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The Great Wine Flood (and Cyclone) Relief Raffle, and lots, lots more


Plus we have a foodie masterpiece to give away – the only free copy worldwide!

 

Hello,

Welcome and a Happy New Year, or Gong Xi Fa Cai, to all our subscribers, new and old. 2011 hasn't exactly got off to the start that everyone in Australia had hoped for, with floods, a massive cyclone and lots more rain than many wanted, especially some of our farmers and vignerons. If you were amongst those affected, our sincere commiserations – our thoughts are with you, and please remember you are not alone.

However, out of these disasters has come genuine Australian goodwill and a huge sense of community spirit, as people have rallied to help each other, often total strangers.

The team at VisitVineyards.com have been doing our bit too, working (largely behind the scenes) with wine writer Tyson Stelzer and his team at WinePress in Brisbane, to bring you the Wine Flood Relief Raffle »

The incredible generosity of the Australian wine industry has seen over A$240,000 worth of premium wines donated. 200 prizes are up for grabs, ranging from a first prize worth approximately A$33,000, 2nd prize worth A$20,000, through to 150th to 200th prizes being parcels of lovely wines valued at around A$500 each.

We've dusted off our 'online raffle ticket generator' that we built for the 2009 bushfire appeal raffle (ironically, almost two years ago to the day), negotiated with our bank the ANZ and our payment gateway eWay to reduce or donate their fees to the appeal, sourced the assistance of a generous-hearted and efficient PR company, KDJM Communications , and thanks to the gaming legislation in our home state of Tasmania, were able to assist 'Team Tyson' in bringing this raffle together in around 3 weeks.

You can read more about the amazing prizes below  – suffice it to say that there are some unique and otherwise unprocurable wines amongst them. My favourite is the series of 4 bottles of Seppeltsfield Para Tawny, dating from the Queensland flood year vintages of 1893, 1916, 1974 and 2011. This set will become a collector's item in itself.

Thank you to those who have already purchased tickets and contributed to this appeal – we sold nearly A$20,000 worth of tickets on the first day.

However, we need to keep it coming please tickets are A$30 each (click here to buy) and I'm eagerly awaiting the first person to buy a batch of 100 (the first ten who do receive a free case of mixed Barossa wine show wines). We want to sell 33,000 tickets online by 11th March, and we need your help.

With only 40,000 tickets, and 200 prizes, your chances of winning are good. Please invite your friends – share the news with your friends, family, at work, on facebook, twitter, by email, at the pub. Get a group together. Please donate; many, many people need your help.

The fundraising raffle is open to anyone in the world of legal drinking age in your country of residence, on the proviso that if you win, you'll have to get the wines from Australia to your home. But with so much on offer, it will be worth it! We might even be able to give you a hand :)

One of our subscribers won the bushire raffle in 2009 and took home first prize of A$25,000 worth of wines  – we're hoping to repeat that in 2011, and help to raise A$1 million to help those in need of personal assistance in the process.

While waiting for the draw (which will be conducted under independent scrutiny in our offices on 11th March 2011) we invite you to browse our newsletter below, to discover what's on in the world of wine, food and culinary travel in Australia and beyond.

One thing's for sure, in 2011 we encourage you to consider holidaying in Australia – Vienna can wait for you, but some of our hard-hit tourism operators, vineyards, restaurants and accommodation providers cannot, especially in Queensland, and need your patronage this year, please. Perhaps we'll see you there! 

In this edition:



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THE WINE INDUSTRY'S FLOOD AND CYCLONE RELIEF RAFFLE 

Winemakers have opened their cellars...... now it's time for you to open your hearts

In what we believe is the largest charity fundraiser in the history of the Australian wine industry (if you know of a larger one, email and tell us ), over 300 wineries, vineyards, publishers and wine-related businesses have shown amazing generosity and dug into their cellars to raise A$240,000 worth of prizes in just 3 weeks.

The wine donations were organised by Brisbane-based Tyson Stelzer and his team, who were able to observe first hand the devastation in Round I of what has become a string of natural disasters, initially affecting South East Queensland and northern NSW.

Then came floods in North West Victoria, parts of WA, and northern Tasmania. Cyclone Yasi hit Far North Queensland. As I write, the tail end of the cyclone is causing Round IV, lashing much of Victoria. In the midst of this was a bushfire in south west WA. And summer (or the cyclone season) isn't over yet.

 

It's time for us all to help – the scale of devastation is larger than any community (or even a State government) can cope with alone. It's especially affecting our farmers. We're all going to feel it, in the price of our food and other ways in the year ahead, so let's all help to rebuild sooner rather than later.

So what are we doing about it? Along with Tyson and his team, we are working to help turn the $240,000 of donations into over A$1 million in cash, which will go directly to the people affected, via the Queensland Premier's Disaster Relief Fund and the Victorian Red Cross. (NOTE: this money will go to people to help them rebuild their lives; the proposed Federal government tax levy is for infrastructure.)

 

Bringing you: THE GREAT WINE RAFFLE! (officially, The Wine Flood Relief Raffle)

What a wine lover's feast the prizes are. First prize is worth a whopping A$33,000, and includes a $5000 holiday for 4 people in the Barossa Valley, courtesy of Orlando. We think you'll need this holiday if you win – the array of wines you'll soon have arriving is simply incredible.

As well as the set of Seppeltsfield Para Tawnies above, there's the cult Duck Muck Shiraz , a magnum of Penfolds Grange, lunch for 6 at The Lane Vineyard , 3 magnums of Leeuwin Estate Art Series Chardonnay, Torbreck 's Run Rig, Moss Wood , an imperial of Kalleske Eduard Shiraz.... the list goes on, and on. .. dream about winning 1st PRIZE HERE »

You won't be disappointed if you win second or third prizes though – worth approximately A$20,000 and A$13,000 – with names like Chateau Tanunda, Meerea Park , Tahbilk, Audrey Wilkinson , Spinifex, Kies Family Wines , Stonier, Cullen Diana Madeline, Giaconda, Peter Lehmann (the list reads like a who's who of the Australian wine industry; South Australia has been especially generous), plus some Champagnes, books, wine knives and wine storage by Kennards in case you don't have enough storage room at home. Ponder over the full winelist of 2nd and 3rd PRIZES HERE »

 

But wait, there's more. 197 more, to be precise. Any one should make you happy. We can't list them all, but will leave you to read about them here: 

So, what are you waiting for? Your donation will make a REAL difference. Drawn 11th March.

 

BUY YOUR TICKETS ONLINE at VisitVineyards.com now »  (or phone or fax us  – details on our website )

The complete list of wine and other raffle prizes can be downloaded in a PRINTABLE PDF here  » (NB 31 pages)

The list of donors and their comments can can be viewed here in pdf » (current as of 2nd Feb 2011 – also 31 pp)

You can also buy paper tickets at any of these retail ticket sellers here » (all States except Tasmania)

The raffle will be drawn in our offices (by an independent third party) on Friday 11th March – two years to the day since the bushfire raffle. So make it your lucky day and buy up big now.

 

BONUS:

The next nine people who buy a batch of 100 tickets will receive a free case of Barossa Wine Show wines worth approx. A$240. (We've already sold one! Yes, you can get a group of friends together....)

 

WIN A DREAM HOLIDAY IN MARGARET RIVER

Feeling lucky? You could also win a fabulous 5 day holiday for two in Margaret River

As well as supporting flood and cyclone relief, you might also like to win an extraordinary Margaret River gourmet holiday for two, courtesy of Tourism Western Australia, lots of hospitable donors in Margaret River, and VisitVineyards.com:

Does five fabulous days staying in style at Must and experiencing the wine and food of Margaret River with personal tours and tastings, vineyard and boutique brewery lunches and more sound like your type of holiday?

You'll visit some of the best producers and enjoy their hospitality: Voyager Estate, Leeuwin Estate , Cowaramup Brewing Company, Settlers Tavern and Yahava KoffeeWorks . There's also complimentary entry to four main attractions – Jewel, Mammoth and Lake Caves and Cape Leeuwin Lighthouse.

 

Runners up won't miss out on a taste of the West either, with 29 prizes on offer:

There are cases of Margaret River wines, vineyard lunches at Vasse Felix, Cullen Wines and The Berry Farm, tickets to the Margaret River Vintage Festival and books:

So make sure your name is in the draw. It's FREE to enter HERE »

This competition closes on 28th February. We'll sure be giving away a lot in March!

 


WINE, WINE TRAVEL AND BOOKS

WINE:

One of the most exciting wine books to cross our desk recently is the fabulous Daring pairings by Master Sommelier, Evan Goldstein.

Focussing purely on new or emerging grape varieties and matching them with recipes from thirty-five of Evan's favourite chefs, this is a book for those looking beyond vintage guides.

Read barbera and tempranillo excerpts below as well as food pairing and recipes in our Food and Cookbook section of this newsletter.

 

Resident expert and famous oenologist Ian Hickinbotham tells us of all things wine as well as some interesting wine facts we may not know about:

 

BOOK REVIEWS:

  • Western Australia's leading wine critic Ray Jordan once again brings us the best of the west in his slim, handy volume – Western Australian Wine Guide 2011 »
  • Clueless about wine? You won't be, after reading this guide packed full of useful information that will assist novices and regular wine consumers alike, from a most unlikly source, Canada – are you Clueless About Wine? Find out »

 

WINE REGION NEWS:

 

WINE TRAVEL:

The aftermath of the flooding will soon be over; many cellar doors are open and awaiting you with open arms. One region in particular that deserves your support is Queensland's Granite Belt »

Although it copped a large dose of rain, there was little flood damage on the Granite Belt itself, but road closures brought travel to a standstill. That's over now, so why not head to the hills for some respite? Many businesses are offering visiting Queenslanders (and probably interstate visitors as well) substantial discounts on wines and accommodation for the month of February , so make yourself known – more information at the Granite Belt Visitor Information Centre »

If you are interested in exploring alternative grape varieties, take yourself on the Strange Bird Trail – the 'strange birds' being the grapes themselves! (or maybe their growers?!)

 


FOOD NEWS AND REVIEWS

Pairing food with wine has never been easier with Daring Pairings by Evan Goldstein as a guide. Excerpts below from this book give us wine and food pairing ideas as well as fabulous recipes for the perfect match.

 You could also win your own copy of Daring Pairings here »

 

REVIEWS

 


Win Passing Clouds wine, a unique deluxe edition of culinary genius, an indulgent Ripple massage and more

In addition to the fabulous Margaret River five day gourmet holiday, we have even more wonderful prizes to be won. It's an absolute pleasure to bring these to you and we know the winners will all share that pleasure!

  • Passing Clouds: win one of four mixed half dozens . Using fruit from their Bendigo and Daylesford vineyards, father and son winemakers Graeme and Cameron Leith produce exemplary reds and are now receving much acclaim for their cool climate pinots and chardonnays. Enter now for your chance to taste them all »
  • The New Renaissance of Italian Fusion Cuisine 1.0: win a deluxe, limited edition of this culinary work of genius by Michelin-starred, Italian Executive Chef Gianfranco Chiarini, valued at approximately A$295. THIS IS THE ONLY COPY OF THIS BOOK IN THE WORLD THAT IS BEING GIVEN AWAY.

    If you relish the world of food, appreciate the art of presentation and love to immerse yourself in a world of flavours, colours and textures, and want to experience what is happening at the cutting edge of global cuisine, then this book is for you. (Yes chefs, you can enter too – there are very few copies of this book in Australia)

    It's achievable molecular gastronomy and fusion at the pinnacle, or as a foodie friend put it, 'the best food porn I have ever seen'.  Find out how this rare copy can be yours here »
     
  • Ripple Massage: win one of two $150 vouchers for an hour and half Frangipani massage or one of four gift packs and take some indulgent 'me time' to relax and rejuvenate. Enter now for your chance to win a pampering prize »
  • Adelaide Cellar Door Festivalwin one of two double passes and discover more than 100 wineries from South Australia, all in one location in the heart of Adelaide.Explore your favourite wine regions with tastings, master classes, food sampling and much more to enjoy.  It's on 25th - 27th February so hurry and enter now, winners drawn 18th February »
  • Oldies but goodies: these books aren't on the just-released list but they're still in print and we think they're still great read. There are two copies of each to be won - the market by Catherine Murphy, Barossa Food by Angela Heuzenroeder and Clueless about Wine by Richard Kitowski and Jocelyn Klemm.  Read more and enter here »
  • Great Gourmet Weekends in Australia: win one of ten copies and start planning your next gastronomic holiday in gourmet regions across the country. Simply tell us your ideal gourmet weekend destination »
  • Daring Parings: win a copy of our number one wine book of 2010 by Master Sommelier, Evan Goldstein. To coincide with the publishing of the Tempranillo excerpts from this exciting wine and food matching book, we're giving you the chance to win your own copy  - read more and enter here »

The prize shelf update: Winners really are grinners and we have finally cleared the prize shelf for last year and made some people very happy!

Please check the winners page for your name. If it's there, then email Kerry@VisitVineyards.com with your prize details and postal address to arrange delivery.

 


Hidden Gems of the RACV regional wine and food program

This month we celebrate Victoria’s hidden gems – those businesses off the beaten track who rarely receive the recognition due for the long hours they put in and the fine produce they turn out.

Windy Ridge Vineyard and Winery, South Gippsland »

On the way to Wilsons Promontory and only a half hour from the RACV Inverloch Resort, you will find Windy Ridge Vineyard and Winery. Run by Graeme and Georgia Wilson this boutique winery offers visitors the opportunity to truly get in amongst the action.

Here the cellar door is within the working winery, so mid vintage you’ll find yourself squeezing past fermenting tanks and browsing barrel maturation notes like a professional.  Read more about Windy Ridge here »

 

Exploring regional Victoria? Carry your RACV Members' card* and visit a few of our favourite hidden gems offering some great savings along the way:

 

Visit RACV.VisitVineyards.com/Save for the full list of over 50 great discount offers for RACV* members.

* 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!

 

Do you know a great hidden gem? Is there a business you'd like to see in this program (perhaps your own), or another state that you think should join? If so, please email Sara, our friendly Victorian Alliance Manager with your suggestions.

 


Carry an RACT or other motoring organisation's card* and travelling Tasmania?

Whichever direction you head in Tasmania, there are special discounts on fine wine, tasty cheese, hand-made preserves and much more – just make sure you’re carrying your card from RACT, RACV or other motoring organisation.

SOUTH:

Bruny Island Cheese: take the ferry, tour the island and then get to know otto, saint, gabriel, tom and the other artisan cheeses intimately at the cheesery door. And, when you’ve picked your favourite(s), present your card and save 10 per cent! »

Pooley Wines : a must visit cellar-door at the historic property Belmont in Richmond. Taste their award-winning wines including pinot, riesling, pinot grigio and cabernet merlot. If you can’t choose between them, then why not buy one of each with a 15 per cent discount!

NEW – La Torta 310 : fancy some authentic Mediterranean cuisine in a relaxing atmosphere? La Torta in North Hobart offers slow-cooked traditional dishes, home-made pasta and pizza. The lovely quiet courtyard is set amongst the herb and vegie garden – perfect for summer afternoons plus you save 10 per cent »

NORTH

Rocky Gardens Preserves: call in and meet the lovely Patricia and her family at their berry farm at Bridgenorth in the Tamar Valley. Sample their home made preserves, relishes, jams and chutneys then see if you can stop at buying just one! Save 10 per cent on farmgate purchases »

Josef Chromy Wines and  Vineyard Café: enjoy the tranquil country setting overlooking a picturesque lake whilst sipping on an award-winning wine matched with delicious food. What could be better? Add in a 10 per cent discount on your meal and a 15 per cent discount on the wines you buy at the cellar door to top the day.

The River House : ideally located just minutes from Launceston,  the River House is the perfect base for exploring the surrounding vineyards in the Tamar Valley and North East. A B&B offering country luxury on the river-front with captivating views, warm hospitality and 10 per cent discount on accommodation.

NORTH WEST

Cable Station: stay, dine and save 10 per cent when you visit the historic fishing port in Stanley. With fresh seafood, Cape Grim beef, lamb and most of the state’s vegie crop at the doorstep, you’re guaranteed a fresh, seasonal dining experience. When dinner’s done, there’s a stylish, comfortable room awaiting.

EAST

White Sands Estate and Providore : beachside on the stunning East Coast, White Sands is family friendly and offers RACT members a 10 per cent discount on accommodation plus you save the same in Providore , their store full of all things Tasmanian.

IronHouse Brewery: you can't miss the brewery in the centre of White Sands Estate with its glassed in tanks. Don't miss getting taste of their boutique beer either - pick up a 6-pack or carton at Providore and receive a 10 per cent discount »

 

This is just a sample of what’s on offer now for RACT (and visiting AAA*) members in Tasmania so check out the full list on RACT.VisitVineyards.com and head in any direction.

Your favourite winery or restaurant not in the program? Please let us know, or if you have a business in the food, wine and related industry and would like more information, please email our friendly Alliance Manager, Kerry Scambler.

* 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!

 


EVENTS: Food and wine events around Australia

Holidays may have come to an end, but some of the biggest events and festivals on the food and wine calendar, as well as Valentine's Day and Chinese New Year, are about to start. With floods, cyclone and now major bushfires around Perth, many events have been cancelled or moved, so please check before attending.

Now is the time to get out and support those in wine and food country and along the way we're sure you will enjoy some of the best food and wine on offer in Australia.

ACT: Get ready to be entertained, excited and educated at the Royal Canberra Show – 25-27 Feb »

NSW: Taste over 2,300 Australian wines at the 2011 Sydney Royal Wine Show Cellar Tasting – 19 Feb . Celebrate the 14 wine regions of NSW as well as fine regional produce at the NSW Wine Festival – 26 Feb-31 Mar »

NT: Celebrate the Year of the Rabbit in Darwin with a sumptuous Chinese banquet and local Chinese entertainment at Chinese New Year – 12-13 Feb »

Qld: In Kingaroy, sample great food and wines, watch top Brisbane chefs cook up a storm, and be entertained at the 13th annual South Burnett Wine and Food In The Park Festival – 12 Mar »

SA: The largest Fringe Festival in the southern hemisphere offers a huge twist of quirky fun and frivolity at the Adelaide Fringe 18 Feb-13 Mar . Wine tasting, master classes, food sampling, a regional farmer's market, live music, Fringe performances and more at the Adelaide Cellar Door Wine Festival – 25-27 Feb »

Tas: Relax and enjoy fresh Tasmanian food, wine and beer from almost 100 stalls amongst the trees and lawns of Launceston's City Park at Festivale – 11-13 Feb . Celebrate the local produce, wine, arts, crafts and entertainment of the Huon and Channel regions at A Taste of the Huon – 13-14 Mar »

Vic: The largest celebration of its kind anywhere in the world comes to Victoria in March with hundreds of food and wine events at the Melbourne Food and Wine Festival – 4-14 Mar. Rutherglen hosts the ultimate gourmand's party when regional chefs and winemakers get together at the Tastes of Rutherglen – 12-13 Mar and 19-20 Mar »

WA: With an abundance of wine, food, music and art experiences, head to the Margaret River Wine Region Festival – 17-21 Mar »

 

There are hundreds more wine and food events and festivals on every month around the country – including those supporting flood, cyclone and now bushfire relief – on our national wine and food events calendar »

(And if you are holding one yourself, please make sure you list it on MyAccount so that our site visitors can see it – it's free and very easy to DIY.)

VisitVineyards.com MILESTONES:

A very special birthday, our 30,000th subscriber, and to celebrate, some things for all our subscribers to enjoy

The 8th February 2011 is a big milestone for us in VisitVineyards.com – our oldest Member, and long-term supporter Dame Elisabeth Murdoch, turns 102. Always generous, Dame Elisabeth is well-known as a benefactor of many charities, hospitals, the arts and other causes. She is also hugely supportive of our rural industries, and is devastated by the damage causes by the recent floods and cyclone.

Every year she opens her magificient private gardens at Cruden Farm , Langwarrin in Victoria's Mornington Peninsula to the public for charity, and last weekend she hosted the annual Twilight Jazz Picnic »

Please join us in a toast to the ongoing good health of a remarkable Australian woman. The Dame might suggest a fine Australian riesling, such as one of her favourites, Delatite.

In another milestone, we recently welcomed our 30,000th subscriber. Congratulations to Mr N Martin of Redfern, NSW, who will shortly be receiving a case of delicious Appellation Ballarat Pinot Noir. Another case will find its way to Mr R Pleydell of Endeavour Hills in NSW, who was randomly chosen from among our existing subscribers. Enjoy!

Thanks and best wishes to all our subscribers. If you missed out, remember you can enjoy the following offers any time:

 

Until next time, best of luck in our Margaret River gourmet holiday competition above, and wishing you all better weather for the rest of February. Don't forget to buy your raffle tickets!

From Robyn Lewis and all the team at VisitVineyards.com and Winepros Archive

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