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Winter wine news, travel and events

Hello,

Greetings and welcome to the second edition of your new-look wine newsletter. Kerry and I were delighted to receive a number of emails with lots of lovely feedback, so thank you if one was yours.

This month will be all about world tennis, cycling and the Olympics – it's hard to believe that four years have gone by since Beijing, and the year we launched! Thanks for being part of our journey, too.

We have lots of exciting things planned for you later this year, to reward you for your loyalty and your love of Australian wine and food. So stay tuned, and remember, your next newsletter (the food edition) will be in your inbox in two weeks' time, on 17th July.

Until then, enjoy what we've found for you in the world of wine. And if you've entered to win any of our great wines or other prizes, don't forget to click on the link on the right to see if you're a winner.

Wine news

edit this listing Increase font size Decrease font size Print Email Bookmark and Share The Age and SMH Good Wine Guide 2012

Life is too short to drink bad wine

How do you find a good wine though? Luckily the answer lies within the pages of The Age and SMH Good Wine Guide 2012. Nick Stock, one of Australia's foremost and respected wine writers, guides you through the process of finding the perfect bottle for any occasion including tasting notes on over 1500 wines »

Cabernet sauvignon may be the world's best-travelled dark-skinned wine grape, but that doesn't necessarily mean it makes great wine everywhere it's grown. Distinguished wine writer Jancis Robinson MW OBE tells us all about this popular grape, including which wine regions in the world produce the best cabernet sauvignon »

One of them has to be South Australia's Barossa. Penfolds have just released their ultra-rare Kalimna "2004 Block 42" – a rare, single-vineyard wine, only made in stellar vintages and produced from reputedly the oldest continuously-producing cabernet sauvignon vines in the world, planted in 1885  – in an amazing looking hand-blown glass ampoule, housed in a jarrah case.

The wine, which was last made in 1996, normally retails for around A$850, but to purchase one of only 12 limited edition ampoules will set you back A$168,000 (approx. £100,000). For that, winemaker Peter Gago "will travel to the destination of choice, where the ampoule will be ceremoniously removed from its glass plumb-bobcasing and opened using a specially designed, tungsten-tipped, sterling silver scribe-snap.

The winemaker will then prepare the wine using a beautifully crafted sterling silver tastevin,' the prospectus says. Anyone game?

Other wine news this month:

More on wine at VisitVineyards.com/wine »

Wine travel

The Quintessential Australian Winery Guide

The Quintessential Australian Winery Guide

Australia is almost awash with vineyards and wineries. The Quintessential Australian Winery Guide – a wine tour around Australia with editor Jade de Souza – will guide you to and through some of Australia's best wineries, known for their exceptional wines and also for the experience to be had with each visit »

Glovebox Guide to Wine Touring by Greg Duncan Powell – Join a wine expert as he tours some of Australia's wine regions, showcasing wineries to visit, varieties to try and where to eat. A helpful guide to regional Australia and its many cellar doors »

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

Wine events

Geelong Toast to the Coast festival

Start planning now to raise your glasses and toast Geelong's esteemed wines and local produce at the 11th annual Toast to the Coast festival – Melbourne Cup weekend, November 3-4, 2012. The festival celebrates Geelong's cool climate wines from the Bellarine, Moorabool Valley and Surf Coast. Go in style with V/Line »

More wine events around the country:

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

Exclusive Member offers

Aire Valley guest house

Thinking of a winter break by the sea, or some wine tasting in the Hunter Valley? Then remember to pack your VisitVineyards.com Membership card to enjoy these exclusive benefits:

Aire Valley Guest House & Restaurant (Hordern Vale, Vic): located just west of Apollo Bay on one of the world's most scenic coastal drives, the Great Ocean Road, this lovely historic homestead offers VisitVineyards.com Members two special packages:

Arrowfield Pokolbin Cellar Door (Hunter Valley): enjoy a tasting in the friendly relaxed atmosphere then take advantage of these special offers – two bonus glasses with half dozen purchase or free delivery to anywhere in Australia with a case purchase »

Subscriber offers, especially for you

Great and grand champagnes

This month, your featured special offers are all about bubbles and expert wine and food matching:

Great, Grand and Famous Champagne by Jayne Powell, Fritz Gubler and Danielle Viera, is a 2011 Gourmand Wine Book Award winner, taking you behind the bubbles in a lavishly designed publication. Recommended for any Champagne lover. Subscribers save 15% »

Daring Pairings by Evan Goldstein (Master Sommelier)  focusses on matching new and emerging varietals with dishes from 35 of his favourite chefs. Highly recommended for anyone wishing to explore new and emerging grape varieties. Free postage plus save 20% »

Happy Ausmas and New Year!

In July many in Australia who are hankering after a feast – or just want an excuse to enjoy some lovely wine and food – are holding Ausmas. For those of you in the northern hemisphere, it's our chance to enjoy turkey, ham, plum pudding and all the trimmings... in winter!

Hard as it is to imagine right now, when it's a summery 38C in December, the thought of Christmas food doesn't do a lot for me. But with these chilly nights and roaring log fires, bring it on!

If you're an Ausmas fan, have a good one, and a happy new (financial) year to Australians, too. Surely an excuse for a celebratory wine!

All the best and catch you on the 17th, from Robyn, Kerry, Trish, Andrew and the VisitVineyards.com team.

Missed our last newsletter? (June food edition)  Read it here »