HURRY! Book by April 25th, 2013 to save 50% on the recommended retail price if you buy either the Customizable Wine Country Tour or the Shopping and Napa Winery Day Trip. This exclusive offer applies to all scheduled departure times and dates through December 31st, 2013. Please note that this offer is available for new transactions only and cannot be applied to any existing booking.
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It’s hard to pin one particular tag on Melbourne’s cuisine; it’s too diverse. From cool coffee shops to classic Italian bistros, authentic Thai street food to and molecular gastronomy inspired eateries, Melbourne is bound to have something to satisfy your tastebuds.
Wine connoisseurs and foodies have plenty to get excited about this year, with a packed roster of gastronomic events taking place around the globe. From celebrity studded culinary masterclasses to grape-stomping competitions, here are 10 Wine and Food festivals that you don’t want to miss.
While most people have heard of the Barossa Valley, South Australia has many other lesser-known yet worthwhile wine regions to explore. Experiences like fine chocolate and wine pairings, biking vineyard trails, wine gallery browsing and artisanal cheese and wine sampling are possible in these off the beaten path wine destinations.
The Yarra Valley is arguably Victoria’s premiere wine and food region and is the birthplace of Victorian wine. We recently spent a day there sipping its highly regarded cool climate wines.
Just one hour from Melbourne’s city center, a day trip is a great way to experience Victoria’s scenic countryside while sampling some fine wines from some of Australia’s most highly regarded producers and taste some fresh regional produce in the region’s restaurants.
Zipping between sandy bays and swank wine estates, our driver pointed out Kalk Bay—a popular site for seeing southern right whales—then drove us to the oldest winery in South Africa. We’d only left downtown Cape Town a mere 25 minutes prior, and my mind was trying to throw off preconceived notions as quickly as the formidable sandstone mountains were shrugging off the morning mist. I found the numerous wine regions near Cape Town overwhelming: Stellenbosch and Franschhoek, Constantia, Paarl, Durbanville—all beckoned with their idiosyncratic qualities like a row of red wines during a blind tasting.
With its ancient chateaus set amidst swooping valleys and over 5,000 wine growers helping keep the region at the top of the wine lists, there are few destinations more idyllic for wine lovers than Burgundy. Bordeaux’s more rustic rival, Burgundy still retains much of its historic charm, with family-run vineyards, stone-built wine cellars (or ‘caves’) and a relaxed pace of life seemingly unaffected by the masses of wine tourists flowing through the region.
Mexican wines are proving themselves to rival vintages found anywhere across the globe. In fact, the soil in Baja was historically so amenable to grape production that in 1699 Spain banned the production of Baja wine because of the dire effects it was having on wine exports to the New World.
In modern, independent Mexico, however, the production is growing, the grapes have returned, and two shifts are slowly beginning to take place: The secret is getting out, and the Mexican people are warming to the taste of wine.
As the sky streaked orange and yellow, dusk found us in Grassdale National Park surrounded by hundreds of reddy-grey kangaroos in a feeding frenzy; they grazed unconcernedly as we moved among them, bouncing off across the tussocky grassland if we got too close. My husband and I had journeyed to Kangaroo Island, sitting off the south-west coast of Adelaide, South Australia, to see the kangaroos, koalas, Tammar wallabies, echidnas, seals, and sea lions that proliferate here and to sample the island’s famous hospitality. For us Brits it’s about as far away as you can get from Blighty, and it felt like it – remote, tranquil, and seemingly untouched by the 21st century.
Most of the world’s great winemaking regions are considered romantic destinations; after all wine is a generally a celebratory drink meant to be savored over great food and conversation, an emblem of “the good life” and the luxury of time to enjoy it. Napa Valley is one of California’s most famous winemaking regions, and undoubtedly one of the most romantic destinations in the state. There are more than a hundred hotels and 400 numbers of wineries now catering to the nearly 5 million visitors that arrive here each year, and planning a trip can be overwhelming. Here are a few tips and recommendations to get you started.