as many times as you like - there are no caps. You can get the entire cost back in just one visit. And if you use your card and are not happy after a year's Membership, we'll refund your money.

 

Being a VisitVineyards.com Member also entitles you to enter our Members-only promotions, with fabulous monthly giveaways including the pick of wines, wine and food books, massages, tours, hampers and more.

So don't delay, become a Member or renew your Membership now, and join this growing group of wine and food lovers who enjoy great value and experiences on your travels.

 


WINE AND TRAVEL

LIGHTS, CAMERA, ACTION!

Recently we asked our readers: What is the best Australian wine region for a film setting? With no shortage of great wine regions to choose from and ideas for where and what type of movie, some of the answers were highly amusing. And the nominations were »

 

2010 Royal Queensland Wine Show

Due to the fantastic seasonal conditions of the 2009 and 2010 vintages, the Royal Queensland Wine Show awarded 113 gold medals, nearly double the number of gold medals awarded last year. Find out the winners of this gold bonanza »

 

Our resident expert and famous oenologist Ian Hickinbotham tells us about barriques, barrels, casks, corks and more.

  • Find out about the use of barriques in red wine maturation. These small barrels, often made from best quality French oak, are usually associated with the making of Bordeaux claret »
  • Cork or screw? The cork is still entrenched as a closure for wine bottles in the minds of older wine drinkers. However is the debate now closed? »
  • Not long ago, casks were large, made of oak not plastic, and wineries were not the bastions of stainless steel tanks that they are today. Where have all the oak casks gone? »

 

TRAVEL - TOP PICKS:

Thinking of country weekends, great food and wine, log fires? Or maybe head further afield to an off-the-beaten-track wine region in Queensland. Veteran wine, food and travel writer Winsor Dobbin gives us his top picks for some food and wine trails to get you through the winter.

  • Mudgee in NSW is a country town on the move, particularly when it comes to food and wine. Visitors will find new labels, new cellar doors and restaurants, even a new micro-brewery, along with a blend of spectacular countryside, rural hospitality and growing sophistication. Get a taste of the country »
  • Southern Highlands - Cool in autumn and spring, decidedly crisp in winter, the Southern Highlands in NSW have long been a popular weekend destination for Sydney's well-heeled but it is only in the past decade that the region has begun to emerge as a producer of quality wines. Enjoy the high life »
  • South Burnett - Queensland's largest wine region covering a bigger area than the Granite Belt and yet relatively unknown. The agricultural countryside is beautiful and home to more than 20 wineries and cellar doors »

 

BOOK REVIEW:

A culinary adventurer's guide to food and wine around the world, Frommer's 500 places for food and wine lovers, will lead you on a tempting worldwide tour of epicurean hot spots »

 

NEWS:

Our congratulations to Dal Zotto Wines in the King Valley in Victoria for taking out the top award at the state finals of the 2010 Family Business of the Year »

 


COMPETITIONS: a trip to Tasmania, warming massages, 'must try' wines and much more

July sure is a great month for you and fellow subscribers! The cool climate of Tasmania features with a 4 day trip to the island state, fine wine, tickets to Tasmania Unbottled 2010 and subscriptions to Tasmania 40 Degrees South to be won. Or wine and dine with James Halliday AM, taste 'must try' wines from Clovely Estate or soothe away the winter chills with a warming Ripple Hot Stone massage...

 

 1. WIN 4 DAYS IN NORTHERN TASMANIA  or 1 of 9 cases of fine Tasmanian wine!

Love premium cool climate wines or exploring wine regions? You and someone special could be discovering the best of Tasmania's north with flights, car hire and accommodation all included.

From a luxurious base at Peppers Seaport and Peppers York Cove , explore a myriad of vineyards, superb food experiences and more. You can enter from anywhere in the world – all you have to do it get yourself to Melbourne, and for this trip it will be worth it!

With 9 cases of superb Tasmanian wines for the runners-up, make sure you ENTER HERE  for a genuine Tasmanian taste »

Have a friend who might like to enter as well? Click here to forward them this newsletter »

 

2. MEMBERS –  WINE AND  DINE WITH JAMES HALLIDAY AM »

VisitVineyards.com Members – be amongst the first in the country to see  James Halliday's Australian Wine Companion 2011 at the launch on Wednedsay 28th July at Mezzo Bar and Grill in Melbourne. It will be an evening of good wine, food and company with the four-course meal matched perfectly with wines from Heathcote and Yabby Lake. And of course, James himself will be sharing his insights and knowledge of the wine industry, and signing copies of the Australian Wine Companion 2011.

If you would like to win a double ticket to the launch dinner on 28th July valued at A$240

CLICK HERE to enter before midnight on the 18th July »

(the winner will be drawn and notified on 19th July, to allow you time to plan you trip to Melbourne, should you live interstate).

 

3. TASMANIA UNBOTTLED 2010 – six double tickets to be won »

We offered these tickets last year and they were a hot item. This year, courtesy of Wine Industry Tasmania,  we have twice as many to give away!

Dicover the new 'hot' in cool climate wines. Tasmania's wine showcase is on the road again in August: Melbourne on the 17th, Brisbane on the 24th and Sydney on the 26th. There are over 130 award-winning and new release wines to taste and compare, winemakers to meet and emerging producers to discover. All perfectly matching the fresh seasonal produce. 

One of last year's winners had this to say:

We had a ball at Tasmania Unbottled, thank you so much. I couldn't believe the standard of the wines on offer. Usually when you go to one of these style of events they let you sample the mid range wines but we were sampling some of the best quality wines the vineyards had to offer. The standouts were definitely the rieslings and the pinot noirs. Thanks once again!  David S, Brisbane, Qld

For your chance to win one of two double tickets available at each venue,  ENTER NOW »

 

 

 4. SUBSCRIBERS' monthly competition – must try wines from Clovely, inspiring cookbooks, sweet treats »

First prize: 4 half dozens. Put some Queensland sunshine into your winter with wines from Clovely Estate including their chardonnay and double pruned shiraz – 'must try' wines says wine write Winsor Dobbin »

Second prize: 1 hamper: A wonderful mix of Beechworth Honey's outstanding products plus a copy of Cooking, tasting, living honey by Jodie Goldsworthy, an insight and taste of the sweet world of honey.

Third prize: 2 signed copies. Masterchef Julie Goodwin achieved her dream with the publication of Our Family Table. This wonderfully down to earth, family cookbook was put together from the heart and it shows.

Fourth prize: 3 gift packs. Our friends at Cocoa Farm have entrusted us with more delicious chocolates to share with you this month. Indulging in chocolate whilst warming by the winter fire has a special appeal.

For your chance win must try wines, inspiring cookbooks or fabulous sweet treats ENTER HERE » 

 

5. MEMBERS' monthly competition – this July, it's warming massages, winter reading and more delicious treats »

Members, please don't be shy! Lots of you don't enter, and we'd really love to share these great prizes around. Come on – we've had CEOs, chairpersons and millionaires who aren't too scared to have a go! The big prize for you this month is of course the opportunity for you and a friend to dine with James Halliday AM at the launch of his Australian Wine Companion 2011, above, but in addition you can also put your name down to win:

 

First prize: Something different – two 1 1/2 hour massages. Soothe away those winter chills and feel the tension melt with a hot stone massage from Ripple Massage - beautifully indulgent when it's cold outside and cosy inside. Ripple is 'the massage that comes to you' and services SE Queensland, Byron Bay and pan-Melbourne.

Second prize: 2 annual subscriptions to Tasmania's premier magazine. Why do people fall in love with Tasmania? Is it the wilderness? The great wine and food, or the lively arts and music culture? Lifestyle? Discover all this and much more – before MONA opens next January and blows the secret out of the water – with Tasmania 40 Degrees South »

Third prize: 3 gift packs. Delicious, mouth-watering, sumptuous, delectable, tempting ... all words that aptly describe Cocoa Farm chocolates. Discover for yourself why we adore these chocolates!

Members, for your chance to relax, discover or delight, ENTER HERE »

Everyone who becomes a Member or renews this month is automatically entered in the Members' draw, so be tempted by our special Winter Welcome rates and you may just be pleasantly rewarded....

 


SPECIAL PROMOTION:  Win the Best Wine from Best’s Great Western

For over 140 year’s Best’s Wines in Great Western has made some of Australia’s finest wine. They are one of Australia’s oldest continuously family-owned and operated wineries and have some of the oldest vines in Australia, producing extraordinary wines with great longevity.

Best’s are now giving VisitVineyards.com Members and subscribers the chance to win the Best of Best’s. Simply sign up for the Best’s eNewsletter for your chance to win one of six magnums of 1996 Thomson Family Shiraz, each valued at over $300.

Thomson Family Shiraz is only made in exceptional vintages, and is consistently rated over 90 points by James Halliday in his Australian Wine Companion. This would be a welcome addition to any cellar.

Read more and enter now »

 


 FOOD and Cook Book Reviews

Journey from the Paddock to the Plate with V/Line:

Great farmers' markets in places such as Geelong, Bendigo, Castlemaine and Ararat make for a great day out for foodies and families alike with specialty produce and live entertainment. All can be easily accessed by train – an environmental bonus. Find out how you can discover Victoria's farmers' markets with V/Line »

 

Superstar international chefs add global flavour:

Some of the biggest names on the world food scene are heading to Sydney this October for the Crave Sydney International Food Festival, including some of the hottest stars from the World's Best Restaurants list. Who are these 20 international kitchen wizards? »

 

Eat cheaply and well in Melbourne and around Victoria:

  • Only a true local can know the best places to eat...those little places that have the best food without the high prices. The Age Cheap Eats 2010 is packed with insider's tips making it much easier to eat cheaply and eat well not only in Melbourne but also in wine regions around Victoria »

 


  MEMBERS! This Australian winter, celebrate, don’t hibernate – with some cool experiences.

  • Victoria: Take a weekday break and enjoy an indulgent hour-long massage and long lunch package put together exclusively for you by our friends at Endota Mornington »
  • Western Australia: Voyager Estate is a must visit for those planning a trip to the Margaret River. Members, book this highly recommended tour of this premium wine Estate, and your partner or friend can join you for free »
  • New South Wales: First Creek's winery tours in the Hunter Valley blend the science with the art. For those with an interest in the process behind the glass, book a tour and Members, enjoy a discount on all case purchases »
  • South Australia: Producers’ of McLaren Vale invite Members to join in one of their 2010 Seasonal Workshops (Making Wine, Pressing Olive Oil, Cheesemaking and more), with a bonus exclusive offer »
  • Tasmania: Puddleduck Vineyard owners Darren and Jackie Brown extend a warm welcome to all who visit their vineyard / cellar door. Members who purchase a sit-down tasting (wines paired with Tasmanian cheeses), enjoy a second sit-down tasting for free »

Looking for more wine and food experiences and benefits in other regions, or countries? Then 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.

But don't wait! Now is a great time to join at our Winter Welcome rate  – only A$49 single or $69 per couple. You can easily get your VisitVineyards.com Membership back in one purchase, tour or weekend away. Find out more »

 

EVENTS AND FESTIVALS in wine and food regions around Australia

Think Christmas in July, log fires with slow-cooked winter dishes and aged reds. It may be cold outside but there's plenty on around the country to keep you interested. So grab a glass of fine red, nestle down and check out the events below:

Looking for wine and food experiences in other regions? There's heaps more events and festivals in our national events calendar. Check it out here and start planning your next wine region getaway now »

 

GET IN TOUCH! Update your details, list your business, or just say hi.

Moving? Changing ISPs? Now you can now update your own details on VisitVineyards.com on our new My Account tab. You can update your email, username, name, password, and/or postal address, or if you have a business, edit or update your listing(s). If you get stuck, refer to our FAQs, or email our webmaster Andrew who will be only to happy to help you in person. (Yes, we are a team of real people at this end!)

Are you a member of a state motoring organisation, such as RACV, NRMA, RAA etc? Then let us know in this month's quickpoll (scroll back up – it's on the right hand side) and might be rewarded with a bottle of select wine from our friends at Best's, one of our favourite wine producers. And of course don't forget to enter Best's own competition to win one of six magnums of 1996 Thomson Family Shiraz , worth over A$300 each. 1996 was an excellent vintage in Great Western (and indeed across Western Victoria and South Australia) and this wine should be absolutely fabulous drinking! Yum indeed.

Who will be our 27,000th subscriber? Very soon – possibly even today! – we'll pass another 1000 mark, and whoever it is will receive a bottle of select Best's wine , with our compliments. Forward this newsletter to a wine-loving friend right now, and they might thank you for it!

Next month, we'll be celebrating two years of our Membership Club, so we'll have some fun digging into our cellars and finding some more great wines to reward you with.

 

Until then, we look forward to hearing from you and reading your feedback about cellar doors and other places you've visited.

Take care, and enjoy good wine, good food and good time with friends,

Robyn Lewis and the VisitVineyards.com team.