East Coast Wine Trail

East Coast Wine Trail
East Coast Wine Trail

Friday, 30 September 2022

South Australians to crash New Zealand wine party

Winetopia has always been a celebration of New Zealand wines - but this year South Australia is crashing the party.

South Australian winemakers will be the first overseas producers to present at the popular Auckland event.

This time around the Kiwis can enjoy a new dedicated area, Tasting South Australia, offering Barossa shiraz and Coonawarra cabernet sauvignon, among others, and there will also be a Kangaroo Slider Bar, serving burgers from Macro Group featuring kangaroo and wild game meat.

South Australian wineries taking part include: Thorn Clarke Wines, Rymill, Unico Zelo, Metala, Dandelion Vineyards, Sisters Run, Yalumba, Geoff Hardy, Portia Valley, Organic Hill and Levrier Wines by Jo Irvine

Wine journalist and educator Tony Love will be presenting at the event and says: “South Australia’s wine makers are among the most innovative in the world, creating world-class styles from its famed traditional varieties like shiraz, cabernet, and grenache, and now forging a new generation of wines from a wide range of regionally adaptive and climate-suitable Mediterranean and Iberian varieties.”

Love will host a series of masterclasses.

Other wine gurus in attendance will include Master of Wine Bob Campbell and wine writer Joelle Thomson, while wine and film buffs will also relish in the opportunity to meet American novelist and filmmaker Rex Pickett, best known for his novel Sideways, which was adapted into a 2004 box office hit of the same name.

He is currently in New Zealand, writing a follow up to Sideways.

In addition to the food and wine exhibited within the Tasting South Australia area, visitors will have the opportunity to ‘tour’ each region of New Zealand to try more than 300 wines from 60 of New Zealand’s most celebrated wineries, spanning nine wine regions and 20+ varietals.

Dine Social will be showcasing five pop-up eateries, featuring a range of culinary styles.

Rob Eliott of Lemongrass Productions, which is hosting the event, said: “South Australia is renowned for its rich history of winemaking and for producing spectacular, signature reds which are very different from the wines we make so well here in New Zealand.

"Given that many of New Zealand’s pioneering winemakers learnt their craft at the Roseworthy campus at the University of Adelaide, there is a natural friendship between Australian and New Zealand wine producers."

Winetopia will be taking place at Shed 10 Auckland over three event sessions: Friday, October 28: 5pm-8:30pm and Saturday, October 29: noon-3:30pm and 4:30pm-8pm.

Early Bird tickets start at $37 + $2 booking fee available until October 7 unless sold out prior. Premium Tickets are $87 + $2 booking fee for those wanting an elevated experience.

To find out more, and to book, visit www.winetopia.co.nz.

Thursday, 29 September 2022

Why you need to see this famous artwork now

One of Britain's most iconic works of art is under potential threat of being removed from public view.

LS Lowry's Going To The Match is currently on display at the superb The Lowry, a theatre and gallery complex at Salford Quays in Manchester - a venue that is well worth a visit for anyone in town.

It is on loan from The Players Foundation (PF), the Professional Footballers' Association charity, which intends to auction the painting next month to raise money for its charitable works.

Salford's mayor has called on the "footballing community" to fund the purchase of the painting - valued at £8 million ($13.3 million AUD) so it can remain on public display, The Fiver online newsletter reported.

It has been loaning the 1953 work to the arts centre.

Salford Mayor Paul Dennett said "finding £8m-plus wouldn't be too difficult" for the area's footballers.

The PF said the financial crisis meant it had to sell "in the interests of our beneficiaries" as it "no longer has any income guaranteed, so we have had to completely reposition".

The work shows fans on their way to Bolton's former ground Burnden Park (a cold, bleak place, trust me).

"Wouldn't it be truly tragic if this iconic LS Lowry painting... was sold to a private collector and ceased to be free to access by people here in the City of Salford as it has been for the past 22 years?" Dunnett said.

"I'd like to make a personal plea for the footballing community here in Greater Manchester to look at retaining this painting for the people of Greater Manchester.

"There's a lot of money in that community, so finding £8m-plus wouldn't be too difficult."

Lowry, who died in 1976, spent much of his life in Salford and his work is strongly associated with the city.

The work will be auctioned at Christie's in London on October 19.

Calling wine lovers in Tasmania

Tasmania's Spring in the Vines festival is coming back for a second year on the weekend of November 4-6. 

Close to 40 vineyards across key wine regions in southern Tasmania including the Coal River Valley,  Derwent Valley, Huon Valley and the south-east will be involved. 

the event sees grape growers and winemakers in Southern Tasmania are coming together to open their doors to the public for a behind-the-scenes look. 

The festival is about celebrating spring, a new vintage, a new wine cycle of life and is designed to showcase Tasmania’s growing global reputation for premium cool-climate wines. 

To help celebrate, there will be food, live music, art and other entertainment. It is also an opportunity for wine lovers to meet wine producers who don’t usually open their doors on a regular basis. 

Whether you've been meaning to taste wines from small producers like Cathedral Rock, Trial Bay, Off the Rails, Future Perfect or Sonnen Wines, or to visit more established wineries like Mewstone (above) Bangor, Kate Hill, Pooley and Derwent Estate, this is your chance. 

The event is organised by Wine South Tasmania. Wine South and for info on participating vineyards and their programs, visit https://www.winesouth.com.au/

Wednesday, 28 September 2022

Canada lifts all Covid restrictions

Canada has confirmed it is removing all remaining Covid-19 entry restrictions from this weekend.

Canada is scrapping all testing and quarantine, officials announced.

So mandatory use of the ArriveCAN app will no longer be necessary, said Minister of Health Jean-Yves Duclos.

And masks on planes and trains will no longer be mandatory, said Omar Alghabra, the Minister of Transport.

But Alghabra had a bob each way, saying officials still strongly encourage travellers to wear them.

Both ministers praised the vaccination rate as a main reason the restrictions could be rolled back.

Airlines will no longer need to review the vaccination status of foreign nationals.

So as you were.

But just a reminder not to pack any prescription medicine in your baggage.

If Air Canada - which suffered mightily during Covid - loses your bag you'll find Australian prescriptions are not accepted in Canada, and it is as hard get a doctor's appointment there as it is in Australia.

An expensive online consultation may be your only option.

Image: Toronto, Destination Canada

So you really want to push out the boat with a weekend of conspicuous luxury?

So money is no object and you want a weekend treat like no other? 

Australia is once again set to host Hotel Clicquot, a venue "to live the Veuve Clicquot Champagne lifestyle" to the full. 

The luxurious pop-up will take place in Noosa, Queensland, for two-night stays from November 13. 

From Clicquot gastronomy through to private picnics on the beach, from Champagne poolside to days cruising the coastline, a break at Hotel Clicquot sounds positively sybaritic. 

Expect to be picked up in a chauffeured Tesla, enjoy a poolside breakfast prepared by the in-hotel private chef, and end with drinks at Bar Clicquot, with a private bartender serving complimentary Veuve Clicquot Yellow Label, Rosé and Rich. 

The on-demand menu includes signature Clicquot experiences such as the Maison’s 250th anniversary burger, prepared with locally caught Moreton Bay bugs paired with the flagship of the house, Veuve Clicquot Yellow Label.

On the first evening of their stay, guests will enjoy a chef’s table interactive dining experience featuring sustainable, locally sourced seafood. On the second evening, the pinnacle culinary experience of a stay at Hotel Clicquot unfolds; a ‘Garden Gastronomy’ degustation by chef David Moyle, matched with La Grande Dame Champagnes. 

This is the second year that Moyle, who built his reputation at Franklin in Hobart and now has three restaurants in Byron Bay, has collaborated with Hotel Clicquot.

The dinner takes place around the Hotel Clicquot fire pit. 

With a retro-chic vibe, Hotel Clicquot has an infinity pool with sweeping ocean views as well as five private guest suites, a cinema, a day spa, bar and direct access to Sunshine Beach and Noosa National Park. 

The ultra-luxury residence hosting Hotel Clicquot in Noosa is the passion project of international hemp industrialist Evgeny Skigin. 

Gracing the walls of Hotel Clicquot are artworks by leading indigenous Australian artists Kathleen Petyarre, Eileen Napaltjarra and Gloria Petyarre, alongside works from Maison Veuve Clicquot.

Guests keen to explore the region can opt for a private river cruise on a luxury 1940s handcrafted, wooden runabout and enjoy a picnic lunch with Veuve Clicquot Rosé on the Noosa riverbank. 

For those seeking a more relaxed schedule, there are sessions at the Clicquot Spa or Clicquot-inspired movies at the hotel’s in-house cinema, complete with Clicquot popcorn. 

Hotel Clicquot offers a 24-hour ‘Click for Clicquot’ concierge service and a sommelier to guide guests’ Champagne journeys. 

Packages start from $7,000 per couple/room, inclusive of transfers, meals and activities. Hotel Clicquot is a private hotel and access is only available to guests, who must be over 18 years of age.

All I need now is a nice little Lotto win!  

See hotel-clicquot.veuveclicquot.com.au

 Images: James Vodicka 

Melbourne Food & Wine Festival spreads its wings

The Melbourne Food & Wine Festival has expanded its offering with a 10-day regional program offering eating and drinking right across the state of Victoria.

The festival kicks off with The Village Feast, a two-day (November 19-20) festival in the Gippsland village of Thorpdale that will feature an opening night collaboration dinner taking the team from wine-bar favourite Embla to winery restaurant Hogget; a campfire degustation from Farmer’s Daughters chef Alejandro Saravia, plus his deli, serving an all Gippsland deli menu; pop-up food outlets from chefs including interstate talent such as Danielle Alvarez and Analiese Gregory.

There will also be a celebration of Gippsland milk with That’s Amore and Gippsland Jersey; cakes by Mali Bakes; pub favourites at Art Deco watering hole The Travellers Rest Hotel; and entertainment including Mia Wray, Grace Cummings and Dorsal Fins on the main stage curated by Always Live, a new state-wide celebration of contemporary live music supported by Visit Victoria.

Early bird tickets are $32 for adults with free entry for children aged 12 and under.

“We’re thrilled to be back in regional Victoria as we continue to celebrate 30 years of the Melbourne Food & Wine Festival,” says Anthea Loucas Bosha, CEO of Food + Drink Victoria, the not-for-profit parent company behind Melbourne Food & Wine Festival.

“This program highlights the extraordinary food and drink experiences that make Victoria the best place in the world to eat and drink [a huge, contentious and very parochial statement] from our two-day takeover of Thorpdale for the Village Feast, a series of one-off dining events in Ballarat, and taking our popular Crawl and Bite tours to Victoria’s High Country.”

Other events that are part of Melbourne Food & Wine Festival’s dedicated regional program include:

· Victoria’s High Country Crawl and Bite, taking intimate groups of food lovers between a handful of great venues at a time, stopping for a bite, drink or taste at each in villages including Beechworth, Bright and Rutherglen.

· Ballarat Unlocked, with the region’s best chefs at some of the city's historic buildings in a Festival dining series.

· Signature Escapes, a series of itineraries put together in concert with producers, restaurateurs and hoteliers to showcase the best of the regions.

Tickets go on sale from Friday at mfwf.com.au.