Gretel Sneath

Wrattonbully triumphs at Limestone Coast Wine Show

If you love red wine, South Australia’s Wrattonbully wine region collected six trophies at the 15th annual Limestone Coast Wine Show, with a further two trophies going to varietal wines featuring Wrattonbully fruit.

Photo by Marcus Jones

Photo by Marcus Jones

As part of my role managing publicity for the event, I worked with Rob Tremelling to produce a series of video clips during the trophy presentation feast. We interviewed judges and winners, and loaded the clips onto YouTube the following day.

The complete collection of videos appears on the Limestone Coast Wine Show Facebook Page.

Say Grace Café & Larder

Well, isn’t this food for thought:

graceWords of wisdom from Safe Grace Cafe & Larder in Casterton, Victoria.


Owner, Penelope Farquharson, could see potential in this tiny country town with its main street layered in history and fit for a film set.


Her store has become a destination for ladies who lunch, farmers, footy players…and freelance journalists like me, with a healthy appetite and a trained eye for a great story.


Penelope’s story is in the June 2015 edition of Australian Country Style magazine.

The Growers Behind Penfolds Grange

The iconic positioning of Penfolds Grange in the global wine industry is undisputed, but how many people realise that the grapes that go into a bottle of Grange are sourced from all around South Australia? “If it’s the crème de la crème, we will take it,” says chief winemaker Peter Gago, describing the subsequent blending process as “that synergistic sum of the parts”.


Image supplied by Penfolds

I spoke with some of the growers behind Grange for SA Life magazine. Don Oliver, from Oliver’s Taranga at McLaren Vale, describes gaining selection as like winning the grand final – “And if you get a decent quantity, it’s like winning the lottery,” he said. Barossa Valley grower, Paul Georgiadis, is another regular contributor, and likens the achievement to climbing Mount Everest. “The first time I got in, I thought they were having a lend of me – I actually felt weak at the knees when I found out it was true,” he said.

Their story appears in the June 2015 edition.

SA Life Profile – Kim Longbottom

When I met Kim Longbottom from Padthaway’s Henry’s Drive Vignerons last year at a wine function, I knew her story would make a fabulous profile piece.

Kim_Longbottom_Henrys_Drive_LRKim owns and operates Henry’s Drive Vignerons, and she is a savvy business woman who thinks outside the square. For instance, she enlisted the help of the local country aero club to fly down a UK wine buyer with a busy schedule. They liked what they saw; the initial order was 16,000 cases.



The cellar door is located just off the Riddoch Highway in SA’s Limestone Coast, and the business was named after Henry John Hill, the proprietor of the 19th century mail coach service that once traversed the landscape.

All of the wine brands have a strong postal theme, with labels like The Postmistress, The Scarlet Letter and Pillar Box Red.

Visitors are encouraged to rest and refresh at the cellar door, just as the mail coach once did at its various stops.

Kim’s story is in the 10th Birthday Issue of SA Life Magazine.




Nature’s Pantry – Hamilton, Victoria

There are swings and roundabouts…and then there’s spinach and roundabouts – particularly if you’re driving through one of Victoria’s largest country towns.  Leafy greens are popping up in the middle of some of Hamilton’s busiest thoroughfares, giving new meaning to the concept of ‘lunch on the run’.


“The vegetables can be eaten, but they are still an aesthetic feature, and the cost is no different to annuals, which can take a fair bit of maintenance,” says parks and gardens co-ordinator Jenny Hurse. “We want to be the most healthy, liveable Shire, and this makes a real statement about sustainability.”

My story on this terrific initiative of the Southern Grampians Shire Council appears in the Dec/Jan edition of Outback magazine.


Mount Gambier Spring Show

When the Mount Gambier Show Committee ask me to manage the publicity for their 153rd event on October 25-26, I came up with a series of articles highlighting some of the real characters of this country institution.

bird-blog1I tracked down some terrific people like Ken Scott, who has been showing poultry for more than 70 years. “It’s very competitive, but realistically, once the bird is in the pen, it’s up to them – you can’t do anymore than that,” he says. 

Ken-Scott-Rhode-IslandI also profiled a pyrotechnician, a horticulture champion, a third generation showman, and a teacher who runs an enormously popular Ag Learning Centre – there are so many stories to tell, and I’m looking forward to being involved again next year.

Favourite Bride – Real Weddings Style

I have lots of articles in the new issue of Real Weddings magazine. It’s impossible to pick a favourite – what bride doesn’t look amazing! – but Monique Sola was a standout. Divine looking girl, exquisite headpiece and smoking eye make-up. Photography by The White Tree.


MoniqueDanielShe and husband Daniel make a stunning couple! They married at Barwon Heads in Victoria, adding a fresh touch of glamour to the coastal town.


One of many sweet love stories in the latest edition. And as always, so many ideas to inspire.



Atlantic Byron Bay – Caribbean Style

A recent stay at Atlantic Byron Bay made my heart sing…again and again.


Think Caribbean styled plantation houses linked by sun bleached paths…that was our room below on the bottom right – hello morning cup of tea on private deck!


Exquisite decorating was completely devoid of coastal kitsch, courtesy of stylish owner Kimberly Amos. She tells me she is opening a small on-site store soon, which is tres exciting.





Six days of bliss, before a long, relaxed journey home. I can handle that. (Knowing we will be back).


Outback Magazine Towns: Port MacDonnell

A recent assignment for Outback Magazine led me to a place very close to my heart, where the rising sun on a still winter’s morning is absolutely magical.


The Southern Rock Lobster capital of Port MacDonnell is the feature town in the August-September edition.


You won’t find many shops or cafes in this part of the world; it’s all about getting back to basics…

outback-blog2 Enjoying the outdoors and the company of loved ones…

outbackboatAnd if your timing is right, a lobster feast.


outback cover

Robe / Mount Benson Wine History Project

I have just finished producing the latest chapter of the Limestone Coast Wine History Project covering Robe and Mount Benson – two South Australian wine regions strongly influenced by the maritime climate.


The pioneering Kym, Derek and Anna Hooper from Cape Jaffa Wines were among the swag of local producers who shared insights on site selection, early plantings, successful varieties, climate and GI’s…



Here are the links to the completed clips, filmed and edited by Rob Tremelling from Fed Creative with interviews by Nick Ryan.


I’m Gretel Sneath, accomplished freelance writer & storyteller. When I'm not on the road, you'll find me on South Australia's Limestone Coast.