Wine Australia UK is inviting the trade to register for their largest free-pour tasting of the year, which will focus on alternative varieties, to discover the history and evolution of Australian wine.
Alternative varieties arrived on the scene in Australia in the 1980s, but the last two decades have seen a surge in interest. Winemakers are experimenting and challenging convention; they are seeking varieties to better suit the terroir and some are reconnecting with their European heritage.
With 65 different wine regions and thanks to pioneering winemakers, Australia offers a diverse range of grape varieties and styles.
Alternative varieties only account for 4.5 per cent of Australia’s wine producing vineyard area, however they have caught the attention of the trade. Recent headlines include “Are alternative varieties the future of Australian wine?”, “Australia breaks new ground with Italian and alternative styles” and “Price the issue for Australia’s alternative varieties”. Exports are also on the rise, with Touriga Nacional (up 575%), Fiano (up 273%) and Vermentino (up 185%) showing strong export growth to Europe last year.
This event provides an opportunity for the trade to learn more about alternative varieties, taste their unique expression in Australia and discover if this trend is set to continue.
The tasting will feature over 120 wines from 50 producers including Alpha Box & Dice, Chalmers, d'Arenberg, Dal Zotto, Larry Cherubino and Lethbridge. Guests can explore Mediterranean varieties such as Arneis, Friulano, Dolcetto and Tempranillo as well as more unusual varieties like Assyrtiko, Sagrantino, Taminga and Teroldego. The line-up will also include Saperavi, a rare Georgian variety made by less than 20 Australian producers.
Wines on show are from producers already in distribution as well as those not yet in the UK market, and RRPs range from £5.99 upwards.
Laura Jewell MW, Wine Australia Head of Market EMEA, says:
“Alternative varieties are part of Australia’s exciting story of evolution. Over the last two decades, producers have gained a better understanding of how these varieties suit the terroir and as vines get older, we’re seeing wines with a strong focus on freshness, balance and regional distinction.”
The Alternative Varieties Tasting takes place on Wednesday 28 June 2017 at Australia House, The Strand, London. Registration is open for the trade here: www.bit.ly/AVT2017