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Tuesday, 30 April 2013

Victoria-Food and Wine Itinerary

The Food and Wine industry is one of the fastest growing in Australia. It has drawn sharp focus that has seen the growth of what is referred to as experiential tourism. This is a kind of tourism where the relationship between holiday goers’ lifestyles and the kind of food and wines served dictates which part of the world they will go for holiday (Food and Wine Tourism in Australia 2008). It’s important to understand the characteristics of food and wine tourists because theirs is not just another ordinary holiday. In summary, these tourists seek a ‘visitation to vineyards, wineries, wine festivals and wine shows for which grape wine tasting and/or experiencing the attributes of a grape wine region are the prime motivating factors for visitors’ (Roberts and Deery 2008).

Important aspects to note about these tourists include their attitudes and values and are likely to be ‘mature; engaged in full time employment and in the moderate to high income bracket; have a high degree of familiarity with the product; visit wineries or wine regions several times a year; and come from within the state or regional catchment area’. The tourists’ behavior cannot be generalized as different regions are at different stages in terms of food and wine tourism. Behavior can be related to how a particular region has been marketed thus attracting particular kinds of tourists with similar purchasing patterns and trip activities (Roberts and Deery 2008)
This paper will look at the food and wine industry in Victoria State, where a ‘wine experience can be encountered in every region’. The focus will be on Melbourne which has been approved as ‘world class, with 43% of consumers recognizing Melbourne as the leader in this attribute in 2003, compared to 32% for Sydney’ (Victoria Tourism Plan 2007).

Day 1: Mornington Peninsula
This is one place that will provide you a variety of options. A mélange of nature, enjoy the picturesque view of the oceans from the Frankston beaches, the inlets of Mt. Eliza and Mt. Martha, Safety beach or Dromana, Rosebud or Rye, Portsea or Sorrento. You can spend some few hours jogging along the coast to ease your muscles in the morning. Sample out some berries, apples, lavender, specialty cheeses, or the Mornington Peninsula Gourmets at the European style Georges or the four-star Woodman Estate.  March is superb with the Harvest to Table festivals. Drive north during the day into the wine regions that are surrounded with vast national parks from the bush-land of Greens Bush through to the basalt cliffs of Cape Schanck and the roaring surf of Gunnamatta. Plenty to excite in this Bordeaux like climate. It’s an hour’s drive from Melbourne (Roberts and Deery 2008).

Day 2: King Valley
The 2h drive north from Melbourne will take you to King Valley, which will arouse you with its twenty wineries, over 1000h of red grapes and 400h of white grapes. Which will you desire most among cabernet sauvignon, merlot, shiraz, cabernet franc, pinot noir and the many others? Experience exciting moments with the welcoming people and winemakers who will offer you Barbero, Nebbiolo, Sangiovese, Arneis or Mezzamino wine varieties. With a variety of events such as the Beechworth Celtic Festival or the Weekend Fit for a King, your night can be riveting with a choice of 55 accommodation places that include caravan, camping, motels, and five star hotels. You could drive through Rutherglen, about an hour away in the east and do some tasting for Gheric wines and Morris wines before heading back south (Roberts and Deery 2008)
Day 3: Yarra Valley
On your way back to Melbourne, about 1h away, you will be heading into Victoria’s first wine district. With an extensive food trail, take a self-drive with a choice of epicurean food at one hundred outlets. Purchase berries, honey seasonal fruits and many other products at farm gates, stalls and shops. Take a look into the Australian Rainbow Trout Farm, Yarra Valley Pasta Shop or the Yarra Valley Dairy every third Sunday of the month to begin the Melbourne Food and Wines Festival in a Festive mood. Situated near several urban centers, a visit to the Mont de Lacey Historic Home, the Museum, Nature walks in the Kingslake National Park and the Yarra Ranges National Park among other attractions will prepare you for the wine party. A variety of accommodation options are available, ranging from motels and hotels to cabins and self-contained cottages, campsites and caravans. A night in the dream Château Yering Historic House will be romantic enough as you prepare to get back to the big city for the celebration finale (Roberts and Deery 2008).
  Day 4: Melbourne City
Welcome to Melbourne, and cap your honeymoon at the home of the Melbourne Food and Wines Festival since 1993. In Australia’s largest festival of its kind, you will automatically be lined up in a schedule of 130 events that include the ‘World Longest Lunch.’ You will have opportunity to sample products of food and wine experts, renowned chefs, winemakers, purveyors, commentators and critics. You have a rare opportunity of enjoying ‘slow food’ as opposed to ‘fast food’ in a stimulating Mediterranean-like atmosphere (Victoria Tourism Plan 2007). A walk in the Royal Botanical Gardens, and a five-course meal at the Tramcar Colonial Restaurant will be the peak you have wanted for so long(Trip Advisor 2011).

Regional Structures: How the terrain is set
Visiting the winery district was quite exciting. Our group of four, two men and two women set out starting with the Mornington Peninsula, to the King Valley, the Yarra Valley and finally back to Melbourne City. Most of the places have huge chunks of land dedicated to red grapes and some less acreage to white grapes. The availability of national parks in the vicinity of the grape vines created quite a romantic panorama.
Food production and services
It was interesting to note how organized these winery tourist destinations are organized. Whether you are in Yarra Valley or the King Valley, you are likely to be met by enthusiastic groups of residents who seem to be full of life enjoying every bit of the moment. Many stalls seemingly arranged according to products being sold; you can pick some honey here, move ahead for some berries and then some dairy in the next stall. The traders are also organized in associations such as the Mornington Peninsula Vignerons Association and King Valley Tourism Association.
With a very organized transport system and knowledgeable tour guides, one gets to know much about the tens of historical villages in the region. They include Victorian era constructions such as the Briars Park which stores the heritage of Napoleon in Mornington Peninsula among many others. There are many sculptures of different sizes, sporting activities and to cap it all, many festivals to celebrate different seasons. Most of the residents of these regions have upheld their cultural practices too.

Food and Wine Tourism: A growing and evolving industry in Australia.2008. CRC for Sustainable Tourism Pty Ltd. Viewed 17 May http://www.sustainabletourism.org.uk/FoodandWineTourism.pdf
Food and Wine Tourism in Australia. 2008. CRC for Sustainable Tourism Pty Ltd. Viewed 17 May 2011 <http://www.sustainabletourismonline.com/84/food-and-wine/food-and-wine-tourism-in-australia-tools-and-strategies-for-industry-development.pdf>
Melbourne Forum: Trip Report - October 2009 Vacation to Australia. 2009. Trip Advisor. Viewed 17 May 2011 <http://www.tripadvisor.com/ShowTopic-g255100-i278-k3437317-l24652910-Trip_Report_October_2009_Vacation_to_Australia-Melbourne_Victoria.html>
Roberts, L. and Deery, M. 2008. Food and Wine Tourism: Analyzing key characteristics of selected Australian regions. CRC for Sustainable Tourism Pty Ltd. Viewed 17 May 2011 <http://www.sustainabletourismonline.com/40/food-and-wine/food-and-wine-tourism-analysing-key-characteristics-of-selected-australian-regions.pdf>
South-Australia Food and Wine Itinerary n.d.  CRC for Sustainable Tourism Pty Ltd. Viewed 17 May 2011 <http://www.sustainabletourismonline.com/south-australia/south-australia-food-and-wine/south-australia-food-and-wine-itinerary.pdf>
Sparks, B.  2007. Holidays and Wine Regions Survey. CRC for Sustainable Tourism Pty Ltd; viewed 17 May 2011. <http://www.sustainabletourismonline.com/10/social-and-environmental-value/holidays-and-wine-regions-survey.pdf>
Victoria’s Tourism Plan Summary. 2007. Tourism Victoria. Viewed 17 May 2011 < http://www.tourism.vic.gov.au/images/stories/Documents/StrategiesandPlans/Victorias-food-and-wine-action-plan.pdf>

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