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Wine, beer and travel fun for Fathers' Day


Do you love winter – toasting by an open fire, skiing and snow, slow cooking and red wines? Or are you hanging out for the first blossoms to appear? Right now, we're enjoying the lengthening days and a bit more sunshine, especially doing the pruning! It won't be long before buds appear on our fruit trees and vines, and there's still heaps to do.

In the world of Australian wine we've been reading about the latest Penfolds releases, with 2010 being described as their best vintage ever. We don't have any to share with you right now, but we do have six half-cases of deep, rich shiraz from Heathcote in central Victoria to offer, and lots more wine and more in our monthly competitions; check them out in the column on the right hand side of this newsletter.

You'll also find our featured tasting notes there, with wines from Western and South Australia, plus some new beers – just scroll down a bit and you'll find them on the right hand side, too.

Meanwhile, settle back and enjoy the first of our two August newsletters, and if you're not at work, pour yourself a glass of your fave red or winter white (a good rich chardonnay or semillon blend, perhaps?) to wash it down with.

There are loads of events in wine and food country coming up below, ideas for Fathers' Day, and lots more to enjoy. Cheers!

Wine and beer news

Jeff Wright of McLaren Vale Beer Company

Some of our subscribers have made a confession – they're also into craft beers (and whiskies!). If you're one of them (and I certainly enjoy the odd stout and dark ale in winter), find out what's happening in the new brewing scene in South Australia's McLaren Vale.

Or if wine remains your number one, this month we're going back to basics with Jancis Robinson MW OBE, as she takes us through the qualities of three significant grape varieties.

A bright future in the craft beer industry

The McLaren Vale Beer Company officially hit the 'brew' button at their new Willunga Brewery in South Australia recently. This new home provides the perfect playground for head brewer, Jeff Wright, to produce MVBC's flavoursome range of craft beers for the Australian market. Discover their new range here »

See also Tasting Notes for McLaren Vale Beer Company »

Distinguished wine writer Jancis Robinson MW OBE tells us all about some of our most popular grape varieties, including which wine regions in the world produce the very best.

Wine travel

Brown Brothers Coombend Vineyard on the east coast

Tasmania – the coolest wine growing area in Australia

Drivers around Tasmania are often struck by the views, especially the magnificent lookout from Cherry Tree Hill on the East Coast, over Moulting Lagoon to the granite mountains of the Freycinet Peninsula behind Coles Bay. In the foregound is Coombend Vineyard, purchased by Brown Brothers as part of their cool climate wine expansion.

But few would be aware that these long neat rows of vines below the lookout are not just picturesque but are in fact only a portion of the largest vineyard in Tasmania. What do they grow? »

Visiting  Cowra and Canowinda in Central NSW? Here's an itinerary for a weekend or midweek overnight stay.

Or would you like to meet the menagerie at Leura Park Estate in Victoria's Bellarine Peninsula, west of Melbourne?

For more wine travel ideas: VisitVineyards.com/tours »

Wine events

Coonawarra Wine Tasting Roadshow

Yes, it's red wine time – big, rich reds. The famous Coonawarra wineries will once again showcase their wares across the country in August.

With over 100 wines to enjoy from individual Coonawarra wineries, you will have the opportunity to taste the wines and meet the winemakers and owners behind these famous brands. Check out the locations throughout Australia, 13-21 August »

More wine events coming up around the country:

Find events near you: VisitVineyards.com/calendar »
Read 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.

Exclusive Member offers

Each cottages sleeps 2 adults

Fathers' Day is coming up fast – would Dad enjoy a treat or two in wine country? Somewhere relaxing to stay in picturesque vineyard surrounds and fine amber ales to be tasted, perhaps – both experiences offering VisitVineyards.com Members an added benefit:

Gisborne Peak Winery Eco-Cottages (Vic): just 45 minutes from Melbourne, you'll find a warm friendly welcome at both the cellar door and cottages. Kick off your shoes, unpack your bag then take a seat on your private balcony overlooking the vineyard. Take a breath and become part of the landscape with its Australian gardens and the lake.

Now it must be time to raise a glass and delve into your free grazing style tasting platter. Check out this offer here »

Hargreaves Hill Brewing Company (Vic) is a family owned and operated microbrewery and restaurant in the Yarra Valley. Amongst their brews are an ESB, hefeweizen, pilsner, pale ale, Abbey Dubbel and a very special Russian Imperial Stout.

If you're not sure which one appeals to you (or have no idea what the beer names mean!) then flash your VisitVineyards.com Membership card and ask for a tasting paddle of six beers for free »

Why not buy Dad a VisitVineyards.com Membership, that will last him a year long? It's only A$39 (or A$59 for a couple) and there are over 200 benefits for him (or you!) to enjoy.

We can post him (or you) a gift membership in a lovely lime green gift card, in time for Father's Day. Just email Kerry (or phone her on 03 6248 4476) and she will take care of it for you.

Discover more Member benefits at: VisitVineyards.com/benefits »
Learn more about Membership at: VisitVineyards.com/members »
Become a Member now at: VisitVineyards.com/join »

Your special subscriber offers

Food to Go - by Frank and Sue Wall, and Deb Hadskis

All recipients of this newsletter are eligible for these generous offers.

This month (despite the season!) we're talking outdoor food for those of you into hiking and walking, and some bubbly wine advice:

Do you love walking? Then Food to Go by Frank Wall, Sue Wall and Deb Hadskis is a real find. With it, you can take your campfire cooking to a level well beyond two minute noodles, macaroni cheese and dehydrated peas.

With ideas, menus, recipes and tips from experienced walkers from across the world, you can now add gourmet to your cooking, whether camping, hiking or just enjoying a day outdoors.

Read about this unique eBook and save $5 if you download it »


The Champagne Guide 2012-2013 by Tyson Stelzer is the most up to date guide on the sparkling world, with all the latest releases, reviews and ratings on over 400 wines, a wealth of background wine and industry information plus a Champagne Hall of Fame.

Buy the stylish hardcover and receive a handy eBook as a free bonus »

More exclusive offers for you: VisitVineyards.com/subscriber-offers »

All the best.....

Boroka Downs, luxury accommodation in the Grampians, Victoria

July was a bit of a writeoff for us at VisitVineyards.com with the flu and other nasties around. We haven't forgotten all our helpful survey respondents, and we'll be getting in touch with you as soon as we can.

We hope that all is well with you and yours, and remember that life is short: too short to drink bad wine, to have bad experiences, to miss that great meal or festival.... so get out there any make the most of it! Our aim at VisitVineyards.com is to help you do just that.

Don't forget to download our free iPhone app before you head out into wine and food country, so you'll never miss a thing. (Earn extra Brownie points and tell Dad about it, too).

All the best until our food edition in two weeks' time, from Robyn, Kerry, Trish and the rest of the team at VisitVineyards.com


Missed our last newsletter? (The July food edition)