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Drinking it Up Downunder

February 7, 2014 1:29 pm - Posted by Jody in Travel

Guide to Planning a Road Trip to the Best Vineyards in Australia

By: Authors at WickedGoodTravelTips.com

Too often, visitors to Australia see only the main attractions, missing the amazing views of the more rural countryside. One of the best ways to truly experience the sights, sounds, and flavors Australia has to offer, is to go on a vineyard themed road trip across the outback.

Australia Vineyard Road Trip

Over the last decade, Australian wines have gained popularity around the globe with new vinicultures starting every year. Those interested in independently traveling through the wine producing areas of Australia should plan a road trip that lingers at vineyard tours. While there are over 60 designated wine regions on the Australian continent, it is recommended that you focus on the largest wine valleys, where tourism is more prominent, and vineyards regularly offer tours, and other accommodations are readily available.

Yarra Valley

Yarra Valley Vineyard

Yarra Valley is located just 38 miles east of Melbourne. Road tripping through the Yarra Valley insures a unique view of the Dandenong mountain range. The area is cool year round, and is home to more than 50 distinct wineries. It is considered the fastest growing wine district in all of Australia.

The area’s most prestigious winery, the Domaine Chadon, offers tours from 10:30 am to 4:30 pm daily. Wines for tasting can be procured by the flute, or by the bottle, and guests can meander through the bottling area, and the riddling cellar. For those who wish to linger in the area, accommodations can found at Melbourne, and a total of 20 vineyards can be easily visited as day trips, each of which allow wine tasting in their cellars.

Hunter Valley

Hunter Valley Vineyard Mt Pleasant

Hunter Valley is located 114 miles north of Sydney. It sets in the long river bottoms of the Hunger River, largely considered the most fertile area of Australia. Some of the best white and red wines in the world come from this region, which has been known for its viniculture since the 1800s. The valley is home to more than 80 wineries, each set in the midst of growing farmlands.

Anyone who visits Hunter Valley should take the time to visit Rothbury estates, at lower hunter. The staff offers free tours of winemaking at every stage of its development, and offers free tastings of Shiraz.

Barossa Valley

Barossa Valley Vineyard

The Barossa, located 28 miles northeast of Adelaide, is home to half of Australia’s wineries. The area was settled by German immigrants in the 1840s, who had brought their own vines, and vinicultural style with them. They recognized the promise of Barossa’s shallow valley soil, and immediately started making traditional German wines, which have made the valley famous.

Those road tripping through the valley should take the time to visit Angaston, one of Barossa’s oldest, and most respected wineries. Their tours will give visitors a sample of German wines, like Riesling, Frontigac, and Grenache, as well as German hospitality and culture that is still palpable in the area.

The sights that can be experienced when driving across the Australian countryside are endless and unparalleled. Go to The Australian Informational Website at http://www.auinfo.com/australia_wine_regions.htm for more information about Australia’s unique landscape, and the ways it has embraced viticulture to create vineyards nestled into quiet pastoral passageways, and busy business centers.

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About The Author:  Elizabeth Bailey is an avid travel blogger. She loves combining an outback driving adventure with a bit of wine tasting and cheap overnight stays.  Visit Expedia Australia for more information about car rentals.
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Photo Credits – Flickr cc: #1 Lina Hayes, #2 Crafterm, #3 Diane Byrne, #4 GOC53

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Australia for the Holidays in Style

December 23, 2013 11:18 am - Posted by Jody in Travel
Flight of Fancy (via www.goodlifereport.com)

  It has LCD touch screens, sheepskin-covered full-length beds, and speeds of up to 670 miles per hour. Welcome to the First Suite of the Qantas A380 airliner.   From its inception, passenger air travel revolved around getting the maximum amount…


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Wine Of The Week – Grant Burge The Holy Trinity 2007

January 28, 2012 11:37 am - Posted by Jody in Drink

Grant Burge The Holy Trinity 2007Barossa, Australia

PRESS:

94 Points, James Halliday

The blend percentages are not given, but the swapping of grenache for shiraz in first place does change the dynamics with riper red plum fruit to the fore on the soft, medium-bodied palate. Excellent mouthfeel and balance.

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Wine Of The Week – Grant Burge Barossa Vines Shiraz 2009

January 4, 2012 1:17 pm - Posted by Jody in Drink

Grant Burge Barossa Vines Shiraz 2009Barossa, Australia

VARIETALS: 100% Syrah

TASTING NOTE:

Fifth-generation winemaker Grant Burge is a master of Shiraz. The 2009 is classic Burge Barossa with layers of blackberry, plum and black cherry with smoky cloves and dark chocolate. Dry and delectably mouthfilling, with impressive tannins and a ripe fruit core. Enjoy tonight with spaghetti and meatballs in a spicy BBQ sauce.

LCBO VINTAGES RELEASE MAGAZINE, Aug 20th 2011

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Wine Of The Week – De Lisio “Quarterback” Red 2007

August 10, 2011 12:37 pm - Posted by Jody in Drink

Each week I like to choose a new wine to introduce to our fans. These wines vary by region, by varietal and even by price. I don’t think cost and value are necessarily related. So I like to focus on wines I have experienced on my travels and I think our fans will enjoy trying. salut!

Wine Of the Week QuarterbackMcLaren Vale, Australia

90 Points — Wine Advocate

PRESS:

…The wine is a blend of 30% Cabernet Sauvignon, 27% Merlot, 26% Shiraz, and 17% Grenache aged for 15 months in seasoned French oak. Dark ruby in color, it delivers an enticing bouquet of floral notes, spice box, black cherry, and blueberry. Full-bodied, ripe, and sweetly-fruited on the palate, it manages to retain a sense of elegance. This lengthy blend has enough structure to evolve for 1-2 years but there is no reason to delay your gratification. It is also an excellent value.

#186, Dec 2009

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Scary Halloween Wines

October 29, 2010 8:13 pm - Posted by Kevin in Drink

It is Halloween weekend and a time for kids to dress up in costume, hang out with their friends and go trick or treating for candy. But why should they have all the fun?  These days everyone can get into the Halloween spirit, including wine lovers. So the editorial team at Wine Portfolio (who have been accused of acting like children on more than one occasion and therefore are qualified to comment) have put their minds together to create a list of SCARY HALLOWEEN WINES.

First up Dracula Pinot Noir from Vampire Wines. Made from pinot noir grapes grown in the Santa Maria Valley and placed in French Oak barrels for 18 months, this wine is rich with a deep dark cherry color. As the website says, “God made cabernet sauvignon, whereas the devil made pinot noir.” Andres Tchelistcheff (1901-1994).

Witches Falls Winery in Australia produces magically good whites. One of the best is their Riesling which is fresh and acidic with a crisp lime citrus taste. It is perfect for pairing with Asian food or dark chocolate (probably stolen from your kid’s loot bag).

Concha y Toro, the largest producer from Latin America has a devilishly good wine in the aptly named Casillero del Diablo Merlot. For those who don’t speak Spanish this means, the Cellar of the Devil. Legend has it that the workers at Concha y Toro were drinking all of the profits so the founder told the superstitious workers that the devil lived in his wine cellar so they dare not enter. Clearly this worked because they now export lots of this rich, dark and intense Merlot.

And finally to round out our list of two reds and two whites, don’t forget Pure Evil Chardonnay from South Australia. It is fun, affordable and the label is pure genius. Most of these wines are fairly widely available but if you can’t find them remember such stand bys as Seven Deadly Zins, Hocus Pocus and Blue Nun – what could be scarier than that?