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Meet some winemakers – and buy their wines!

Nintingbool Vineyards, cool-climate Victorian wines

Sometimes, too much choice can be overwhelming. So we're starting with a very small range of wines, both red and white, of various varieties. More are coming very soon, but please note, these wines are in limited supply, and once they are gone, that's it.

Introducing seven great value wines from four winemakers:

Nintingbool Pinot Noir, from a cool Victorian region that will have pinot lovers sitting up and taking notice: Ballarat. Made and grown by Peter and Jille Bothe, who are meticulous wine producers.

Charlie and I (Robyn) have our own pinot noir vineyard in Tasmania, and our pinot noir was runner up to Paringa Estate for the 2012 Etihad Trophy. So we know a good pinot noir. These 3 vintages from Nintingbool are all excellent – pinotphiles, be quick!

Most red wine lovers enjoy a good shiraz. We have two to start with, both from Victoria, elegant and rich in style.

Vitto Oles, Rocky Passes Estate Rocky Passes Estate is a tiny, cool climate vineyard, at the southern end of Victoria's Strathbogie Ranges, a day trip from Melbourne. Established by Vitto Oles (who also hand makes furniture) and partner Candi Westney, their organic and biodynamic Rocky Passes Estate Syrah 2010 is a real find – rich, smooth and delicious »

Trellis is another Victorian label, made by winemaker Luke Houlihan and grower Greg Dunnett. These guys put their all into making fine wines, this 2010 Syrah made from grapes grown at Heathcote. A food-friendly wine that punches well above its weight »

The Trellis guys also made a lovely Chardonnay from grapes grown in the east of the Yarra Valley, which shows what good viticulture and careful winemaking will do. A case of Trellis Chardonnay 2011 would be great to have on hand for casual entertaining or special occasions over Christmas and New Year »

From Tasmania a surprise – one of the best pinots gris we've ever tasted, from Alistair Christie at Cape Bernier Estate. Located on the sunny east coast overlooking the gorgeous Marion Bay, and cooled by early sea breezes, the Cape Bernier Pinot Gris 2013 will have you rethinking this variety in a very good way »

This is just the start, we'll have wines from other states coming soon. Meanwhile, show them your support and buy a case or two to enjoy over Christmas and New Year.

If you are a friendly, cheerful grower and/or maker of good quality, good value wines (preferably retailing over $20) and would like to promote your wines to our subscribers, please email Charlie for details and he'll get in touch.

Wine and food news and reviews

Through a Sparkling Glass, an A-Z of the Wonderland of Wine

Books for Christmas and the holidays:

Andrea Frost has just won Wine Communicator of the Year and Best Wine Publication for her book Through a Sparkling Glass, an A-Z of the Wonderland of WineOur reviewer Laura discovers why » 

From the local families of Sri Lanka, Bree Hutchins brings the family recipes and stories to life in Hidden Kitchens. For those who are looking for new tastes, authenticity and perhaps a bit of a challenge, this book is for you »

Craft cider producers are moving rapidly to produce a wide variety of tastes to meet quickly increasing demand. Catch up with the background info and many of the cider makers in The Australian Cider Guide »

News grabs:

Rare organic cheeses from Organic Dairy Farmers Aust hit the supermarket deli sections »

Jeremy Oliver releases Australian Wine Annual 2014, and names an old favourite, Wynns John Riddoch 2010 as wine of the year »

Luke Skeer of Wynns is named Young Winemaker of the Year »

Water is the theme being celebrated on the Yarra banks in the Melbourne Food & Wine Festival 2014 – tickets on sale now! »

Just in: results of the Margaret River Wine Show for 2013 »

 More on wine at » 


 More on food at » 


Wine and food travel

Tasmanian Seafood Seduction

We know that beyond the beautiful icons like Leeuwin Estate, Voyager and Cape Mentelle in the Margaret River are many hidden gems. Local foodie and subscriber Megan Crossley shares her favourites »

Still in the West where two excellent guides for wine and food exploration have just been released: the WA Good Food Guide joins the WA Wine Guide 2014 by Ray Jordan, offering smartphone apps with the guides.

The ultimate food gathering tour, Tasmanian Seafood Seduction, is now offered by the legendary Pennicott Wilderness Tours to showcase Tassie's renowned seafood and other gourmet produce. Pluck your lunch straight from the sea! »

Victoria's High Country is home to more than 250km of safe and scenic off-road trails with options to suit couples on a culinary charge, a family with smaller pedals to consider or a group of enthusiasts. The local bike-loving community shares their Top Rail Trail Rides »

If you're planning some travelling style around Australia, then this book on some of the country's five-star accommodation properties is a must, or just for armchair travel eye candy! »

Where to take visiting VIPs? Be assured, for wining and dining in style amongst the vines, you won't go wrong with Australia's ultimate winery experiences »

For more wine and culinary travel ideas click here: » 


Wine and food events around Australia & NZ

Chinese New Year Festival, Sydney, NSW

With the festive and holiday season upon us, there's a real mix of events going on around the country. Add some culture to your wine and food or make the most of the seasonal produce at our beloved Farmers Markets:

Granite Belt (Qld): Lucas Estate, New Year's Day Blues – 1 Jan »

Mornington Peninsula (Vic): Waterfront Festival – 18-19 Jan »
Beechworth (Vic): Opera in the Alps – 18 Jan »

Hobart (Tas): the famous Taste of Tasmania – 28 Dec-3 Jan »
Launceston (Tas): award-winning Harvest Market – every Sat »
Launceston (Tas): fantastic Festivale – 7-9 Feb »

Sydney (NSW): Eat Your History: A Shared Table –  to 9 Mar »
South Coast (NSW): Wine Show public tasting – 24 Jan »
Sydney (NSW): Chinese New Year Festival – 24 Jan - 9 Feb »

Manjimup (WA):Cherry Harmony Festival – 13-14 Dec »
Margaret River (WA): Leeuwin Estate, Diana Krall & Perth Symphony Orchestra – 15-16 Feb »

National: Shakespeare in the Vines – 2 Jan - 8 Mar »

NOTE: Tickets are on sale now for the 2014 Melbourne Food & Wine Festival event and ticket sales details here » 

Find more events near you: » 


 Read more about what's on: » 


Event organisers and marketers (including those in New Zealand!), quickly and easily list your food and wine events in our calendar for FREE. To reach our subscribers, simply go to and enter your event details.


Win a Margaret River getaway, wines & more

Darby Park, Margaret River, WA

Say the name Margaret River and images of wine, food and surf are usually the first to be conjured up, but much more makes this a place that captures the heart. With these great prizes, you'll discover all the other fabulous facets of this world-class wine region and its home state.

Win a short break in Margaret River. Find out just what makes this region such a drawcard for visitors and those who choose to stay and add their own touch.

Two night's accommodation
at Darby Park and lunches at Aravina Estate and Knee Deep Wines, (all award-winners) are sure to give you the quintessential MR experience »

From just 3% of the country's wine grapes, the wineries of Margaret River produce a massive 20% of the premium wine market. You could also be savouring some classics with three mixed cases of Margaret River's finest to be won »

Stunning, spectacular and beguiling – some of the words describing Margaret River the new photographic book by Frances Andrijich. One of three copies might soon grace your coffee table and entice you to visit the west »

What Ray Jordan doesn't know about WA Wines simply doesn't exist. His 2014 edition of the WA Wine Guide along with the WA Good Food Guide are both brimming with all the wine and food info you need. Two copies of each up for grabs »


We also have two copies of The Australian Wine Annual 2014 to be won. Independent wine critic and Australian wine ambassador Jeremy Oliver covers 300+ wineries and includes helpful lists of his Top 100, Best Wines under $20, star ratings, tasting notes and more »

WINNERS you won't be grinning if you miss out on these prizes still to be claimed!  On the prize shelf are Plumm outdoor glasses, Salt Grill by Luke Mangan and Through a Sparkling Glass AND there's even a case of wine to be claimed. Plus, all the winners from our October/November promotions will be announced! Check now, it could be your name on the winners' list »

More great giveaways: » 


  Are you a winner? Find out now » 


Summer touring for Auto Club members

Ashgrove Cheese, Wasabi Cheese with Lager

Summer, and the livin' is easy in wine country! Especially if you're a member of an Auto Club*. Here's some of our favourites from the regional wine and food programs we run for RACT, RACV and RACQ:

In Tasmania:

The Ashgrove Cheese Shop is surrounded by the lush fields and very cows that make their cheese (and milk) so very yummy! »

Josef Chromy is at the heart of the Tamar Valley wine route with a stylish vineyard cafe and of course, cellar door tastings »

(Plus you can only purchase the Josef Chromy 2011 Chardonnay, winner of the Decanter International Trophy, at the cellar door)

In Victoria:

Taste the long lived reds at Balgownie Estate in Bendigo or visit them in the Yarra Valley where delicious meals are made to match the wines »

In the cool Alpine Valleys lies Boyntons Feathertop Winery where the local beauty and crispness is embodied in their wines »

In Queensland:

At Summit Estate, the views are breathtaking and friendly cellar door team will introduce you to the extensive range of wines»

Enjoy a delicous lunch at  Cedar Creek Estate Restaurant then check out the largest range of the state's wines in the Qld Wine Centre »

* discounts apply to all RACV, RACT, RACQ, RAA, RAWA or NRMA members and policy holders, and all AAA members visiting from overseas.

 Find more at: » 


 50 more places to save at: » 


 Find out more: » 


Your exclusive subscriber offers

Chefs of the Margaret River by Lisa Handley and Sue-Lyn Aldrian-Moyle

In keeping with our westerly wanderings this newsletter, our first subscriber offer is another lovely book from Margaret River and at this time of year when thoughts turn to the great outdoors, our second offer will certainly be useful.

Chefs of the Margaret River by Lisa Handley and Sue-Lyn Aldrian-Moyle invite you into the heart and soul of the culinary world through the stories and recipes of nineteen of the region's acclaimed chefs. Outstanding photography will have your mouth-watering and your mind drifting westward ho. Save 20% as a VisitVineyards subscriber »

Take your outdoor cooking to a level way beyond those two minute noodles and dried food packets and add a dash of gourmet to your next camping or walking trip. Not just for the hikers, the Food to Go eBook is just as useful for anyone cooking outside offering tasty, healthy meals to savour on the go. Save 25% now »

Enjoy many »


Have a great summer!

Christmas celebrations

As this is our last newsletter for the year, we'd like to thank you for your support, and wish you all a happy, safe and truly wonderful time over summer. Please get out into Australia's fabulous food and wine country, and support our growers and makers where it counts.

They will be looking forward to greeting you warmly at their cellar doors, dinners and festivals over the holidays.

Cheers, good health and a very merry Christmas and Happy New year to you all, from Robyn, Kerry, Andrew, Charlie and the VV team.

Missed your last newsletter?  Read it online here
(November edition) »

For those of you in the wine industry, especially smaller producers, you might be interested to read/listen to a report by Lucy Barbour of ABC Rural aired on the Country Hour last week (featuring myself and Ken Helm of Helm Wines near Canberra) about the current debate concerning the Reports published by the Winemakers' Federation of Australia.

Their recommendations after a recent period of consultation – which included an industry survey conducted by, which received 271 reponses in 12 days, and which can be downloaded from WFA's website here (minus the numerous comments) – are due to be released this week.