Hosted by Brecon Estate

Wine Lovers Travel presents a special itinerary hosted by Brecon Estate, inviting Wine Club Members, friends, and family to explore co-owner Amanda Grindley’s birthplace and the place where she met co-owner/winemaker Damian Grindley, marking the beginning of Brecon Estate.

Date

Dec 2 - 12

Year

2024

Group Size

16 - 18

Tour Escort

Day 1 to Day 10

Wine Lovers Travel presents a special itinerary hosted by Brecon Estate, inviting Wine Club Members, friends, and family to explore co-owner Amanda Grindley’s birthplace and the place where she met co-owner/winemaker Damian Grindley, marking the beginning of Brecon Estate.

This trip consists of two journeys. The first begins in Adelaide,South Australia with 8 days and 7 nights of group exploration to the region where 70% of Australia’s wine is produced. You’ll visit renowned wineries like Penfolds and d’Arenberg, as well as hidden gems uncovered by Wine Expert and Tour Leader Nikki Maxwell. Enjoy encounters with Australian wildlife, dine at exceptional venues, and have ample free time for personal discoveries. Amanda and Damian will accompany the group of 16-18 travelers throughout South Australia in addition to Nikki.

The second journey is an optional extension that takes you to Victoria, where you’ll explore Melbourne and the Mornington Peninsula wine region. This segment can accommodate 4 to 10 travelers only.

Selected Accomodations

Due to our desire to provide the most charming and comfortable hotels, we need to split the group into two comparable and nearby properties as no hotel can accommodate a group. The two selected hotels are Stirling Hotel and Crafers Hotel.

Your Hosts

Amanda and Damian Grindley

Damian Grindley – Co-owner and Winemaker

Damian is a proud Welshman born in Wales, far from the super premium wine appellations that have pervaded his distinguished career.

After graduating with a degree in Horticulture from the prestigious University of Reading, Damian entered the highly competitive UK Wine and Spirits Industry. There he gained a truly global palate with the likes of Majestic Wine Warehouse and Allied Domecq and earned his Master of Wine.

Being a little more hands-on in nature and wanting to develop his craft, Damian headed down under to Australia’s top winemaking postgraduate program at the University of Adelaide. It is in Australia’s Coonawarra district Damian met his future wife Amanda.

What followed is an amazing range of winemaking experiences working in wineries such as La Crema and St Hallett before heading up Kendall Jackson’s North Coast production.

Southern Italy and even South Africa had their influences, however, aging grandparents pulled Damian and Amanda back to Australia for a number of productive years launching brands such as Yangarra Park and Layer Cake.

Returning to the US, Damian dramatically raised the bar, putting a small Paso Robles Winery on the map. Damian & Amanda’s other passion is cave exploration (having met while mapping one of their many subterranean discoveries). Winemaking and caving found common cause in the calcareous bedrock surrounding Paso Robles. Purchasing a forty acre vineyard and winery in 2012 provided the means to launch his own unfettered wines under the Brecon Estate label. No longer a “Stealth” winemaker for iconic brands, Damian is truly getting his hands dirty with the classic Vineyard Drive terroir.

Unsurprisingly, Brecon quickly amassed over 100 gold/double gold/platinum, a handful of ‘Best in Class’ awards from the top tier wine review publications and competitions, and at least three ‘Best of Shows.’ Brecon was also named “Winery of the Year 2016” by Doug Wilder of the very prestigious industry publication, purely domestic wine report.

Amanda Grindley-Co-owner and Winery Designer

With a love of all outdoor pursuits, Amanda is a keen caver and world traveler. She is passionate about conservation and the great outdoors. Amanda has been instrumental in the design and remodel of Brecon Estate and with such a keen eye for detail, that is prevalent throughout the building, gives her the perfect platform to host you at Brecon Estate.

Your guide & wine expert Nikki Maxwell! With over 30 years of experience in crafting and guiding small-group custom wine and food trips, Nikki brings a world of expertise to your journey. Originally from Scotland, she now calls Melbourne her home and takes immense joy in curating wine trips throughout her beloved adopted homeland, Australia. Nikki’s deep connection to the South of France, where she resided for many years, also shines through as she leads Australians on unforgettable journeys to discover the delights of Provencal wines, with a special focus on the exquisite Mourvèdre-based Rosé.

What’s included

• Hotel accommodations
• Including daily breakfast and taxes
• Other meals as shownSouth Australia – 3 dinners and 5 lunches. Victoria – 2 dinners and 4 lunches
• All tastings and activExcept those indicated as optional
• Transportation

All domestic transportation in Australia, including domestic flight from Adelaide to Melbourne for those taking the extension.

Host & Guide

Nikki Maxwell will accompany group throughout the trip

Day 1 – December 2
Depart for Adelaide

Your Australian adventure begins as we depart from the United States and journey to the vibrant city of Adelaide, South Australia. Get ready for an unforgettable experience Down Under!

Day 2 – December 3
In Flight

As you settle into your long-haul flight, anticipate the amazing experiences awaiting you in the Land Down Under. Use this time to relax, plan your adventures, and immerse yourself in the anticipation of the incredible Australian escapade ahead.

Day 3 – December 3
Arrival Day!

After you arrive in ADL, you’ll start your exploration by heading to the Adelaide Hills, the largest geographical wine region in Australia, just 20 minutes from the city center. Then you’ll transfer to your designated hotel.

Due to the size of our group, we’ve arranged accommodations in two boutique 4.5-star hotels, the Stirling Hotel and Crafers Hotel. These charming properties are conveniently located just 5 minutes apart, and there will be a transfer shuttle to make your travel between them seamless.

In the evening, we’ll kick off your Australian adventure with a delightful welcome dinner at the Stirling Hotel, where you’ll have the chance to meet your fellow travelers and savor some of the region’s culinary delights. Get ready for an evening of great food, fine wine, and warm hospitality!

Day 4 – December 5
Barossa Valley

After a delicious breakfast, we’ll set out for Seppeltsfield, where a memorable day of wine exploration awaits. Enjoy an exclusive, hosted private tour of the winery, highlighted by a unique experience – ‘Taste your birth year port.’ No matter what year you were born, the Seppeltsfield library has a port produced in that year! You’ll also have the privilege of savoring their iconic 100-year-old Tawny Port, a true taste of history.

For lunch, we’ll take you to a charming family-owned winery, where you can indulge in a delightful meal, served on the picturesque lawns and featuring tempting grazing platters paired with exceptional wines.

In the evening, you’ll have the freedom to choose your own dining adventure, allowing you to explore Adelaide’s culinary scene at your leisure. Nikki will be happy to recommend places from the city’s diverse culinary offerings.

Day 5 – December 6
McLaren Vale

Begin your day with a visit to the renowned d’Arenberg Cube, a true architectural marvel. Enjoy an exclusive private tour of their captivating art museum, adorned with mesmerizing installations including original Salvador Dali artwork. On the top floor of the Cube, you’ll indulge in a tasting of 5 carefully selected d’Arenberg wines while taking in breathtaking views over McLaren Vale.

Next, get ready for an extraordinary degustation lunch experience at the acclaimed Maxwells Winery, considered one of the finest in Australia by our Tour Leader Nikki. Helmed by a Michelin-trained chef, this 7-course culinary journey will leave your taste buds in awe. Each course will be thoughtfully paired with exquisite Maxwell wines and meads. It’s no surprise that Maxwells Winery has earned the title of the best regional restaurant in Australia.

The evening is yours to enjoy at your own pace. Whether you choose to relax or explore more of the local delights, Adelaide offers a wide array of options to suit your preferences.

Day 6 – December 7
Adelaide Hills

Today’s adventure begins with a journey to the majestic Mt. Lofty, standing at an impressive 710 meters, offering unparalleled panoramic views of Adelaide, its stunning coastline, and the city skyline. For those seeking an extra touch of nature, there’s an optional early visit to the Cleland Wildlife Park, where you can interact with fascinating Australian wildlife and maybe even hold a koala!

After taking in the awe-inspiring vistas, we’ll make our way to the world-renowned Penfolds Magill Estate, located on the outskirts of Adelaide. Here, you’ll delve into the world of winemaking with an immersive estate and cellar tour, followed by a delightful tasting session that showcases the excellence of Penfolds’ wines.

Lunchtime promises a culinary treat as we head to Fino’s, a restaurant that holds a special place in Amanda’s heart. Prepare for a gastronomic journey filled with exquisite flavors and local delights.

As the sun sets, you’ll have the evening at your leisure, allowing you the freedom to unwind or explore more of Adelaide’s vibrant offerings as you desire.

Day 7 – December 8
McLaren Vale

Today’s journey is a true feast for the senses. We’ll start by visiting the renowned Mollydooker Winery, where you’ll have the pleasure of indulging in tastings of their acclaimed wines. Prepare to be captivated by the flavors that have made Mollydooker famous in the world of wine.

Our adventure continues as we explore the world of exquisite olive oils at Josephs/Primo Estate. Here, you’ll discover the secrets behind these flavorful oils, offering a taste of South Australia’s culinary excellence.

For a late lunch, we’ll whisk you away to Pizza Tecca, a hidden gem that brings a fabulous slice of southern Italy to South Australia. Nestled in the heart of the McLaren Vale vineyards, this dining experience promises to be a culinary delight.

As the day winds down, you’ll have the evening at your leisure. Whether you choose to unwind or further explore McLaren Vale’s enchanting surroundings, you have the freedom to make the most of your leisure time.

Day 8 – December 9
McLaren Vale

Your morning starts with exploring the enchanting streets of Adelaide or the quaint charm of Stirling Village at your leisure.

As the day unfolds, our group will either:

Option 1: Venture to Coriole Vineyards, where you’ll savor tastings of 5 wines thoughtfully paired with exquisite cheeses. Don’t miss the opportunity to taste their renowned Picpoul wine.

Option 2: Alternatively, embark on a tasting journey at Berg Herring Wines, a beloved small-batch, premium boutique winery. Their cellar door resides in a converted heritage sandstone chapel dating back to 1862, offering a unique backdrop to savor their exceptional wines.

Next, we’ll take you to the stunning Sellicks Beach, where you’ll drive right on the sand and revel in breathtaking coastal views. Our day continues with a visit to the iconic Deviation Road Winery, where you’ll have the pleasure of indulging in tastings of their exceptional wines.

The evening culminates in a private dinner at The Victory Hotel, hosted by its charming owner. This gastronomic delight will take place in their underground cellar, surrounded by an astonishing collection of 8,000 wines. It’s no wonder this dining experience was crowned the best gastro experience in Australia in 2018 – a perfect ending to a memorable day.

Day 9 – December 10
Adelaide Hills

Our day begins with a leisurely stroll through the charming village of Hahndorf, a place steeped in history, settled by Lutheran families in 1839 and proudly preserving its Germanic roots.

Following your village exploration, it’s time to tantalize your taste buds with a Gin Flight tasting at a local Hahndorf distillery. Discover how various botanicals influence the flavors of this beloved spirit.

We’ll then whisk you away to the picturesque Mt. Lofty Ranges Vineyard for a degustation lunch. Enjoy a sumptuous meal on the open deck, with breathtaking views of the vineyards as your backdrop. Each course will be perfectly paired with exquisite wines, making this a culinary experience to remember.

In the late afternoon, we’ll take you to the Uraidla Pub and Brewery, offering a chance to savor a cleansing ale or a great cup of coffee. This superb and eclectic hotel nestled in the Adelaide Hills is a true local gem.

Your evening is yours to enjoy at your own pace. However, for those seeking a unique wildlife encounter, there’s an optional visit to the one-of-a-kind Warrawong Wildlife Sanctuary, an opportunity to explore Australia’s native fauna after dark. Please note that this experience is at guests’ own expense and can be arranged on any evening during your South Australia tour.

Day 10 – December 11
Port Willalunga

Our final day of South Australia’s enchanting journey begins with a visit to the Beresford Estate Winery, renowned for its excellent and captivating Shiraz. Prepare your taste buds for an unforgettable Shiraz and chocolate pairing experience, a true delight for wine enthusiasts.

For lunch, we’ll transport you to the Star of Greece, a seafood restaurant perched on the cliffs overlooking the Southern Ocean. This culinary gem is an absolute highlight of any South Australia trip, offering a superb dining experience. Please note that lunch will be a set menu and at guests’ own expense, or we can adjust pricing to include it.

In the evening, we’ll come together for a memorable farewell dinner at the Crafers Hotel hosted by the owners. This delightful gathering is a perfect way to celebrate the end of our journey through South Australia, creating lasting memories together.

Day 11 – December 12
Farewell! Or continue to Victoria!

After breakfast, it’s time to check out and transfer to the Adelaide Airport for your flight to Melbourne or your return journey to the US, depending on your chosen itinerary. Rest assured, airport transfers are included for all travelers.

For those continuing on to Melbourne, your flight is included. Upon arrival, you’ll be transferred to a centrally located boutique hotel (to be announced). With your accommodation settled, the day is yours to enjoy at leisure. Melbourne offers a myriad of delights, from world-class restaurants and charming riverside walks to cozy cafes, art galleries, bustling markets, and the serene Botanical Gardens. Sports enthusiasts will also find plenty to explore in the city’s famous sporting museums. Everything you need for a memorable Melbourne experience is within easy reach of your hotel. And this is is Nikki’s home, feel free to ask her for recommendations.

Day 12 – December 13
Melbourne

After a satisfying breakfast, your day in Melbourne begins with an engaging guided walking tour led by a local expert. Prepare to immerse yourself in the city’s rich tapestry of iconic landmarks, charming laneways, captivating street art, vibrant culture, and of course, its coffee culture. Your guide will also delve into the history, Aboriginal art, and fascinating anecdotes that make Melbourne so unique.

As the day progresses, we’ll meet for cocktails at one of Melbourne’s best-kept secrets – a hidden bar cherished by the locals.

In the early evening, you’re in for a treat as Nikki hosts a cheese and wine pairing masterclass at her lovely Melbourne home. Get ready for an interactive and enjoyable experience where you’ll learn the art of pairing Australian wines and different wine varieties with a selection of delectable cheeses.

Afterward, relax and indulge by the pool, where you can savor an authentic Aussie BBQ, bringing the day to a delightful close with great food and even better company.

Day 13 – December 14
Mornington Peninsula

Following a hearty breakfast, your day unfolds with a scenic drive to the enchanting Mornington Peninsula, just over an hour’s journey from Melbourne.

Our first stop is at Foxeys Hangout, a beloved boutique winery on the Peninsula, known for producing excellent wines, including the region’s first biodynamic wines. You’ll enjoy a wine-tasting experience here and then, the highlight of the day, an opportunity to craft your very own sparkling wine. Join the head winemaker for a hands-on class that takes you through the final stages of ‘dosage’ and allows you to blend the final product to your unique specifications. It’s a wine lover’s dream come true.

After this delightful experience, we’ll check you into your hotel in the picturesque coastal village of Flinders. The evening is yours to enjoy at leisure, whether you choose to relax at the hotel or explore the charming surroundings.

Day 14 – December 15
Mornington Peninsula

Start your day with a satisfying breakfast, and then embark on an exploration of the charming and upscale beachside village of Sorrento. Enjoy some retail therapy amid the boutique shops while soaking in gorgeous bay views. For those seeking a bit of gentle exercise, you can opt for a guided walk along the clifftop path, where you’ll pass by some of Victoria’s most exclusive private beachside mansions, all while enjoying the refreshing sea breeze.

Alternatively, if you’re in the mood for relaxation and rejuvenation, consider a morning visit to Alba, Victoria’s newest naturally heated thermal hot springs and day spa. Here, you can immerse yourself in therapeutic outdoor mineral pools, leaving you feeling completely revitalized (entrance at guests’ expense).

For lunch, we’ll take you to The Cups Estate, nestled in a nearby boutique vineyard and olive grove. Delight in excellent home-grown wines as you savor a delectable meal.

As the day winds down, you’ll have the evening at your leisure, allowing you to unwind or continue your exploration of this beautiful region as you wish.

Day 15 – December 16
Mornington Peninsula

Today promises a day of fun and gastronomic delights. We’ll start with an exciting truffle-hunting adventure. Head to the Peninsula’s only truffle farm for a unique experience with our enigmatic truffle hunter and her talented dog. You’ll foray into the picturesque countryside, discovering the prized summer black truffles. The culmination of your hunt is a tantalizing tasting session featuring wood-fired pizza with delicate truffle shavings, truffle-infused butter, heavenly truffle honey, and more.

On your way back, we’ll make a stop at a charming boutique winery tucked away in a scenic location. Here, you’ll have the opportunity to savor the wines of this hidden gem.

Alternatively, for golf enthusiasts, Flinders offers a fantastic 18-hole course with sweeping ocean views. Golf buggies, carts, and equipment are available for hire, and the course is conveniently located just a short stroll from your hotel.

As the day winds down, you’ll have the evening at your leisure, whether you choose to relax or continue your exploration of this captivating region.

Day 16 – December 17
Mornington Peninsula

Prepare for a day of outdoor adventure and culinary delights. We’ll start with a picturesque hike through Flinders, following the beautiful cliffside golf course road. The stunning coastal views and fresh sea breeze will make this hike a memorable experience.

For lunch, you’ll be treated to a beautifully catered picnic high up on the hill at Montalto Vineyards. Before indulging in your meal, you’ll have the chance to taste their exquisite oils and wines and take a leisurely stroll through their renowned and extensive sculpture park, where art is elegantly displayed amongst the vines.

In the evening, it’s time for a memorable farewell. Enjoy cocktails and canapés at a private Frank Lloyd Wright-designed house, perched atop the cliffs and overlooking the golf course. The view from here is truly breathtaking, and you’ll be hosted by the enigmatic owners for a delightful evening.

For those seeking ultimate relaxation, poolside afternoon massages or facials are available upon request, at an additional cost, ensuring your journey ends on a note of pampering luxury.

Day 17 – December 18
Farewell!

Following breakfast and checkout, it’s time to bid farewell to the beautiful Mornington Peninsula. We’ll ensure a smooth transfer back to Melbourne, where you’ll either catch your flight back to the US or continue your independent travel adventures. As your unforgettable Australian journey comes to a close, may you carry cherished memories of this remarkable experience with you, and may you return someday to explore more of this incredible destination. Safe travels!

Wine Down in Down Under