Showing posts with the label Australia

Introducing... Wine And Spirits Travel Guide to Australia

They say that writing and publishing a book gets easier with time, but each one present new challenges. This was certainly the case with my latest, the Wine And Spirits Travel Guide to Australia: Yarra Valley, Barossa, Adelaide, Kangaroo Island & McLaren Vale (with a little bit of Melbourne) . I was photographing some of the most beautiful places in the world and I wouldn't give up until I had a product that did it justice. In the spirit (pardon the pun) of my guide to Champagne, France , this guide puts my blogs in portable format (print or kindle) with extra information, photographs and links to the places you don't want to miss. The Australia guide contains many more pages and photographs then the first one did. Let me know what you think of this one and what you think my next one should be.  Marcia

Chocolate Extravaganza and Australia Farewell

My final night in Adelaide was spent with a fellow American, now a South Australia resident with a most delicious business.  Terena Blanton-Downs moved to Australia after she fell in love with a businessman visiting her native Myrtle Beach, South Carolina, home.  That was nearly a decade ago and she has used that time to build Cocolat , a chain of dessert cafes dedicated to chocolate.  In her three locations she sells delectable chocolate candies, cakes, cookies, crepes, drinks (from coffee to martinis) and more.  The Cocolat Rocher Gelati recently received the 2011 Champion Award at the Australian Grand Dairy Awards, recognizing it as the best ice cream in the country. While I sat with the delightful Terena, listening to the story of how – as a single mom – she brought her son halfway around the world to build this business, and how she wants to expand, but will not do so unless she can guarantee quality control over the fine chocolate ingredients, she persuaded me to sample

Yarra Valley Wine Welcome

The week before I left for Australia my trip was marred by changes and cancellations thanks to a certain TV host (whose name happens to begin with “O”).  It seems she swept through Australia, leaving a wake of hotels, restaurants and tourism boards tired and broke. Most of my plans had to be changed and I have been relying on the kindness of strangers a lot more than I ever had before.  Yarra Valley was one of the places that invited me with open arms at the last minute and they couldn’t have been more sincere. I’ve done a lot of trips that included the Moet-Hennessy group, including Cognac , Napa and Champagne , so they were the first I contacted when I made the decision to go the Yarra Wine Region.  Mat Janes arranged for me to be picked up in Melbourne and I arrived at Domaine Chandon early evening after an enjoyable ride through the Victoria countryside.  Even at a quick glance, the vineyards were beautiful, lined in yellow roses. The winery has only been here since the