Tasting Tours

ADELAIDE, AUSTRALIA

Tour 1

A Taste Of South Australia Wine Tours

www.tastesa.com.au/index.htm

Email: info@tastesa.com.au 

An hour’s drive from Adelaide brings you to the Barossa Valley, South Australia’s best known wine region. Home to the largest wine companies in Australia, the landscape is still interwoven with the unmistakable presence of rich Germanic/Silesian culture and heritage.

Why is it special?

South Australia is known as the “Festival State” and festivals staged in the state’s wine regions are plentiful. For event organisers a series of educational wine tour options is available during Vintage (from late February to late April) to get a “hands-on“ wine experience. The tour includes wine-making theory and tasting, grape picking and crushing, pressing, racking and inoculating with yeast. 

Each participant receives one dozen bottles of wine from the grapes they picked after four to 12 months, depending on the wine style chosen. The wine can be sent directly to participants’ homes. 

What can you do there?

A typical full-day programme starts with an orientation tour of Adelaide. The group then travels through the scenic Torrens Gorge, a natural chasm carved out of the Adelaide Hills by the River Torrens, to the Barossa Valley. The first wine tasting is at the Peter Lehmann Winery followed by a visit to Torbreck, a small winery that makes wines using traditional Barossa methods. Visits to other small wineries and meetings with well-known wine experts are also included. Stop for a stroll in the Germanic town of Tanunda with time to discover the small shops. Lunch will be alfresco under the vines or at Vintners Restaurant just out of Angaston. After lunch, the group is driven up to Menglers Hill for an unsurpassed view over the entire valley. It continues into historic Angaston, the more English of the villages in the Barossa, to visit the South Australian Company Store.

The next stop is Henschkes Winery in Keyneton. This fifth-generation German winery incorporates the best of old-world and state-of-the-art winemaking.

 

Tour 2

Barossa Daimler Tours

www.barossadaimlertours.com.au

Email: baldwin@barossadaimlertours.com.au

Add a touch of class to the experience of touring the Barossa Valley. Barossa Daimler Tours organises exclusive tours in a rare, fully air-conditioned, classic 1962 Daimler Majestic Major limousine. There are only six such vehicles in Australia which were each brought to the country in the 1960s for tours by the British royal family.

Conducted by John Baldwin, a specialist wine tour guide who has extensive local knowledge and a great ability to recognise an individual’s tastes, the day’s touring can be designed around a particular wine of interest to the party. Besides the wine itself, history, culture and beauty unfold as you meet winemakers and local characters for a memorable insight into the Barossa Valley and its world-famous wines. Tours are exclusive to one party (minimum of two people) and therefore flexibility is guaranteed.

 

KOBE, JAPAN

Hakutsuru Sake Brewery

www.hakutsuru-sake.com

Email: nobuo-mori@hakutsuru.co.jp

An hour west from Kansai International Airport, Osaka or 40 minutes from the domestic Itami Airport, Osaka, Kobe is known as a city with a unique style showing the exotic atmosphere of Japan. It has been influenced by foreign cultures and has flourished as an international port for centuries.

Why is it special?

The brewery was established in 1743 and this wooden structure has been restored as a museum. The Hakutsuru Sake Brewery museum is one of the most interesting of the many sake attractions in Kobe’s compact brewery district. It has been put together inside an old sake kura, so unlike a modern museum it really smells like old wood and straw. There are life-size mannequins throughout the big two-storey structure, caught in the act of inspecting the mash, stirring the yeast or performing any of the other many sake-making steps, which are explained in great detail.

What can you do there?

Everything you ever wanted to know about sake production is available at this former brewery, with English videos and pamphlets describing the various painstaking steps and comparing the old techniques with those used today. The tour ends with hints on how to appreciate fine sake and a refreshing sake-tasting session. 

 

SINGAPORE

The Makansutra Food Safari Tour

www.makansutra.com/foodtours.html

Email: contact@makansutra.com

Tour

A food safari tour of Singapore, as you share with the locals the exceptional flavours of the city’s famous street food.

Why is it special?

Singapore is a small and relatively modern amalgam of an indigenous Malay population with a third-generation Chinese majority, as well as Indian and Arab immigrants. There also exist Eurasian and Peranakan (known as ‘Straits Chinese’) communities. The combination of ethnic groups has given the Lion City a rich mixture of diversity for its young age, and Singaporean cuisine is one of the prime examples.

All the eateries are rated by Makansutra via its popular neutral public polling method and a Food Host will be on hand to tell the colourful story of Singapore’s food and culture to the visitors.

What can you do there?

The food safari takes the participants on a whirlwind tour around Singapore to taste some of the best dishes around. There are two types of Makansutra Food Tours for you to choose from. The Makansutra Organised Food Safari Tour and the Do-It-Yourself Tour.

There will be about three to four stops in each tour. Besides the popular local hawker fare, like chicken rice, laksa, bak kut teh or rojak, your group can also have a dining experience that incorporates the top and award-winning local restaurants serving both Asian and modern international cuisines. 

Tour examples 

Multi-Cultural Tour This tour will bring your group the multi-racial food of Singapore. Experience the pungent aromas of Little India, the colourful and interesting finds in the Malay heritage area of Geylang Serai, Peranakan-influenced Katong and bustling Chinatown.

Uniquely Singapore This is a tour that takes your group through the best of the well-loved Singaporean flavours. From the peppery bak kut teh, full-bodied Hainanese chicken rice and spicy fish head curry, fragrant kaya toast to colourful nonya kuehs, this tour lines up the tastes of Singapore.

 

TAUPO, NEW ZEALAND

Huka Prawn Park / Huka Jet Boats

www.hukaprawnpark.co.nz

Email: info@prawnpark.co.nz

www.hukafallsjet.com

Email: info@hukafallsjet.com 

In the heart of New Zealand’s North Island, Huka Prawn Park is located in the region of Lake Taupo, the country’s largest lake. Created by a volcanic eruption and still surrounded by volcanoes, you’ll find geothermal fields, boiling mud pools and steaming geysers just a few minutes north of the lake at Wairakei. There are direct flights from Auckland and Wellington to Taupo airport every day (45 minutes). Charter aircraft of 20 seats are available for your group in Taupo. Your group can also enjoy a three-hour 30-minute drive from Auckland or a leisurely four-hour 30-minutes drive from Wellington.

Why is it special?

Huka Prawn Park is the world’s only geothermally-heated prawn farm and one which produces the Giant Malaysian Freshwater Prawn. The trip kicks off by travelling in a high-speed jet boat to the park. Your group can enjoy the view along the riverside and later have a tour of the park. Besides the prawn fishing and eating, it also features the chance to feed the prawns, architecturally designed walkways and bridges, interactive water features and a riverside nature walk. Set in tranquil surroundings on the banks of the Waikato River, the park offers groups exclusive use of its attractions and activities.

What can you do there?

Tailormade tours of the unique hatchery, a prawn-peeling demonstration and the opportunity to taste the delicious produce. Very few have the skills necessary to land the mighty prawn, but prawn fishing is hugely popular and, if you hook one, it can be cooked at the Huka Prawn Park restaurant.

After the tour, you can take a seat in the restaurant and taste the prawns or sample other delicious items on the menu. Your group can also try their hand at the park’s unique “prawn golf” – hitting a golf ball over the prawn ponds.

The location of the restaurant allows diners to eat alfresco by the river banks. The restaurant is available for large functions, accommodating up to 400 guests.

If your group wants to personalise the jet ride, the options include placing your company signs and logos at the base, on the jetty or even on the jet boats themselves. The jet has group capacity with the ability to operate four boats at any one time, with 10-14 passengers in each boat, and a capacity every half hour of 50 people.

NUWURA ELIYA, SRI LANKA

The Tea Factory

www.aikenspencehotels.com/teafactory

Email: hotelsales@aitkenspence.lk

Within a six-hour drive from Colombo, the town of Nuwura Eliya is known as Little England. Set on a man-made plateau almost 2,100 metres above sea-level in the grounds of the Heathersett tea plantation, the Tea Factory provides groups with a serene location for a corporate retreat, leisurely team activities or the chance to explore a number of nearby scenic locations.

Your group can charter a seaplane from SriLankan Airlines’ sky-taxi service and touch down on picturesque Lake Gregory just 40 minutes after taking off from Colombo.

Why is it special?

Completed in the mid-1930s, the building was a functioning tea-processing centre for several decades before it fell into disuse. Many of the original features, such as wooden panelling and tea-drying equipment are still in evidence. The guestrooms, for example, used to be drying lofts for premium tea.

Outside in the hotel grounds is an old, reconditioned railway carriage which can seat around a dozen diners for five-course meals.

What can you do there?

Restored and converted in 1992 by Aitken Spence Hotels, the Tea Factory has revived tea planting and processing on a minor scale. Your group can rise early and join Tamil tea-pickers in the morning mist to pluck your own tea leaves and then have it processed in the hotel’s fully functional miniature factory.

After the tea-picking activity, your meeting can continue in the hotel’s modest conference facilities. Once the day’s business is closed, your group can enjoy traditional Ayurvedic massage treatments or relax in the hotel bar, which once served as the old tea-packing room. There are also golfing, trekking and horse riding options. 

  

HONG KONG

Flagstaff House Museum of Tea Ware and Lock Cha Tea Shop

www.discoverhongkong.com

Email: info@discoverhongkong.com

Around 45 minutes’ coach ride from the airport, the Flagstaff House Museum of Tea Ware and Lock Cha Tea Shop in Hong Kong Park is a quiet escape in the city, where you can appreciate the art of drinking tea.

Why is it special?

Flagstaff House is the oldest colonial-style building remaining in Hong Kong. Built in the 1840s, it originally served as the office and residence of the Commander of the British Forces in Hong Kong. It was converted to the Museum of Tea Ware in 1984. Alongside its exhibitions, the museum holds regular demonstrations, tea gatherings and lecture programmes to promote ceramic art and Chinese tea-drinking culture. 

What can you do there?

The museum specialises in the collection, study and display of teaware, including many examples of the Yixing teapot, from China’s Jiangsu Province. A new gallery contains a collection of ceramics and Chinese seals as well.

After visiting the museum, your group can move to the tea shop next door to join the tea appreciation class. The class is conducted by Mr Ip, who has a Fine Arts degree and a fascination for Chinese culture that extends beyond art. He founded a teahouse 10 years ago and named it Lock Cha, which translates as “pleasure of, or love for tea” and he helped put together a collection of rare teapots which became the core display at the Flagstaff House Museum of Tea Ware. Through this class, Mr Ip will introduce you to the many varieties of tea, its proper preparation and tea-drinking etiquette. He’ll tell you not only about tea, but also the intricate rituals involved in drinking it.

QINGDAO, CHINA

Tsingtao beer museum

www.tsingtao.com.cn

Email: info@tsingtao.com.cn

The best way to experience Qingdaoers’ lives is to understand the symbol of Qingdao, Tsingtao beer, and visiting the brewery museum can definitely help. Located at the southern tip of the Shandong Peninsula in China, Qingdao attracts many tourists due to its seaside setting and excellent weather. Parks, beaches, sculpture and some unique architecture line the shore. Qingdao Liuting International Airport is 36 kilometres from the city centre. At present, 13 domestic and overseas airlines operate 56 routes, of which ten are international and regional.

Why is it special?

Qingdao is perhaps most famously known for the Tsingtao Brewery, which was founded in 1903 by German colonialists. Tsingtao is now the number-one branded consumer product exported from China and the brewery is definitely the place to taste the best Tsingtao beer in the world.

What can you do there?

The 6,000 sqm of the museum are divided into three sections covering the history, culture and production method of China’s most famous beer. The most original part of the museum is the room specially designed for visitors to experience the tipsy feeling after drinking a little too much of the product. When you step inside the room you start losing your balance, just like when you are drunk. The tour ends with tasting the freshly made Tsingtao beer. As it’s freshly made without adding any preservatives, it can only be stored for one day and is not for sale.

 




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