Gretel Sneath

SA Rural Women’s Award 2013

RM Williams Outback magazine is a media partner of the Rural Women’s Award and asked me to interview Queensland state winner Alison Fairleigh and South Australian winner Anna Hooper (pictured).


Anna and her husband Derek operate Cape Jaffa Wines, about two hours up the coast from my place. Here is the view from their office – little wonder Anna is inspired to achieve great things!


The state winner profiles are in the ‘Roundup’ section of the June/July 2013 Outback. This edition also revisits the fabulous restaurant Pipers of Penola featured in an earlier blog post.

Outback Jun:Jul



Pride of Workmanship Award

Most freelancers who work from home will admit that it’s the best job ever, but it can also feel a little isolated.

The view from my office window

The view from my office window

“What do you do?” is a common question from locals, and it’s difficult to know where to begin. A lot of my work is for a national audience with specialist interests (food, wine, interiors, travel, horticulture etc) making it easy to slip under the community radar. SO when a phone call arrives out of the blue congratulating me on being nominated for a Pride of Workmanship Award, I’m left bursting with…pride! The Rotary Club of Mount Gambier West says it’s for “dedication and contribution to promoting the region through your job”, and a celebratory dinner is planned for later this month. I’m looking forward to frocking up (makes a nice change from my normal office get-up!!).

Padthaway’s Wine History

Part three of the Limestone Coast Grape and Wine Council’s Culture and Practices / Wine  History Project focused on Padthaway. We used Henry’s Drive as a base for many of the interviews, which were conducted by incredibly fun wine writer Jane Faulkner .

Henry’s Drive, Padthaway, SA

Wonderful venue, great wines, and owner Kim Longbottom was an exquisite hostess.

Ulrich Grey-Smith, Sue Bell, Jane Faulkner, Kim Longbottom

It was my job to produce a script that encapsulates this wine region from the single day’s filming. Here it is, with many thanks to Rob Tremelling for the camera work and editing. Look out for industry icon David Hardy’s legendary quote in at the end: “If you drink enough wine you can tolerate anybody, so it’s a great product.” Too true!


Limestone Coast Wine History Project – Wrattonbully

It’s exciting when a visiting Canadian wine critic tweets the following about the Wine History Project I’m working on in partnership with the Limestone Coast Grape and Wine Council and Fed Creative:

Perhaps our production team could head to Canada next! Stage two of the local project found us filming in Wrattonbully, where we delved deep into wine history in an underground cave.

It’s an amazing feeling drinking wine made from grapes growing above your head! We collected four hours worth of interviews on tape, with wine writer Mike Bennie on the mike, and some rather cute photos in between.

Here’s the edited version:

The rest of the clips can also be found on the Limestone Coast Grape and Wine Council’s website.


Selector Autumn Edition

It’s always a pleasure to head to Coonawarra to research an article, stock up on some wine and chat with a great bunch of locals.

There’s also some fabulous photo opportunities – here’s my shot of the Coonawarra siding, a true local icon. You’ll find it along with my words in the new Autumn edition of Selector.

Click here to read the article in my Portfolio.

Cover image by Sharyn Cairns.

Country Style Magazine Guest Blogger

I was a recent guest blogger for Country Style magazine, sharing my love of hunting for time-worn treasures like this $3 quilt, found in the little oppie in my coastal village…

It now looks perfectly at home on my daughter’s bed (another thrifting find!).

I enjoyed playing stylist around some of the favourite spots on our farm, including the rustic gateway to the secluded ‘Hundred Acre Wood’ where we spend many a night sitting under the stars…Click here to view my post.


Real Weddings – Terry Biviano and Rebecca Twigley


And here we are in 2013! Let’s go….

I used the holiday break to catch up on a mountain of magazines, including the Real Weddings Summer Issue, which features a collection of articles I have recently written.

There’s some exquisite brides in there, including shoe designer Terry Biviano, who wore J’Aton Couture when she married rugby league player Anthony Minichiello.

“The designers poured their love, sweat and tears into every inch of the dress, and literally made the lace embroidery fabric. It was a true, one-of-a-kind, handmade couture gown,” Terry said.

J’Aton Couture also made the dress of another Real Weddings bride – Rebecca Twigley – who married AFL star Chris Judd. I was lucky enough to write about that wedding, too, and you’ll find it in my portfolio click here .



Sleeping Beauty – Padthaway House, South Australia

Last week, I was working in Padthaway producing the latest chapter of the Limestone Coast’s Wine History Project.

Padthaway House was one of the venues for our series of interviews. It BLEW me away.

I know I’ve said it before, but this time, I really felt like I had arrived on the set of The Secret Garden. (Refer to my last blog post…you’ll get my drift). Or perhaps this was Sleeping Beauty…

This grand old home has recently changed hands. The owners are focussing on the award-winning vineyard, so the house and garden will have to wait a while…

I love it just as it is.

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…

Posting Wine Show Results Online

Gone are the days when a media release announcing the winners of a wine show will suffice; Twitter and Facebook users at the event will gazump you and get the word out in no time, which is fabulous! It’s now a matter of ensuring that the right people are watching and listening – and that we can value-add to actuality of it all, using photos or film clips. For the recent 2012 Limestone Coast Wine Show, we had interviews with the winners and judges edited and posted live on YouTube the following day.

Penley Estate produced the favourite Limestone Coast drop of Canadian wine judge and journalist Anthony Gismondi:

And finally, an interview with the team behind the Best Wine of Show:



I’m Gretel Sneath, an established freelance writer & storyteller. I work for magazines, newspapers & corporate clients. When I'm not on the road, you'll find me on our farm on South Australia's Limestone Coast or in Hawthorn, Melbourne.