WINE AND FOOD TRAVEL on the go!
Finally, something that many of you have been asking for: VisitVineyards.com in mobile form. We're about to launch our iPhone app, and as a valued subscriber of our community we'd like like to give you the first peek, prior to the official launch in September.
For those of you with an iPhone or iPad, you'll be able to locate almost 5000 vineyards, wineries and cellar doors across the whole of Australia, plus restaurants, accommodations, food makers and growers, visitor info centres, and much more, on the go!
None of them pay to be in the app, so it's totally independent and as comprehensive as we can possibly make it. (If you know of one who you think should be included, please let them know and they can upload their details into VisitVineyards.com/MyAccount)
The app covers every Australian region, all in one place. The app itself is quite small for you to download, and due to the large amount of data, you only need to download what you need at any given time, by state and/or region that you want to find out about.
You can also search by keyword and find cellar doors, nearby accommodations and restaurants etc on the map, save them to favourites, get directions etc.
To use the app and to download the data, you will need to login. You do this using your existing VisitVineyards.com username and password. If you have forgotten your password, you can create a new one here. If you have forgotten your username , please email us at firstname.lastname@example.org
You will need to be in mobile range when you download the data, and in this 'lite' version, it isn't stored on your phone, so if you are travelling to an area outside your carrier's range, please use it before you go. (We anticipate in a later upgrade to offer you the ability to store data locally).
Best of all: the app is free!
We'd love to hear your feedback before the end of August. The two most helpful/constructive comments (good or bad!) will receive a fabulous twin pack of wine from Yabby Lake in Victoria, containing a bottle of their fabulous Mornington Peninsula Pinot Noir 2008 (worth A$58) and either their Chardonnay 2008 or Heathcote Estate Shiraz 2008 (both worth A$44).
Please email your feedback to email@example.com before 31st August, and thanks in advance.
To download or read about the app, click this link or open iTunes and search for Visit Vineyards. Enjoy!
(PS for any of our subscribers overseas, the app should be on your iTunes store – please email and let us know if you can't find it. Thanks.)
WINE AND FOOD TRAILS plus reviews and news
Are you thinking about what to get Dad for Fathers' Day? We can help find that perfect Fathers' Day present with books about wine and food, as well as something very different for a wine-loving Dad who has almost everything – a wine aroma kit!
Or perhaps Dad might prefer a special vineyard lunch, or the ultimate gourmet experience: a trip to Tasmania?
We have plenty of suggestions below to take the stress out of buying for Dad (or yourself).
Australia: We all love visiting vineyards, wineries and cellar doors. So, where do you start? If you haven't left home yet, then Australia's Best Winery Experiences is a good place for some inspiration, especially if you or Dad enjoys architecture.
Orange, NSW: Kate Bracks, the new 2011 winner of the MasterChef TV series, is set to highlight Orange (in the Central Ranges region of NSW) on Australia's culinary map. Find out where to go, taste, eat, sleep and shop in Orange here »
Tasmania: Veteran wine, food and travel writer Winsor Dobbin gives us his top picks for two perfect weekends away in Tasmania, a treasure island for wine and food lovers.
If you or Dad are into art, or just want to find out what all the fuss is about, hop on a plane or catch a ferry and visit MONA, the Museum of Old and New Art, located at the old Moorilla Estate, just north of Hobart.
If you like this, don't forget to claim your VisitVineyards.com subscribers special offer: Save up to $110 on Le Nez du Vin aroma sets plus get an additional 5% off if you purchase two or more sets together »
Our resident expert and famous oenologist Ian Hickinbotham tells us some winemaking facts and figures we may not know.
FOOD: Reviews and recipes
Family is best:
For the novice cook:
For the budding home-grown producer:
Recently we asked subscribers to write a review of one of your fave cookbooks. Here are two runners-up, deserving special mention:
Perhaps you might prefer to cook Dad a treat for Fathers' Day? Here are two to enjoy, and the cheesecake (an authentic Ukrainian recipe) is neither too sweet nor too heavy.
Sunshine Coast Real Food Festival 10-11 September
Matilda Scarfe's South African food is all about simplicity, authenticity and connecting you to the sources or the food you are eating, exactly what The Real Food Festival on the Sunshine Coast Hinterland is all about.
EVENTS: Food and wine events around Australia
Coonawarra Wine Tasting Roadshow, 15-24 August
If you've ever wondered what Coonawarra wines taste like – or you already know them well and want to sample the latest vintage – then here's your chance.
Tasmania Unbottled 2011, 8, 12 & 14 September – Tastings and Winemaker Dinners
Find out why the world is taking notice of these elegant cool climate wines at tastings in Brisbane, Sydney
VisitVineyards.com subscribers: book to attend a Winemaker Dinner and receive a free ticket (a saving of A$40) to the Tasmania Unbottled event in your city »
SA: At the Barossa Gourmet Weekend set your tastebuds free with a weekend of indulgence when 21 wineries provide delicious food, wine and music – Barossa Valley, 20-21 Aug »
NSW: Taste the wines (Fri 26 Aug) from small winemakers all over NSW at the NSW Small Winemakers Show – Forbes, 22-26 Aug. Mingle with producers, winemakers and locals during the fabulous Mudgee Wine and Food Festival – Mudgee, 9-25 Sept »
NT: The Alice Desert Festival is Central Australia's premier arts and cultural festival celebrating the desert and its peoples – Alice Springs, 9-18 Sept »
Qld: Celebrate the wonderful variety of food that Sunshine Coast producers, manufacturers and restaurants have to offer at the Real Food Festival – Maleny, 10-11 Sept »
Tas: Be inspired at Saffire's Coastal Table with a unique exploration of fine food and wine – Coles Bay, 24-27 Aug. In northern Tasmania you can celebrate the premium cool climate wines and produce from the Tamar Valley at the Taste of the Tamar – Launceston, 27-28 Aug »
Vic: The Taste of Melbourne is a stunning celebration of the best cuisine that the city and the surrounding region has to offer – Melbourne, 15-18 Sept. Showcasing the food and wines of the region is the popular tenth Heathcote Wine and Food Festival – Heathcote, 8-9 Oct. Taste of WA brings the best of the west to The Point – 13 Sept »
Global/cyberspace: Get tasting and tweeting on Cabernet Day, 1st Sept. Now in its second year and expecting a big global audience. Free tastings all over Australia, or join in the tweet up from 7.30-9pm AEST »
Global/cyberspace: Country against country, region against region – it’s Pinot Smackdown on Aug 18th. See where you can get involved and try some of Australia's finest pinot noir »
There are hundreds more wine and food events and festivals on every month around Australia in our national wine and food events calendar here »
(And if you are holding one yourself, please make sure you list it on VisitVineyards.comMyAccount so that our site visitors can see it – it's free and very easy to DIY.)
RACV Members: Grab your gumboots and head to the Yarra Valley this August
The Yarra Valley – the mere mention of the name conjures up images of rolling hills planted with vines and orchards, farmers markets, farmgate sales and fine wine. August is a great time to visit the Yarra Valley. It’s a quiet time during ‘gumboots season’ as the locals call it, so often you’ll have the winemaker’s full attention to yourselves at cellar door.
One such winery where you’re guaranteed full attention of the makers is our newest RACV partner – Five Oaks Wines in Seville. Here your cellar door discussions are as likely to include nuclear physics, law and the superiority of wine cats over wine dogs, as they are to be about the fine wine made at this boutique vineyard and winery. Read more about Five Oaks and their ‘wine cats’ here »
And while you’re in the region, please visit and take advantage of great discounts of up to 20 per cent at these other Yarra Valley wineries:
For the full list of over 50 great wine and food discount offers across regional Victoria go to our new joint website: RACV.VisitVineyards.com/Save
* 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!
Travel Tasmania and save as member of RACT, RACV, RACQ or other motoring organisation
If you'd like to see the best of Tasmania with someone else behind the wheel then talk to Judy of Eye See Tours about her new 10 day Tasmanian Island of Icons Tour. Members of RACT or any other affiliated motoring organisations* are offered a 10% discount on booking this tour.
Harmony Hill Wellness and Organic Spa Retreat welcomes new therapists Matthew and Julia Sijomon from Ananda, one of the world's best spas in the Himalayas. Read more about their ancient healing treatments and don't forget that an as RACT* member, you can save on the indulgent Wine Lovers treatments »
No matter the season, Tasmania's East Coast is always spectacular and always welcoming, no less than at Bed in the Treetops on the Bay of Fires, a world renowned destination. Save 15% on direct bookings and enjoy the sound of the sea and the smell of the fresh salt air.
Still on the coast, White Sands Estate offers great family accommodation right on the beach with a cafe and restaurant on-site. Save 10% on direct bookings
for accommodation and purchases at The Providore including Ironhouse Brewery beers, brewed right there.
PLUS: Many of our RACT partners feature in Winsor Dobbin's latest Tasmanian itineraries, written to help you plan a wine and food adventure to remember:
Included in the Northern Tasmanian itinerary are Josef Chromy, Ashgrove Cheese, Beaconsfield Mining & Heritage Centre, Rocky Gardens and The River House.
Around Hobart and the South, Winsor features Bruny Island Cheese, Panorama Vineyard, Home Hill Wines and Restaurant, La Torta and Pooley Wines along with other recommendations for a wine and food frolic.
A great way to spend some time sipping, savouring and saving!
For the full list of Tasmanian discount offers, go to RACT.VisitVineyards.com/save
* If you're a current member or policy holder of RACV, NRMA, RAA, RACQ, RANZ, AAA etc, you qualify for all these discounts too!
Win black gold, fine wine, tickets to festivals and wine tastings and much more
The chill of winter is still upon us in southern Australia, along with the earthy scent of the truffle, but spring festivals are well within sight along with wine tastings from west and south and something just a little different to add some harmony to your life.
What a great list of prizes we have on offer just for you this month! There are so many we've numbered them so you don't miss out.
Please, check our winners page for your name and if you find it, email Kerry with prize details and confirming your postal address. She needs the space on her prize shelf for even more gifts heading your way in September.
VisitVineyards.com Members: Enjoy a warm welcome where ever you go.
A warm welcome awaits all our loyal Members, and those who have recently joined us, when you use your VisitVineyards.com card at over 150 businesses in our wine and food regions »
There’s nothing like good wine and food during these wintry months and as we head into spring; with less crowds out and about, you are generally assured a much more personal experience where ever you go.
Your (or Dad!) will enjoy exclusive experiences at select destinations across Victoria and beyond with your VisitVineyards.com Membership card including:
and lots more tempting offers and exclusive experiences available for you to view here »
Like to buy Dad a VisitVineyards.com Membership for Fathers' Day? He'll thank you for the whole year, with over 180 wine, food and beer experiences he (and Mum) can enjoy time and time again.
To see a sample of what he will get, here's a special Members' itinerary to enjoy in the Red Hills and Main Ridge area of Victoria's wonderful Mornington Peninsula »
Thanks again to all our loyal subscribers, and look out for some fantastic news in September, where to welcome spring in Australia we'll be offering you an amazing Queensland opportunity!
Stay tuned, stay warm, and wishing all the fathers in Australia and New Zealand a very happy Fathers' Day – and for those of you who have already celebrated it, enjoy our new iPhone app and the month ahead.
Robyn Lewis and the VisitVineyards.com team.