Students at Chum Creek Vineyard Producing Successful Wine

May 31st, 2016

Dale Wheeler, 29, and Rhen Dodd, 29, are two Melbourne Polutechnic students who produce Strenua wine in a local vineyard in the Yarra Valley

The two are making a sell-out wine out of a vineyard they received for free then the new owners of the vineyard had no desire in actually managing the place and so Dale and Rhen took up the offer that was presented to students at Melbourne Polytechnic’s Epping Campus

 Mr Wheeler did an interview and said, “combining what knowledge we had from uni and then hard work and trial and error we’ve come a long way in the last couple of years.”

They have been some great results so far, with the very first 25 cases of chardonnay and rosé selling out quickly.

“It’s nice to see that it was well received by the public and not just our mates. It’s a good starting point and it gave us momentum.”

The wines are produced with natural fertilisers and there are also sheep at the vineyard assisting in keeping the grass under the vines at bay.

“We made a decision early on to run the vineyard completely organically, with a focus on generating greater biodiversity within the soils,” Wheeler stated.

Wheeler has a background in business and so his previous experience really helped get the label up and running.

He said, “I was always interested in wine, but I wanted to do something that was more practical, that used the knowledge base but something that was more outdoors and little more hands on rather than working in an office.”

“My first degree in business is obviously useful now, we manage our own brand and all of the sales and marketing is all driven by us.”

The meaning behind the name ‘Strenua’ is that strenua is a Roman goddess of strength, purity and the New Year, and strenua ninox is the name of a common and powerful owl which is actually endangered in the Yarra Valley winery region

“It’s something unique and easy for people to say, which is a big thing. People never like ordering or buying things they can’t pronounce. It puts them in an uncomfortable mindset.”

The pair are currently very busy working on producing their 2016 releases which will be hitting the shelves in March 2017.

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Wineries Climbing To The Top In New York City

May 26th, 2016

A winemaker in the US has established a vineyard on a rooftop in Brooklyn with a phenomenal view of New York City.

Devin Shomaker, the winemaker, said that he was struck by the idea when he was studying viticulture. He was then sold on the idea later on after obtaining the use of a building in the Brooklyn Navy Yard

Shomaker spoke to us about how he always had wanted to live in the city in some awesome dog friendly holiday accommodation, but he also had a desire to apply what he had learnt in viticulture school.

“There’s something for me about the pull of New York, ultimately I just didn’t want to live in a rural setting, so I’ve managed to combine my two great loves.”

After an exhausting process of getting the necessary permits and a successful crowdfunding pitch, Shomaker and his team then put 50 purpose-built boxes with Bordeaux grapes planted on the rooftop in mid 2015 and some with the help of an electrician, was able to install some cool industrial lighting on the rooftop.

By late 2017, Shomaker is expecting to harvest, crush and then bottle about 30 cases of wine within the building.

With views of iconic New York landmarks such as the Empire State Building, Brooklyn Bridge, and the new One World Trade Centre, this five story building is a great catch. The rooftop has been built to look like you’re in a vineyard like the wineries in the Yarra Valley over in Melbourne, because of the amazing landscape design that has been done, so it’s the perfect place to visit with the perfect view.

“You get a really good breadth of view of the city. It’s a view unlike any other vineyard I’ve had the pleasure of working in.”

California is responsible for 89 per cent of the wine production throughout the United States. All 50 states in the US produce wine of some sort. This calculates to about 4,500 square kilometres of vineyards, which makes America the 6th most highest country in the world producing wine, with Australia not too far behind it at 8th with majority of their square kilometres coming from the Yarra Valley vineyards

Shomaker believes that although it is a small start, if this vineyard is successful and there are more similar spaces available across the city, there is a lot of room for potential growth.

Shomaker leaves us with, “There’s tonnes of room for growth, especially here in New York. It’s still somewhat unbelievable that we’ve been able to build out our dream. This truly is a world first.”

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5 Underrated Travel Destinations

May 23rd, 2016

When we hear the word ‘travel’, most of us think about travelling places like Europe, Asia or America, and visiting places like Paris, New York, or even Santorini. We don’t really think about the places that are not so well known but are breathtaking. So I have put together a list of 5 of the most underrated travel destinations that people should start to visit around the world.

  • Palau

Located in the Western Pacific Ocean, Palau is home to 21,000 spread across 250 islands. With tropical warm weather all year round with heavy rainfall throughout a number of months, its economy relies a lot on tourism. Crystal clear blue waters and colourful reefs surround the forest filled islands. If you are seeking a holiday with a bit of adventure and away from your IT consulting job, then this is the place for you. Swim in a lake home to hundreds of thousands of stingless jellyfish, swim with the dolphins off Koror, go for a hike on Babeldaob, visit the aquarium, or go and visit WWII shipwrecks and artifacts. There is some amazing holiday accommodation you can stay at as well. Your options are endless.

  • The Marshall Islands

The Marshall Islands are a part of Micronesia and is arguably one of the most intriguing places to travel around the world. The immaculate islands and their beautiful coral reefs provide individuals with numerous of outdoor and water activities . Enoko Island is one of the most popular Islands and is common for people to do a full or half day tour to. The Jaluit Atoll, Bikini Atoll, and Laura Beach are also quite popular destinations.


  • Albania

Albania is known as one of Europe’s poorest countries and is not well known, unlike its highly popular neighboring countries such as Italy, Croatia, and Greece. With 362km of coastline, Albania is one of the top competitors in Europe for being home to the most beautiful beaches. Enjoy sun-baking on the beaches and always having the amazing view of crystal blue waters. You can also do a full day tour, or an over night one, in your own group to the ice cold waters of the underwater spring called Blue Eye which is a beautiful sapphire colour. The pristine views are a never ending picture that you could have as display furniture in your home.

  • Bolivia

Bolivia is commonly looked over because of its surrounding countries such as Peru, Brazil and Argentina which are all popular destinations. But what most don’t realise is that Bolivia is full of unique places and has an incredible landscape design. It is home to the most dangerous road in the world, most commonly referred to as death highway or death road, and is also home to a place where you have the ability to walk on water. In the rainy season, Salar de Uyuni, also known as the Bolivia salt flats, creates a whiteout affect which is caused by a thin layer of water over the salt flats. This breathtaking sight makes it feel like you are walking on water and you are witnessing when the “earth meets the sky” as many say. As one of the main attractions in Bolivia, make sure you go and take a beautiful picture of the scenery.

  • Slovenia

Slovenia is home to one of the most beautiful and picturesque rivers in the world, Soca River. Its crystal clear emerald water will make everyone’s jaw drop when they witness it in the flesh. That alone is enough to make me realise that I need to go to Slovenia, but another factor was that it is also a large wine country. With 22,300 hectares of wine regions, I definitely recommend doing a tour of the wineries before you leave, just to let loose a little.


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New Chandon Winery Now Open In India

May 23rd, 2016

Last month, Chandon’s Dindori winery opened.

Moet Hennessy officially opened its first winery in the valley of India, which is completely dedicated to producing Chandon sparkling wine.

Situated in Dindori, Maharashtra, the winery has been in the works since 2014, but Moet Hennessy only officially opened the winery last month.

Moet Hennessy’s Davide Marcovitch, who is the head of Chandon who has undertaken coaching for business, said that “this is a significant moment for us at Chandon. The opening of the winery in the Nashik region reiterates our commitment to India.”

Nashik still has a long way to go before it looks like the picturesque landscapes of Chianti or the wineries in the Yarra Valley in Victoria, Australia, however, it is getting a little bit closer to that picture perfect look every year.

The extensive estate of Chandon India is gorgeously designed. The beautiful driveway which is lit up nicely by bright LED street lighting makes the paving stand out and it leads to a nice lobby area that has a tasting station. On the other side of the lobby is a wide patio made with beautiful glulam timber that looks out onto the beautifully manicured lawn with the vineyards on both sides. The corridor leads you to the roomy winery, which has the tanks, barrels, bottling, and labeling lines, and also the cellar, which is stocked with wine all the way to the roof.

The winery is open to tours, but they do insist on having a prior reservation. As of yet, there aren’t any arrangements for food or accommodation but that is a plan for the future. So in the meantime, doing a tour of the winery is highly recommended.

Thanks to the opening of the Chandon winery here in Nashik, we now have a brand new place to hit up on our next trip through India’s beautiful wine country and is great for couples to visit when on romantic getaways.

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A Bit About my Favourite City – Melbourne Australia

May 2nd, 2016

Melbourne Australia at duskMelbourne is the capital and most populated city in the Australian state of Victoria, and the 2nd most populous city in Australia and Oceania. The name “Melbourne” refers to the location of metropolitan agglomeration (along with a census analytical division) spanning 9,900 km2, which makes up the broader metropolitan area, along with being the common name for its city center. The city is located on the big natural bay of Port Phillip and expands into the hinterlands towards the Dandenong and Macedon range of mountains, Mornington Peninsula and Yarra Valley. Melbourne includes 31 municipalities. It has a population of 4,347,955 as of 2013 and its occupants are called Melbournians.

Established by complimentary settlers from the British Crown colony of Van Diemen’s Land on 30 August 1835, in what was then the nest of New South Wales, it was included as a Crown settlement in 1837. It was named “Melbourne” by the Governor of New South Wales, Sir Richard Bourke, in honour of the British Prime Minister of the day, William Lamb, 2nd Viscount Melbourne. It was formally proclaimed a city by Queen Victoria in 1847, after which it ended up being the capital of the newly established colony of Victoria in 1851. Throughout the Victorian gold rush of the 1850s, it was changed into among the world’s biggest and wealthiest cities. After the federation of Australia in 1901, it worked as the nation’s interim seat of government till 1927.

Melbourne rates highly in education, entertainment, healthcare, research and development, tourism and sport, making it the world’s most liveable city– for the fifth year in a row in 2015, according to the Economist Intelligence Unit. It is a leading monetary center in the Asia-Pacific area, and ranks among the leading 30 cities worldwide in the Global Financial Centers Index. Described as Australia’s “cultural capital”, it is the birthplace of Australian impressionism, Australian rules football, the Australian movie and television industries, and Australian modern dance such as the Melbourne Shuffle. It is identified as a UNESCO City of Literature and a significant center for street art, music and theatre. It is house to a lot of Australia’s biggest and oldest cultural organizations such as the Melbourne Cricket Ground, the National Gallery of Victoria, the State Library of Victoria and the UNESCO World Heritage-listed Royal Exhibition Building.

The primary traveler airport serving the metropolis and the state is Melbourne Airport (likewise called Tullamarine Airport), which is the second busiest in Australia, and the Port of Melbourne is Australia’s busiest seaport for containerised and basic cargo. Melbourne has a comprehensive transport network. The main urban train terminus is Flinders Street Station, and the main regional train and coach terminus is Southern Cross Station. Melbourne is also the home of Australia’s most extensive highway network and has the world’s largest urban tram network.

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