Archive for April, 2010
Instead of pairing wine with just food,
pair it with your vacation!
When taking a vacation to Australia, one of the first great realizations is that there’s delicious Australian wine wherever you go.
Australia has a rich and intricate history of award-winning winemaking that began in the early 1800s. Boasting some of the oldest vines in the world, Australia’s varied and nuanced terrain allows for a wide diversity of flavors and textures of wine.
Australia has become the 4th largest exporter of wine in the world, behind powerhouses France, Italy and Spain. And while Australia’s largest exports are Chardonnay and Shiraz, Australian winemakers are becoming wold-renown for all varietals of grape.
Yellow Tail may be the most popular brand of Australian wine in America, but there are arguably many other overwhelmingly delicious offerings. Australian wines have come to enjoy a higher profile in some of the finest and most popular restaurants across the world. With so much excitement coming out of the various wine regions of Australia, what better way to celebrate than by melding two of our favorite activites: vacationing and wine.
Take time to explore these popular regions of Australian winemaking, and then decide which Australian wine vacation you think would be most suitable for your discerning pallette. Cheers!
Australia Wine Region #1:
The Yarra Valley
Southern Australia Nature Adventure
With over 90 wineries, the Yarra Valley is the state of Victoria’s oldest wine region. With its cool climate the Yarra Valley boasts a wide variety of wines including elegant sparklings, chardonnay and sauvignon blanc, to complex pinot noir, rich cabernet sauvignon, shiraz and more. Our Southern Australia Nature Adventure includes a hot air balloon ride above the Yarra Valley, plus tours of Sydney, Melbourne and more. This Australia wine vacation package can be customized to include other wine regions of Australia as well.
For more information about the Yarra Valley visit the Yarra Valley Winegrowers Association.
Australia Wine Region #2:
The Barossa Valley
A Nature and Epicurean Journey
The Barossa Valley is Australia’s best-known wine region. It has a typical Mediterranean climate with dry summers and mild winters. The region is best known for its shiraz, and as such has helped solidify Australia’s worldwide reputation for superb winemaking. Every other year, the region showcases its winemaking with the week long Barossa Valley Vintage Festival. Our Barossa Valley wine vacation package can be customized to include other wine regions of Australia as well.
For more information about the Barossa Valley visit the Barossa Grape & Wine website.
Australia Wine Region #3:
The Hunter Valley
Culture, Food and Wildlife
The Hunter Valley produces some of the world’s finest semillon and shiraz. Just a couple hours drive from Sydney, the Hunter Valley is an accessible and delightful excursion to include in your vacation to Australia. The area boasts 120 wineries, and is Australia’s oldest wine region. This Australia wine vacation package can be customized to include other wine regions of Australia as well.
For more information about the Hunter Valley visit the Hunter Valley tourism website.
Many folks often wonder, will I be able to handle the flight to Australia? How long is the flight from Los Angeles to Sydney? From Los Angeles to Melbourne? Will I be too jet lagged? While Australia is a fair distance away, the flight is not nearly as daunting as you may think.
The flight from Los Angeles to Sydney is around 14 hours, and the flight from Los Angeles to Melbourne is around 15 hours. When travelling to Australia from the United States, Los Angeles and San Francisco are your only 2 departure options. As far as airlines, there are a total of 6 carriers that offer flights to Australia from the United States. Qantas, United Air Lines, Delta, and V Australia offer direct flights. Air Pacific offers service via Fiji and Air Tahiti Nui offers service via Tahiti.
While 14-15 hours may seem like a long time to be on a plane, the airlines are aware of this perception, and offer amenities that make your journey more comfortable. Flight departure times are typically later in the evening, and dinner is usually served once a comfortable cruising altitude is reached. Many of the airlines have individual touch-screen television monitors installed in the headrest in front of you. Via the touch screen, travelers can browse a list of movies (usually around 40-50 titles are available), television programs, music, games (that can be played against other passengers) and even chat rooms.
We at SeeANZ think a good strategy when flying to Australia is this: eat dinner, then try and stay up for as long as you can. Read for awhile, then try and watch 2 or even 3 movies. By then you should be pretty well tired. If you can knock off for 6 or so hours (as we all know sleeping on a plane is not always the most comfortable situation), you should be doing pretty well. Consider sitting in a window seat, as it affords you the convenience of leaning your head and pillow against the airplane’s cabin. If you can afford it, look in to flying premium economy or first class, as the seats and amenities there are even more luxurious.
When your flight is a few hours from Australia, the crew will bring the lights up and serve breakfast. After a few hours of sleep and a fresh cup of coffee, you’ll find yourself landing in Australia usually around dawn, 2 days after you left (this is because your flight crosses the International Date Line). While we know it’s not this simple, the idea is that you’ve just had “a late night” on the plane, and that you’ll hit the ground running when you arrive in Australia.
While travelling internationally always tends to cause a little jet lag, we think these few tips can help make your flight to Australia a comfortable one. Besides, once you arrive, the energy and beauty of Australia will lift your spirits high!
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