Last night we stayed at the spectacular The Louise Luxury Vineyard Retreat – one of the luxury lodges of Australia.
We were treated to a delicious dinner experience with the company’s Jim Carreker who shares my passion for tourism and who has been to Franschhoek. One of his pastry chefs will shortly visit us for a stint in Franschhoek’s L’Quartier Francais restaurant as well as with us in Pierneef à La Motte.
I am really excited about the opportunities of working together with our Australian counterparts in Barossa.
In general, Australia has really impressed me. The genuine friendliness of the people, their passion for tourism and the quality of the food and wine!
- A few comments on what I have found interesting:
- The trend is towards bottling wine separately according to region and specific vineyards.
- They focus on creating a story for each wine and also sharing that story with visitors.
- Wine sales from the cellar door is very important. At Rockford for example, they sell all their Basket Press Shiraz on allocation from the cellar door.
- When you visit wineries, the experience is very much about the vineyards and wine-making and visiting old vines, for instance, is part of the tourist experience. I like that. While wine tourism is about creating a lifestyle experience, it should never forget the wine focus.
Franschhoek has now signed a Memorandum of Understanding with the Barossa Valley. Both myself and the Chairman of Barossa tourism, Chris Pfeifer of Whistler Wines , will research ways in which we can work together. We are thinking of exchange programmes for winemakers and chefs (we will definitely invite them to the food and wine festivals in Franschhoek!) as well as a wine exchange initiative.
Australia has been a great experience! Now we are off to New Zealand