Friday, January 25, 2013

CELEBRATE THE YEAR OF THE SNAKE WITH CHINESE NEW YEAR ACTIVITIES AND DISPLAYS AT THE VENETIAN® AND THE PALAZZO® RESORTS


 THE VENETIAN® AND THE PALAZZO® CELEBRATE THE YEAR OF THE SNAKE WITH CHINESE NEW YEAR ACTIVITIES AND DISPLAYS.
Massive Art Installation, Created by 77 Worldwide Artists, Features 193,600 Flowers
It’s time to Celebrate Chinese New Year 2013, The Venetian and The Palazzo  Resorts  are celebrating the Year of the Snake in a number of extravagant ways. Through Feb. 25, guests will be greeted with opulent holiday-inspired art and décor, restaurant offerings, and incentive cards. A ceremonial dragon dance will officially kick off Chinese New Year 2013 on Feb. 9, at 3:30 p.m.
 EYE PAINTING CEREMONY AND DRAGON DANCE KICK OFF ON FEB. 9
A highlight of Chinese New Year celebrations, the dragon dance, is said to bring good luck and prosperity for the New Year. On Saturday, Feb. 9, at 3:30 p.m., this ceremonial dragon dance will begin with an eye painting ceremony at The Venetian porte cochere. The dragon dance will wind its way through The Venetian lobby and casino before stopping in The Palazzo Waterfall Atrium, then finding its way through The Palazzo casino, lobby, and ending at The Palazzo porte cochere. This exciting event features firecrackers, and a parade of dancers and drummers dressed in authentic clothing.
 
THE PALAZZO’S WATERFALL ATRIUM FEATURES MASSIVE ART INSTALLATION
To commemorate the Year of the Snake, the resort’s floral and horticulture department worked with a team of 77 artists and artisans from around the world, and consulted with a Feng Shui master, to produce the massive animated art installation.  This colossal structure towers nearly 40 feet above The Waterfall & Atrium Gardens of The Palazzo, and features a giant peach tree and animated snake.
“Chinese New Year is such a special event to our guests, that constructing and designing something that’s not only authentic, but in grand Las Vegas fashion was important,” said Dana Beatty, director of floral and horticulture for The Venetian and The Palazzo. “We took into account specifics to bring luck in 2013, such as length, color, and gender of the snake, but made it a spectacle our guests will never forget.”
The art installation features Sophie Chow, a whimsical blue snake twisted throughout a giant peach tree. She is 98-feet long, with animated features including blinking eyes, a tongue that moves in and out, and a head that moves side to side. Her face is intentionally juvenile to pay tribute to the birth of a new year.
Sophie Chow
Sophie’s home is a giant peach tree that towers over the atrium at 38-feet tall and 28-feet wide. There are 8,800 blossom vines on the tree, adorned with approximately 193,600 flowers. Hung throughout the tree are 28 custom dancing lanterns. Also, traditional I Ching coins, representing an abundance of wealth, sit amidst the snake and Lalique statues of The Palazzo.  According to the Feng Shui master, it is recommended that guests walk clockwise around the tree and snake display three times to bring blessings of Heaven, Earth, and Mankind upon them.
The west garden is complete with rocks, plants, and metals, representing earth elements and the east garden embodies water to represent Yin and Yang, the ancient Chinese philosophy of polar opposites being interconnected and interdependent.
The gardens and entrances to both resorts are adorned with fresh bamboo, citrus trees, Coleus, maidenhair ferns, and peachy pink Calandivas to accent the color of the feature tree. Suspended from the Atrium ceilings are six-feet-tall hand-loomed brocade silk and jade gold and red lanterns, which signify the lives of those around to always be bright.
THE NEW YEAR BY THE NUMBERS
The entire installation is a unique creation that took 10 months to design, build, break-down, deliver and rebuild/install.
Both the tree and the snake are the product of 77 artists and artisans from all over the world - from Prague, Czech Republic, to Tustin, California.
The tree is 38-feet tall  x 28-feet wide.
The tree is adorned with 8,800 blossom vines (and approximately 193,600 flowers).
There are 28 custom dancing lanterns. Each lantern has 6 planes/surfaces with 8 windows and 5 tassels.
The snake is nick-named Sophie Chow. Sophie is for her Italian home at The Palazzo and Chow is for her Chinese New Year reference. Since 2013 is a female gender year, she is also known as Yin.
The snake is 98-feet long and has blue skin to represent water, the element of the year. Her face is intentionally juvenile paying tribute to the birth of a new year.
The snake’s head moves from side to side, her tongue moves in and out, and she blinks.

BRING IN THE NEW YEAR WITH NEW GIFTS
The Grand Canal Shoppes and The Shoppes at The Palazzo are celebrating Chinese New Year by offering incentive cards and special retailer merchandise to guests. From Thursday, Feb. 7 through Sunday, Feb. 10, incentive cards will be distributed in the Waterfall & Atrium Gardens in The Palazzo. More than 40 signature retailers, including Fendi, Dooney & Burke, and Dior Beauty, have provided incentives or special merchandise that are only available during the Chinese New Year celebration.
To add to the festivities, a traditional Chinese fan dance will be held on Sunday, Feb 10, at 1:00 p.m. in the Chloé rotunda inside The Shoppes at The Palazzo. During and after the fan dance, more than 500 red envelopes will be distributed to guests. The envelopes will be filled with a prize -- anything from a gift card to a chocolate gold coin. Red envelopes are traditionally handed out during Chinese New Year and symbolize happiness and wealth.

CELEBRATE CHINESE NEW YEAR WITH A FEAST FIT FOR AN EMPEROR
Chef Simon To of The Palazzo’s Zine Noodles Dim Sum has created a special limited-time menu to celebrate Chinese New Year.Guests will find a variety of authentic dishes on the special menu including Firecracker Manila Clams, infused with Chinese white wine, fish paste, and spicy roasted pepper; and Winner’s Daily Soup, which is a must-have for all casino players.
The Palazzo’s Fusion Bar, will offers the Jaina cocktail. This cocktail was created by Fusion Bar mixologists Wendy Verdel-Hodges and Cynthya Halog, who were inspired by a number of exotic ingredients after walking through an Asian market one night. The Jaina cocktail, served in a martini glass, mixes Lemon Grass infused G Saki, Gogi Bery infused Absolut vodka, lotus root syrup, lemon juice, Chinese bitters, and Dragon fruit, which was the inspiration for the cocktail’s name. The different infusions within the cocktail evoke the harmony between the earth and the fruit. The Jaina cocktail is only available at The Fusion Lounge in The Palazzo throughout Chinese New Year.
Sophie Chow , Elaine Harris Cuisineist Editor-In-Chief
Share Your Venetian | Palazzo Chinese New Year Experience with everyone!
Hashtag: #CNYPalazzo
Twitter Accounts: @PalazzoVegas, @VenetianVegas
These two Resorts are well known for their extravagant events and celebrations.  The Year of the Snake will be no exception and well worth multiple visits to take it all in as only the Venetian / Palazzo Resorts can do.

Tuesday, January 15, 2013

VINO LAS VEGAS : Wine News : SUSAN MAGRINO AGENCY ANNOUNCES NEW CLIENTS Wine + Spirits Division Expands in 2013 with the representation of Moët Hennessy Estates & Wines


SUSAN MAGRINO AGENCY ANNOUNCES NEW CLIENTS
Wine + Spirits Division Expands in 2013 with the representation of Moët Hennessy Estates & Wines
The Susan Magrino Agency announced its representation of Moët Hennessy Estates & Wines whose prestigious luxury portfolio includes Chevel des Andes, Cloudy Bay, Numanthia, Newton Vineyard, Terrazas de los Andes, Cape Mentelle and Chandon. The brands will join the esteemed wine and spirits division which includes the luxury wine brand Marchesi Antinori and several William Grant & Sons’ brands.
The Moët Hennessy Estates & Wines portfolio is full of gems from some of todays most important and exciting wine regions:
A super-premium wine from Argentina and a combination of the most prestigious old world heritage and new world terroir, Cheval des Andes represents the ultimate Argentine wine experience for sophisticated and adventurous wine lovers. Cloudy Bay is synonymous with the world’s finest sauvignon blanc and the icon of New Zealand wine, located in the Marlborough region of New Zealand. A century in a glass, Numanthia is the treasure of the Toro appellation and a leader of emerging Spanish premium wines . In Napa Valley’s iconic Spring Mountain, Newton Vineyard is a leader in unfiltered wines, dedicated to working in harmony with nature to transform grapes of uncompromised quality into wines of distinctive character. Terrazas de los Andes has a unique and innovative Argentine heritage, offering a range of wines using its pioneering concept of high elevation vineyards, with the Reserva Malbec as its best-seller. Napa Valley’s first sparkling, Chandon is America’s first sparkling wine which came to life nearly forty years ago from a venture established by world renowned Moët & Chandon. One of Margaret River’s ‘founding five’ wineries, Cape Mentelle pioneered many of the region’s renowned wine styles and today is a benchmark for the quality of this evocative region
In addition to Moët Hennessy Estates & Wines, Susan Magrino Agency’s wine division continues to represent Marchesi Antinori, the family-owned Italian wine company that has shaped Italy’s wine industry and culture for the past 625 years. Along with representing Marchesi Antinori’s renowned Italian labels which include: Tignanello, Guado al Tasso, Solaia, Montenisa, and Prunotto, among others, the agency is pleased to announce exciting news for Antinori in 2013.

This spring 2013 marks the opening of the company’s state-of-the-art winery Chianti Classico Cellar in Bargino, Italy—a project that has been in the works for the past seven years. The 26th generation of Antinoris – Alessia, Allegra, Albiera – along with their father Marchese Piero Antinori at the helm, will welcome visitors, for the first time in the Antinori’s illustrious history, to experience the family’s winemaking process; learn about the family’s indelible history, have lunch, taste wines and view the family’s prized, centuries-old art collection. Locals and visitors will be able to experience a multi-faceted project that includes a winery, restaurant, auditorium, museum and wine and book shop. Located 20 minutes outside of Florence and 30 minutes outside of Siena, this will be a must-see attraction
Cheval des Andes: Cheval des Andes (2007, SRP $79.99) is a super-premium wine from Argentina known as the “grand cru” of the Andes representing a groundbreaking blend of Bordeaux first-growth winemaking (Cheval Blanc) and the very best terroir in Argentina (Terrazas de los Andes). Cheval des Andes does not have any second labels, no special cuvees, just one wine, Cheval des Andes. The wine is refined, subtle, balanced and complex expressing French finesse and Argentinian fruit intensity. It has excellent cellaring potential of up to 20 years. The newest vintage, 2008, will be released in spring 2013.
Embodying the “Gaucho Chic” attitude of the wine, Winemaker Nicolas Audebert is an avid polo player and the liaison between the French and Argentine partners of Cheval des Andes. Nicolas leverages his world-class training in the French art of assemblage, with a hands-on appreciation for the ideal elevation vineyards of Mendoza, Argentina. For more information on Cheval des Andes, please visit: www.chevaldesandes.com
Numanthia: A century in a glass, Numanthia is the treasure of the Toro appellation and a leader of emerging Spanish premium wines. Founded in 1998 by the Eguren family from Rioja, the Numanthia estate is located in the Castilla y Leon region. Numanthia owns 40 hectares of vines on the communes of Valdefinjas and Toro. Of these, 20 hectares are planted with vines aged between 70 and 100 years, and there is another exceptional plot of 4.8 hectares on the commune of Argujillo, whose vines were planted over 120 years ago. The combination of a unique terroir, an exceptional vineyard and the quintessential expression of the fruit places Numanthia as one of the cult wineries of the Toro region in Spain. The Toro signature, grapes for the Termes (SRP $27.99) are selected for their intense, vibrant and lively fruit expression. Numanthia (SRP $59.99) relies on a selection of exceptional ungrafted vineyards with more than 50 years of age. One of only nine Spanish wines to have ever been awarded a perfect 100 points by The Wine Advocate, Termanthia (SRP $200) is the ultimate expression of the best vineyard plots in Toro, with vines that are over 120 years old and grown at an altitude of 2,625 feet above sea level.
Cloudy Bay: Since its inception in 1985, Cloudy Bay has been acknowledged as producing Marlborough’s and New Zealand’s benchmark Sauvignon Blanc. One of the first wineries in Marlborough, Cloudy Bay is harvested from some of the best vineyard sites in the area enabling it to capture and reflect the fruit purity and flavor intensity for which Marlborough is world renowned. While the Sauvignon Blanc (2012, SRP $27.99) is certainly one of the most well-known varieties, the winery has a reputation for winemaking excellence. The Chardonnay (SRP $31.99) is noted as intriguing and textural; Pinot Noir ($38.99), the single red varietal of Cloudy Bay, will awaken the senses; while the Te Koko ($51.99), known as the “wild child” is a full-bodied alternative style of Marlborough sauvignon blanc. For more information on Cloudy Bay, please visit: www.cloudybay.co.nz
Newton: Newton Vineyard is a leader in unfiltered wines, dedicated to working in harmony with nature to transform grapes of uncompromised quality into wines of distinctive character. Based on an old-world style, Newton’s winemaking techniques include natural fermentation and bottling without filtration. These purist traditions preserve the natural depth of flavor, bouquet and structure. Comprised of 120 acres plated at elevations ranging from 500 to 1,600 feet above sea level, the Newton Vineyard Spring Mountain Estate is designed and built to blend into the mountain, set among the native vegetation to preserve the ecosystem of the hillside. The Puzzle (SRP $100) is a complex and profound artful blend that represents the finest expression of the estate, while the Red Label Chardonnay, Claret and Cabernet Sauvignon (SRP $25) offer lively flavor and harmonious balance. The Unfiltered Range, including Chardonnay, Merlot and Cabernet Sauvignon (SRP $60) preserve a natural depth of flavor, bouquet and structure. For more information on Newton Vineyard, please visit: www.newtonvineyard.com.
Chandon: Located in the heart of Napa Valley, 2013 marks the 40th anniversary of Domaine Chandon. Founded in 1973 by Moët & Chandon, Chandon was the first American sparkling wine venture established by a French Champagne house in the U.S. With over 1,200 acres of prime vineyard holdings, Chandon crafts a wide range of sparkling wine, from Classic tier wines such as the Brut Classic (SRP $22) and Blanc De Noirs (SRP $22) to etoile Brut and Rose (SRP $50). Chandon’s sparkling wines reflect California’s vibrant, regional character, yet remain true to the practices of method traditionnelle. While Domaine Chandon is best known as one of America’s top sparkling wine houses, it also produces limited qualities of still wines, including the Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon (SRP $35), which showcases the terroir of the winery’s home vineyards in Yountville.  Blending tradition and innovation, Chandon celebrates people who celebrate, whether it’s Valentine’s Day, spring brunch, the 4th of July or just making an ordinary day a bit more special. For more information on varieties and suggested retail prices, please visit: www.chandon.com
Terrazas de los Andes: Terrazas de los Andes, a premium Argentinean winery and pioneer of high elevation vineyards in the Andes since the 1950’s, offers a range of grape varieties from Torrontés, Chardonnay, Malbec and Cabernet Sauvignon across its Altos, Reserva and Single Vineyard tiers.  Home of the finest Malbec, owning 100% of the vineyards used for the Reserva and the Single Vineyard tiers, it is no surprise that one of its best sellers is Reserva Malbec. Terrazas de los Andes is widely distributed with its labels which include: Altos ($11.99), Reserva ($20 and under) and Single Vineyard ($54.99). For more information on Terrazas de los Andes, please visit www.terrazasdelosandes.com.
Cape Mentelle: Cape Mentelle is the essence of the Margaret River located in the southwest corner of Australia, one of the world’s most remote wine regions. As one of Margaret River’s ‘founding five’ wineries, Cape Mentelle pioneered many of the region’s renowned wine styles and today is a benchmark for the quality of the region’s wines. The winery’s flagship Cabernet Sauvignon (2010, SRP $69.99) is regarded as one of Australia’s best cabs, winning the prestigious Jimmy Watson Trophy in 1983 and 1984. Stylistically the cabernet sauvignon resonates with red wines of Bordeaux with characteristics of firm fruit and good structure and a harmonious blend of intense berry fruit. The winery also has a stylish Sauvignon Blanc Semillon blend (2012, SRP $15.99), another Margaret River Classic, with Old World elegance combined with New World fruit. The aim is to preserve as much fruit intensity as possible, while providing a full-flavored, distinctive white wine. For more information, please visit: www.capementelle.com.au

Monday, January 14, 2013

Inglenook Wine Estate and Celebrated Chef Jean-Georges Vongerichten will come together in Las Vegas at Bellagio’s Tuscany Kitchen Saturday, January 26


Historic California Wine Estate and Celebrated Chef Jean-Georges Vongerichten will come together in Las Vegas at Bellagio’s Tuscany Kitchen Saturday, January 26

Is that time of year again and the place to experience one of the most unique events in Las Vegas is at the Bellagio. Renown as the home of a wide range of award-winning dining experiences including two AAA Five Diamond restaurants, Julian Serrano's Picasso and Le Cirque from the renowned Maccioni family, Bellagio’s 2013 Epicurean Epicenter series continues its tradition of innovative and immersive experiences.
On Saturday, Jan. 26, guests can taste five wines from the legendary Inglenook estate, paired with the critically acclaimed cuisine of James Beard award-winning chef Jean-Georges Vongerichten of Bellagio’s Prime Steakhouse.







Tickets priced at $350 per person, all-inclusive, and available for purchase online at Bellagio's Epicurean Epicenter webpage or by calling Bellagio Concierge at 866-406-7117.
Guests will enjoy the cuisine of Chef Vongerichten as he will prepare a four-course masterpiece in Tuscany Kitchen, a signature element to all Epicurean Epicenter events. This 1,170-square-foot Tuscany Kitchen is outfitted with top-of-the-line Viking equipment and the latest technology.  Three cameras, positioned above the prep stations and stove tops, capture shots of the chefs at work and broadcast them over 60-inch plasma screens mounted above the cooking area for easy viewing.
Chef Jean-Georges Vongerichten
Moments after watching each course prepared right before their eyes, guests will savor Vongerichten’s menu along with Inglenook wines, as paired by Managing Director Philippe Bascaules, Owner Francis Ford Coppola and Bellagio’s Director of Wine Jason Smith MS.
“For Bellagio’s Epicurean Epicenter, we strive to deliver extraordinary culinary experiences pairing our world-renowned chefs with the world’s finest winemakers,” said Ana Marie Mormando, vice president of Food & Beverage at Bellagio. “At our inaugural event for the 2013 season, we’re proud to offer our guests the unique opportunity to savor the wines of Inglenook, one of America’s pioneering great wines estates.”
Celebrity Chef Jean-Georges Vongerichten added , “Opening the 2013 Epicurean Epicenter at Bellagio is a privilege and the exclusive menu that I create will be truly memorable. The flavor profiles will pair eloquently with the Inglenook wines, an estate I am honored to partner with for this event. I am confident this will be one unforgettable evening and once again, only an experience Bellagio can provide its guests.”

Inglenook estate
Any oenophile  understands the importance of  the 133-year history of the  Inglenook estate. Inglenook has made is reputation   under the ownership of three important custodians: Gustave Niebaum, John Daniel Junior and Francis Ford Coppola. Niebaum laid the ambitious and insightful foundations for the estate, claiming that no expense would be spared in his quest to produce wines that would “equal of any in the world.” His successor, John Daniel Junior, achieved just that and his 1941 Inglenook is still considered one of the best Cabernet Sauvignons ever produced. In 1975, the Coppola family was able to buy their first part of the Inglenook estate, which had fallen into a decade of decline. This was the beginning of a 38-year project that would see them tirelessly piece together and restore the historical estate to its former glory.
Bellagio Director of Wine and Master Sommelier Jason Smith said, “The 2009 wines we will serve at the Inglenook dinner are the first wines to be released from the property under the Inglenook name since 1964. As Bellagio continues to be the industry leader in wine education, it is essential that we provide our guests with a platform to further their knowledge through these rare and exclusive moments; the exact foundation on which Epicurean Epicenter is structured.”
The Bellagio Resort has long been known for excellence. The Epicurean Epicenter series brings that excellence to the forefront. Where else should anyone be on January 26th than at the Bellagio in Las Vegas to enjoy this very intimate dinner with a Celebrity Chef, a Master Sommelier and a legendary winery.

Monday, January 7, 2013

A Guide To Visit South Australia's Wine Country


 Australia's fifth largest city, Adelaide enjoys a history of gentility and tolerance, never having been a penal colony.  It is known for its elegant Victorian buildings on streets laid out in a grid with lots of greenery, its festivals, cuisine and wine.
Lane Vineyards
Named for Queen Adelaide, wife of England's William IV, the city is the Capital of South Australia and was founded in 1836. Colonel William Light designed the city around the Murray River rather than the sea coast and surrounded it with parkland.
Sixty percent of Australia's great wines can be found in the highlands and valleys within a 50 mile radius of the city and I was out to explore them.
It was December and the weather was warm.  The nighttime street scene was in full bloom with outside dinning at nearly every venue in town.
My guide to the city and the wine country was expatriate Ralf Hadzic, who had grown up in Ohio and Texas and had a distinct Dallas accent. He was also involved in the music business in the United States and Australia, hosting TV and radio shows, producing concerts and recordings and a confident and guide to many performers touring the country.  In his spare time he is in demand as a popular DJ.
Ralf's company, "Life is a Cabernet Tours," has a number of vehicles that shuttle visitors through wine country allowing us to imbibe with careless abandon while they drive on the wrong side of the road through the beautiful wine valleys surrounding Adelaide (it's the English heritage and you spot quite a few old English automobiles driving the lanes, having survived well in the moderate climate).
Ralf seemed to know everyone in town, which is about 1.2 million people, and he certainly knew the restaurants and wineries. He even helped upgrade my flight home aboard the Qantas' super jet A380, a 13-hour flight from Sydney to Los Angeles.  I recommend his services highly (www.lifeisacabernet.com.au).
One of our first stops was in the outskirts of the city where Penfold's Magill Estate offers a Heritage Tour of the original brick, stone and wood winery established in 1844.  Penfold's is famous for producing Grange, a limited edition blend, every year since 1951. It's astronomically expensive, but amazing if you are lucky or wealthy enough to taste one.
I was lucky and had a taste of the 1984, spectacular complexity and deep fruit flavors with an average price of $650 a bottle
Wine country similar to California except for some odd creatures running, hopping or flying through the landscape
Now it was off to the Adelaide Hills, about a 20 minute drive from the city, for views of true wine country.  The landscape is very similar to the California wine regions, golden undulating hills warmed in the summer air and doted by large oaks and eucalyptus trees, with the exception of some odd creatures hopping, running or flying by.  I saw families of kangaroos, emus, the beauty of white cockatoos in flight, a wallaby and heard the manic call of the kookaburra during my visit
Some of the vineyards visited included Shaw & Smith and Lane winery, which has a lovely restaurant in the middle of the vineyard.  Ralf and I had some delicious Coffin Bay oysters and I had Lane Vineyards lovely Sauvignon Blanc with lunch (www.thelane.com.au).
Then it was off to perhaps the most famous wine area in Australia, the Barossa, renowned for its Shiraz (Australian for Syrah) and Riesling among many others. Located about 40 miles northeast of Adelaide It was first settled by German immigrants in the 1840s and the German influence continues in the small tourist towns in the valley.
In Angaston visit the Barossa Valley Cheese Company for some samples of local goat and cows milk cheeses handcrafted in the back of the shop.  Next door is the Italian Kitchen for homemade pastries, bread and pasta to go.
For a change of pace visit the beer garden at Barossa Valley Brewing in Tanunda.  Owner Denham D'Silva studied at the University of Michigan and makes the best beer I tasted in Australia (www.bybeer.com.au).  For commercial beer I liked the hoppy James Boag's.
The other great wine valley is McLaren Vale, about a 40 minute drive southeast of Adelaide.  It's known for its red wines but also produces Chardonnay and Chenin Blanc among other white wines.  Primo Estate Wines specializes in Italian varietals.
Coriole Vineyards
Coriole Vineyards has beautiful views down the hills to the sea and the tasting room also has a gift shop where you can purchase olives from the property, packed and cured, olive oil and wine vinegar (www.coriole.com
d"Arenberg Winery also rests on the top of a hill and has long views from the vineyard restaurant.  Winemaker and owner Chester Osborn makes 35 different wines with labels by local artists (www.darenberg.com.su).

I had lunch at the Vale/Inn Taphouse & Kitchen and tried the full flight of beers, including cider, with my lunch.  As they say in wine country, it takes a lot of beer to make good wine.
WHEN YOU GO:
In Adelaide I stayed at the Majestic Roof Garden Hotel (www.majestichotels.com.au), centrally located just off Rundle Street the main road for young Adelaide with access to a number of shops, cafes, restaurants, pubs and clubs, which are open well into the early morning
Kingsford Homestead
I had a lovely country house experience at the Kingsford Homestead (www.kingsfordhomestead.com.au). It was known as Drover's Run in the TV series "McLeod's Daughters." Built in 1856 the two-story sandstone Georgian structure is on a beautiful 225 acre property and offers seven luxury guest rooms.  Managers Pat and Sally Kent are wonderful hosts and delightful people.  Pat opened up his wine cellar and served me the best wine I tasted on my tour, The Barons of the Barossa 2008 Shiraz. Beg him for a glass.
They also have an extraordinary young chef from England, Dannielle Stone, who prepared my best meal in Australia. Famous wineries such as Peter Lehmann, Yalumba, Rockford, Hentley Farm and Greenock Creek are around 10 minutes drive from the property in the Barossa Valley. The wineries of Clare Valley are about 30 minutes north.
The largest non-British isles population in Adelaide is Italian, accounting for a number of Italian restaurants.  I dined at the friendly and homey Amalfi Pizzeria Restaurant.  Also popular is the Mesa Lunga (long table), a lively tapas restaurant with a preserved period interior and communal seating on the veranda at long tables.
For information on Adelaide and the surrounding wine country, brochures and guides to housing, restaurants and festivals, www.southaustralia.com
John Blanchette

Story and Photos John Blanchette
CREATORS SYNDICATE

John Blanchette is a freelance travel writer, television producer and owns a public relations company in Santa Monica, California

Elaine and Scott

Elaine and Scott
Elaine and Scott