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Celebrate spring with some fabulous wines, events and more

Hello,

Yes, it's finally spring! The year is racing by, and more exciting things continue to happen in the world of Australian wine and food. Heston's soon to arrive in Western Australia (but his appearances are sold out already, sigh), buds have burst, but most of all, I think we're all a little tired of winter fare and looking forward to something fresh.

Spring in the vineyard, Margaret River wine region, Western Australia As much as I'm a red wine lover I'm also partial to a good white, and I and the rest of VisitVineyards.com team are looking forward to checking out some good rieslings, chardonnays and the odd rosé in the weeks ahead (winemakers please note – samples welcome!*)

If you're into wine tasting you might find our tasting note template useful. It's an 'editable PDF' which means you can save info that you type into the form in your computer (or mobile device). Or, you can just print some out and take them to your next wine tasting (or use at home). We've evolved this form over years of tasting wines, and we find it pretty handy. Hope you do, too.

We also have some new wine videos on VisitVineyards.com. Pinot noir lovers! Listen to the famous Burghound, Allen Meadows, and watch lots more about the 'heartbreak grape'. Latest videos here »

And for those of you who think we don't give South Australia enough coverage, we're pleased to announce that our 'regional food and wine program' (which we operate with the motoring organisations in Victoria, Tasmania and Queensland) will soon be extended to the 'wine state'. Hurrah! (** More details below).
 

Wine news and reviews

Naked Wine by Alice Feiring

Wine's history and its journey to the New World

Did you know that wine in the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries was not only a part of life and religious practice, it was considered an essential medicine? No missionary or doctor would set sail without some vine cuttings, and they were carried by the First Fleeters who settled Australia’s Sydney Cove in 1788.

Fortunately, the insect pest phylloxera was still unknown in Europe at the time, and thus some of the oldest vines in the world now have their home in ..... (guess where?) »

Naked wine – letting grapes do what comes naturally

'Natural wine' has been a topic of great interest in recent years, and discussion is heating up. Even agreeing on a definition seems hard!

In her book Naked wine, award-winning American food and wine journalist Alice Feiring covers the history of this 'movement' from its beginnings through to its acceleration of the past decade.

This book is controversial (deliberately so), and will certainly enliven the debate. So, what IS natural wine? And is it any better? »

Wine travel – where to visit next?

Ballooning over the vineyards in the Napa Valley

Napa Valley, USA – the land of plenty

Yes, we're looking a bit further afield this month. With the crowds of the northern summer now dwindling, you might consider experiencing the legendary Napa Valley in California.

Here, world-class wines, friendly faces, historic surroundings, miles of nature reserves, and a spirit of wellness set a slower pace, inviting you to relax, savour, and restore.

While cabernet and chardonnay are the most widely planted wine grapes in the Napa Valley, there are many surprises for wine lovers looking for varieties off the beaten path. Find our more here »

Or closer to home, perhaps you would like to meet Conti, Director of Pest and Bird Control, at Domaine Rogha Crois, near Canberra? Conti proves yet again the crucial role played by the winery dog in making a great wine »

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

Wine events

Mudgee Wine and Food Festival

Shiraz Heaven

In Victoria celebrate Heathcote's internationally acclaimed wines with over 50 of their best producers in one place for one great weekend.

Combine this with food and produce from some 30 exhibitors, relaxing live music and children's entertainment, for a day or weekend made in heaven – shiraz heaven! Heathcote Wine and Food Festival – 6-7 Oct »

More wine events coming up around the country:

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

Event organisers and marketers, don't forget you can list your food and wine events on our calendar FREE. Simply go to VisitVineyards.com/MyAccount and enter your event details.

Offers for VisitVineyards.com Members

Wine tasting at Montalto Vineyard

As one of our VisitVineyards.com Members, you can enjoy special benefits and experiences when visiting cellar doors, provdores, restaurants and more. Here's a small sample of the offers just for you:

Montalto Vineyard: a VisitVineyards.com favourite and an essential stop for all wine and food travellers to the Mornington Peninsula with views over vines, orchards and sculptures. Members receive a complimentary wine flight with lunch or dinner »

Great Expeditions: sip on Tassie's top wine, whisky and beer, taste cheese, chocolate and seafood, and be guided by people passionate about the sharing the State's best. Members booking tours receive 1, 2 or 3 bottles of fine local wine »

Morrisons of Glenrowan: in history Ned Kelly country, this small family-run vineyard has panoramic views to the Victorian Alps from the cellar door. Relax in the native bush garden with your BYO picnic basket and receive a complimentary bottle of Morrison's wine »

 

Discover more Member benefits at: VisitVineyards.com/benefits »
Learn more about Membership at: VisitVineyards.com/members »
Become a Member now at: VisitVineyards.com/join »

Fabulous NEW subscriber offers

North Bundaleer homestead in the Clare Valley

WOW! That's what we thought when these great new offers landed on our desks.

We love nothing better than sharing wonderful wine and food experiences with you and these are certainly something special:

North Bundaleer, luxury rural retreat: close to the Clare Valley on the edge of the outback, connect with bygone opulence at this beautiful homestead. Take some time out with friends and book a getaway with The Tailor, one couple will stay free »

Over a weekend of wine and food, learn new techniques from professional chef Leo Hollingsworth and impress at your next dinner party.  Book your special package with The Tailor now »

Hurry, North Bundaleer offers are only available until 31st October!
 

French Wine and Food Tour with Peter Scudamore-Smith MW: Do your travel dreams revolve around the birthplace of wine culture and haute cuisine? (oh yes!) Make them come true with this bespoke ten day hosted tour to Champagne, Burgundy and the Rhône.

As a VisitVineyards.com subscriber, you can save up to $300 with our exclusive offer – details here »
 

NEW BOOK OFFERS:

Chefs of the Margaret River by Lisa Hanley & Sue-Lyn Aldrian-Moyle is one lovely book – part beautifully illustrated souvenir, part cookbook, and the perfect size to post overseas. Save a generous 20% on this gorgeous book, sure to please any cook or WA wine lover »

The History of Australian Wine by Max Allen: a valuable addition to any wine-lover's library – save 10% plus you get free postage »

 

Meet the (growing) team!

Lara Winsor

This month we welcome a new team member, Lara, who joins us in VisitVineyards.com HQ to help out the lovely Kerry and liaise with the auto clubs. She brings lots of experience from her recent years in South Australia.

Laura (based in Victoria) is also leaving us to have her second child, and we wish her and her expanding family all the very best.

However, despite Lara's arrival, we've had a bit of a holdup since early July (one of our team has been very ill – the good news is, he's now recovering); we'll be getting in touch with all of you who responded to our recent survey with some very special offers as soon as we can. Our apologies for the delay, but sometimes these things happen, and we thank you for your support and understanding.

Meanwhile, enjoy the longer days and better weather ahead, and have a great week, everyone. And happy 78th birthday this month to Australian wine legend 'Wolfie' Blass »

Look out for your food travel newsletter in two weeks' time.

All the best from Robyn, Kerry, Lara, Andrew and the rest of the VisitVineyards.com and Winepros Archive team.

(You can read some more about us here if you like)

Missed our last newsletter? (August food edition)  Catch up here »
 
 
* Wine samples for review and publication can be sent to
VisitVineyards.com, PO Box 488, North Hobart. Tas. 7002.
Please include price information and tasting notes, and food matching suggestions and recipes if you wish.
 
** If you operate a vineyard, winery or restaurant, or grow, make or sell regional food produce in South Australia and would like to find out how you can be involved, please email Lara at lara@visitvineyards.com for more info.