I can never get more excited about wine book writers than when I hear about a tourism wine book being written. One can only read so many tasting notes! And why would that be? Because the needs of wine tourists are still scantily accommodated when the mainstream books outline where to stay, drink, and sleep; and sometimes not very well other than for the needs of the average traveller. For the top-end or budget visitor the details are often difficult to discover.

Wine travel books rarely address the other needs of wine tourists; such as art galleries, vantage points, interesting local sites, and for me, walking tracks. After much convivial eating and drinking, local walks with significant kilometres to cover are rarely accessible or easy to find when the urge takes place. A meander through vineyards is so important for fitness and vitality, even more so than with being too close to the main thoroughfares where the scents of the air are exhaust gases instead of rural backyards!

The Barossa Valley is Australia’s most recognised wine region. Few international drinkers know much about where Oz wines are grown but if hard pressed they will recall the Barossa and not the other sixty one places!

Two Queensland men who love the Barossa Valley, mainly its people and the old Germanic charm have recently written Barossa Wine Traveller. Wine book publisher Tyson Stelzer (who has Barossan roots) and golf commentator cum wine blogger Grant Dodd have cobbled together this little directorywww.barossawinetraveller.com.au $19.99 Wine Press 2009.

Barossa Wine Traveller is not a book about what wines to buy there, or taste, other than the styles for which each producer is currently reputed. It is the book you buy and read before you visit the place-it’s chocked full of stories and characters around the wine industry in this region. It has feeling, little quotes from the owner of each brand and a writing style which compels the reader to love the place. There is some magic about the history (the oldest productive shiraz in the world of at least 149 years) yet some rejuvenation of thought by the smart “young guns” around the place who inject the can do innovation.

BWT is worth buying for the non-wine visiting guidance-churches, cheese shops, helicopters, markets, bakeries, wurst houses, no walking tracks but I did find the Mount Crawford Forest.

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