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2021 – An Australian Vintage Like No Other

March 5, 2021 OTA News No Comments Email Email

The summer break is fading in the rearview mirror of our minds – which means it must be time to book in a mini break to hit pause and unwind ahead of the winter months. According to data from Booking.com on the Future of Travel, half of us (55%) are planning to explore a new destination in our home region, and 53% want to spend time appreciating the natural beauty that we have in abundance in Australia.

The pandemic brought much uncertainty when it came to travel in 2020 with the closing of international borders, as well as the borders being shut between Australian states to stop the spread. The result of no international tourism meant the usual influx of travelers to the wine regions were halted, and harvesting was in question as the help of overseas workers who make the journey every year couldn’t enter the country – Wine Australia.

However, many Australians have been switching their exotic overseas holidays to adventuring in their own backyard which is hoped to replace the loss the wine regions have experienced because of international tourism as cellar doors also struggled through lockdowns and restrictions.

Globally, the use of simple pleasure-related activities such as hiking (94%), clean air (50%), nature (44%) and relaxation (33%) has increased since the start of the pandemic. Over two in three Australian travelers will appreciate more simple experiences such as spending time outdoors or with the family while on vacation (67%), while over half will seek out more rural/off-the beaten-path experiences (55%).

Over half agreed that relaxing trips are their most desired type of trip in the new normal (51%), followed by beach breaks (33%) and city trips (22%).

So what better way to take a relaxing trip than to make the most of Australia’s vintage season, book a tranquil stay overlooking lush vines or visit an in-need cellar door serving up award-winning wines and gastronomic delights.

Luke Wilson, Area Manager for Australia at Booking.com, said “While the future of international travel remains uncertain, the ability to explore our own backyard continues to bring moments of joy and inspiration, whether through dreaming and planning, or cherishing the trips we have been able to take. 

As we head into 2021, with our mission to make it easier for everyone to experience travel, we’re doing all we can to support our regional tourism destinations including our severely impacted premier wine tourism regions. 

With so many amazing wine region accommodations available on Booking.com, we’re encouraging Aussies to explore the natural splendour of our Australian terrior this vintage, and experience all of the unforgettable moments these destinations have to offer. 

Trina Smith, Group White & Sparkling Winemaker at Jacob’s Creek, said “You can visit the Barossa all year round, however February through to the end of April is the vintage grape harvest, so there’s a hive of activity here at the Jacob’s Creek winery from sunrise to sunset.

We began harvesting on 18th of January, with Chardonnay and Pinot Noir for our Classic sparkling wine, as well as harvesting for our lower alcohol wines. By March, our Shiraz grapes have developed their distinctive mulberry, plum and supple tannins and the Jacob’s Creek team are in full-swing.”

Australian Wine Regions – Where to Stay:

Novotel, Barossa Valley

The Barossa Valley is a renowned wine-producing region northeast of Adelaide, in South Australia. The area encompasses towns such as Tanunda, Angaston and Nuriootpa, and an array of high-profile wineries offering tours and cellar-door tastings. The stone cottages and Lutheran churches throughout the region are testament to a 19th-century wave of German settlers.The Novotel is perfectly located overlooking the vines of Jacob’s Creek vineyard, is adjacent to the Tanunda Pines Golf Course and near the Barossa Cycling trail combining all the best outdoor activities right on your doorstep. As Australia’s oldest and best known wine region, the Barossa Valley is a must on your bucket list especially this year with the historic Barossa Vintage Festival back for the 2021 season.

A celebration of the region’s wine, food, culture and heritage, the family-friendly festival is South Australia’s largest regional festival seeing huge crowds from interstate (and previously international) visitors immersing themselves in the people and history of the Barossa. The five day event starts 14 April to 18 April and with tickets on sale now, why not book your trip at the same time to complement the perfect Barossa experience.

Balgownie Estate, Yarra Valley

Less than an hour from Melbourne, the Yarra Valley is a whole life experience away, offering quality local food and wine, breathtaking scenery, romantic hideaways and indulgent adventures. The Yarra Valley is recognised as one of the world’s premier wine growing regions with over 80 sensational cellar doors, superb restaurants serving fresh regional produce, luxury accommodation, iconic scenery and stunning artwork. Balgownie Estate is a resort and spa is located at the heart of the Yarra wine region. An award winning boutique luxury resort, you will have an abundance of spa treatments and onsite activities at your disposal to relax and immerse yourself in after you’ve explored the vineyards surrounding. 

voco™ Kirkton Park, Hunter Valley

The Hunter Valley, north of Sydney in New South Wales, is one of Australia’s major wine regions, with a viticultural history dating back to the early 1800s. Known for varietals such as Semillon and Shiraz, it’s home to numerous wineries, including world-renowned brands and family-run boutique operations. Most are located south of the Hunter River and offer cellar door wine tastings and vineyard tours. The Voco Kirkton Park is conveniently located just 2 hours out of Sydney in the heart of Pokolbin it’s just a 12-minute drive to the town centre of Cessnock. The elegant manor estate is a hidden gem on the doorstep of some of the best vineyards in the region. Spacing 70 acres you will have plenty of fresh air to wander and relax with plenty of activities for the family and enough solitude for couples.

Vintages Accommodation, Margaret River

Margaret River is a small town south of Perth in western Australia, known for its craft breweries, boutiques and surrounding wineries. Beaches and surf breaks line the nearby coast, whose waters host migratory whales (Jun–Nov). Stretching between 2 lighthouses north and south of the town, the long-distance walk, the Cape to Cape Track, fringes the limestone caves and sea cliffs of Leeuwin-Naturaliste.Only a two minute stroll from Margaret River’s boutique shopping and cafe strip, Vintages is set amongst beautiful gardens and offers luxury accommodation. With a choice of a stylish room or self contained apartment, you can relax in the comfort of your own holiday style whilst experiencing some of the best wines.

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