Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Barossa at Home

As part of a weekend of A+ Wine Celebration, Barossa is opening its doors with a series of special tastings, masterclasses, food and wine festivals. Join the conversation and taste regionally distinct A+ Australian wines.

The event offers a rare opportunity for an insight behind-the-scenes of some of the Barossa's iconic wineries and the characters that lurk in their vineyards and cellars.  Whether you're interested in mastering your own blend at Turkey Flat vineyards, or simply enjoying a drop of aged Riesling with Geoff Schrapel at Bethany, there's something to suit everyone's taste and budget.
Being part of the A+Australian Wine Celebration brings a unique opportunity for Australians to celebrate the great wine created in their own backyard. A number of Barossa wineries are staging additional events during the nationwide Celebration:
Where:  Langmeil Winery, Peter Lehmann Wines, Richmond Grove & Lambert Estate
Date: Friday 20th April....11.30am - 5.00pm
Ticket Cost:  $110.00 per person
Bookings:  Langmeil Winery on (08) 8563 2595
Blending & Brunch @ the Butcher's Block Room 
Turkey Flat Vineyards
Date:  Saturday 21st April....11.30am - 1.30pm
Ticket Cost:  $50.00 per person
Bookings:  Turkey Flat Vineyards on (08) 5863 2851
Tasting with Bethany's Geoff and Robert Schrapel 
Bethany Wines
Date:  Saturday 21st April & Sunday 22nd April
Time:  10.00am - 5.00pm (Saturday) & 1.00pm - 5.00pm (Sunday)
Ticket Cost:  No Cost.  Contact:  Bethany Wines (08) 8563 2086
Tasting with Elderton's Ashmead Brothers and Winemaker Richard Langford 
Elderton Wines
Date:  Saturday 21st April & Sunday 22nd April....11.00am - 4.00pm both days
Ticket Cost:  No Cost.  Contact:  Elderton Wines (08) 8568 7878
Discover the Vineyards at Jacobs Creek 
Where:  Jacobs Creek Visitor Centre
Date:  Saturday 21st April & Sunday 22nd April....11.15am - 3.15pm both days
Ticket Cost:  $12.50 per person
Bookings:  Jacobs Creek Visitor Centre (08) 8521 3000
Seppeltsfield Rare Tawny Vertical Tastings 
Where:  Seppeltsfield Wines
Date:  Saturday 21st April & Sunday 22nd April....10.30am - 5.00pm
Ticket Cost:  Vertical Tasting $10.00 per adult.  Heritage Tour $15.00 per person
Challenge your Senses:  A Journey of Aroma's & Wine 
Where:  Lou Miranda Estate
Date:  Saturday 21st April & Sunday 22nd April....11.15am - 12.00 noon both days
Ticket Cost:  $20.00 per person
Bookings:  Lou Miranda Estate on (08) 8524 4537
Tasting with TeAro's Family Vignerons 
Where:  TeAro Estate
Date:  Saturday 21st April & Sunday 22nd April....10.00am - 6.00pm both days
Ticket Cost:  No Cost.  Contact:  TeAro Estate (08) 8524 6860
Tasting Experience with Saltram's Winemakers 
Saltram Wine Estate
Date:  Saturday 21st April & Sunday 22nd April....1.30pm - 4.00pm
Ticket Cost:  No Cost.  Contact:  Saltram Cellar Door (08) 8561 0200
Tasting with Artisans of BarossaWhere:  The Artisans Cellar Door
Date:  Saturday 21st April & Sunday 22nd April....11.00am - 6.00pm
Ticket Cost:  No Cost.  Contact:  Artisan Cellar Door (08) 8563 3935
A Taste of South America in the Barossa 
Where:  Villa Tinto
Date:  Saturday 21st April & Sunday 22nd April....11.00am - 5.00pm
Ticket Cost:  No Cost.  Contact:  Villa Tinto (08) 8563 3044
Back Vintage Tasting at Rusden 
Where:  Rusden Wines
Date:  Saturday 21st April & Sunday 22nd April....11.00am - 4.00pm
Ticket Cost:  No Cost.  Contact:  Rusden Wines (08) 8563 2976
Linfield Wines - Through the Generations 
Where:  Linfield Road Wines Cellar Door
Date:  Saturday 21st April & Sunday 22nd April....10.00am - 5.00pm
Ticket Cost:  No Cost.  Contact:  Linfield Cellar Door (08) 8524 7355
Sunday Funday
Where:  Gibson Wines
Date:  Sunday 22nd April
Time:  12.00 - 5.00pm
Ticket Cost:  No Cost.  Contact:  Gibson Wines (08) 85624224
Gourmet Food & Wine TastingWhere:  Suffield Vineyards
Date:  Saturday 21st April & Sunday 22nd April....9.00am - 5.00pm
Ticket Cost:  No Cost.  Contact:  Suffield Cellar Door (08) 85681826 
To find out more on these wonderful events visit:

Monday, January 9, 2012

Kangaroo Island Seafood Feastival

Kangaroo Island launches its first seafood feastival with celebrity chef Pete Evans. Discover island life and share fine food, local wine, music and conversation as you explore Kangaroo Island's four day seafood FEASTival.
Strategically located at four idyllic seaside settings around the island, you can choose between fine dining tasting menus and cooking demonstrations to casual seafood barbeques and entertainment by the sea.

For years Kangaroo Island has been crying out for its own Seafood Festival and so the LifeTime team have made it happen.

Launching on the 27th April 2012 (as one of the South Australian Tourist Commissions Tasting Australia associated events), the Seafood Feastival focuses on sharing island life with the locals over freshly caught seafood, beer and local wine - set in stunning coastal locations.

Each of the ticketed events will be hosted by local food and wine producers and a selected celebrity chef. Event producer Nick Hannaford says "all I can give away at this point is that we have the seafood BBQ man himself, celebrity chef Pete Evans, booked in for the Friday launch night!"

More information and ticketing through Tickatec will be available in January 2012.

Thursday, November 17, 2011

2012 Cellar Door Wine Festival

South Australia’s wine industry will once again come together under one roof for the second Cellar Door Wine Festival - Adelaide in February. The Cellar Door Wine Festival gives wine enthusiasts the opportunity to explore 12 iconic wine regions and enjoy tastings from more than 150 wineries.

SA Wine Festival Masterclass
The 3-day festival (February 24-26 2012) features a series of Master Classes including Tastes of the Barossa, Wine and Chocolate Tasting, and a Spiegelau Beer Glass Tasting.

There will also be a regional Farmers Market where visitors can sample and purchase regional delights from boutique producers, and beer fans can sample brews from micro breweries through to iconic SA brewer Coopers Brewery.

“The Cellar Door Wine Festival is a great model to promote South Australian wines to a local consumer audience right in the heart of Adelaide,” Wine Australia’s Domestic Market Development Officer, Chad Elson said.  “An exciting component of the festival is the mix of smaller wine producers alongside famous and well known brands, as well as the range of educational and entertaining master classes on offer,” Mr Elson said.

Cellar Door Wine Festival entry ticket includes unlimited tastings and your very own Riedel wine glass.  For more information on the Cellar Door Wine Festival please visit

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Clare Valley Wine Show 2011

The results of the Clare Valley Wine Show are out. Some of our favourite producers which we visit on our private tours are big winners.  Knappstein Wines collected the trophy for Best Wine of Show and Crabtree Watervale Wines who won Best Small Producer. Jim Barry Wines who was named Best Exhibitor of Show. 

This year, 45 exhibitors submitted 352 wines across 22 classes. In total, there were 224 medals awarded, including 36 gold and 44 silver medals.

Glenn James, this year’s Chair of Judges, said; “I wondered how the current vintage whites where going to look but it was a great satisfaction that amongst the 2011 Riesling there were still classic Clare Rieslings worthy of gold and trophy awards. We tasted a decade of Riesling in the older Riesling class and it was just stunning the depth and quality of the wines was just astounding.”

2011 Clare Valley Regional Wine Show Trophies
  • Best Sweet Wine:  Kilikanoon Wines, Mort's Cut Late Harvest Riesling 2009
  • Best Fortified Wine:  Crabtree Watervale Wines, Liquor Muscat 15 yrs
  • Best Exhibition Section Dry Riesling, 2010 Vintage:  Tim McNeil Wines, Watervale Riesling 2010
  • Best Exhibition Section Dry Riesling, 2009 Vintage and older:  Knappstein Wines, Single Vineyard Ackland Watervale Riesling 2005
  • Best Vintage Section Shiraz:  Kirrihill Wines Pty Ltd, Clare Valley Shiraz 2010
  • Best Vintage Section Cabernet Sauvignon:  Knappstein Wines, Enterprise Vineyard Cabernet Sauvignon 2009
  • Best Vintage Section Dry Red:  Jim Barry Wines, Three Little Pigs 2010
  • Best Dry Red from Exhibition Sections:  Koonowla Wines, Cabernet Sauvignon 2008
  • Mick Knappstein Trophy Best Current Vintage Riesling:  Kilikanoon Wines, Mort's Block Reserve Riesling 2011
  • Carl Sobels Trophy Best Vintage Section Dry Red:  Jim Barry Wines, Three Little Pigs 2010
  • Best Riesling of Show:  Knappstein Wines, Single Vineyard Ackland Watervale Riesling 2005
  • Best Small Producer:  Crabtree Watervale Wines
  • Best Single Vineyard Wine:  Crabtree Watervale Wines, Watervale Riesling 2006
  • Viticulturist Trophy:  Brendan Pudney (from Crabtree Watervale Wines)
  • Best Exhibitor of Show:  Jim Barry Wines
  • Best Current Release Wine of Show:  Kilikanoon Wines, Mort's Block Reserve Riesling 2011
  • Jim Barry Trophy Best Wine of Show:  Knappstein Wines, Single Vineyard Ackland Watervale Riesling 2005
  • Best Museum Wine of Show:  Knappstein Wines, Single Vineyard Ackland Watervale Riesling 2005

Friday, October 28, 2011

Fiano, Fiano, Where For Art Thou Fiano

I was immediately enchanted to discovere Fiano through a couple of McLaren Vale producers a few years ago. It was different, it was interesting, it had my attention. It wasn’t a fruit bomb wine, had loads of texture and complemented much of the food we have around South Australia. It was also something new for our winelists. It was something we had been longing for.

Fiano originates from the Campania region east of Naples in Italy. So immediately I think of light fresh seafoods, sometimes richer dishes such as (seafood) risotto, or richer poultry dishes. Generally it has a nutty, herbal, characters which I just remember as pesto; ie pinenuts, basil, parmesan cheese. It can be quite aromatic, and sometimes with smoky spicy notes. It naturally retains its acid and so should work well in the warmer South Australian regions, where other varieties lose acid quickly.

I recently had the opportunity to try the 2011 Coriole Fiano. They had just won the trophy in the McLaren Vale Wine Show, for best White Wine. I have been an admirer of both Coriole’s earlier vintages and the Fiano from nearby Olivers Taranga. Both of which we visit on our McLaren Vale private tours.

The 2011 Coriole Fiano had that distinctive nutty character and lovely citrus floral aroma. On the palate pleasant rounded acidity, but not as much as I would expect from this variety and given the cooler 2011 vintage. Nice and soft moderately full, with a distinctive citrus pith grippy finish. A style just calling out for food to balance the grip. Lovely long fresh finish.

RRP $25
Alc 13%
Sample: Provide by producer.

Around South Australia also look out for these other producers for Fiano.
Olivers Taranga
Ducks in a Row
Fox Gordon
Scott Winemaking
Beach Road

Thursday, October 27, 2011

McLaren Vale Wine Show 2011

McLaren Vale wine show has just been completed for 2011. The three-day show, featured more than 650 wines. Twenty trophies and four highly commended certificates were awarded by the judges, similar to previous years.

The majority were awarded to red wines. International guest judge Lisa Perrotti Brown, from the US, chose the 2010 Shingleback Red Knot Grenache Shiraz Mourvedre as her top pick for the show.

Lisa Perrotti-Brown, said. “It was an incredibly packed week judging at the McLaren Vale wine show. Got a great overview of the recent vintages and the new trends for this region. A lot of exciting new grape varieties are emerging with less emphasis on vines that clearly can't excel in this region (eg Sauvignon Blanc) and increased plantings of warmer climate / more expressive grapes such as Fiano, Vermentino, Grenache and Mataro.

The Bushing King - the region’s best wine maker was Steve Pannell from SC Pannell.

McLaren Vale Wine Show winners
Best McLaren Vale Chardonnay and blend of:   Highly commended: 2011 Kangarilla Road McLaren Vale Chardonnay
Best McLaren Vale White Wine other:   2011 Coriole Fiano
Best McLaren Vale Rose or Sparkling Wine:   Highly commended: 2011 Mrs Wigley Rose
Best McLaren Vale Shiraz under $25:   2008 Kay Brothers Basket Pressed Shiraz
Best McLaren Vale Shiraz $25 - $50:   2010 Wirra Wirra Woodhenge Shiraz
Best McLaren Vale Shiraz over $50:   2009 III Associates Squid Ink Shiraz
Best McLaren Vale Cabernet Sauvignon:   2010 Battle of Bosworth Cabernet Sauvignon
Best McLaren Vale Grenache:   2010 SC Pannell Grenache
Best McLaren Vale Single Red Varietal Other:   2009 Pertaringa Wines Tannat
Best McLaren Vale Shiraz Predominant Blend:   2010 Fox Creek Shiraz Grenache Mouvedre
Best McLaren Vale Cabernet Predominant Blend:   Highly Commended: 2010 DogRidge THE PUP Cabernet Merlot
Best McLaren Vale Red Blend Other:  2010 SC Pannell Touriga Tempranillo
Best Fortified Wine:  Oliver’s Taranga Vineyards The Banished Fortified
Best McLaren Vale Museum Wine:  2004 Hardys Eileen Hardy Shiraz
McLaren Vale Icon Red Wine:   Chapel Hill Cabernet Sauvignon 2009/2005

Monday, October 10, 2011

Adelaide Hills ‘Spring Whites & Earthly Delights’ Weekend

The Adelaide Hills Wine Region invites you to enjoy beautiful wines and remarkable flavours from the spring garden this year over their ‘Spring Whites and Earthly Delights’ weekend from October 28 to 30 2011.

Held annually, Spring Whites celebrates the beautiful white wine varietals the Adelaide Hills is renowned for, including Chardonnay, Sauvignon Blanc, Riesling, Sparkling and Pinot Grigio, to name a few.

The Adelaide Hills is Australia's most vibrant cool climate wine region. With over 90 wine labels and 48 cellar doors. The Adelaide Hills is one of the largest geographical wine regions in Australia, and amongst the most diverse in terms of climate, soil and topography.

This year acclaimed Culinetic chef, Cole Thomas, has embraced the alternative by developing a range of unusual canapés, inspired by often overlooked spring garden ingredients. Including plants sometimes considered as weeds, Cole believes his recipes pair beautifully to bring the tasting notes of white wine to life. “It is invigorating to cast a creative eye over often overlooked produce and see how wonderfully it brings to life the palette and aromas of the unique white varietals of the Adelaide Hills,” he said.

“Pigface succulent, nasturtium and marigold flowers and unusual herbs including love lies bleeding and lovage have been selected to create dishes that reflect a beautiful interplay between the spring season and the characteristics of Adelaide Hills white wine. While the unusual ingredients have lent themselves wonderfully to some fabulous spring inspired names including ‘Garden Bloody Mary’, ‘Blooms’ and ‘Bird’s Nest’.”

A sample of the culinary creations, matched with Adelaide Hills Sauvignon Blanc, will be unveiled at the Central Market Spring Whites and Earthly Delights launch event on Friday October 28 from 4:30 – 8:30pm, where VIP passes boasting special offers from the 20 participating wineries will be given to 100 lucky market goers. For further information and to download a brochure for the weekend please visit: