Mid-winter in Australia is not usually associated with the vibrancy and excitement of the wine season at its full height – our vines are dormant, preparing spring and a fresh vintage in the summer.
However, in the United Kingdom (UK) and Ireland, mid-winter has become synonymous with the colour and vibrancy of the Australian wine community through Wine Australia’s largest annual European trade event, the Australia Trade Tasting (ATT).
This year, more than 1000 guests attended ATT across London, Edinburgh and Dublin (on 22, 28 and 30 January) to hear about and experience the very latest from the Australian wine category; meet producers and explore new vintages, new releases and new styles.
‘Without a doubt, it is a critical tasting to be involved in for our continued growth in the UK – a fantastic cross section from all our channels of the wine business and very high quality of guests.’
– Emma Shaw, Global Sales Manager, Jim Barry Wines
Australia Trade Tasting London
The Australian wine community presented more than 1000 wines from 45 regions at the London event, more than 300 wines from 30 regions in Edinburgh, and more than 250 wines from 30 regions in Dublin.
Australian wine producers and distributors showcased the immense diversity across Australia’s wine community; from Clare Valley Riesling to Hunter Valley Shiraz Pinot Noir blends, and Margaret River Chardonnay to Yarra Valley Mélange Traditionnel Blanc.
This year, a number of producers took the plunge into their first ATT experience, with many of these new exhibitors also new to the UK and Irish wine markets. Producers met buyers and importers and, through these introductions and positive conversations, are exploring distribution opportunities.
‘The Australia Trade Tasting is a great opportunity to explore the country’s latest offerings – there’s a lot to be excited about around Australian wine.’
– Victoria Moore, The Telegraph
Guests at the Australia Trade Tasting exploring the Aroma Wall
The Australia Trade Tasting was more than a walk-through tasting; master classes and guided sessions allowed guests to explore focus elements of the Australian wine sector.
Brand new to London’s Australia Trade Tasting – and the first time on show in Europe – was the Aroma Wall, a large scale, interactive installation that showcased some of the key aroma compounds that make Australian wines iconic in a different, engaging way.
In London, Ed Carr, House of Arras winemaker and recent Lifetime Achievement Award recipient at The Champagne and Sparkling Wine World Championships, presented an Australian sparkling wine master class. Mr Carr presented wines from a number of regions including Tasmania, Adelaide Hills, Orange and Henty.
Also on the program in London was a master class exploring the world-class research and innovation that helps Australia to continue to make attractive, distinctive and complex wines. The Australian Wine Research Institute shared findings from its flavour research, including sensory recognition of key compounds and a tasting of selected wines.
Guests at the three cities had the opportunity to participate in a master class exploring the diversity of McLaren Vale and the innovative spirit of the region's winemakers. The master class uncovered McLaren Vale’s 180 years of winemaking history and the new, alternative varieties and styles being produced in the region.
‘In addition to a fantastic line-up of wines and producers, a highlight of the event was exploring the new education programme, Australian Wine Discovered. This is an extremely helpful resource, which my team and I at Berry Bros. & Rudd look forward to using.’
– Felipe Carvallo, Berry Bros. & Rudd
Guests at the Australia Trade Tasting were able to view demonstrations of Australian Wine Discovered
The London Australia Trade Tasting was the first event of the three-city roadshow and provided a launching pad for Australia’s new education program Australian Wine Discovered.
The comprehensive education program comprises free information packs, tools and resources for more than 20 topics including key Australian regions, varieties and current themes. With more than 200 globally accessible assets including editable presentations, detailed information guides, videos, maps and tasting mats, it’s a phenomenal resource for people to discover and learn about Australian wine.
As part of the global launch, guests at the Australia Trade Tasting were able to view demonstrations of Australian Wine Discovered, test out the modules and learn more about the content and how it can be used.
‘A good event well attended by serious buyers, there to meet existing suppliers and hunt out new wines. We had lots of interest on our stand for the alternative varieties such as Fiano, Sangiovese and Nero D’Avola. But there was still interest in modern, well-made Riesling, Shiraz and Chardonnay where wineries are making wines to suit the modern palate.’
– Julie Maitland, Marketing and Sales Manager, Seckford Agencies
Australia Trade Tasting Edinburgh
The UK and Ireland are key markets for Australian wine. Wine Intelligence reported in its ‘Landscape Reports’ that more wine drinkers in both markets are becoming more adventurous and showing interest in new and different styles of wine, and they are trading up in their wine purchases (buying fewer bottles and paying increased prices).
The Australia Trade Tasting helps to continue the conversation about Australian wine; providing greater links between our community and the markets, and cultivating an ongoing discussion about our skilled creators, our diversity and the exceptional wine that Australia produces.
‘There was so much to taste, across all regions, and there seemed to be as many Sangioveses on display as there were Shirazes, which shows how far Australia has come and the direction where it is going in the future. The tasting also highlighted Australia as a premium wine producer.’
– Richard Siddle, The Buyer
Australia Trade Tasting Dublin