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Off to Australia to Taste Some Wine

australia_map.jpgI'm headed to Australia for almost two weeks to explore the side of the continent I haven't been to. That is, if I can actually get on the plane. Currently I'm stuck in San Francisco thanks to delays and may not make my flight from LA tonight. Ugh.

But assuming I do manage to leave the country, I'm headed to the wine regions of Victoria and South Australia, thanks to the help of the folks at Wine Australia and Tourism Australia who are paying for the trip.

More specifically, I'm headed to the Yarra Valley, the King Valley, Beechworth, and Heathcote near Melbourne. Then I'm headed north to Adelaide, where I'll wander around the Adelaide Hills, McLaren Vale, and the Barossa.

I'm quite looking forward to a number of things about the trip, including a focus on some of the emerging biodynamic producers in Australia, checking out a few really small outfits, visiting with some of the icons of the industry, getting a look at some really really old vines, and talking with a lot of folks about the future of Australian wine in America, given the general sense that the country has fallen from favor recently with U.S. consumers.

As usual, I'll be posting as I go. Assuming I can get there.

If you've got any recommendations of restaurants or fun things to do in Melbourne and Adelaide, let me know. My itinerary is pretty set at the moment, but if you've got any favorite producers in the regions I'm headed to, I'd love to hear them.

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Required Reading for Wine Lovers

The Oxford Companion to Wine by Jancis Robinson The Taste of Wine by Emile Peynaud Adventures on the Wine Route by Kermit Lynch Love By the Glass by Dorothy Gaiter & John Brecher Noble Rot by William Echikson The Science of Wine by Jamie Goode The Judgement of Paris by George Taber The Wine Bible by Karen MacNeil The Botanist and the Vintner by Christy Campbell The Emperor of Wine by Elin McCoy The World Atlas of Wine by Hugh Johnson The World's Greatest Wine Estates by Robert M. Parker, Jr.