Artisans of Champagne at Melbourne Food & Wine Festival

The Artisans of Champagne are a group of 17 growers who are the true craftsman of the region. They have banded together to form a unique society because they share a similar philosophy of how to best create champagne of passion and distinction.

Enjoy the cuvees of The Artisans over a long Champagne lunch as we explore their wines paired with local artisan produce of Victoria, presented by Champagne Ambassador Kyla Kirkpatrick, aka The Champagne Dame. We are featuring 6 wines from the group from the houses Pierre Paillard, Huré Fréres, Christophe Mignon, Savart, Alfred Gratien and Vilmart & Cie.

Sunday 18th March 1-3PM
Canvas House – 137 Buckhurst Street, South Melbourne
Tickets $199.00
Purchase tickets

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Luxury Dining in McLaren Vale

Luxury dining experiences in McLaren Vale are set to challenge convention with the opening of the d’Arenberg Cube scheduled for late 2017. Offering sensory experiences designed to entice and stimulate the senses, the appointment of head chef, Brendan Wessels, is the first of many exciting announcements about this highly anticipated restaurant. Assisting with research, development and implementation of the culinary experience is Lindsay Dürr.

After many years training in a Michelin starred kitchen, travelling and learning about global gastronomy, and more recently working at The Lake House and Leonards Mill, South African husband-and-wife team Brendan and Lindsay are working together to create a unique dining adventure.  d'Arenberg Cube

“The restaurant will serve exceptional dishes that engage the imagination of our guests, amusing and delighting them,” Brendan said. “It’s not just about the food, it’s about the individual experience for each customer.”

The man behind the d’Arenberg Cube is fourth generation family member and current Chief Winemaker, Chester Osborn. “The restaurant is going to be very unique,” he said. “Every aspect has been carefully considered to create an environment that stimulates the senses, with a playful element. There are dining chairs that explode with colour, tables crafted from old oak barrels, and eclectic pieces of art I’ve collected over the years.”


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Patritti 2016 PetNat: Wine Review

All the cool kids are drinking this naturally sparkling wine. Even though its ‘new’, as with most things grasped by hipsters it is an ancient and natural product, but without any hint of irony. Its a form of fizzy wine which is bottled before the completion of fermentation. As the yeasts consumes the sugar, turning it into alcohol, the yeast creates carbon dioxide which causes the juice to become spritzy. With a Pet-Nat, the live ferment is trapped inside the bottle . This method of winemaking is known as méthode ancestrale or Pétillant-Naturel (natural sparkling) or Pet Nat for short.

Patritti Pet Nat


Patritti is actually based in Adelaide city suburbs, but the fruit for this is Trincadeira from Barossa and adds sweetness and natural acidity. Essentially being an ‘unfinished wine’ the Patritti Pet Nat still has yeast lees in suspension. So leaving the bottle upright a day or so prior to opening minimises the cloudiness.

Aromas of wild strawberries, with a definite funky spiciness and a herbal edge. On the palate its lightly spritzy, noticeable sweetness but balanced with acidity. Red berries, cranberries. The Patritti Pet Nat reminds me of that strawberry yogurt that I left in the fridge for a week too long, but still decided to eat the fizzy creamy berries goodness. Serve the Pet Nat slightly cooler than room temperature, and its freshness and slight sweetness makes it super tempting on a warm summery evening.

Alcohol: 12.5%
Price: $25
Region: Barossa Valley, SA
Source: Provided by producer

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Wirra Wirra Spring Releases

Springtime in the Adelaide Hills of South Australia is always a glorious time. Blossoms burst from the trees, magpies swooping, and vines begin their journey to vintage. The higher altitude of the Hills usually means mild days, and somewhat cool and frosty evenings. One day can be glorious sunshine, followed by torrential rain.

Wirra Wirra Adelaide Hills

Adelaide Hills

So with spring comes the new 2016 releases from many wineries. Wirra Wirra wines, based in McLaren Vale (which is just next door) have just released their Riesling and Sauvignon Blanc. Both of which are sourced from the Adelaide Hills wine region, and specifically the coolest sub-region of Lenswood.

Wirra Wirra 2016 Riesling

Wirra Wirra Riesling

Around South Australia there are many well known Riesling regions. Clare Valley has its intense citrus characters, Eden Valley in Barossa displays a little more slatey ‘minerality’ (whatever that means). But further along the Mt Lofty Ranges in Adelaide Hills, the Rieslings often have quite distinct perfumed floral characters.

With the 2016 Wirra Wirra Lost Watch Riesling it is this floral, old fashioned rose aroma, that leaps from the glass. This is rounded out with gorgeous turkish delight confectionery, not that its overt. Fresh red apples add more complexity.

On the palate there’s lots of lively acidity, and a bit of green apple crunch. Hint of citrus, but more of the lemon verbena herbal characters. The Wirra Wirra Lost Watch Riesling, is very typical of Adelaide Hills, and perfect for sping time enjoyment.

Alcohol: 12.5%
Price: $24
Region: Adelaide Hills, SA
Source: Provided by producer

Wirra Wirra 2016 Sauvignon Blanc

Wirra Wirra Sauvignon Blanc

One of the main varietals in Adelaide Hills is Sauvignon Blanc. Despite the sauvalanche of New Zealand Sauvignon Blanc we see here, the Adelaide Hills and Tasmania provide some vigorous competition.

The Wirra Wirra Hiding Champion Sauvignon Blanc, shows vibrant citrus, lime zest and a little tropical zing. The palate has lots of acidity and quite intense flavours which last. Citrus and grapefruit flavours dominate, with a little dollop of grassiness.

And not a hint of ‘cats pee on a gooseberry bush’, like our kiwi friends.

Alcohol: 13%
Price: $24
Region: Adelaide Hills, SA
Source: Provided by producer

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Effervescence Tasmania

Effervescence Tasmania 2016 returns over four days from 3 – 6 November 2016, showcasing world-class sparkling wines, Michelin-starred chefs, award-winning winemakers and experts. This year, we’re privileged to have legendary chefs Tetsuya Wakuda and Jacques Reymond participating – Tetsuya in the Grand Degustation dinner and three-course local producer lunch, and Jacques in The Essence of Effervescence lunch at Quamby Estate.

Author and wine expert Tyson Stelzer will host a Champagne and Tasmanian Sparkling Wine dinner and masterclasses, and some of our leading winemakers, Dr Andrew Pirie (Apogee), Ed Carr (House of Arras) and Louisa Rose (Jansz) are on the pour. Add to that the Effervescence Tasmania festival’s decadent garden party, Bubbles and Beats event and food-matching masterclasses for the ultimate food and wine weekend.

More information at  

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Consumers Seek Inspiration & Credible Reviews When Purchasing A Holiday

Almost half of all holiday bookings are directly influenced by news media, a new report released by NewsMediaWorks has revealed.

Some 60% of holidaymakers recall seeing or hearing a specific travel ad in the early stages of buying their holiday, according to the Path to Purchase: Travel Report.  Yet, only 38% of holidaymakers have a specific destination in mind when they begin planning a holiday, which means that 3 in 5 consumers are open to persuasion.


To understand how to engage holidaymakers on their path to purchase, NewsMediaWorks collaborated with Research Now to develop one of Australia’s largest path to purchase projects. NewsMediaWorks is a not for profit industry body established to advocate the cultural influence and commercial value of print and digital news media in Australia. It was founded in 2006 by Fairfax Media, News Corp Australia, APN News & Media and Seven West Media (West Australian Newspapers).

Unlike similar studies, which retrospectively look at consumer behaviour, this study gathered information from buyers in real time at four distinct stages of their purchase journey: 1. recognising that they need a holiday; 2. researching options; 3. forming a shortlist and 4. booking a holiday.

Price is the most important factor in the ‘researching options’ phase of the path to purchase journey at 59%, followed by inspiration (55%), inclusions (47%), where to book and recommendations  (31% each) and reviews (26%). Holidaymakers turn to news media as a ‘one-stop shop’ for these six key pieces of information they require when booking a holiday. These information needs remain throughout the path to purchase, but their weighting changes at each stage. When booking a holiday, for example, reviews and recommendations become increasingly important.

Throughout the holidaymakers’ path to purchase – which on average spans 22 weeks – news media consistently outperforms other paid media, when it comes to looking for information and reading reviews and recommendations of destinations.

“At the critical booking phase, people want reassurance that they are buying the right holiday. This is where news media is particularly strong – its travel content, independent advice, reviews and recommendations and quality journalism are more sought after by holidaymakers than any other paid channel. News media delivers at every stage of the path to purchase and enables travel destinations and airlines to connect with buyers when they are actively seeking information and making purchase decisions.” NewsMediaWorks CEO Mark Hollands said.

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