destination styleMonday, September 11, 2017

Stylish Weekend Getaways: your guide to wine tour outfits


Whether by design or sheer good luck, many of the top wineries in Australia are located an easy couple of hours’ drive from the nearest capital city, making the wine weekend a popular proposition. But proximity to the city doesn’t always mean a shared style, and planning the right wine-tour outfits requires a careful consideration of both flair and practicality. 

In general, outfits for wine-tasting or visiting cellar doors will be more casual than a city outfit, but there’s always room to make your own statement and put a personal stamp on your look – even if it does revolve around denim and other casual pieces. Whether you’re staying overnight only or making a long weekend of it, here’s what to consider when planning what to wear to a winery. 

Do a weather check


The climate may help to make Australian wines some of the best in the world, but it can also fluctuate wildly, so the savvy traveller always begins with a weather check. Visitors to South Australia’s Barossa Valley in the middle of summer can encounter daytime temps in the high 30-degrees Celsius but equally, it can get quite chilly at night. Packing layers is a sensible idea, beginning with a sundress or slouchy trousers in breathable natural fibres. Consider the easy pieces designed by Raquel Allegra: her palette of neutral and earthy tones complements the Barossa’s rolling hills, while layers can be added or subtracted to take you from day to night.  Rag & Bone offer a similar nonchalance for men, with well-cut trousers and shirts that can be worn over T-shirts or under knits. It may be a New York City brand, but it incorporates just enough of an ‘up-state’ feel (plaid shirts, broken-in denim) to make it feel right at home as part of a wine-tasting outfit. 

Consider your mode of transport 


There are around 150 cellar doors in the Hunter Valley, so if you plan to visit more than a handful of them, you’ll need to factor in the right transport. This in turn will impact on your choice of wine-tasting outfit, starting with the all-important shoes. Cycling is a popular way to explore many of the Australian wine regions, allowing you to enjoy the scenery as much as the produce. If you’re hiring bikes, sneakers are the practical footwear choice; opting for a sleeker style from a brand like Valentino will ensure that you look just as stylish once you dismount. Prefer to conserve your energy for more culinary pursuits? Hiring a chauffeured car or minivan means you can sit back and relax, and will also open up more options for your wine-tour outfits. Guys should know that a pair of loafers or low block heels strikes the right balance of casual and stylish that’s perfect in keeping with the cellar-door environment. 

Cruising the markets


Once you’ve had your fill of cellar-door experiences, look around for the local markets that dot the areas surrounding many wineries. When visiting Victoria’s Yarra Valley, (as well as enjoying the region’s excellent chardonnays and pinot noir) you can meander through one of the various markets that are held almost every weekend of the year. From local produce to artisanal creations and arts and crafts of all description, it’s an enjoyable way to take some time out from wine-tasting. The dress code is similar to your wine-tour outfits, with denim and plaid offering the right foundations. Mid-winter temperatures can be fresh and many of the markets run rain, hail or shine, so parkas or hooded jackets are a good option. Alternatively, incorporate a few of your own homespun touches, such as chunky knit scarves or hats.  The locals will appreciate it (even if you didn’t knit it yourself!).

Fine-dining at night


Days spent at the cellar door might be more casual, but many wineries are adjoined by first-class restaurants, which can require a sartorial step-up. Gourmet Traveller magazine called Cape Lodge Restaurant in Western Australia’s Margaret River an ‘utterly classic affair’, noting the ‘soignée dining room’ and ‘discreet service’. Clearly, visiting an establishment like this calls for extra elegance than the average outfits for wine-tasting. As you enjoy the region’s finest wines and produce, consider extending your celebration of Australian talent to your choice of designer, with a cocktail dress from Dion Lee, or a button-down shirt from Bassike for the guys. In classic Australian style, the objective is to look sophisticated, without appearing to be trying too hard. A small accessory, such as a fabulous pair of sculptural earrings, will complete the look without taking up too much precious room in your luggage. After all, you’ll need to leave space for a few local bottles when you leave. 


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