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Enjoy the fresh season's wines, events and travel


Hello,

September always seems to be a fun and exciting month for us, and we hope it is for you, too. We've just celebrated our second birthday, followed two days later by the launch of the RACV Regional Wine and Food Program, at Healesville in the heart of Victoria's verdant Yarra Valley.

Where were you when the new Australian government was finally announced? It will (for our Australian subscribers) be one of those moments you'll remember. We were assembling at RACV Healesville Country Club, admiring the spectacular views over the surrounding hills, the fabulous newly-renovated resort and the spring blossoms and bulbs decorating the ballroom, when the news came through.

Launched shortly after Australia's first elected female PM was confirmed, by RACV President and Chairman Mr John Isaac (pictured left, on the right hand side) this new program is the result of several years' work and an outcome of our annual survey, in which many of you expressed a desire for more wine and food discounts coupled with an existing membership.

We do realise than not all of you live in Victoria, but hopefully this (and the Tasmanian RACT program which is also underway) will lead to coverage in other States soon. Meanwhile, all of you who are members of any States' auto associations (eg NRMA, RAA, RACQ, or AAA internationally) can enjoy savings of up to 20% at over 50 cellar doors, winery restaurants, food growers and makers, provedores and microbreweries in over 10 Victorian regions, and growing. So remember to 'show your card and save' when you are travelling around Victorian and Tasmanian wine regions (more details of participants below).

Also speaking was Mr Don Richter, Director of Marketing at Tourism Victoria (pictured left) who as well as being the brains behind Victoria's internationally recognised 'jigsaw' campaign, is a passionate online marketer. He believes that our new initiative will bring economic benefits including greater spend and stay in the regions – another important reason why VisitVineyards.com exists, to connect you directly with local producers, so you will get more from your travels, and the locals will benefit, too.

So what better place to kick off than in the Yarra Valley, one of Australia's most widely recognised wine and food regions, which took a massive hit in the bushfires last year? As we looked at the lush greenery outside, and sampled the wines, beers, cheeses, salmon and more from local and other regional producers, the indominable and warm spirit of regional Australia shone through.

It was truly a day to remember, and for you as a wine and food traveller, it's a win for you as well. Enjoy.

Click here to read more about this new initiative and its benefits »

 

In this edition:



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Quick Poll:

Q1. Are you a member of RACV, RACT, NRMA etc (any state or national AAA automobile association)
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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?
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You might like to look at the new programs of wine and food discounts now available in Victoria and Tasmania

 

 

 

 


Vignerons, Restaurateurs, Provedores... open their doors to the Mornington Peninsula

SPECIAL FEATURE:  Produce to Platter, Mornington Peninsula

Enter the secret world of the micro Australian region, the Mornington Peninsula, with this refreshing take on regional Australia. Mother and daughter team, Jonette George and Daniele Wilton, have put heart and soul into writing this book about one of Australia’s most resourceful food and wine regions.

Produce to Platter, Mornington Peninsula allows you to experience the best of this region through the eyes of its locals. Vineyards, restaurants, producers and provedores open their doors to give you a peek behind the scenes. Get a glimpse of their individual lifestyles, their passion for food and wine and their reasons d’être.

The book is all about bringing local produce to your platter, for you to enjoy Australian regional food through recipes and wine tasting notes – no matter where you live. A$35 (soft cover) or A$90 (hard cover).  Be quick, the first edition is nearly sold out and will surely become a collector's item.

Read more about this lovely book and where to purchase, or order online here »


For your opportunity to win one of ten copies of Produce to Platter Mornington Peninsula click here »

 


  RACV.VisitVineyards.com – RACV members enjoy up to 20% discount across regional Victoria

The RACV Regional Wine & Food program – brought to you by VisitVineyards.com

Are you a member of the RACV or any other State's or international automobile organisations (NRMA, RAA, RACQ, AAA etc)? If so, this is for you.

This exciting new development from RACV is part of the global Show Your Card & Save program – the world’s largest member benefits program, with over 115 million members worldwide.

Now, in partnership with VisitVineyards.com all RACV and visiting members of other States' automobile associations can enjoy up to 20% discount at select wineries and vineyards, food producers and sellers, winery restaurants and microbreweries across regional Victoria.

Yes, this applies to all roadside members, as long as your membership is current and you are carrying your rmembership card. Great news for wine and food lovers, and anyone who enjoys travelling in regional Victoria!

 

Am I an RACV Member?

Quite possibly – over two million people are. If you have any kind of insurance or Roadside Assist with RACV then you are automatically an RACV member and entitled to these discounts.

As the name suggests, all you need to do is show your membership card and save!

Almost half of all RACV members do not know that they are entitled to discounts – if that sounds like you, you're in for a pleasant surprise! Take a look at your membership card; the little red and blue logo on the lower right hand corner (pictured above left) means that you are eligible for these (and many more) savings. Or perhaps you knew, but thought it was just for tyres and hardware? Well, not any more!

Not a Victorian? Visiting members of all other state motoring organisations are also eligible.

 

Where can I access these great discounts?

Across regional Victoria: North, South, East and West!

Currently over 50 discounts are available across more than ten regions including the Mornington Peninsula, Gippsland, Yarra Valley, Geelong, Goldfields, Grampians, Great Westerns, Otways, Pyrenees, Strathbogie Ranges and North East Victoria – and growing.

For the full list of over 50 discounts on offer all across regional Victoria, visit http://racv.VisitVineyards.com and keep an eye out for the program logo on display at participating stores, winery-restaurants, microbreweries and cellar doors.

 

I have a regional food and / or wine business. Can I apply to participate in this program?

Yes – we’d love to hear from you. Over the coming months we are looking to include select new regions and regional businesses.

Contact our friendly Victorian Alliance Manager, Sara Schwarz on 0424 379 996 or drop her a line at partners@visitvineyards.com »

 


Travelling Tasmania – sip, savour and save!

If you’re a member of RACT or any AAA motoring body, then you can sample fine Tasmanian food, wine and more around the state – and save up to 15% at the same time.

Stay and dine at Cable Station in the north west, then sample delicious Ashgrove Cheese and enjoy wine and views at Barringwood. Or head to Launceston to pick up some wonderful wines at the Pinot Shop and enjoy a delicious meal and wine at Josef Chromy.

Further down the Tamar Valley, there's  award-winning wines at Goaty Hill and Three Wishes to try along with taste preserves from Rocky Gardens. If your taste buds need a rest, then get some great hands-on history at the Beaconsfield Mine and Heritage Centre.

If you're planning on taking in the sights and tastes of our gorgeous east coast, then base yourself at the Bay of Fires with Bed in the Treetops boutique accommodation.

Down south there’s fine wines from Pooley and Frogmore to savour and the fabulous cheeses on Bruny Island need little introduction. But if you’d rather be enjoying the views and tastes of your journey than driving, then talk to Judy at Eye See Personalised Tours, she’ll take the wheel and share some hidden gems with you.

So with spring here and the vines starting to bud, it's a perfect time to re-discover Tassie’s fabulous wine, food and other experiences – especially when you can save as well.

The range of businesses offering a special discount to RACT and all visiting AAA members (NRMA, RACV, RAA etc)  is growing so remember to check http://ract.VisitVineyards.com when you’re thinking wine and food in Tassie (and yes you can view it on your mobile while you travel.)

Don't miss out. If you have a Tasmanian wine, food or related business and would like to find out more about this exciting new program, email Kerry our Tasmanian Alliance Manager or read more here » 


 


A World of Food and Wine

WINE:

Daring Pairings by Master Sommelier Evan Goldstein in America is a welcome arrival focussing purely on new or emerging grape varieties and matching them with recipes from thirty five of his favourite chefs. One of the most exciting wine books we've seen for some time »

Eat and drink your way around one of the Australia's best known and loved wine regions with the Margaret River Wine and Food Recipe Book and the Essential Wine Touring Guide. All you need to know to sample the best of the west »

With only a few hectares planted in the entire world, Viognier in the 1980s very nearly became extinct. Nowadays this is a popular grape renowned for its extraordinary combination of perfume and body. Jancis Robinson tells us why this could truly be the hedonist's white grape variety »

 

ITINERARIES:

Canberra is often maligned but it has plenty to offer lovers of fine wine and food with around 140 vineyards and a surprising 40-plus wineries within a short drive of the national capital. Winsor Dobbin rediscovers the delights of this small but jam-packed region »

Visiting South Australia or western Victoria? It's no secret the mighty Murray River has been doing it tough but Sam Russell discovers there are still plenty of wineries, producers and attractions well worth visiting.

Want to explore the culinary treasures of North East Victoria but don't know where to start? Check out this new Alpine Valleys itinerary featuring some great food and wine travel suggestions »

 

FOOD:

Some of chef Heston Blumenthal's recent culinary creations seem almost from another planet – a number in Heston's Fantastical Feasts certainly are! Visit the mind of a man (culinary genius or mad scientist?) the likes of which we haven't seen on the world food stage for a very long time »

Join Jamie Oliver in Jamie Does... as he discovers the real joys of culinary travel where the love of food and life blossoms as he journeys through Spain, Italy, Sweden, Morocco, Greece and France. Cook up a storm with easy twists on classic dishes inspired by his travels »

 


Spring zing with superb wine from Tasmania and Mudgee and other special prizes

Enjoying great wine and food at any time of the year is always a pleasure but there's something about spring that adds that extra zing. This month we have more fabulous wine from Rosevears and Frog Rock, a beautiful book on the producers of the Mornington Peninsula and other prizes to get you in the mood to celebrate the new season.

 

1. Win a place at a wine Masterclass and discover the clonal life of pinot noir on the Mornington Peninsula

This is an in-depth look at three Mornington Peninsula Pinot Noir producers’ wines on the 7th October from 5.30 to 7.30pm at the North Melbourne Institute of TAFE.

It will include tasting barrel samples of the individual clones and then the finished wine which is a blend. Your tutor is WineWhitch Jenny Polack, the first Australian to study the renowned international OIV Master of Science in Wine Management which has given her a unique truly global view in wine.

For your chance to win a ticket valued at $50, email us at giveaways@visitvineyards.com and tell us your favourite Mornington Peninsula wine or vineyard. Drawn Monday 27th September. Read more about the Masterclass here »
 

2. Win a double weekend pass to the fabulous Foodbowl Music Festival at Numurkah

Sip on a drop of local wine, savour the taste of fresh regional produce and enjoy the sounds of quality, authentic music with a wide appeal.  Held on the 15th - 17th October, the Goulburn Valley's Foodbowl Music Festival promises to be yet another relaxing, weekend-long celebration of fine local food and original music.

Fancy a festive weekend? Then enter now for your chance to win one of two double weekend passes valued at $50 each - simply email us at giveaways@visitvineyards.com and tell us your favourite Australian cheese. Drawn Friday 1st October.  Read more about the Festival here »

 

3. Win a copy of Produce to Platter and fall in love with the Mornington Peninsula

If you love regional food and wine, your library needs this book. From olives to wine, cheese to chocolates, vinyeards, restaurants and providores – all beautifully presented and motivation enough for travel plans with Produce to Platter – the food and wine lovers guide to Mornington Peninsula,

You could win one of ten copies so  ENTER NOW »

 

4. SUBSCRIBERS' MONTHLY COMPETITION: Win marvellous Mudgee wines, entertaining reads and a taste for the west

Marvel at Mudgee wines from Frog Rock, named after the striking local landmark of frog shaped granite boulders. Ancient soils, perfect micro-climate, minimal intervention and spraying allows the true fruit charactes to develop and shine through.

Eat and Drink good food that's great to drink with by Olly Smith, a man passionate about food, wine and surprisingly, his hero Sir Roger Moore. Discover the entertaining James Bond guide to cream – which actor is sour cream? Is Sean Connery single cream or whipped cream? Enter now to find out!

Be guided on WA wInes and be sure you find the best of the west with Ray Jordan's 2010 WA Wine Guide. From a short list of over 800 wines, Ray's experience and wealth of knowledge has narrowed the field in this must-have book for serious WA wine lovers (and isn't that most of us?)

Taste Margaret River at home with the Margaret River Wine and Food Recipe Book a delighful regional publication full of eminently do-able recipes from this region's winery restaurants. From chicken and corn soup to spiced pink snapper tajine, Arabian salad to scallops with avocado ice-cream and many more options in between – all matched with fine Margaret River wines of course.

 For your chance to win these great prizes, ENTER HERE »

 

5. MEMBERS – sip on fine Tassie wine, discover the world of Riesling in Australia or save your wine

Sip wine: from our friends at Rosevears Estate in Tasmania's Tamar Valley. These two half dozens include their superb 2008 Riesling, 2008 Sauvignon Blanc and 2006 Merlot, all crafted by renowned winemaker Dr Andrew Pirie.

Research wine: delve into the history, read up on the trends and discover the 550 producers of Riesling in Australia. This variety is gaining new fans daily and now you'll understand why.

Save wine for another day. If you'd like to linger longer over that favourite bottle of wine, or like nearly 50% of Australians you live alone, then winesave is your answer. Already used by restaurants and sommeliers around the country, winesave is an affordable and environmentally friendly way to enjoy your wine a second or even third time around.

 MEMBERS, to sip, research and save, enter here »

Everyone who becomes a Member or renews this month is automatically entered in the draw so get a spring in your step and join now with special pricing to celebrate the new season...

 

Our prize shelf needs a spring clean! Please check the winners' page and search for your name. If you find it email Karen with your prize details and postal address and your goodies will be delivered in no time. Don't think you never win because this time you might just have wine, books or other great prizes with your name on them.

 


Spring Events and Long Weekend Activities

With blossoms appearing, lambs frollicking and birds singing, now's the time to enjoy the approaching warmer weather and head off to some spring events including those over the long weekend (for some States) in October. Here's just a taste of what's on around the country.

ACT: Unlock your imagination in 2010 with Floriade, Australia's celebration of Spring – Canberra 11 Sept-10 Oct – as well as tantalise your taste buds at the Murrumbateman Moving Feast on the October long weekend with premium local wines matched with scrumptious food – Murrumbateman, near Canberra, 2-3 Oct »

NSW: The home of organic wine and many young, up and coming winemakers, Mudgee Wine Festival showcases the region's diversity – Mudgee 3-26 Sept . Then of course there's the annual Semillon and Seafood Festival which this year has been moved from April to October to showcase the new 2010 semillons. Held from 8-11 Oct, at various locations in the Hunter Valley, with MasterChef finalist Alvin Quah at a seafood cooking demo on the 9th.   Or experience a month-long feast of extraordinary food, dining and events at the 2010 Crave Sydney International Food Festival in Sydney 1-31 Oct »

NT: Artworks from 40 community based Aboriginal art centres are on display and for purchase at Desert Mob Alice Springs 10-24 Oct – or if traditional Bavarian food and beer is more your thing then head for Oktoberfest in  Darwin 28 Sept-2 Oct »

Qld: Be intrigued, delighted and inspired by a diverse program of dance, music, theatre, conversation and visual arts at the Brisbane Festival Brisbane 4-25 Sept – or shrug off the winter chills and celebrate Granite Belt Spring Style in Stanthorpe and surrounds 1 Sept-30 Nov »

SA: Celebrate all things food and wine from the wine regions of the Fleurieu Peninsula at the Fleurieu Fiesta held at various locations from 1-31 Oct, or help celebrate the mighty Murray River and all it has to offer at the Riverland Wine and Food Festival  – various locations around the Riverland 14-17 Oct »

Tas: Promising something for everyone, from wine enthusiasts to first-time tasters, is the White Wine Weekend. Chat to the winemakers, vineyard owners and wine industry personalities of southern Tasmania – Hobart 16-17 Oct »

Vic: A series of pinot-inspired dinners, tastings and cellar door challenges all featuring Mornington Peninsula pinot noir are held during October Pinot Week – MP and Melbourne 2-10 Oct  – or come along and meet the smaller winemakers and celebrate spring in the Yarra Valley at Shedfest various locations 9-10 Oct. Then there's the annual Heathcote Wine and Food Festival on 2-3rd Oct... so many choices!

WA: Join Swan Valley locals at this delightful time of year at the Spring in the Valley Festival and experience a feast of activities – Swan Valley 1-31st Oct »

 

Want more?

There are many more events, festivals, dinners, tastings, activities and exhibitions in our national wine and food events calendar. Check it out and start planning your next wine and food getaway now.

 

List your own event:

If you are a wine or food event manager or organiser and your event is not listed, no matter how large or small – and for those in NZ too – and you want to advertise it on our website (it's free) please visit our new My Account section to create your own listing, or email us and we'll let you know how to add it our calendar »

 

 


Thanks to all our partners, Members and subscribers

It's been a big month of all of us here at VisitVineyards.com and WinePros Archive, and the start of an exciting new era. Working with the dedicated staff of RACV and RACT to bring our new program to life has been a great pleasure, and we feel very priviledged to be in an association with such respected organisations. (Pictured left is yours truly with Alan Bowes, Membership Operations Manager, RACV).

Thanks to everyone involved in making our fabulous launch happen, and in particular to the program partners whose fabulous wines, foods and beers were on tasting on the day: Plunkett Fowles , de Bortoli Yarra Valley Estate, Otway Estate (who also make very good beers), Bright Brewery and Dromana Estate. Sadly the good folk from Beechworth Honey with their huge range of delicious food products were cut off by the floods and could not attend; we'll be visiting them soon I hope! (Every one offers RACV members discounts).

Members, we haven't forgotten you with all these new developments, and we'll be continuing to expand the special priviledges and benefits that you receive in wine and food regions around the country in the months ahead. We've extended our great value pricing into spring, so it's only A$49 to join or renew your Membership now, for an entire year of wine and food travel benefits.

Dedicated wine aficionados will be pleased to learn that we've also extended our special relationship with Jancis Robinson MW OBE, whose UK-based website has just been awarded the Louis Roederer International Wine Writers Award award for Wine Website of the Year . Our mutual exchange rates have gone up and down like the proverbial yo-yo since we first collaborated, so to save everyone the headache Jancis has standardised her annual membership pricing in £ Stg. It's now £69 (approx. A$120 p.a.) to become a member of JancisRobinson.com , but if you are a WinePros Archive or VisitVineyards.com subscriber or Member, you will save £23 (approx. A$40, or around one third) on joining.

Jancis will continue to provide the occasional touch of dry wit and insightful tasting notes to VisitVineyards.com

Find out more about becoming a JancisRobinson.com member and our special rate here »

Enjoy the rest of September, as buds begin to burst in our wonderful wine regions, and see you next time.

Thanks to all and happy days from

Robyn Lewis and the VisitVineyards.com team.