Gretel Sneath

Back Label Text – Cape Jaffa Wines

The crew at Cape Jaffa Wines requested some more wine words for their tasty new range. We continued the coastal-surf-environmental vibe synonymous with their label and their general way of living. I thought the name Epic Drop was a perfect fit for their 2010 Shiraz – only the most intense barrels are used in its creation. (Yes, pun intended). And Waxed Lyrical was ideal for the 2012 Marsanne with its rhapsody of flavours…

Outback Magazine Drought Feature

What an amazing cover shot! You can imagine how excited I was when I realised it accompanies my feature on the end of the drought. LOVED working on this article, interviewing talent from all over Australia. Don’t ever tell me that farmers don’t like a chat!! Click on my portfolio to read more…

The Oct/Nov edition also contains my story and images on ‘Aberfoyle’ garden at Kongorong, so it’s a bit of a collector’s edition in our household!

James Halliday’s Wine Companion Magazine

James Halliday’s Wine Companion magazine commissioned me to write a travel feature on Coonawarra, which appears in the latest edition. My challenge was to create something fresh, from a local perspective. While I’m certainly familiar with the area, I took a guided tour with Zema Estate’s Karen Ronning in order to discover what’s new and what locals in particular love. It was a classic example of exploring your own backyard – where often, the best discoveries are made.

The obligatory location shot!

At Upstairs at Hollick, I dined on spectacular crisp skinned pork belly served with parsnip puree, watermelon, pickled rind, olive and chervil salad.

Upstairs at Hollick

I also tried the sensational sour dough pizzas at Fodder, a funky cafe located in the original Coonawarra schoolhouse.

Fodder, Coonawarra

The Coonawarra Store’s Marcia Gregory kindly gave me a jar of her husband Bruce’s bush honey…gosh this is beginning to sound like a Limestone Coast version of The Very Hungry Caterpillar!

Wine, food, post office…this place has it all.

There was some wine education as well – including a close-up view of the terra rossa soils which have helped to make this region famous…

Coonawarra Soil Profile

The gorgeous Zemas then sent me on my way loaded up with olive oil, olives and chillies…can life get any better? Nope.

Produce from Zema Wines and the Coonawarra Store

Australian Country Style Coonawarra Chef

I’ve been contributing articles to Australian Country Style for almost a decade now, and just love this mag. The March 2012 edition featured my profile on former Coonawarra chef Tim Foster. Photographer John Laurie sent me these fabulous images as a keepsake.

Tim Foster

Tim recently left the divine Upstairs at Hollick to work in the Yarra Valley.

Hollick Wines at Coonawarra

Upstairs at Hollick

The recipes which accompanied the article were divine, and, most importantly, “do-able!”.  Styling by Simon Bajada.

Snapper, Creamy Mash & Salsa Verde

Pork with pan-roasted brussels sprouts

Orange cake with poached pears and ice-cream

Cape Jaffa Wines – Savouring ‘The Set’

Awesome drop!

Back Label


Cape Jaffa Wines is the first fully certified biodynamic vineyard on SA’s Limestone Coast, and owners Derek and Anna Hooper recently commissioned me to come up with some savvy label text for their exquisite new range ‘The Set’. In addition to being hugely talented winemakers, they’re mad keen surfers who have shaped their lives around the outdoors. I wrote an article about their breathtaking home overlooking the Southern Ocean for SA Life magazine a few years ago and you can read it in my portfolio (Cape Cool) by clicking here. I was left incredibly inspired by their work-life balance – vintage being the exception!

Many consumers love the idea of discovering the personality behind the regionality of wine, and I wanted to capture the Hoopers’ unique story on a bottle:

“It takes a special combination of natural elements to create the perfect wave, and the same forces are at work in the coastal vineyards of Cape Jaffa Wines where practices in tune with the earth produce regionally-distinct, cool climate wines with a strong maritime influence.

‘The Set’ reflects the Hooper family’s quest for the ideal ‘break’ – that balance between work and play, and the never-ending search for nature’s perfection, in the bottle…and at the beach.”

We can all drink to that!

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Real Weddings

The new issue of Real Weddings is out and I had THE BEST time working on it. So difficult to pick a favourite bride – they’re all so stunning, and so is the photography. Rachel and Arthur’s Santorini wedding captured by photographer Kelly Tunney took my breath away…

The bride arrived by donkey…divine!

And love LOVED Rebecca’s Johanna Johnson gown captured by Blumenthal Photography.

My {now married} girlfriends had a flick during our beach holiday and agreed that you don’t need to be a bride-to-be to love this mag. The hair, dresses, decor and destinations are so inspiring. Work has begun on the next issue and it’s going to be equally fab!

Can she write?


Apparently, not many people read testimonials on websites, so I took the advice of my web designer and left them off mine. But it’s a bit of a shame, really, as people have said some awesome things about my work. I thought I’d incorporate a few comments into my very first blog post. An introduction to Gretel Sneath – Freelance Journalist…

Hey Gretel, Can I say that this is the best compilation of a story from one of my reports that I’ve seen. I’m really impressed by what you’ve put together. Just wanted to recognise a really good job. – Craig Henderson, Principal Horticulturist, Horticulture and Forestry Science  (Gatton Research Station)    Agri-Science Queensland

Looks like you have nailed this one. The flow is smooth as silk and reads well. Thanks a million. Well done again.  – Patrick Tocaciu, Winemaker

Thank you for the work you do for us – always well written, well investigated and on time….Love it. – Joanne Thomas-Ward, Executive Officer

You have done an amazing job !   I would never have taken the direction that you have – thank you!   This is why we use professionals in their field. Let’s go get em and launch for immediate release! Thanks again, Gretel – Nadine Zanol, Lights at 133

We both loved the article –  you have a fantastic style of writing which made our house sound pretty special. I loved how you described the ‘battle weary trees that gave way to the wind…’ Derek and Anna Hooper, Cape Jaffa Wines

What a great response to your article!! We’ve had heaps of lovely random enquiries and emails since the magazine came out. Thanks so much … take care and catch up with you again soon we hope! Have a beautiful day – Amy Haldane

How good was that – best article we’ve ever had. Thanks heaps!  – Andrew Zobel, Zobel Finance

Well written and spot on! Just held me from start to finish. Excellent. I look forward to next installment. – Hugh Koch, Manager Economic Development and Tourism, Southern Grampians Shire Council