Tour Reports 

2019 Tour Report 

The 2019 trip marked the tenth anniversary of James Busby Travel. CRIKEY! Who’d have through that what started off as a crazy fool dream of running a kick ass independent wine tour of Australia back in 2010 would have made it into double figures. They said it couldn’t be done. They were wrong.

The James Busby tour is the most organised, comprehensive and educational immersion trip that any of us have ever been on. The experience has given us the knowledge, insight and inevitably, the capacity to sell Australia wine to an unforeseen level.

– Air Marshal Al “Fly Guy” Maveric Drinkle

2018 Tour Report

The tour of 2018 played out like a greatest hits album. From the classic opener “Bills Farm” to the closing track “Taras’ Shed” we had all the favourites along the way: surfing, squidding, bowling, cycling, disgorging, pizza making and Melbourne Grazing – 2018 will go down as a stone cold classic, the Sgt. Pepper’s of Busby Tours!

It’s impossible to fathom a more comprehensive, in-depth and intensive trip than the Busby Australia tour. Tim does an amazing job of blending wine, culture and food by bringing together the best and brightest in the industry. This has been an amazing 14 day, I want to turn the bus around and do it all again!

– Major Matty “Two Thumbs” Leslie

2018 Beyond Busby Tour Report

After almost ten years we’re respectable enough for the Government to want to work with us, but only once!!!

The Beyond Busby trip in February 2018 was a joint venture with Wine Australia, where we invited past Alumni back to explore new regions. A bold act of “wish fulfilment” tour planning which went along the lines of, what if we had two weeks, a limitless budget and didn’t need to sleep?

The answer: 5 States, 9 regions, 90 wineries, 572 wines, 7286km. They said it would never be repeated. And they were right.

I thought last time was mind blowing…this was orgasmic in its reach…unreal. Great job. My bison? They’re delicious.

– Brigadier Brad Royale, Calgary

2017 Tour Report

The Lucky 8th Year didn’t disappoint, we celebrated a record three birthdays whilst on tour, and our rainbow nation of wine professionals bonded into one big wombat hugging happy family. There were more activities than ever before, from cycling, squidding, melon hurling, pizza baking, punting and stunt cycling. As Ben rightly pointed out – 100% Whole Fun from start to finish.

I promise to sing the gospel of true Australian terroir to any I come across, and try to translate all I have seen and fallen in love with into glass after glass.

– Admiral Andrew Stewart, Calgary

2016 Tour Report

The coldest and wettest Busby tour ever didn’t dampen our spirits as we tasted, laughed and dabbed our way across thirteen wine regions in fourteen days. Making it rain took on a whole new meaning as our LA #LadySomms versed us all in their West Coast ways, whilst we encountered wombats, echidnas, winery dogs and the rare McLaren Vale Lamb-Giraffes. After eight years we seem to be getting the hang of this wine tour thing.

What a eyes opening! In Europe even the top sommeliers don’t know about the tremendous diversity of Australia regions. I’m not leaving with beautiful pictures, I’m leaving with ideas, business contacts, and will be one of the ambassadors of modern Australian wine making. Yes it means I’ll buy some, because even for a Frenchman, they are fantastic.

– Sir David Vareille, London

2015 Tour Report

In its sixth year James Busby Travel reinvented itself…by going back to the future! In a repeat of the original itinerary from 2010 we spent two weeks in Victoria and South Australia, driving via Coonawarra. Food took centre stage in 2015 with local produce featuring in a smörgåsbord of Bush BBQs, banquets and feasts. We saw more action & adventure than ever before, from quad bikes and horses, to church pews on tractor trailers plus the legendary squid fishing. 2015 was also the year that Mr Johnson finally broke bad…

By far the most in depth wine tour for professionals trying to understand what’s really going on in Australia.

– Captain Jesse Rodriguez, California

2014 October Tour Report

How could we go wrong starting with a cruise on Sydney Harbour, stunning weather and Semillon sundowners with fish and chips. 2014 was the year of the Scandinavians, who kept us informed, laughing and resulted in the most professional photos ever taken (just don’t mention curry and Pinotage). It was also the year we had to stop using the Busby tagline “Never lost one yet”. (Brad?)

A memorable eye opener to the vast potential of the new Australia with a good dash of the best of the classics, all intertwined with a dose of Aussie culture.

Baron Von Andreas Larsson, Sweden

2014 May Tour Report

In 2014 we were big in Japan – and Shanghai, Beijing and Hong Kong, with almost half the group hailing from Asia. We celebrated the 5th Busby trip with some memorable experiences, including tasting birth year fortified wines at Seppeltsfield and hanging out on the deck at Ochota Barrels a year before The Rolling Stones did. Billy Badger took over mascot duties from Mr Johnson and was formally introduced to Leon Bignell, South Australia’s Minister for Tourism. (Ben!)

One of the best wine tours I’ve ever attended – great people, delicious wines and excellent organisation. I wish I could nominate myself for next years trip!”

– Lady Rebecca Leung, Hong Kong

2013 Tour Report

Unsurprisingly 2013 was the year when if something could go wrong it did, from diary mix ups and rained off wildlife in the Adelaide Hills to missing beds and cancelled balloon flights in the Riverland. But it was also the year we laughed the most, so go figure. The Canadian contingent rocked our world with suitably rockstar room parties most nights, and we kidnapped a child’s stuffed toy wombat, named him Mr Johnson, and made him our new tour mascot.

Easily one of the most comprehensive trade missions I’ve had the privilege of attending. Attention to detail, in depth masterclasses, far and wide coverage of primary regions in Australia – all added to the unique educational experience.

– Colonel Chris Funnell, Canada

2012 Tour Report

With five MWs (count ’em), one MS and The Godfather from Calgary you could say that by 2012 James Busby Travel had come of age. James Halliday missed his Sunday lunch whilst talking chardonnay, we had robust debates with winemakers from Gippsland to the Adelaide Hills to the Barossa Valley and most places in-between. From an air guitar competition in Rutherglen, through punting and squid fishing in McLaren Vale to kegel bowling in the Barossa, the Class of 2012 kept it Vegas Style baby!

I’ve been on many trade trips but this has been one of the most inspiring and enlightening. My perspective on the diverse wine culture of Australia have been forever changed.

– Prof Terry Threlfall, Canada

2011 Tour Report

It started off with us gate crashing Bill Granger’s cafe in Sydney, then an impromptu party in a mirrored motel room in the Yarra Valley, followed by breakfast schnapps on The Bloody Hill, via a spontaneous group “plank” in McLaren Vale and ended with the dance floor being set on fire at The Settlers Tavern in Margaret River.

Yes Class of 2011, you know who you are.

Great exposure to the best people and top wines – felt VIP! – Lord Richard Hemming MW, UK

2010 Tour Report

The inaugural Busby group were mainly from the UK, augmented by travellers from Holland and California. We covered two states, fifteen regions, rewrote the rule book and broke new ground everywhere we went. Our tour blogger won her place on the trip via a twitter competition (those were the days!). Jancis the sulphur crested cockatoo became our first tour mascot, and started the tradition of mascot photo bombing at wineries …naughty Jancis!

The last two weeks have been a revelation. I’ve had to completely reappraise my view of wine in Australia.

– Sir Donald Edwards, UK