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Celebrate and enjoy good wine, good food and amazing holidays

An incredible holiday, magnums or a bottle of Penfolds Grange could be yours »



The world has been saddened by the loss of Steve Jobs, a man of creative genius, and in that rare combination, with business skills to match. Like the days we lost John Lennon, Princess Diana, Michael Jackson and JFK, the moment will be imprinted on our minds. Whether you are an Apple fanatic or a PC stalwart, you love or hate computers or mobile phones, there is no doubt that Jobs changed the world for the better.

So it's a poignant moment for us as we release the Visit Vineyards iPhone app, Australia's first mobile national wine and food travel guide. Feedback has been coming in from across Australia, and as far away as Denmark and the USA, and now we are aiming to reach wine and food lovers in India, China and elsewhere in Asia. We hope that those of you with iPhones are enjoying it so far.

A woman came up to me at the Telstra Businesswomen's Awards last week, and said "I love your app, because I don't have to go to wine regions!" I was rather surprised until she explained that she didn't know a lot about wine, so she uses the app and the website to find out more about wine and the regions before she travels, so when she does go there "I feel more knowledgeable and less intimidated".

Whatever your level of wine knowledge or interest, there's something in it for you. Of course the app is also about food, dining, accommodations, events and lots more, so you can use it to explore Australia, or if you live elsewhere, to find out more about our wine and food. Let's all thank Steve Jobs, a true pioneer of our era.

And don't forget, simply by sharing this newsletter, you will go in the draw to win a bottle of Penfolds Grange 1989 vintage, in time for the festive season! What's not to like about that?!

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Go mobile with Australia's first national wine & food iPhone app


Last month saw the launch of the Visit Vineyards iPhone app, the first nation-wide wine and food travel app in Australia. We've had lots of good and helpful feedback, some updates have been made, and more features are on the way. Users are loving it because it not only helps you to find cellar doors, vineyards and wineries, but to locate restaurants, tours, events, markets, food makers and lots more.

And as one of our subscribers said, you don't have to visit wine regions or even live in Australia to find it useful – it's great for simply finding out where those wines come from if you are in a supermarket or wine store, for example.

If you were one of our subscribers who downloaded the trial version in August, please download the updated app here (currently V 1.3) so you can get future updates automatically when you sync with iTunes.

Everyone who downloads the app and logs in to use it will be automatically entered in the draw to win a bottle of Penfolds Grange 1989 vintage (perfectly cellared) valued at over A$500. This wine will be good drinking now, or will cellar until approximately 2020.

Described as "A full-bodied, richly flavoured and supremely complex vintage with luscious fruit and supple balanced tannins. It has the solid structure and strength of character to age gracefully over the next decade or so, with correct cellaring, to produce another classic Grange. Extreme heat and heavy March rains followed an ideal, warm growing season. Matured in new American oak hogsheads for eighteen months. Alcohol 13.50%.

(The wine is) 91% Shiraz 9% Cabernet Sauvignon from the Kalimna and other Barossa vineyards, as well as the McLaren Vale, it has the typical solid structure and strength of character to produce another classic Grange. "Full-bodied, richly flavoured and supremely complex, harmoniously whole, this wine combines power, structure and concentration!" – Winemaker John Duval."

If that sounds like something you would enjoy, either to drink, to cellar or to give as a gift, then download the app here and start exploring Australian wine and food wherever you are.

No iPhone? Simply share this newsletter for your chance to savour this excellent Grange vintage.

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Special feature – your choice of two world class holidays in Australia


As most of you know, is a huge supporter of regional Australia and our fabulous producers and tourism operators. Right now we're putting our efforts into promoting two wonderful regions: the Whitsundays in sunny Queensland, and the gourmet island state of Tasmania »

And we're giving you the chance to enjoy them first hand! You can:



We've teamed with Queensland business Roam Media, of Do the Whitsundays (based in Airlie Beach) to bring you this fabulous holiday – it's certainly one of the most amazing we've featured! (and is worth approximately A$8000). It's a trip for two, and you can enter from anywhere in the world.

See the Great Barrier Reef from all angles – upon, below and above the sparkling waters over 11 long, lovely days. With diving, scenic flights and cruises of discovery you'll get to know and love the Whitsundays well. 

Is romance in the air? Win this trip and turn it into a first or second honeymoon with an optional marriage (or vow renewal) ceremony included.

Or if not, just take a friend or family member, and enjoy the adventure.... Sparkling waters, coral reefs and friendly locals (marine and human!) are waiting to welcome you.

Prize donors include:

To read more about the amazing experiences and for your chance to win this amazing holiday, simply tell us which Whitsunday experience you'd most look forward to »



Tasmanian apples might almost be a thing of the past, but now Tassie's natural larder is burgeoning with everything from saffron and scallops to wasabi and wagyu – and all within easy reach.

Travel in leisure from Tasmania's north to south, spend a week sipping on world class wines and savouring deliciously fresh local produce with spectacular coastlines, boutique accommodation and sealife adventures along the way.... yes, tempting, isn't it?

We've crafted an itinerary packed with special treats and some of the must see/do things that we think make Tasmania special – but what would you enjoy the most?

Let us know and you could soon discover firsthand what you could see, taste and experience in seven glorious days in the gourmet state.

Enter here now and this fabulous Tasmanian holiday could be yours »

Prize donors include:

Plus, if you are a member of RAC, NRMA or any motoring organisation throughout Australia (or AAA internationally), you can drop in en route, taste and save at any of these lovely vineyards and food producers in Tasmania: »



21st Century Australian Fine Wine: The Landmark Tutorial

In September of last year, fourteen wine professionals from around the world gathered in Australia's Yarra Valley for, without exaggeration, the tasting experience of a lifetime.

The Landmark Tutorial is a 14 part series in which participating wine expert Edward Ragg provides an in-depth review of the Landmark Tutorial. Great wine reading, and packed with detailed tasting notes, too:

More of the 14 part series will be in our November newsletter or you can read the complete 14 part series on »



Having Thai or thinking Asian food? Then here are some wine and food matching secrets

A taste of South Africa – an updated guide to South African wine country



Find more recommendations and discounts for members of motoring organisations in Victoria, Tasmania and Queensland in the SAVE section below



Victoria is renowned for its thriving culinary scene with a rising wave of excellent dining experiences emerging across the state. There's also an increasing move to using public transport and saving the environment. So next time, board a train and set off for a traffic-free culinary adventure to remember »



Gain a deeper appreciation enjoyment from the complexities of your wine by teaching your nose to detect the subtleties that make up each one. Le Nez du Vin aroma sets help you develop your scent memory and as subscriber, you can save up to A$110! This would make a great Christmas give for a wine lover.  Details here »

FOOD: Reviews and recipes


From what you are telling us, more people are dining in right now, and with spring produce everywhere in Australia, here are some great new food ideas:

Smart ways to buy, store and use up food

A light and healthy addition to your library

  • Cook for Your Life by Ian Thorpe – In his first cookbook, champion swimmer Ian Thorpe shares the recipes that keep him trim and healthy as well as his philosophy on diet gathered from experts on nutrition and diet over all of his years of elite sporting success »

A year in recipes

  • From Season to Season by Sophie Dahl – Continuining from where her hugely successful Voluptuous Delights left off, Roald Dahl's grand-daughter Sophie offers up a season almanac of bountiful dishes alongside warm food-filled memories and musings »

Traditional recipes with a twist



Thistle Be Good produces a range of dukkahs and dry spice marinades as well as a delicious range of handmade, ready-to-cook risotto and couscous. Yum yum!

Here are several cooking tips and recipes for Thistle Be Good products including a delicious crumble recipe with an unusual twist »



Save 15% on your personally signed copy of Bernadette O'Shea's award-winning book Champagne and Chandeliers: Grand Dining Occasions.

It captures the essence of this wonderful bubbly wine in a unique and elegant fashion. Have it signed as a gift for the wine (or style) lover in your life. Details here »

EVENTS: Food and wine events around Australia



Victoria is the place to be in October and November with the Spring Racing Carnival – 50 days of world-class thoroughbred racing in a party atmosphere. But if horse racing isn't your thing, there are plenty more events to choose from with some of the best food, wine, music and arts events listed below:

VIC:  The Mornington Peninsula is celebrating Australian pinot noir but be quick as this event is ending soonOctober Pinot Week, 8-16 Oct »

ACT: Make sure you are in Canberra for this 12 day celebration of film – 15th Canberra International Film Festival, 26 Oct to 6 Nov »

NSW: Experience a month of extraordinary food events across Sydney and regional NSW – Crave Sydney International Food Festival, 1-31 Oct »

NT: In Darwin tantalise your senses with a mixture of Asian cuisine and the aroma of fresh coffee – Parap Markets, every Saturday morning »

QLD: Celebrate Spring with three months of festivities in the Granite Belt wine country – Primavera 2011 Festival, 1 Sep to 30 Nov »

SA: You will need to get in early if you want to discover the quality of Coonawarra Cabernet – Coonawarra Cabernet Celebrations, 14-16 Oct »

TAS: This coming weekend in Hobart showcasing new season's white wines and special releases – Southern Vineyards White Wine Weekend, 15-16 Oct »

WA: In Perth enjoy a vibrant and dynamic street festival showcasing the best of local art, music, food, wine and fashion – Beaufort Street Festival, 12 Nov »


A SPECIAL EVENT – having fun and raising funds for breast and prostate cancer research:

Dunk a duck at Puddleduck Vineyard and help quack the code in finding a cure for cancer.

Join in the fun of the inaugural Puddleduck Dunk wherever you are in Australia. Buy a duck online and see if your little quacker can win you a case or two of perfect Puddleduck wine! Full details here but be quick, the ducks are dunking on 29th October »


Want to find more events?

There are many more events, festivals, dinners, tastings, tweetups, activities and exhibitions in our national wine and food events calendar »



Holding a tasting? Planning Christmas festivities? Then list your own event

If you are a wine or food event manager or organiser and your event is not on our calendar, no matter how large or small please visit the My Account section to create your own listing, or email us and we'll help you add it the calendar »

A LOT of wine and food lovers check our our calendar every month, and you are missing FREE and widespread publicity for your event if you don't.


Magnificent magnums, wines for savouring, glorious books and more


Apart from the two amazing holidays above, we've got a stellar range of prizes this month.

Wines from Tasmania, Victoria and New Zealand, wine appreciation kits, books galore and something to add some harmony to your home.....

  • Domaine A / Stoney Vineyard in Tasmania's Coal River Valley produces world class wines to much acclaim – James Halliday rates them Best of the Best. You could win one of two magnums of Cabernet Sauvignon and see for yourself why critics and wine-lovers alike love their elegance and balance »
  • Across the Tasman over 30 years ago, three determined brothers developed a vineyard in Marlborough. Today the boys at Giesen Wines are still producing wines that people love to drink. Win one of four half cases and share the love »
  • Can't make the White Wine Weekend in Southern Tasmania? Don't fret, you can still join in the spirit of things by winning this mixed case of superb wines and raising a toast the winemakers of Tassie »
  • Celebrate the sweet life of the King Valley at the annual spring festival La Dolce Vita. With three double passes or a case of their finest mixed wines to be won, life could truly be 'sweeeet' »
  • MEMBERS: your exclusive chance to win Le Nez du Vin aroma sets or The Essential Wine Tasting Guide. Train your nose (and your childrens'! They are suprisingly good at this) and get a deeper appreciation for the complexites of your wine. Two aroma sets and ten guides to be won »
  • Life is surely always better with a glass of bubbles in your hand. Champagne and Chandeliers by Bernadette O'Shea will expand your knowledge, choice and sheer enjoyment with this elegantly styled and lavishly illustrated book. Win one of three personally signed copies »
  • In keeping with our major holiday prizes of Tasmania and Queensland, we have 15 delicious books on wine and food to be won. Enter now for your chance to win one of 15 books and 5 tchillbags »
  • Renovating or moving house? Enhance the energy and add some harmony and prosperity to your home with traditional Feng Shui. You could win a personal consultation valued at $320 with Sauvage Feng Shui and Design Services »
  • Entertaining TV Chef and sizzling Spaniard Miguel Maestre serves up authentic Spanish Tapas like no-one else in Miguel's Tapas. If you'd like to show off your culinary skills this festive season, enter now for your chance to win one of three copies »
  • Mornington Peninsula or Geelong and surrounds? The fabulous Produce to Platter books bring the wine, food and people of these regions to life with stories, recipes and luscious photography. We have three copies of each to give away and you get to choose which book you'd prefer to win »


QUICK WIN! email us now at for your chance to win one of six double passes to the exhibition of Australian Modern Materpieces at the Art Gallery of Bendigo on show from 5th October to 27th November. Hurry, winners drawn 18th October.


UNCLAIMED PRIZE ALERT: the prize shelf still has some unclaimed wine and books so please check our winners' page and make sure you're not missing out! (Yes, you!)

Stock up your cellar and save around Victoria, Tasmania and Queensland


Thinking of stocking up the cellar for the festive season? Or planning a pre-Christmas gathering? Then visit the renowned wine and food producers in Tasmania, regional Victoria and Queensland. They'll offer a warm welcome and save you money too!

Here are this month's recommendations for members* of motoring organisations in or visiting these three states. All you have to do is show them your membership card to receive these great discounts:


For the full listing of where you can sip, savour and save around the gourmet isle, go to »


Celebrating La Dolce Vita in November.

There are over 53 discounts available around regional Victoria, find them all at »



Go to for wineries, restaurants, food producers and more »

So head out into the regions around Australia, support our wonderful wine and food producers in the lead up to the festive season and save along the way.

* If you're a current member or policy holder of  RACT, RACV, NRMA, RAA, RACQ, RANZ, AAA etc, you qualify for all these discounts.

Spring into spring (or fall) - enjoy the season!


In Australia, the footy's over, the hockey and rugby are about to end, and soon it will be cricket, tennis, surfing and horse racing. Australia sure is a land of sports-lovers, but we also like our arts and culture too.

Whatever your tastes and interests, we wish you a happy month ahead. As Steve Jobs reminded us, 'live before you die', and enjoy the moment with some good wine, good food and good company.

For those into racing or in Melbourne, have a great Spring Carnival, and don't forget to have a flutter on our two amazing holidays as well!

Good luck and see you in November with some fresh ideas for the festive season and holidays ahead.

Cheers from Robyn Lewis and the team

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PS And remember, for every wine and food loving friend you share this newsletter with, you receive an entry to win the 1989 Penfolds Grange »