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Wine and food travel goes mobile, ideas for Dad and August's amazing 65 giveaways



Did you know that's it's only a little over 100 years since the idea of Fathers' Day was born? (in the USA). In Australia and New Zealand this day of celebrating fatherhood and male parenting is held on the first Sunday in September, not in June like much of the world. It's a sign that our winter is over.

This year it's the 4th September, before our next newsletter is due, so we're gearing up now! There are some great ideas for treating dads below, or yourself if you need an excuse.

We're also having a mini-celebration at – finally, our online wine and food guide is now available as an iPhone app. As a subscriber we're giving you a first peek – with any new bit of IT, there are sure to be a few things that can be improved, so we're asking you to please take a look and let us know what you think we can improve or if you find any bugs. It's been a long time in development, and we hope you'll enjoy it! Email us your feedback here » (and yes, Android users will get one later :)

Click on this link or open iTunes and search for Visit Vineyards. Learn more about finding and connecting with Australia's fabulous vineyards and wineries, food makers and sellers, restaurants and much more below. It's free.

Our full launch will be in September, so get in now, have a look and tell us what you think – we'll reward the most helpful feedback with some good bottles of wine! (details below). Thanks for your support.



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Finally, something that many of you have been asking for: 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

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 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

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 haven't forgotten users of Android and other mobile devices either, so stay tuned. Meanwhile find out more on our iPhone Help and iPhone FAQ pages.

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 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.)


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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.

This new book will certainly get you or Dad in the mood to visit a vineyard or two »


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.

Yes, it really is as sensational as they say, and we are so fortunate to have this world-class gallery in Australia. We've been four times already and are still discovering new things. Be prepared to have your world view changed!

Treat Dad to a lunch at The Source restaurant, for a complete experience. Their sommelier, Joseph Burton, has just been judged one of the top 15 in Australia.


Both these would suit a wine-loving Dad, at either end of the cost spectrum.

  • The Hungover Cookbook is an amusing and inexpensive little book that might take your hangover to a whole new level of inspiration. Each hangover apparently has its own specific characteristics but help is at hand – The Hungover Coobkook by Milton Crawford »
  • We are trained to develop many of our skills and senses but less importance is given to teaching how to smell – and if you are into wine, food and even beer, this is one sense you need to get fit.

    Train your (or Dad's) nose to detect truffles, lime, hawthorn and more ... in your wineglass. Le Nez du Vin wine aroma kits include vials of scent covering the basic scents found in wine, and great little books to explain it all. Have fun smelling and identifying them, and soon you'll be an expert. Kids will love trying this out this too. Le Nez du Vin, written and produced by Frenchman Jean Lenoir »

If you like this, don't forget to claim your 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:

  • Winter on the Farm by Matthew Evans – The latest cookbook from Matthew Evans and his farm in Tasmania's beautiful Huon Valley, the base for his successful television series, Gourmet Farmer. Our review is coming soon but you can read the media release here. The book looks simply delicious, so if Dad is hankering after his own rural change, he might enjoy it, too.


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.

In August, the famous Coonawarra wineries, under the banner of the Coonawarra Vignerons Association, will showcase their wares around Australia. With over 100 wines to enjoy from individual Coonawarra wineries, visitors will have the opportunity to taste the wines and meet the winemakers and owners behind these famous brands. Click here for locations around Australia and dates »


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 and Melbourne.

Register to attend now and you'll go in the draw for a 5 night Orion Expeditions Tasmanian Wine and Food Cruise!

You could also dine decadently with the winemakers at Pure South and Grossi Florentino in Melbourne, Coast Restaurant in Sydney and era Bistro in Brisbane. 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 »


Other events:

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 ShowForbes, 22-26 Aug. Mingle with producers, winemakers and locals during the fabulous Mudgee Wine and Food FestivalMudgee, 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 FestivalMaleny, 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 partnerFive 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:

* 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

* 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.

  1. Ever wanted to smell or taste a black truffle? Revered as the 'black gold' of the kitchen, truffles add an incredible, unique flavour to cooking. If you missed out last month, you have another chance! Win one of three of these incredible culinary gems, from Perigord Truffles of Tasmania , valued at approx A$180 each (including postage). Hurry, drawn 15th August »
  2. Dromana Estate loves things Italian, especially wine and food. To coincide with their Italian Degustation dinner just after Fathers' Day (another idea for Dad, if you're in Victoria), we have four half cases of their distinctive 'i' range wines to be won »
  3. Perhaps you destress after work with a glass or two of wine? This month we've offering you something completely different – the opportunity to enhance the natural energy of your home or office with a professionally produced Feng Shui giclée print. A gentle waterfall, soothing landscape or flowers of any colour – the choice is yours. Enter now and you could win one of two soothing prints valued at A$600 each »
  4. Sip and savour your favourite wines the first, second and even third time around with winesave™, designed specifically to keep opened wines perfectly. Win one of six winesave units, each with a superb bottle of chardonnay or shiraz from Yabby Lake »
  5. Taste stunning cool climate wines at Tasmania Unbottled. Choose from 150 wines including world-renowned sparkling, pinot, riesling and meet the dedicated producers  Win one of five double passes in Brisbane, Sydney or Melbourne »
  6. Visit shiraz heaven and celebrate spring at the Heathcote Wine and Food Festival. Along with six double passes, there's six half cases of their ripe red wine to be won »
  7. Taste the best of the west at Taste WA Wine, just 15 minutes from Melbourne's CBD. You could be sipping the wines and chatting with the winemakers in the glorious surroundings of The Point, overlooking Albert Park Lake. Win one of ten double passes »
  8. Taste, learn, laugh and celebrate real food with the farmers and growers, food producers and restaurants at the Real Food Festival on the Sunshine Coast or with a signed copy of The Real Food Companion. Enter now and you could win tickets or this great book »
  9. Share the delight and occasional dismay of Gourmet Farmer Matthew Evans as he learns how to hand handle pigs, milk cows, treat turkeys and even dig peat for whiskey. Enter now to win one of 6 DVDs of the first series »
  10. Queensland wine and food is no longer Fourex, surf and turf. It's an abundance of Mediterranean meets the tropics so get the best from your culinary travels with the Queensland Food and Wine Touring Atlas. Win one of five copies »
  11. An hour's drive from Melbourne is a rich and diverse treasure trove of gourmet delights showcased in Produce to Platter – Geelong and surrounding regions. Meet the producers and makers, then try delicious recipes – five copies to be won »

So you think you never win anything – right? How often do we hear that when we finally chase up appreciative winners! With so many great prizes on offer each and every month, courtesy of our generous donors, someone has to win them – and why not you?

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. 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 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 Membership card including:

and lots more tempting offers and exclusive experiences available for you to view here »

Like to buy Dad a 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 »

Special rates apply until the end of August.  Email Kerry or phone her on (03) 6248 4476 and she will have a Membership gift card winging its way to you (or direct to Dad if you prefer) in no time.




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.

Best regards,

Robyn Lewis and the team.


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