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Winning wines, weekends in wine regions and website news


A big competition this month - win a 4-day wine and food lover's trip to Tasmania, wine from Tas and WA, and lots more.

 

Hello,

The year is dashing by, it's June already, and the long weekend is nearly here. What are you doing? If you haven't made your plans yet, or want a bit more information about the many fabulous wine and food events on around the country (yes, even in Darwin, we haven't forgotten you!), our EVENTS section below has lots of suggestions, for now or later in the month, plus some in July for those thinking ahead.

Feeling the cold? It's certainly hit here in the last few days! Check out the latest winning winter wines in the WINE section below, from the just-released Big Red Wine Book 2010/11 or the winners of the ultra-cool International Cool Climate Wine Show, announced recently at a fabulous evening at the Mornington Racecourse - with 680 wines for tasting! If you missed out, check the trophy and medal winners and get hold of some soon. They are some of the best wines in Australia and New Zealand.

And being winter down under, it's time to think about Tasmania. Yes, it may be chilly now in the island state, but the log fires are roaring. If you've ever wanted to visit some Tassie vineyards but couldn't find an excuse, well, now is your chance. Together with our friends at Tourism Tasmania, we're offering one lucky subscriber and their partner the chance to win a 4-day trip...  it could be you.

So read on friends, and if you're at work forward this to yourself at home so you can take it in at your leisure, glass of wine in hand.

In this edition:



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Quick Poll:

Q1. Do you think that the success of cooking shows (MasterChef, My Kitchen rules, Poh's Kitchen etc) has been positive for the restaurant industry?
Yes
No

Any comments?


Q2:
Have these shows changed your perceptions of what makes a good chef/restaurant?
Yes
No

Any comments?


Q3.
Do you think you could do better than the current crop of contestants on Masterchef? Has the show's continued success made you think about entering a reality TV cooking show?
Yes
No

Any comments?

 

 

 

 


What's new on the website? Now you can manage your own details, and update your listings

If you've been to the VisitVineyards.com website lately you might have noticed a new tab on the right hand side called My Account. Yes, you asked for it in our survey, and at last here it is! Here, you can log in, change your username, password, email address and/or postal address, all in one easy to manage place. So if you've moved, changed your ISP, or are tired of your username, update them all here.

You can also add or update your wine preferences, so we can try to be as relevant to your likes and dislikes as possible. Winepros Archive subscribers can now have the same password and username on both sites. Hurrah!

Click here to go to My Account - it takes about a minute (yes, we promise).

 

If you have a winery or vineyard, restaurant, accommodation, microbrewery, tour, attraction or activity in any of Australia's (or New Zealand's) wine and food regions, you can also add them here. A basic listing is free - so what have you got to lose, except customers?

You can also purchase a premium listing and make your business stand out, with extra images (including your label or logo) and a premium advertising position. With 26,000 subscribers and growing fast, if you want to attract wine, food and travel lovers, you should be listed on VisitVineyards.com. Don't miss out, find out how to list your business here »

 

And for those who have asked if they can update your own listings, yes, you can do that too! Got a new winemaker, brewer or chef? Introduced a new brand or label? Then click here to update your information on My Account - it's easy!

Know someone with a business that should be on VisitVineyards.com? Then forward them this newsletter here, and they soon can be (you can add your own message).


WINE AND TRAVEL: Stories, news and reviews, plus featured regions

WINNING WINTER WINES:

Looking for red wines to savour on cold nights?  The third edition of The Big Red Wine Book 2010/11 hits the shelves for the start of the southern winter and this year it's a ripper. All the bargains and the best - find out more »

 

The 2010 International Cool Climate Wine Show was this year held in May, a move for the better from its former timeslot in February, when it was often too hot for the wines to display well. These are results that wine lovers should be interested in, for although this show is not part of the 'official' wine show circuit, Australian and New Zealand cool climate wines are amongst some of the best in the world.

Of the 680 entries, medals were handed out relatively sparsely - only 27 golds and 57 silvers were awarded. Check out the full list here . The best of the best are of course this year's trophy winners, and our congratulations to the growers and makers of these magnificent trophy-winning wines »

 

Our resident expert and famous oenologist Ian Hickinbotham tells us about winemaking in Australia, facts and figures we may not know.

 

TRAVEL - TOP PICKS:

Why not take a weekend or a few days off and visit some of our slightly more remote wine regions? You will be rewarded with outstanding wines, family-run cellar doors, stunning local produce and more.

Wine and travel writer Winsor Dobbin, now based in Southern Tasmania, has been out and about exploring some of Australia's less visited wine regions. Here are his top picks for these must-visit areas:

  • Orange , in the central west of New South Wales, has rapidly become recognised as one of Australia's premier cool-climate producing regions. Experience a variety of wine styles as well as outstanding regional produce and local restaurants »
  • Langhorne Creek in South Australia is often overlooked in favour of near neighbours McLaren Vale and the Adelaide Hills. However it has much to offer the epicurious traveller, particularly one who delights in visiting small, family-run cellar doors »
  • Eden Valley is part of the Barossa wine region in South Australia but has more vines than visitors. It offers a very different experience along with some stunning cool climate wines »
  • Great Southern - Most wine visitors to Western Australia gravitate immediately to the many attractions of Margaret River overlooking the charms of this even more remote wine region »

 

Planning a food and wine trip to New Zealand?

The Classic New Zealand Wine Trail is a self-drive touring route that leads you off the beaten track and through five of New Zealand's most interesting and scenic regions, including three major wine-growing areas - and it's fabulous »

 

NEWS:

Congratulations to Viv Thomson, winemaker at Best's Great Western in Victoria, for his 50th consecutive vintage. A remarkable achievement and one we doubt could be matched by many in the Australian wine industry »

Congratulations also to Sydney based Sommelier Franck Moreau who after a gruelling five day competition recently held in Chile has been deigned one of the top twelve sommeliers in the world »

And to our friends at Plunkett Fowles Wines in Victoria's Strathbogie Ranges, Matt and Louise Fowles, on the birth of their first daughter. They'll sure have some lovely wines to celebrate with!

 


COMPETITIONS: Win a 4-day getaway to Tasmania - the island of wine and food - sip on fine WA wines or indulge in Yarra Valley caviar

As they say, you have to be in it to win it. It's mostly about the cool climate island of Tasmania in June and July with a four day wine lover's trip for two, nine cases of fine Tasmanian wine and more on offer!

There's also wine from the west, flawless salmon caviar and honey history to be won. Enter each below:

 

1. WIN A 4 DAY COOL CLIMATE GETAWAY TO TASMANIA » or 1 of 9 cases of fine Tasmanian wine

From stylish waterfront accommodation at Peppers Seaport Hotel and Peppers York Cove get set to explore the cool climate vineyards and superb food experiences of Tasmania's north.

Flights and car hire are included and on arrival you and your partner will be greeted with Tasmanian wine and a massage to relax and get you into the Tasmanian pace of life. What more could you want?

There are also nine cases of superb wine from around the island state to be won so ENTER NOW for your own taste of Tasmania »

 

 

 

 2. SUBSCRIBERS monthly competition - taste Tasmania and the good oil »

FIRST PRIZE: 2 half dozens. From vines perched atop hills overlooking the majestic Tamar River, come wines from Rosevears Estate, home to some of the region's best. This mix of cool climate wines could well have you packing your bags for a trip to the Tamar Valley (and entering our trip competiton above!)

SECOND PRIZE: 2 signed copies. Come on a sumptuous armchair journey through Tasmania's superb food,drinks and restaurants with Tasmania's Table. It's full of glorious photos, background information and tasty recipes to test.

THIRD PRIZE:2 copies. De-mystify the burgeoning olive oil shop shelf with this handy book - A Guide to Australian and New Zealand Olive Oils. Get the good oil along with recipes, producers and suppliers for the right oil for you.

 To win your taste of Tasmania, enter here »

 

 

 

3. MEMBERS' monthly competition - fine wine, indulgent caviar and honey history »

FIRST PRIZE: 4 half dozens. Manjimup in Western Australia is home to some superb wines and those produced by Koolama Estate are no exception. Ray Jordan rates their chardonnay highly and you could find out why.

SECOND PRIZE: 5 gift packs. Indulge in plump, flawless caviar from salmon nurtured by Yarra Valley Salmon. This boutique aquaculture farm sustainably tends their fish in a natural environment, and it shines through in the taste.

THIRD PRIZE: 3 copies. From honey expert Jodie Goldsworthy comes a distillation of the knowledge from four generations of bee-keepers with Cooking, tasting, living honey. A mix of history, tasting notes, recipes and more on this sweet, natural product.

Members, for your chance to sip, indulge or sweeten up, enter now  »

 

 

 

Remember, if you become a Member this month you are automatically entered into the draw. Email Kerry if you were a recent survey respondent, and she might be able to arrange something special for you!

 

Don't miss out. Please pity our poor prize shelf!

It was groaning under considerable strain last month - we had so many unclaimed prizes but then so many delighted winners when we finally tracked them down. We're thinking we need an Uncle Sam poster with that big finger pointing at - YOU!

Please, if you enter a competition, remember you've got a chance to win. A much, much bigger chance than taking home that Powerball jackpot. These are real competitons with real (and very good) prizes, so check for your name at the beginning of each month on our winners' page and email Kerry with your prize details and postal address so she can send them to you!

Set yourself a regular reminder in Outlook or your calendar to check the winners' page around the 3rd of the month or so.

We really don't want to redraw the trip to Tasmania, do we? (like we just did with the fabulous walking tour of Tuscany. Ah well, as they say, one person's loss is another's gain...)


FOOD and Cook Book Reviews

FOOD:

MasterChef fever is upon us and whether you love it or loathe it, Greg, Matt, George and the teams are having a big impact on home cooking right across Australia. MasterChef Australia The Cookbook Volume 1 features many of the recipes of the 2009 series in an easy-to-use format. Beginners and experts alike can read, cook, enjoy and learn »

The dream of first Masterchef winner, Julie Goodwin, has come true with the release of her new cookbook Our Family Table celebrating family, friends and memories shared. It's inspiration to create your own family table »

 

REVIEWS:

 

Although time poor, many of us are steering away from food that is mass-produced. More and more we want to know where our food comes from and what it contains. Two books recently released take us back to those time honoured principles of good ingredients and real food.

  • A distillation of the knowledge from four generations of bee-keepers, Cooking, tasting, living honey by Jodie Goldsworthy will give you a whole new appreciation of honey, the sweetest and most natural of products »
  • My Bread by Jim Lahey offers us a no-knead, bread-in-a-pot technique where the possibilities are endless for all of us bread lovers. The best way to taste bread as it should be is to bake it yourself so put all your breadmaking ideas and methods on hold and give this a shot »

 


MEMBERS! Grab your coat and scarf - some cool winter experiences await

Truffle season approaches in Australia. Across the nation, in generally unpublicized locations, truffle dogs are being let loose among oak and hazelnut trees to sniff out these 'black diamonds'.

  • Western Australia:  A fan of all things truffle? Like to see the truffle dogs in action?  Make a beeline for The Wine and Truffle Co. in Manjimup, south-west WA. Here you'll have all your truffle queries answered and you can even join in a truffle hunt. Members, a complimentary glass of wine in the cafe and bonus upon purchase is yours. Can't make it to Manjimup? Don't despair, you can buy here online also »
  • Queensland: Jimbour House is a historic home in Queensland's Darling Downs. It just so happens a great range of wines are made there, too! Members, a complimentary garden pass, complimentary wine tastings and a 10 per cent discount on wine purchases await you »
  • South Australia: Leconfield is the home of Richard Hamilton Wines in the beautiful McLaren Vale region. Members, for only $40 enjoy the views, a regional platter and bottle of fine Richard Hamilton wine. Purchase a bottle or case while you're there and you'll benefit from their Mail Club prices »
  • Victoria: Box Stallion on the Mornington Peninsula offers Members the ultimate bakers' dozen - 15 bottles when you purchase any case of Box Stallion's wines from their cellar door »
  • Tasmania: Meet 'the girls' at Tasmania's only sheep milk cheesery - Grandvewe. Exclusive for Members you are invited to book a behind-the-scenes tour into this fascinating business before tasting your way through the range of up to 15 cheeses »

 

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.

At A$99 per single and $169 per couple, you can get your VisitVineyards.com Membership back in one purchase, tour or weekend away. Find our more »

 


EVENTS AND FESTIVALS in wine and food regions around Australia

The long weekend in June is almost upon us with wine and food events being held all around the country. If you've left your planning until the last moment here are some suggestions:

  • SA: A highlight of South Australia's food and wine calendar is the BankSA Sea and Vines Festival . McLaren Vale 13th-14th June »
  • Tas: Showcasing some of Tasmania's best red wines as well as their makers is the third Southern Tasmanian Vineyards Red Wine Weekend.  Hobart 12th-13th June »
  • NT: Sharing culture, food, wine, dance and music is the Greek Glenti Festival , with lots of food and festivities in Darwin 12th-13th June »
  • NSW - Shoalhaven Coast: Involving cellar door tastings, entertainment, dinners, winery tours and more is the Shoalhaven Coast Winter Wine Festival.  12th-14th June »
  • NSW - Hunter Valley: A three day culinary extravaganza is to be found at the FlavourFest Food and Wine Fair . 12th-14th June »
  • NSW - Southern Highlands: Experience a food and wine trail of tastings and markets at the Cool Flavours of the Southern Highlands12th-14 June »
  • Victoria - Heathcote: Explore vineyards and cellar doors as well as taste local produce when this region opens its doors to you during the Heathcote on Show . 12th-14th June »
  • Victoria - King Valley: Celebrate the release of the 2009 Pizzini Sangiovese and the traditionally made Italian pork sausage at Pizzini Sangiovese e Salsicce . 12th-13th June »
  • Victoria - Mornington Peninsula: The vignerons of the renowned Peninsula celebrate with the Winter Wine Weekend , a wine-lover's calendar 'must'. Tastings at Red Hill on the Saturday followed by 2 days of events at various cellar doors and restaurants. Check out what's on here 12th-14th June »
  • Victoria - Rutherglen: Once again this is one of THE places to be at the annual Rutherglen Winery Walkabout . Rug up! 12th-14th June »

 

Or enjoy some of these in June and July:

  • ACT: Limited to producers who crushed 250 tonnes or less for their label in 2009 vintage is the 2010 Winewise Small Vignerons Awards.  Canberra 1st-3rd July »
  • NSW: Join in a month long celebration to sample the Hunter Valley lifestyle dining on local produce paired with local wines as well as wine, cheese and olive tastings. Hunter Valley 1st-27th June »
  • Qld: Go to A Taste of Coolum for a fun weekend of golf, good wine and food. Four themed winemaker dinners hosted by some of Australia's most renowned winemakers. Coolum Beach 25th-27th June »
  • Qld: The Royal Queensland Wine Show is one of Australia's oldest, most prestigious and highly contested wine shows. Brisbane 1st-3rd July »
  • SA: The Coonawarra Vignerons dig out some treasures from their cellars for the Coonawarra Cellar Dwellers . Fall in love with the Coonawarra all over again - some great new vintages too. 1st-31st July »
  • Tas: One of Tasmania's iconic experiences and not to be missed is Tastings at the Top , with wines, cheeses, snow and more. Cradle Mountain 26th-28th June »
  • Vic: Celebrate the shortest weekend of the year at The Yarra Valley's Shortest Lunch with all day dining to ward off the winter chills. 19th-20 June »
  • WA: A free event for art, charity and fun, the Margaret River CowParade is held at various locations throughout the Margaret River. Don't miss out, finishing soon. 27th February-10th July »

 

Don't forget there are many more events every week on our wine and food events and festivals calendar - yes, in the city as well as the country. Find one near you here »

 


We love to hear your thoughts

We're sad to say that not many of you wanted to offer our PM some wine advice, as sorely as he needs it. Ah well, when President Obama eventually makes it to our shores and is drinking XXXX beer, and the biggest wine-marketing opportunity to hit Australian shores for a decade has gone, think of us. Thank you for those who did send their suggestions. Perhaps it was the (optional) thought of coming up with a food match that was a bit scary? Or is everyone riveted to the current round of MasterChef?

Love it or loathe it, the MasterChef TV phenomenon is now half way through the series, down to 12 contestants out of 24. A recent highlight was the guest appearance of Australian icon Maggie Beer, who proved that not only are some great chefs women, but that chefs can be gracious and kind as well, even in victory.

Tell us what you think in this month's quickpoll, and you might win a signed copy of first MasterChef winner Julie Goodwin's Our Family Table. It might not be fare for President Obama, but there are some great winter warmers in there, and lots more, especially for family barbecues. We met Julie recently, and like Maggie, she's a lovely person, too.

Next month we are unveiling something very special, so look out for our July newsletter on the 13th for some very big news. Yes, we've been listening to your feedback - but for now it's a surprise. In the meantime, make sure you enter to win the fabulous 4 day trip to Northern Tasmania, wines and more, and enjoy your long weekend. Drive safely. 

 

Cheers for now from 

 

Robyn Lewis and the VisitVineyards.com team