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Enjoy fabulous food, wine and events, plus ideas for Fathers' Day


Welcome to your second August newsletter; we hope this finds you well. It's great that winter is almost behind us, and many here in Australia are looking forward to some outdoor action soon.

Quamby Estate, TasmaniaSpring is certainly in the air, and as vignerons rush to get the last pruning done before budburst, for farmers and growers it means the first blossoms and new season's veggies are appearing. I even saw an asparagus shoot peeking up earlier this week!

Fathers' Day is just around the corner too, so if Dad's into gardens and growing things, or loves to cook, we have some great gift suggestions below.

And don't forget, for those of you who love our monthly wine, food and events giveaways, our competitions are now on the right hand side, or you can simply click here to go to the summary page »


Food reviews and news

Love and Hunger - Charlotte Wood

Thoughts on the gift of food

Throw off the winter shackles with some food books to dip into, over a bottle of good red.

By acclaimed and award-winning novelist Charlotte Wood, Love and Hunger explores the solitary and shared pleasures of cooking and eating in an ode to good food, prepared and presented with minimum fuss and maximum love.

Love and Hunger will make you long to get into the kitchen to try the surprising tips and delicious recipes. Like a simple but glorious meal, this feast of a book is infused with warmth and generosity »

Insatiable by Tony Bilson

Tony Bilson was one of Australia's leading chefs for over forty years. In Insatiable he recalls wild nights and unbridled appetites with an extraordinary cast of characters including artists, actors, writers, politicians and, of course, chefs and restaurateurs both in Australia and around the world.

Insatiable is a roller coaster read of Australian cultural life from the late 1960s to the present day. A book for a foodie Dad »

More recommendations for Fathers' Day, for Dads into gardening, fishing, cooking and eating, include:

Wrap them up with a bottle of his fave wine and you're on a winner.

And congratulations to the winners and runners-up in the Electrolux Appetite for Excellence Awards announced last night!

  • The Electrolux Australian Young Chef is Stewart Wesson, of Bridgewater Mill in the Adelaide Hills, and Runner Up is Michael Fox of Henry and the Fox in Melbourne.
  • The Electrolux Australian Young Waiter is James Audas, of BLACK by Ezard, in Pyrmont NSW, and Runner Up is Alexander Tuckett of Pilu at Freshwater, in Sydney's northern beaches.
  • The Electrolux Australian Young Restaurateur is Katrina Birchmeier of Garagistes in Hobart, and Runner Up is Daniel Wilson of Huxtable in Melbourne.

Food travels

Huon apple guru Bob Magnus

Discover the lost world of apples

Visit the orchard at Woodbridge Fruit Trees in southern Tasmania, a veritable lost world of apples, where nursery co-owner Nik Magnus wants everyone to rediscover the wonderful diversity of Tassie's signature fruit.

Or, from their website, the nursery sells heritage varieties of apples and other fruit as well as being a treasure trove of apple information.

Rather than the supermarket dictating which fruit you eat – based on how well it resists bruising or how long it can be stored – why not grow your own and enjoy it fresh from the tree? Nothing comes close to the pleasure of growing your own food, and they can send young plants to any state, too »


Quamby Estate (Tas) – enjoy a very special offfer

Travelling to Tasmania in August/September for food and wine delights? The magnificent Quamby Estate just out of Launceston (photo above) is offering an equally magnificent 50% off if you book a stay completed before September 29!

Sleep in style in this historic homestead, and visit nearby Ashgrove Cheese, Christmas Hills Raspberry Farm, 41 South Salmon & Ginseng Farm and meander the Tamar Valley wine trail.

Contact Quamby directly to make your booking and mention this VisitVineyards.com offer. Click here for phone, email and info »

For more culinary travel adventures including wine tours: VisitVineyards.com/tours »

Food and wine events

Tania Hubbard from Husk and Honey - Real Food Festival

The Real Food Festival is a celebration of the wonderful variety of food that Queensland's Sunshine Coast producers, manufacturers and restaurants have to offer, and a brilliant way to talk, taste and buy from them – Maleny on the Sunshine Coast, 8-9 Sept »

Don't forget you can still win tickets to this fun event – we have 5 double passes to give away, drawn on 29th August. Enter here »

Plus more tempting food events around the country:

Planning on Toasting the Coast at Geelong in November? Discounted Early Bird tickets available but hurry, selling fast »

Find food events near you: VisitVineyards.com/calendar »
More about what's on: VisitVineyards.com/events »

Event organisers and marketers, don't forget you can list your food and wine events on our calendar FREE. Simply go to VisitVineyards.com/MyAccount and enter your event details.

Auto club savings Tas – wine, cheese, rest

Pooley Wines, Tasmania

Wine, cheese and somewhere tranquil to lay your head – what more could you need when touring Tasmania with your RACT (or any other affiliated auto club) card in hand?

Our featured partners this month have these covered with style:

Pooley Wines (Richmond): historic Belmont Lodge is home to many award-winning wines, crafted by three generations of the Pooley family, including a delicious pinot noir. Vigneron and now winemaker Matthew Pooley is really kicking some goals with his latest wines, and you can save 15% on your wine purchases »

Bruny Island Cheese (Bruny Island): wonderful artisan cheeses made by Nick Haddo and matured using traditional techniques, are some of the finest  in Australia. Savour and save 10% at the cheesery door »

The River House (Dilston):  on the banks of the Tamar River, just 12 minutes from Launceston, it's the perfect base for exploring the Tamar Valley and north east wineries. Book direct to save 10% »


Auto Club savings Vic – wine, dine, tour

Balgownie Estate, Bendigo

There are many reasons to visit Victorian wine regions: the scenery in any season, the beautiful produce and the friendly people to mention a few. If you're a member of RACV (or any affiliated motoring organisation) we have one more incentive for you to jump in the car and explore – some great discounts just for you.

Balgownie Estate (Bendigo): cabernet sauvignon and shiraz lovers, taste these famed long-lived and world-class wines, browse through the wine museum then save a generous 20% on your purchases »

Oakridge Wines (Yarra Valley): taste the Yarra spirit in these outstanding, distinctive wines and enjoy a truly memorable wine and food experience. Save 10% off both your cellar door buys and restaurant food »

Indigo Vineyard (Beechworth): the foothills of the Victorian Alps, its climate and a minimalist winemaking philosophy all create super premium grapes and wines. Taste the results and save 20% on your cellar door buys »

Remember it's best to have a designated driver when touring wineries and on the Mornington Peninsula you can enjoy the ride even more with Your Shuttle offering a 10% discount »

Fifty more places to save at: RACV.VisitVineyards.com/save »

Auto Club savings Qld – wine, dine, relax

Cedar Creek Restaurant and Queensland wine centre

A mix of award-winning wines, fine seasonal fare and all the state's wines in one place await members of RACQ (or other affiliated motoring groups) who take to the road. Add in some spectacular scenery and good old country hospitality and there's every reason to hit the highways of Queensland. Here's a taste:

Cedar Creek Restaurant  and Queensland  Wine Centre (North Tambourine):  Enjoy a relaxing lunch in the restaurant and save 10% on your wine and food. Choose from over 15 Queensland wineries to stock your cellar at the Wine Centre and save 10% »

Preston Peak Wines (Preston): sip multi-award winning wines and soak up spectacular views over vineyards,valleys and mountains. There's no excuse not to buy your favourites when you're saving 15% »

The Vineyard Cafe (Ballandean): sense the special ambience of this old country church with its simple, warm welcome matched with genuinely caring and generous hospitality. RACQ members receive a 10% discount on their wine and food »


Wines in August and for Fathers' Day

The Champagne Guide 2012-2013 by Tyson Stelzer

Looking for wine news? Some wine gifts for Dad? If you missed the wine edition of our August newsletter, you can read it online and find some gift ideas for Dad here »

Just out this month are of course the perennial James Halliday Australian Wine Companion 2013 and Rob Geddes MW's Australian Wine Vintages 2013 (aka The Gold Book), both reliable guides to selecting wines, either to drink now and to put away and cellar.

Then there's The History of Australian Wine by Max Allen – we've had a quick look and it's sure to please a wine-loving Dad (review to follow).

If Dad likes Champagne, you can't go past The Champagne Guide 2012/13 by Tyson Stelzer, or Great, Grand and Famous Champagnes by Jayne Powell, Daniella Viera and Fritz Gubler.

Whatever your (or his) tastes, enjoy, and we look forward to seeing you again in September.

Happy days from Robyn, Kerry, Andrew, Trish and the VisitVineyards.com team.