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Enjoy some Grange '89, treat Mum this Sunday, and ideas for the long weekend


Hello,

Things are really humming along here at VisitVineyards.com HQ in the heart of wine and food country! The Australian autumn has been kind to most grapes, and we're looking forward to seeing the results in the months ahead.

We're very excited about the heaps of feedback we've been receiving from many of our wonderful subscribers in our 2012 survey. If that includes you, thank you, and to everyone who has responded so far – what fabulous ideas, feedback and suggestions some have sent us. (Kerry might have her own fan club soon!)

If you haven't got around to completing our survey yet, or missed our last email, it's not too late to have your say tell us what you like, don't like, and want in the year ahead. More mobile features? Wine sales? Or something different? Let us know..... We're into big ideas and we know some of you have lots of them. Keep them coming!

We DO listen and care, and we have read every response so far – thank you again. In fact we're busy implementing some of them already, so look out for exciting changes soon.

If you want your ideas to be part of a new look VisitVineyards.com and/or Winepros Archive, let us know! Our survey is open until Friday 18th May so you have just over a week left. Or if you started but haven't finished yet, now's your chance! Click here to read more about our survey on VisitVineyards.com »

OR CLICK HERE to go straight to SurveyMonkey and take our survey »


Don't forget that in Australia, New Zealand, the USA and several other countries, Mothers' Day is on Sunday 13th (and on the 18th May in the UK). Check out our website for some suggestions on where to take Mum, and for food, cookbook and wine ideas, scroll down for the latest.

Enjoy your newsletter, and good luck in the survey draw and competitions, too. Look out for our new improved format next month!

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Your very last chance to WIN an 11 day Whitsundays holiday or a bottle of Penfolds Grange

 

The wonderful Queensland  tropics – there's no place quite like the Whitsundays, especially as we cruise into the cooler months and those of us in southern climes are feeling the chill! The sparkling waters of the magnificent Great Barrier Reef, the marine life at your fingertips and the super relaxed lifestyle.... we love it.

Do you think you and your someone special could cope with scenic flights, cruising, diving and definitely relaxing over eleven long days? Yes?? Then wait no longer, entries close this Friday 9th May at midnight, so don't delay for your chance to enjoy a slice of tropical paradise »


Or would you prefer to enjoy a bottle of Penfolds Grange on us?

Send us your feedback, suggestions, complaints, ideas for improvement or whatever you want to see in 2012 our annual survey, and you could win a perfectly cellared bottle of Penfolds Grange 1989 vintage or one of three half dozen cases of boutique Tasmanian pinot noir from Milford vineyard in the Coal River Valley.

Click here to take our survey. Open until midnight Friday 18th May, winners drawn 21st May »

And remember, five recipients of this newsletter will win these fabulous prizes. How many times have we heard when we call: "But I never win anything"? – well, your luck might be about to change!

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WINE, WINE TRAVEL AND NEWS

 

Mothers' Day is nearly here! We have some great ideas to spoil Mum or to pamper her (or yourself!) with a weekend away. Don't forget the June long weekend is not far off, too....

What better way to celebrate Mothers' Day, or any special occasion for that matter, than with a bottle of bubbly?  – the real stuff of course! To buy Champagne, we recommend you consult Tyson Stelzer's The Champagne Guide 2012/13 for the best French bubbly on the market right now. 

Or, if you want to learn more about this most delicious of wines, the beautifully-illustrated, coffee-table style book Great, Grand and Famous Champagnes by Jayne Powell, Danielle Viera and Fritz Gubler will tell you/Mum all you want to know about the world of bubbles »

 

If you'd prefer to drink not read, then some Strawbellini Moscato Sparkling from Rebello Wines on the Mornington Peninsula could add something sweet and deliciously different to your Mothers' Day celebrations. Read about this revolutionary fruit wine/sparkling wine cocktail here »

Scroll down for more wine (and beer) book ideas for Mothers' Day. Our FOOD section below also has some great cookbook recommendations.

 

WINE AND BEER BOOKS:

  • The Australian Wine Annual 2012 by Jeremy Oliver – The 15th edition of the best-selling, comprehensive guide to Australian wine takes all the hard work out of selecting what to drink or cellar »
     
  • Wines of the Canberra District by Brian Johnston and Janet Johnson – Vineyards around Australia's national capital are now producing some of the nation's best cool climate wines. This secret certainly won't last »
     
  • The West Australian Wine Guide 2012 by Ray Jordan – Written by Western Australian wine critic Ray Jordan, this book contains over 800 reviews from the nine wine regions of Western Australia »
     
  • The Australian Beer Companion 2011 edition by Willie Simpson – One for the beer lover(s) in your life. Boutique beer consumption is on the rise, especially amongst our Gen Y readers. Willie Simpson introduces you to over 100 of his favourite Australian breweries in this updated version »

You can also check out our Top Wine and Beer Books for 2011, with everything from cooking with beer, wine and food matching, to a biography of Australia's First Families of Wine – a book to touch Mum's heart.
 

WINEMAKER PROFILE:

A few of you have asked in our survey if these profiles are sponsored. The answer is, no, they aren't. We choose to feature them because they're good, we like them, and we think you might be interested!

This month's star is Andrew Koerner, Chief Winemaker of Blue Pyrenees in Victoria. Then called Chateau Remy, Blue Pyrenees was established in 1963 by Remy Martin with French eccentricity its hallmark.

With Chief Winemaker Andrew Koerner now at the helm, some say the Blue Pyrenees Estate wines are the best ever. Read about Andrew, his region and his wines here »

 

WINE TRAVEL:

Thinking ahead to the June long weekend, or looking for somewhere to take Mum for a special break? Try:

  • North-East Victoria: Take Victoria's High Country Brewery Trail to get up close with four fantastic craft breweries. Beer geeks, beer novices and mountain biking enthusiasts alike will love this pocket guide packed with brewery information »
     
  • Mudgee NSW: With around 40 boutique wineries, this region is the ultimate destination for those that enjoy their wine. However a trend is underway as cellar doors are offering so much more than wine like art, history, sport, education and local produce »

 

WINE NEWS:

Vignerons from the Geelong wine region are celebrating Vintage 2012, and the knowledge that Geelong is again one of Australia's premier wine regions. Read our Geelong Vintage 2012 report »

Leura Park Estate has reinforced its status as a Geelong region sparkling wine powerhouse by taking out a coveted gold medal for its Vintage Grande Cuvee Sparkling Pinot Chardonnay »


FOOD REVIEWS and Mothers' Day recommendations

 

Mothers would surely be delighted with one – or more – of these, with flowers of course!


This is a list we compiled for Mothers' Day last year, with cookbook suggestions for mothers of all culinary levels from beginner to expert. All these books are still available, and if you're lucky, you might find some around very cheaply. Check these Mothers' Day titles out here »

Then there's our Top 12 Cookbooks of 2011 (including an iPad app from Britain) – any of these winners would make great gifts, too »

Published recently is Tasmanian Menu by Simone Bett – If you or Mum has ever visited Tasmania, or plan to and want a taste in advance, this is the book for you. See recipes below.  It's a lovely snapshot and insight into modern family cooking that can be done in any state, beautifully illustrated with Tasmanian photos »

 

If you are visiting the gourmet state, eminent English wine and food commentator Jancis Robinson found Hobart's food scene understated, different, exciting and distinctive on her recent visit to Tasmania »

 

EVENTS: The best of food and wine around the country

 

With the cooler weather upon us in Australia, now is the time to start planning those cosy winter weekends away, enjoying good food and fine wine in front of a log fire. Mothers' Day is the 13th, and the June long weekend is just around the corner!

  • Northern Territory: Head somewhere warm! Grab your partner and friends for an evening filled with fun (this year's theme is Moulin Rouge) at the Paspaley Darwin Star Ball, a fundraiser for the Starlight Children's Foundation – Darwin, 18 May »
     
  • Queensland: A must-visit on the epicurean calendar: 3 days of great food, great wine and great live entertainment at the Noosa International Food and Wine FestivalNoosa, 17-20 May »
     
  • Tasmania: Make some new discoveries amongst the island's best red wines at the Tasmanian Red Wine WeekendHobart, 26-27 May »
  • Still in Victoria, during the June long weekend you can taste the innovative wine styles of the King Valley at the fabulous Weekend Fit for a KingKing Valley, 9-11 June »
     
  • ACT: Over the June long weekend, Handmade brings together talented artists, designers, stylists, craftspeople and gourmets all at one destination – Canberra, 9-10 June »
     
  • South Australia: Head to the annual BankSA Sea and Vines Festival and celebrate the fabulous food and wine of McLaren Vale on the Fleurieu Peninsula – McLaren Vale, 10 June »
     
  • NSW: The Hunter Valley Wine and Food Month has something for everyone and is a month-long celebration of Hunter Valley wines and fresh local produce – Various locations, 3-27 June »

 

There are hundreds more wine and food events and festivals on every month aroudn Australia so check out our national wine and food events calendar. We list events as many months ahead as we can »

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

 


THIS MONTH'S GIVEAWAYS include a fabulous range of prizes including wines, ciders, tickets, wine cellar appraisal, books and more

 

To our prize list this month we've added some fruity sparkle, a Cheeky Rascal or two, superb Tasmanian wines (we know you love these!), King Valley wines and event tickets. Plus we showcase the renowned produce of Tasmania and Victoria in glorious books:

  • Rebello Wines: Add some refreshing fruit sparkle and a Cheeky Rascal to brighten up the cooling months. Win one of six gift packs from Rebello Wines featuring their award-winning Strawbellini Sparkling and a 4-pack of their 100% pure fruit Cheeky Rascal Cider » 
     
  • Weekend fit for a King and King Valley Wines: win one of five double passes and enjoy an indulgent weekend of great wine, gourmet food and lively entertainment Even if you can't make it, you could still get a regal taste of the King Valley with a half case of their wonderful wines. Both drawn on 14th May»
     
  • Tasmanian Red Wine Weekend: wherever you are in Australia, join in the celebrations of all that is Tasmanian and hued deep red, purple and pink with a case of premium red wine to be won »
     
  • Ever wanted to taste over 700 wines? Then come along to the ICCWS Gala Dinner and enjoy mingling with the winemakers and industry key players as they celebrate at the 12th International Cool Climate Wine Show Awards Dinner on Victoria's beautiful Mornington Peninsula.

    This is a fun night! There are two double dinner tickets valued at $250 a double to be won but hurry, entries close on 15th and winners drawn on 16th May »
     
  • Vinified: Is your wine cellar in need of some re-organisation, done with expert knowledge and tender loving care? Vinified offers the complete wine cellar management service for wine lovers. Enter now and you could win a three hour wine cellar appraisal worth $250 »
  • Tasmanian Menu: this state is renowned world-wide for both its fresh gourmet produce and spectacular scenery. Simone Bett combines the two in impressive style and we have six beautiful, signed copies to be won »
     
  • The House of Oysters and Wild Water and Woodsmoke: two fabulous books with recipes from leading chefs, inspiring images and fascinating background information on Tasmania’s superb  delicacies from the sea. Three copies of each book to be won »
     
  • Produce to Platter two-volume set: this series brings to life the food, wine and people of the Geelong and the Mornington Peninsula in fabulous publications that will inspire you to explore them further. Two by two-volume sets plus two hardcover copies of the Geelong book to be won »
     
  • Napoleone & Co Cider: delicious cider crafted by the winemakers from Punt Road in the Yarra Valley, using their estate grown fruit and fermented like wine to create a refreshing, dry style. Win one of four mixed half cases »

 

WINNERS, where are you? We still have unclaimed wine!! There are delicious Karra Yerta Rieslings, the hip new Brash Higgins wine plus some great books still sitting on our unclaimed  prize shelf!  It really could be your name on our winners' page so check it now please and let us know. Or, someone else will enjoy it.


VisitVineyards.com MEMBERS: your exclusive wine country bonuses and experiences

 

If you carry our lovely lime green Membership card on your wine and food travels, then you can take advantage of these exclusive offers:

  • Great Expeditions Tasmania (NEW)take your enjoyment of Tassie's wonderful food and wine to a whole new level with private tours visiting wine, beer, whiskey, cheese, chocolate makers and more.

    Sip and taste whilst chauffeured in comfort, guided by people who want to share the best Australia's gourmet island has to offer.

    VisitVineyards.com Members booking a tour for 4 people receive a complimentary bottle of boutique Tasmanian wine, or book for 8 people for two bottles, or get 12 friends touring and receive three bottles. Plus you can enjoy the wine whilst on tour! Details and how to book here »

 

Some other great savings and experiences for members await here:

Find out more about the great value VisitVineyards.com Membership program and get your card here »

Explore the many special offers for our Members here »


SUBSCRIBERS: a sample of your free offers, including signed books and special rates

 

Did you know that as a VisitVineyards.com subscriber you can enjoy some special offers? Here's just a small taste of what you as a subscriber can receive:

  • Champagne and Chandeliers – Grand Dining Occasions: Champagne has been part of history-making moments around the world which are brought to life in this unique and elegant book. Buy direct for a personally signed copy with a 15% discount »
     
  • The Australian Wine Map: if you'd like all the wine regions readily available at glance then this map by Max Allen is the ideal answer. Track down and rightfully place both familiar and unknown names. Save 10 - 20% off direct purchases »
     
  • Tasmania 40 Degrees South: the island's flagship magazine that showcases our arts, culture, spectacular places, gourmet food, cool climate wine and more. It's a feast for the eyes and the intellect. Simply tell us why Tasmania means something special to you and a FREE copy will be on its way »
     
  • Le Nez  du Vin: train your nose to detect truffles.. in your wineglass. Appreciate the complexities of your wine with these instructive aroma sets (which can be fun too!) and the Essential Wine Tasting Guide. Save up to $110 »


RACV, RACT and RACQ members: save on wine, chocolates, beer, olives and more

Exclusive discounts on wine, chocolates, beer, olives, cooking schools and more await members of all AAA affiliated motoring organisations* when touring Victoria, Tasmania and Queensland:

VICTORIA

  • Fyffe Field, Yarrawonga: tempt your taste buds at this family-owned vineyard and save 10% »
     
  • Bright Brewery, Bright: take a brewery tour and tasting or become a Brewer for a Day, save 15% »
     
  • Helen’s Hill Estate, Coldstream: sip on exceptional cool climate wines and save 15% »
     
  • Rutherglen Estates, Rutherglen: taste wines that reflect the region's personality and save 15% »

For the full list of participating wineries, vineyard restaurants, boutique breweries and more, go to RACV.VisitVineyards.com/save »

 

TASMANIA

Seek out Tasmanian vineyards, winery restaurants, food producers and more at RACT.VisitVineyards.com/save »

Plus, check out the big development plans for our RACT partner, White Sands Estate »

 

 

QUEENSLAND

  • Coolana Olive Grove, Lowood: save 15% on delicious olive oil products including their famous baked olives  »
     
  • Freestyle Escape Cooking School, Dulong: save 10% on hand-on cooking classes with local and interstate chefs, showcasing local produce »
     
  • Mayfied Chocolates, two locations: lovers of luscious chocolates featuring the flavours of Australia, save 10% at either the Spring Hill or the Eagle Heights store »
     
  • Robert Channon, Stanthorpe: taste their verdehlo and see if you agree with James Halliday's high praise, save 10%  »

And there's even more wineries and food producers at RACQ.VisitVineyards.com/save, waiting to welcome you.

The team at Riversands, one of RACQ partners, is still smiling despite having an interesting few years, to say the least »

 

* Are you a current member or policy holder of  RACT, RACV, NRMA, RAA, RACQ, RANZ, AAA etc (including visitors from overseas)? Then you qualify for all these discounts too! Simply show your card to save.


Keep up to date with the latest news from VisitVineyards.com you can find us on Twitter and Facebook, Google+ and now on Pinterest (yes, we love social media!)

A hundred thank yous...

 

There will be quite a few exciting changes coming to VisitVineyards.com in the months ahead, not least of which because I have embarked on a year-long business coaching and mentorship program with Australian/American business guru Siimon Reynolds (email me for more info if you are interested).

Now our community of subscribers is over 40,000 strong, plus with all your fabulous feedback in our survey, we can start some new initiatives and bring you more of what you want.

I was chatting to Siimon about this, as he kindly offered me 100 free downloads of his ebook When They Zig, You Zag to offer you as a thank you – sixty pages of hot tips that you can implement straight away to improve your business, and your life. If you run any sort of business, large or small, or even if you don't and want to improve your performance at work, in sport or at home, then there are ideas in here for you too.

Download your free copy now (for first 100) and thanks again for your support.

Don't forget if you haven't sent us your input for what you want to see or do in our world of wine, food and travel in the year ahead, or if you started our survey but haven't finished it yet, this is your last chance. 

Click here to go straight to our survey, and send us your thoughts »

Good luck to everyone who has entered to win the Grange and cases of wine, and also to those who have supported our Whitsundays promotion and all the fabulous operators who have so generously donated their services (scenic flights, accommodation, diving, yacht charter etc) – the winners will be announced on VisitVineyards.com this month.

All the best and enjoy this lovely May – from Robyn, Kerry and the rest of the VisitVineyards.com team.

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