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Life

Silversea - An invite to an exclusive escape

Selector, Wine Selectors and Silversea Cruises invite you on an exclusively curated food + wine experience aboard Silver Muse.

This once-in-a-lifetime adventure begins, pre-cruise, in Barcelona, where you’ll spend two wonderful days and nights. 

Day one features an exclusive day trip to the world renowned Bodegas Torres, guided by Selector publisher Paul Diamond, where you’ll enjoy a hosted Torres tasting followed by an exquisite local lunch with perfectly paired wines. 

The next day, armed with a wealth of information on Barcelona’s gourmet gems beyond the tourist trail, you’ll spend the morning on an exciting exploration.

That afternoon will see you boarding the luxurious Silver Muse, the newest ship in the Silversea fleet, and setting sail on an exquisite seven-night cruise. 

Mediterranean enchantment

First stop is the historic old port on the island of Ibiza, part of Spain’s sun drenched Balearic Islands. Then you’ll visit Porto Mahon on the pre-historic Menorca, a Mediterranean island that has escaped the ravages of tourism and modernism. 

Antibes, and the gorgeous Provence region of France, will be your next destination – an amazing opportunity to immerse yourself in Provençal wine, food and culture. 

The port of Monte Carlo and the Côte d’Azur follow, where you get to explore the municipality of Monaco and beyond. 

Italy odyssey 

The Italian Riviera awaits, with the beautiful fishing village of Portofino offering the chance to dive to the depths of the Christ of the Abyss, have a swim at Paraggi, or view the Ligurian Sea on the cliffs of Santa Margherita.
The Florentine port of Livorno is next, from where you’ll visit Florence for a private Tuscan masterclass. Your hosts will be the Ricasoli family of Castelo Brolio, the most important of the Chianti families, dating back to the 12th century. 

The next day will begin at Leone Blu Residenza D’Epoca Ricasoli, a private hotel where you will taste the estate’s finest wines in the Mirrors Salon overlooking the Arno River. 

An exquisite hosted Tuscan lunch will follow in the Bettino Salon, overlooking the Goldoni square. Fully sated, you’ll head off to explore the glories of Florence before heading back to the ship for dinner.

Finally, having created eight days of incredible memories, you’ll farewell your new friends as you disembark in the Roman port of Civitavecchia.

An invite to an exclusive escape

11 Nights Mediterranean Cruise - Barcelona to Rome

Departs Barcelona 5th September, 2018

Escorted by Selector Publisher, Paul Diamond

+ Enquire or book today!

For more information on itinerary and how to book please click here.

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Wine
The Granite Belt: Beautiful One Day, Perfect Wine The Next
Words by Paul Diamond on 8 May 2017
Cool climate wines from Queensland – if that sounds strange, head to the  Granite Belt wine region  and you’ll find plenty! It’s well established that the first ‘official’ Australian wine region was Farm Cove NSW, planted by Captain Arthur Phillip in 1788. But what about the second? If you assumed it was in South Australia, Victoria or even Tasmania, you would be wrong.  It is, in fact, Queensland’s Granite Belt, planted in 1820, preceding Victorian and South Australian regions by 15-plus years. Given most of Queensland is hot and tropical, we usually associate it with beaches and reefs rather than grape vines. However, the Sunshine State has a rich and varied agricultural history and people are now starting to favour the Granite Belt’s cool climate, Euro-style wines. Three hours south west of Brisbane on the southern Darling Downs, the Granite Belt is situated around Queensland’s apple capital, Stanthorpe. This is heralded on your arrival by a massive apple on a pole, a bold indicator of local pride in the tradition of Coffs Harbour’s big banana, Ballina’s prawn and Goulburn’s Merino. Originally known as ‘Quart Pot Creek’, Stanthorpe was settled when tin was discovered in the late 1800s. Fruit production followed as the altitude and climate started to attract Italian immigrants who’d come to Australia to cut cane and then moved south to take up pastoral leases.  Cool Climb Wines As you travel south west from Ipswich along the Cunningham Highway, you start the gradual climb through the Great Dividing Range. By the town of Aratula, a popular resting spot, the temperature drops considerably and you realise how cool it gets at 110 metres above sea level.  The Granite Belt has some of Australia’s highest altitude vineyards and it is the associated cool climate that is the perfect setting for the region’s fine boned wines. So don’t visit this region expecting big, ripe wine styles that are popular in warmer areas. The cool climate dictates that the Granite Belt’s wine styles are closer to those of Europe. Think medium bodied, savoury reds with fine tannins and pronounced acidity. In the whites, expect lighter, citrus driven styles with elegant layers and fine acid lines. Adding to the Granite Belt’s wine identity is the fact it excels in alternative styles. While you’ll certainly find mainstream varieties like  Shiraz ,  Cabernet   and  Chardonnay , real excitement comes from discoveries like  Fiano ,  Vermentino , Chenin Blanc, Savagnin, Barbera, Graciano, Durif, Nebbiolo and Tannat. Granite Belt producers have long recognised that these varieties are the future and with their unique alternative identity, have dubbed themselves the ‘Strange Birds’ of the Australian wine scene. In fact, visitors can explore this fascinating region by following one of the Strange Bird Wine Trails. BOIREANN WINERY Established in the early 1980s by Peter and Therese Stark, Boireann has been a Granite Belt standout for decades. While quality and consistency are high, production is low, with reds the specialty and only a very small amount of  Viognier  grown to co-ferment with Shiraz. Standouts are their Shiraz Viognier, Barbera, Nebbiolo and the ‘Rosso’, a Nebbiolo Barbera blend. www.boireannwinery.com.au/ GOLDEN GROVE Third generation winemaker Ray Costanzo has made wine all over the world, but is passionate about the Granite Belt. Golden Grove is one of the oldest wineries in the region, making a wide range of wines including Sparkling Vermentino, Barbera, Nero d’Avola and  Tempranillo , but it is Ray’s  Vermentino  that has developed a solid following.  www.goldengroveestate.com.au JESTER HILL Established in 1993, Jester Hill is now a family affair, having been bought by ex-health professionals Michael and Ann Burke in 2010. With the new focus that Michael is bringing to the wines, the estate is building momentum and picking up accolades along the way. Standouts include their Roussanne, Chardonnay, Shiraz and  Petit Verdot .  www.jesterhillwines.com.au/ BALLANDEAN With an extraordinary history of winemaking that stretches back to the 1930s, the Puglisi family have been operating their cellar door and passionately flying the Granite Belt flag since 1970. Fourth generation Puglisis Leeane and Robyn are warm, generous, regional advocates, who have a large cellar door from which they love sharing their passion for both the wines and the people of the Granite Belt. Tasting highlights include their  Viognier , Opera Block Shiraz and Saperavi, a full-bodied red that originally hails from Georgia.   www.ballandeanestate.com/ JUST RED Another family-owned winery, Just Red is run by Tony and Julie Hassall with their son Michael and daughter Nikki. Just Red’s organic wines are styled on the great wines of the Rhône and are winning awards in the show system. Their star wines include Tannat,  Shiraz Viognier , Cabernet Merlot. www.justred.com.au/ RIDGEMILL ESTATE WINERY Starting its life as Emerald Hill in 1998, Ridgemill boasts a modern but unpretentious cellar door looking out on dramatic mountain surroundings. The broad range of wines is crafted by winemaker Peter McGlashan and includes Chardonnay, Shiraz,  Shiraz Viognier , Mourvèdre and Saparavi. With its self-contained studio cabins, Ridgemill is a great place to base yourself. www.ridgemillestate.com/ SYMPHONY HILL Symphony Hill’s winemaker Mike Hayes is quite possibly the Australian king of alternative wine varieties. Mike won the Churchill Fellowship and travelled around the world studying alternative styles. His wines are highly awarded, vibrant and interesting. A trip to the Granite Belt is not complete without a tasting with Mike, including his standout expressions of  Fiano , Lagrien, Gewürztraminer,  Petit Verdot and Reserve Shiraz. www.symphonyhill.com.au/ TOBIN WINE Adrian Tobin’s wines are a strong philosophical statement, reinforcing the notion that wine is made in the vineyard.  Since establishing Tobin Wine in 1999, Adrian has been deeply connected to his vines and produces a small amount of high quality Sauv Blanc, Semillon, Chardonnay, Merlot, Shiraz and Cabernet. All of Adrian’s wines are named after his grandchildren and are collectables.  www.tobinwines.com.au/ GIRRAWEEN ESTATE Steve Messiter and his wife Lisa started Girraween Estate in 2009. Small and picturesque, it is home to one of the region’s earliest vine plantings. They produce modest amounts of Sparkling wines, including Pinot Chardonnay along with Shiraz, Rosé and Sauv Blanc. Their table wines include Sauv Blanc, Chardonnay, Shiraz and Cabernet.  www.girraweenestate.com.au FEELING HUNGRY There is no shortage of good food in the Granite Belt, but a trip to  Sutton’s Farm  is essential. An apple orchard, it’s owned by David and Roslyn Sutton, who specialise in all things apple, including juice, cider and brandy. Their shed café also pays homage to the humble apple with the signature dish being home made apple pie served with Sutton’s spiced apple cider ice cream and whipped cream. For breakfast, try  Zest Café  located in town, where the coffee is fantastic and their baking game is strong. Their breakfast will definitely see you going back for seconds.  A delicious choice for lunch or dinner is the  Barrelroom and Larder , lovingly run by Travis Crane and Arabella Chambers.  Attached to Ballandean winery, the Barrelroom is casual in style and fine in output. Everything that Travis and Arabella cook comes from within a three hour radius and if it doesn’t exist in that area, they don’t cook it. A fantastic way to spend an afternoon is with Ben and Louise Lanyon at their  McGregor Terrace Food Project . Based in a Stanthorpe, this neighborhood bistro with a gorgeous whimsical garden offers cooking from the heart with the surrounds to match. Whether your choice is a Granite Belt alternative ‘Strange Bird’ or a more traditional varietal, take it along to Ben and Lou’s Food Project, sit out the back and you’ll feel like you’re in the south of France. You will, in fact, be in Queensland, thinking that it is a pretty cool place to be; literally and figuratively.     
Life
Join us on our Mediterranean cruise with Silversea
With the introduction of its newest ship , Silver Muse, Silversea has lifted the bar for luxury cruising even higher. You can experience it on a bespoke Wine Selectors’ adventure in 2018. When the first Silversea ship was launched over 20 years ago, owner Antonio Lefebvre d’Ovidio advised his son, Manfredi, to always keep their family values and traditions close to his heart and not be swayed by ephemeral trends. Now Chairman of Silversea Cruises, Manfredi heeded his father’s words and is incredibly proud of Silversea’s current status as a leader in luxury travel. So it is with immense pleasure that Manfredi introduces the newest ship, Silver Muse. A work of art
A divine inspirational work of art of the highest order, Silver Muse sees the Silversea fleet expanded to nine ships and the bar in the intimate-luxury cruising market raised to its highest level yet. Boutique in size, accommodating 596 guests, Silver Muse can visit ports that larger ships simply cannot access, and retains an intimate, cosy, home away from home feeling. Yet she is also large enough to offer the superlative quality of luxury service and options for which Silversea are famous. While the destinations Silver Muse visits offer plenty of opportunities for active exploration, back on board, exclusive new additions will ensure you’re sailing in ultimate luxury and relaxation. Bespoke savoir beds
They were the choice of Sir Winston Churchill, Giacomo Puccini and Marilyn Monroe, and now Savoir Beds will ensure guests sailing in the Owner, Royal and Grand suites of Silver Muse enjoy a superb night’s sleep, too. Savoir’s handmade bespoke mattresses and toppers, created using the finest natural materials and skilled craftsmanship, offer a variation in support from soft to firm, customisable to guest preference. With their cloud-like comfort, you’ll never want your trip to end! Spa sanctuary Silversea has redefined beauty and wellness on board Silver Muse with the introduction of Zàgara Beauty Spa – a uniquely artistic and holistic sensory experience. Zàgara melds its beautiful Italian heritage with a 360º mind and body philosophy to evoke awareness and nurture well-being. A sanctuary of leisure and comfort, this elegant respite is the gateway to serenity. Complementing a choreographed menu of services that feature award-winning products and innovation, the unique Zàgara concept also encourages guests to create their own spa experience. Blending artistry through a myriad of visual and experiential elements with holistic therapies, Zàgara promises peace and beauty at every touch point. Be immersed in art Another exclusive to Silver Muse is the all-new Arts Café. Evoking the ambience of an art gallery, in this unique space, guests are able to relax and unwind, surrounded by some of the most exquisite pieces of art. The featured exhibitions are varied, exciting and frequently changing, including paintings and sculptures from a broad range of talented artists. The venue’s distinctive design offers a relaxing getaway with daytime cuisine in the form of a café and deli-bar. Come early evening, the venue transforms into a lively, evening cocktail lounge, where guests can retreat to one of the comfortable chairs, grab a drink and relax, while taking in the incredible view. Exquisite attention to detail
While iconic destinations and grand vistas are obviously impressive, often its the smallest details that have the biggest impact. Silver Muse’s exceptional guest-to-staff ratio, including butlers in every suite, means that someone is always on hand to look after the details, so you don’t have to. As Manfredi Lefebvre d’Ovidio says, “We believe that Silver Muse is quite simply, our best ship ever.” Register now! +  Exclusive gourmet tour
Join Selector and Silversea Cruises for an exclusive gourmet tour aboard the Silver Muse in September 2018. This private tour with an intimate group will be hosted by Selector publisher Paul Diamond and offers an unique food + wine activities beyond the tourist trail. Setting off from Barcelona, you’ll visit iconic ports such as Ibiza, Antibes, Monte Carlo, and Civitavecchia, enjoying highlights such as guided Balearic food and wine experiences and a hosted lunch at the two Michelin starred Restaurant Joël Robuchon Monte Carlo. To register your interest, call 02 4941 3044 or email editor@selectormagazine.com.au
Life
The way to travel in 2016
When cruise ships parade into the harbours of the world and get fanfare normally reserved for royalty, you know that cruising is more than back in fashion – it is the way to travel, today’s ‘jet set’ are now called the ‘cruise crew’. Three of the key factors for cruising’s amazing resurgence are: the incredible facilities on board today’s modern ships; the wondrously varied on-shore excursions; and phenomenal range of never-before-visited destinations. And things are only going to get better in 2016. The modern cruise ship is light years from the behemoths that sailed the waterways of years gone by. These days, there are more boutique-style ships catering from 680 - 1,250 guests – consequently, there is a heightened sense of intimacy and a personalised holiday experience. Staff and crew attend to your every whim and remember your individual preferences, there are no lines, going ashore and returning on board takes minutes rather than hours, and life just seems to proceed at a more relaxed pace. Facilities and entertainment have been described as a floating five-star hotel crossed with the best of a theatre district. Everything from bespoke spa services to English-style libraries, a live pianist, classical string quartet, dynamic vocalists and spectacular headliners. You may also wish to try your luck in an elegant Monte Carlo-style casino. Some cruises even have guest lecturers who might be historians, naturalists or former ambassadors, eager to share insider knowledge. Guests’ suites are a personal sanctuary with state-of-the-art custom-made furnishings such as plush ‘Tranquility Beds’ with1,000-thread-count linen, lavish marble-infused grand baths (with a private half-bath for guests), showers, luxurious sitting rooms and private teak verandas. Guests are even given their own range of fine Bvlgari bath amenities^. On-board dining has really stepped up. Celebrity chefs such as Jacques Pépin are providing signature dishes at a range of dining options from French bistro, gourmet Italian, contemporary Asian, French country cuisine, American steakhouses and more and matched with wine lists to rival any Michelin-starred restaurants.
Two Blues Sauvignon Blanc 2014
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