Geelong's food and wine secrets revealed
SPECIAL FEATURE: Produce to Platter – Geelong and Surrounding Regions
Only one hour’s drive from Melbourne, you can tour a delicious array of food and wine regions. Showcasing these rural delights is mother and daughter team, Jonette George and Daniele Wilton, with their series of books, Produce to Platter.
The areas around the city of Geelong come to life in their latest book, Produce to Platter – Geelong and Surrounding Regions. The book covers local produce, restaurants, cafés and vineyards in the areas of the Bellarine Peninsula, Moorabool Valley, the Surf Coast, the Otways and Geelong’s CBD.
Striking photography by Brad Hill captures the essence of each region, filling the book with an indispensible guide of where to visit in each area.
Jonette says, 'The book 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 glimpse of their individual lifestyles, their passion for food and wine, and their reasons d’être.'
WINE, WINE TRAVEL AND NEWS
With Easter and Mothers' Day fast approaching, now is the perfect opportunity to pamper someone you love with a special weekend away.
We share some secrets for special places and great getaways that will appeal to all food and wine lovers – and mums of all ages: "6 of the best" weekends, hotels, experiences and more...
One of the most exciting wine books to cross our desk last year was Daring pairings by American Master Sommelier Evan Goldstein, which focusses purely on new or emerging grape varieties and matches their wines with recipes from thirty-five of Evan's favourite Chefs.
This month, learn about the grape varieties nebbiolo and gruner veltliner, and find food pairing suggestions and recipes in the FOOD NEWS AND REVIEWS section below.
Our resident expert and world-famous oenologist Ian Hickinbotham tells us about changes and trends in the winemaking industry:
FOOD NEWS AND REVIEWS
Find the perfect cookbook or culinary gift for Mothers' Day
Yes it's almost that time of year again, but thanks to the team at VisitVineyards.com, buying for mums who love to cook is now a lot easier (with some savings as well)!
Whether mum is a novice in the kitchen or an expert, our selection for Mothers' Day should help any dad or child choose the perfect cookbook or culinary gift to delight mum.
Easter means chocolate
Chocolate – the spicy but bitter Mayan 'drink of the Gods' – was first brought to Europe by the Spanish in the 16th century, and soon became a favoured drink of the nobility. Who would have thought that chocolate would look and taste like it does today? »
Watching your health or your waistline? You can make these gluten- and sugar-free raw chocolate magic macaroon eggs instead »
FOOD AND WINE MATCHING:
Pairing food with wine has never been easier with Daring pairings by Evan Goldstein as a guide. Excerpts below give us wine and food pairing ideas for two 'alternative' grape varieties, a red and a white, as well as fabulous recipes for the perfect match.
WIN wine, a limited edition classic cookbook, great guides and tickets to meet winemakers
Don't forget you can enjoy these subscriber offers any time of the year:
Prize winners from March are listed on the winners' page so please don't think you'll never win because every month lots of people, just like you, do!
Check the page and let us know if your name is on the winners' list to claim your prize.
RACV Members – go visit the family this Easter or Mothers' Day, and save up to 20 per cent along the way
Many of Australia’s regional wine and food businesses are family affairs with two, three or more generations working closely together to produce great regional fare.
Pfeiffer Wines, in the renowned Rutherglen wine region is one such family business, with second generation winemaker Jen Pfeiffer taking over the winemaking reins from her father Chris.
There’s always something happening at Pfeiffer Wines whether it be their annual Pfeiffer Pfrolic, regular behind-the-scenes tours and barrel tastings or the chance to feed the local turtles in the creek. Read more about this energetic and welcoming family and their wines here »
Go to our new joint website at RACV.VisitVineyards.com/Save for the full list of over 50 great discount offers across regional Victoria available to all RACV* members.
* Reciprocal rights exist for members of other motoring organisations within Australia and internationally. So if you're a current member or policy holder of NRMA, RAA, RACT, RANZ, AAA etc, you qualify for all these discounts too!
Do you know a great winery, restaurant or food maker? Is there a business you'd like to see in this program (perhaps your own), or in another state, that you think should join? If so, please email Sara, our friendly Victorian Alliance Manager with your suggestions. Thank you.
Explore Tasmania’s wine regions and save when you wine, dine and sleep
If you're a member of RACT or any state or international motoring organisation*, you not only save on great Tasmanian wine and food, but on boutique accommodation as well.
Culinary travelling and delving into our wine regions can be tiring – all that sipping of fine cool climate wine, savouring fresh, local produce and enjoying a lively conversation with the makers. It’s perfect to then relax and unwind in accommodation that’s close by and offering a warm welcome.
The River House, a boutique riverfront B&B, is perfectly positioned for touring the Tamar Valley and North East vineyards.
Offering stylish room options with panoramic river views and sweeping gardens, The River House is an ideal base or somewhere tranquil to simply to rest, relax and regenerate. Your friendly hosts, Carl and Helen, invite you to book direct and save (we recommend a coffee on the verandah – it’s very peaceful!)
If sampling seafood straight from the waters and tasting wines on Tasmania’s East Coast appeals, then book into Bed in the Treetops, a luxurious hideaway at Bay of Fires, to complete the experience.
Relax on the deck and drink in the spectacular views from Binalong Bay to St Helens, and perhaps a glass of local wine and some fresh crayfish! Book direct to save »
For a taste of history amongst the lush, green hills of North West Tasmania, stay and dine and save at the Old Cable Station in Stanley. From here you can breathe the cleanest air in the world, explore the magnificent Tarkine or simply enjoy the freshest seafood from the local wharf and produce grown on land around you in the Gourmet Traveller listed restaurant.
All accommodation is RACT star rated.
Enjoy our beautiful Tasmanian autumn days, with the leaves on the vines changing colour, by getting out and about. You can save as you go at some of these fabulous spas, makers and tours:
Check out the full list of exclusive discounts at our joint website RACT.VisitVineyards.com »
If your favourite Tasmanian winery, vineyard, food producer, accommodation or restaurant is not listed, or for information for your own business, please email our friendly Alliance Manager, Kerry Scambler.
* Reciprocal rights exist for members of other motoring organisations within Australia and internationally. If you're a current member or policy holder of NRMA, RAA, RACV, RANZ, AAA etc, you qualify for all these discounts too! So visit Tasmania this autumn and save.
EVENTS: Food and wine events around Australia this autumn
Summer has faded and with the cooler weather upon us, now is the time to start planning autumnal vineyard visits to restock the cellar as well as enjoy log fires, good food and great wines.
Check out our events below for ideas and things to do as Easter is fast approaching as well as Mother's Day in May and then before we know it, the June long weekend. There's plenty on so start planning and enjoy autumn wine, food and fun!
Victoria: Held on the Mornington Peninsula and promoting the grape varieties and wine styles of cool climate regions, this wine show includes a public tasting, an awards presentation dinner and the cool climate classic lunch – International Cool Climate Wine Show, Mornington, 24-27 May »
VisitVineyards.com Members receive a generous discount on the awards dinner and public wine tasting. Click here for more information »
Meet the winemakers of the Bendigo region, sample their wines and enjoy live music at the Bendigo Winemakers' Festival, Castlemaine, 24 April »
Celebrate all that is fresh and fabulous in the Grampians Pyrenees wine region at the Grape Escape Food and Wine Festival, Halls Gap, 30 April-1 May »
Join the passionate food and wine producers of North East Victoria for a weekend of market stalls, themed dinners, a culinary and wine theatre, winery excursions and much more – Harvest Celebration in Beechworth, 13-15 May »
ACT: Discover Canberra's heritage wonders during the beautiful autumn. It's retro and vintage. It's about past decades and the future. Canberra and Region Heritage Festival, various locations, 9-24 April »
NSW: Celebrate the Orange region produce, producers and food providers with locals and visitors alike in a truly regional food experience at Orange Food Week, various locations, 8-17 April.
NT: Showcasing the wonderful outdoor lifestyle in the Top End and what we can do to contribute to an environmentally friendly and sustainable future – Tropical Garden Spectacular and Top End Sustainable Living Festival, Darwin, 4-5 June »
Qld: Converge on the magical setting of Noosa on Queensland's Sunshine Coast to taste, talk, debate, dine and indulge over 3 days of amazing food events at the Noosa Food and Wine Festival, 13-15 May »
SA: On Easter Saturday and Sunday in Tanunda, Barossa Valley, you will have the opportunity to taste and/or purchase almost thirty wines – Taste McLaren Vale, Barossa and Eden Valley Wines, Tanunda, 23-24 April »
This marks the start of the biennial Barossa Harvest Festival, including a wide range of wine and food events, many for families. Come and dicover the unique culture of the Barossa, 23 April-1 May »
WA: Ignite your senses and warm your mind this winter at the City of Perth Winter Arts Season, various locations around Perth, 1 June to 31 August »
Tas: Enjoy catching and cooking your own wild food? Come and see thousands of wild brown trout on their annual spawning run during this unique piece of Tasmania's angling heritage – the Trout Weekend at Liawenee, Great Lake, 21-22 May »
Also in May don't miss Savour Tasmania, the third annual epicurean festival celebrating Tasmania's produce expressed by cutting edge international and local chefs and food personalities. This year's international chef lineup includes:
Savour Tasmania, various locations around Hobart, 25-29 May. This event also includes the Tasmanian Red Wine Weekend held in the Salamanca Arts Centre, 28-29 May.
There are hundreds more wine and food events and festivals on every month around the country so check out our national wine and food events calendar. We list events as many months ahead as we can »
(And if you are holding one yourself, please make sure you list it on MyAccount asap, so that our site visitors can see it – it's free and very easy to DIY.)
MEMBERS: Some exclusive treats just for you
Being a VisitVineyards.com Member is about getting the very most from your wine, food and travels. As Australia's leading online guide, we select the best experiences, and bring them to you at a very special price, or for free.
If you want to get behind the scenes, be invited to the barrel room for exclusive tastings, join like-minded people at lunches or cooking classes, or enjoy the best table in the vineyard restaurant, then VisitVineyards.com Membership is for you.
This month we have three special Members-only offers for you:
As a first this year the ICCWS together with our good friends at Mornington Peninsula Gourmet are bringing you a selection of 10 'Classic Lunches' on the 27th May, if you can't make the awards dinner that evening, or if you want to make a whole day of it.
THANK YOU from flood and cyclone victims in Queensland and Victoria
A heartfelt thank you to everyone who purchased tickets, and/or donated wine, money, other prizes or services in the recent Wine Trade Flood and Cyclone Relief Raffle, jointly organised by Tyson Stelzer and his team in Brisbane, and by the team here at VisitVineyards.com, with Kirstie Bedford of KDJM Communications handling the PR free of charge.
Everyone worked incredibly hard, and we are pleased to announce that a total sum of A$277,000 was raised: 70% going to the Queensland Premier's Disaster Relief Fund (A$194,000), and 30% to the Victorian Red Cross (A$83,000). The observant amongst you may have noticed that your newsletter is a day later than normal, the reason being we have just been finalising the raffle accounts (all 30 odd pages of them!) and making the bank deposits today.
Congratulations also to those of you who won prizes; you should be receiving them about now. We hope you enjoy them all very much. Winners came from all States and overseas, and we were particularly delighted that first prize winner was from Brisbane – some good news for Queensland.
However, as many of you would know, there are still people who are yet to be able to return to their homes, and parts of rural Victoria remain underwater. So, as we head into Easter, ANZAC Day and some holiday fun time, please don't forget them, nor our NZ and Japanese friends who have also suffered so badly.
Wishing you all a safe and enjoyable Easter and Mothers' Day, and happy holidays.
Robyn Lewis and all the team at VisitVineyards.com