No Quick poll this month! We encourage you to (if you haven't already) to complete our Survey and be in the draw to win a bottle of 1998 Grange or a 6-pack of fine Tasmanian Pinot.
SPECIAL PROMOTION: Will your favourite gourmet experience be a winner?
Australian Traveller magazine, with its 100 Greatest Australian Gourmet Experiences will hit local news stands on Wednesday 24th March. A taste of what’s coming: worshipping the heat at Spice Temple , eating fish ‘n’ chips on the beach (anywhere, just make sure it's the right fish 'n' chips), the food stalls of Darwin’s Mindil Beach Markets and churn and turn at Pyengana Dairy in Tasmania.
That’s just four – there’s another 96 around Australia to discover, including the Number One, which is.... we can't tell you! So make sure you grab your copy from your local newsagent, and check out the best near you. We have 20 copies of Australian Traveller hot off the press to give away – for entry details CLICK HERE »
There are another 260 great gourmet experiences right here on VisitVineyards.com for our lucky Members – just scroll down to find out what's new in March.
WINE: News, travels, books, makers plus our Top 12 picks
Autumn fast approaches in the southern hemisphere, and across Australia the 2010 grape harvest is in full swing. So before we air our woolies and dig out our ugg (or bespoke) boots we invite you to keep that summer feeling alive with a selection of our Top 12 Indian Summer wines from The Wine Society »
How is this year's vintage? It's harvest to Americans, vendage to the French - the frantic few months when the usually peaceful vineyards and wineries come to life as the grapes ripen to picking perfection. It's the time to be out exploring - the vines are laden, the mood celebratory and the weather generally perfect for the many tempting food, wine and music events. How are the wines shaping up and what's on amidst the vines in the:
With over 600 cellar doors in Victoria and good food and wine in abundance, SA based Sam Russell went on tour to select his Top Picks for some lesser-frequented wine growing areas:
Do you live outside Victoria? Want to see some more features in your own State (or somewhere else)? Then please ask your State or regional tourism authorities to get in touch with us, or forward them this newsletter and suggest that they do. Your rates and taxes pay their salaries, folks! We can't be everywhere....
WA wine expert Ray Jordan's 2010 WA Wine Guide is a must-have for anyone buying or interested in the wines of Western Australia. The '09 vintage was exceptional - the stands-outs amazing. And they are not all expensive. Another bonus this year is the handy pull-out wine map, one of the best we've seen »
Champagne. The very word says celebration. With over 200 of these ethereal wines matched to sumptuous banquets and French-inspired cuisine, Champagne and Chandeliers by Bernadette O'Shea is an elegant, creative and poetic tribute to what is perhaps the world's most famous wine. Bubbles anyone? »
For small winemakers the future is always uncertain and difficult and none more so than now. Brian Croser, leading light in Australian wine business, recently stirred up a hornet's nest about the challenge facing the Australian wine community for the next decades to 2030. Read it here »
Glen Erin Vineyard in Victoria's Macedon Ranges combines 4.5 star luxury with country hospitality, and produces exceptional wines. Brian Scales transformed the property from neglected to inspiring »
How times have changed! Mark Davidson, Chief Winemaker at Tamburlaine Organic Wines in the Hunter Valley in NSW , remembers that in Australia in the 1970s wine was not something you talked about much »
OUR MONTHLY COMPETITIONS: Getaway to Tasmania, walk in Tuscany, drip with chocolate, sip on wine or catch up on some reading
Forget Tattslotto. You chances of winning something are far, far greater in the VisitVineyards.com monthly competitions! And because our prizes are about wine, food and travel, we know they'll be something you'll enjoy.
This month you could win - yes! - a four-day getaway to Tasmania, a walking tour in Tuscany, a divine massage, fabulous wine to celebrate the start of vintage and more sumptous books.
With flights, hire car, elegant accommodation, a superb lunch at Estelle Restaurant , a wine tasting and vineyard tour all included, all you'll need to do is take some leave and pack your bags! If you'd like to explore the Tamar Valley cool climate wine region with someone special then ENTER HERE before the 31st March »
Tuscany is not just world famous for its food and wine but the warmth and authenticity of its people. Win this prize and you could be adding a guided walking tour of Chianti with Gianni to your overseas itinerary for an unforgettable Italian experience. ENTER before 31st March »
You could be dripping in chocolate and melting under the gentle touch of a Ripple Massage
therapist. One lucky VisitVineyards.com subscriber will win a two hour Chocolate Massage package valued at $195. It's drawn at the end of March so enter now for your chance to win this divine experience »
APRIL COMPETITIONS Don't be an April fool - remember to check VisitVineyards.com on the 1st (after midday, of course!) when there'll be yet more superb wine, food, travel and book prizes available. Ms M Walsh of Sydney, the very happy winner of our February Tutti a Tavola competition, will be fulfilling her own lifelong dream when she cooks with the Tuscan Mammas. We'll have more very special prizes in the coming months, so stay tuned.
Subscribers and Members, don't forget to check to see if you won the superb Angullong or Delatite wines, or other great prizes - we had a lot in February to give away! If you find your name there, please email us with your postal address and your prize will be on your doorstep in no time. We just tried the Angullong verdelho and found it a sensation - and great value at A$15 a bottle! - and their pinot gris is a good drop, too. James Halliday recently said on Twitter that he had never bought a bottle of pinot gris - well, perhaps he hasn't tried Angullong.
Thanks for your very creative suggestions for the best wine to drink whilst listing to Bohemian Rhapsody - the winner of V/Line tickets and passes to see Queen - the Unseen Archive, was Mr D Toma with his suggestion of pinot noir 'because Freddy Mercury was light and dark, delicate and exuberant'. We couldn't agree more!
Just a note for some survey respondents - none of the above producers or authors pay, bribe or otherwise cajole us to be featured on our website or in this newsletter - we try to pick out what we consider the best and most interesting from what comes our way or that we research ourselves. VisitVineyards.com is totally independent, and any advertisements are always marked as such.
However we can't consider or feature what we don't know about, are able to visit or are sent, so if your favourite wine, winery, event, accommodation or regional restaurant (or even a region) is not here, then perhaps you should let them know and ask them to get in touch! They can email us on firstname.lastname@example.org
FOOD: Fresh, real and the very best
Tasmania's Table by food author Paul County is a sumptuous publication that quickly hit number one on Tasmania's bestseller lists. It's not hard to see why. With elegant and evocative photography by Nick Osborne, even if you are only a half-interested food lover you will be dreaming of a trip to Tasmania the moment you open it. Explore the bounty of Australia's island State; PLUS you can buy it at a special subscribers-only price »
How many times have you bitten into a store-bought peach or apricot and been disappointed by the bland flavour? Well you won't find such fruit - or any other tired and boring groceries, fish or cakes - in this treasure trove of Western Australia's culinary cornucopia, Perth. This is the sort of book every large city in Australia needs. The Food Lovers' Guide to Perth by Julie Mews and Lisa Hummel-Robson »
At an altitude of 500 to 600 metres in the Chianti hills of Tuscany in Italy, Muricciaglia is located in the heart of an area long esteemed for the quality of its grapevines and olive oil. An invitation to pick olives and make olive oil was therefore too good to pass up for a VisitVineyards.com staff member. From picking the olives to tasting the pressed oil it was a journey of discovery, delight and surprise - take it yourself »
Want to know more about cheese? Passionate about regional and seasonal Australian produce, cheese judge and educator Helen Waterworth tells how the cheese industry has changed and what a judge looks for in a winning cheese »
Confused about chocolate? Get in early this Easter and find out what the different percentages of cacao mean for the taste and how you cook with it, from Spanish chocolate master Ramon Morato »
Can't cook? No time? Working too hard, or raising a family, and missed the decade's food revolution? Then Lyndey Milan: The Best Collection might be just what you need with fast, fabulous food from the noughties . It's a happy book and sure to get your creative juices flowing. Check it out here »
A FOODIE'S ADVENTURE ITINERARY
Enjoy fresh air and adventure with your local food and wine? Bruny Island in Southern Tasmania offers you the lot: an award-winning eco-cruise with Bruny Island Cruises , tasty treats from the Cheese Company, fresh oysters, Berry Farm creations and of course wine. Discover an island that's only small on the outside »
MEMBERS - browse our pick of exclusive offers this autumn
Not a Member yet? As a VisitVineyards.com Member you’ll enjoy 12 months' unlimited access* to 260 (and growing) exclusive benefits, experiences, offers and savings at wineries, restaurants, accommodation providers and more, across Australia and beyond. For $99 p.a. ($169 per couple) - with special rates for RACV Club and Wine Society members (email us to enquire). *You can use your card as many times as you like.
A VisitVineyards.com Membership can pay for itself in your purchase or first weekend away, and is the best value and most fun investment you’ll make all year »
EVENTS: Food and wine events around Australia over March and Easter
The great Australian summer is nearly over, but the wine, food and fun has barely begun.... Enjoy the last of the sunshine as well as the Easter break by heading outdoors to some great food and wine events. Don't miss the Melbourne Food and Wine Festival, in full swing from 12th-23rd March, with hundreds of events in Melbourne and around Victoria. It's the largest celebration of its kind in the world!
Other events include:
If you are an event organiser and your event is not listed, no matter how large or small - and in NZ too - please email us details asap, but preferably 2-3 months prior. We've had requests from overseas subscribers wanting event info up to 2 years in advance, so they can plan their trips down under - and believe us, we'd love to be able to provide it - but we are getting a little tired of being emailed on a Tuesday or Wednesday asking us to list an event for the next weekend! If you want to attract visitors (and their money) beyond your own mailing list, town or region, give us and them some more notice, please - they can only attend if they know about it. Thousands read this.
Have you found a great event to attend? Don't forget you can find (and book) places to stay nearby in our accommodation section - many are hidden gems not on Wotif or large booking sites »
SAVE: discounts and special offers - a thank you to our subscribers
To thank you, our 25,000+ valued VisitVineyards.com and Winepros Archive subscribers, we're working to bring you more special offers on some of the great wine, food and travel products we've found - here's a taste:
We're always on the lookout for more special offers for our subscribers - email us your suggestions »
To tweet or not to tweet? That is the question...
According to our survey results so far, half of you love to share your lives on facebook, to tweet or network with your peers on LinkedIn - especially some winemakers out there - the other half can't bear the thought and would prefer to be out tasting wine! Life was once to short to stuff mushrooms, now (for some) it's too short to read tweets. Yes, tweeps (that's those who tweet) and peeps (that's people who don't), it's a big divide, and somewhat surprisingly it's not all based on age. We'll bring you some more Gen X and Y vs BB findings next month.
Meanwhile, if you're Irish enjoy St Patrick's Day, and if you're a tweep we post occasional updates and RTs (retweets, folks - i.e. passing on select goss and news) from winemakers and foodies - that is when they're talking about wine and food happenings, not just the weather or what they had for breakfast. If you're a tweep, see www.twitter.com/visitvineyards.com, or join our group on facebook to keep up with happenings between now and your next newsletter.
And winemakers , please continue to send us your vintage news, by tweet or email. We love to hear from you.
A safe and happy Easter to all, from
Robyn Lewis and all the VisitVineyards.com team