The World’s 50 Best Restaurants 2017 31 Mar - 10 Apr 2017
Sydney and Melbourne

The World’s 50 Best Restaurants 2017

Over 650 Australian wines were showcased to a group of 50 sommeliers from some of the world’s best restaurants and bars as they visited Australia in April as part of Wine Australia’s Somms of the World program, coinciding with The World’s 50 Best Restaurants 2017.

Hailing from the UK, US, Thailand, Japan, Spain, China, Korea, Singapore, New Zealand and Australia, the leading sommeliers were invited by Wine Australia to get to know our wine regions, experience the breadth and diversity of Australian wine and meet the winemakers.

This is the first time a wine program has been run in conjunction with The World’s 50 Best Restaurants event program, which hosts the world’s best chefs. As the official wine partner of The World’s 50 Best Restaurants, Wine Australia provided all the wines for the program of events and used the opportunity to create the Somms of the World satellite program to shine a light on Australia’s renowned wine and food offering.

The extensive wine program began in Sydney with the sommeliers participating in a masterclass introducing the history, evolution and revolution of Australian wine at Quay Restaurant. They travelled to Melbourne for the World’s 50 Best Restaurant awards, tastings and day trips to Victorian wine regions. The group also selected an interstate trip to visit wine regions in South Australia, Tasmania, Western Australia and ACT. 

As part of the program, Wine Australia invited every wine region in Australia to submit wine to feature in the Somm Space, an area for the sommeliers to gather each day to try a diverse mix of Australian wines while in Melbourne. The wines presented ranged from the classics and some of Australia’s most coveted and rare finds to experimental and new wave winemakers.

Over 2600 bottles of wine from 42 regions were tasted and enjoyed by the international sommeliers, chefs and media during the 10 day program. 

For a large number of the group it was the first time they had visited Australia. The sommeliers will become part of Wine Australia’s alumni program and will receive news and invitations to participate in Australian wine events in their markets.

Extra reading:

The World's 50 Best Restaurants and Somms of the World frequently asked questions are available here.

Program highlights

Wine Australia developed an itinerary to communicate a strong sense of Australia’s wine culture, our history and evolution as well as the people and stories that make our country unique. The group of leading sommeliers participated in a full program of events organised by Wine Australia, which includes time in Sydney and Melbourne and trips to Victorian wine regions – Mornington Peninsula, Yarra Valley, Geelong and Macedon Ranges. The sommeliers visited wine regions further afield after The World’s 50 Best Restaurant awards and chose to spend time in Tasmania, Western Australia, South Australia or New South Wales / ACT.

Friday 31 March (Sydney)
7:00PM All Australian Wine Dinner - Nomad Restaurant
All Australian Wine Dinner - Nomad Restaurant
When
Friday, 7:00PM
Presented by
Mark Davidson and Stuart Barclay

A dinner for sommeliers who arrive the night before the Somms of the World program commences - hosted by Wine Australia’s Global Education Manager, Mark Davidson and co-hosted by Sam Payne, Australian Sommelier and curator of Nomad's fabulous all-Australian wine list. 

Saturday 1 April (Sydney)
12.15pm – 3.30pm History, Evolution and Revolution Master Class
History, Evolution and Revolution Master Class
When
Saturday, 12.15pm – 3.30pm
Presented by
Mark Davidson and Mike Bennie

  • An introduction into Australian wine, this master class at Quay Restaurant will feature historical classics, evolving styles and the next generation of Australian wines. Hosted by Wine Australia’s Global Education Manager, Mark Davidson and drinks journalist and presenter, Mike Bennie, the sommeliers will be taken on a journey of some of Australia’s finest and most interesting wines to set the scene for what’s to come.
  • The master class will be a free pour session and will include lunch at one of Australia’s most awarded restaurants, Quay, which is ranked number 98 in The World’s 50 Best Restaurants and has stunning views of Sydney Harbour.
  • Two out of three of Australia’s Master Sommelier’s Franck Moreau, and Ben Hasko will be in attendance at the event

6.30pm – 10pm Sunset on Bondi Beach
Sunset on Bondi Beach
When
Saturday, 6.30pm – 10pm
Presented by
Wine Australia

  • Welcome party on Sydney's iconic Bondi Beach including a real Aussie BBQ. The head chef at Bucket List will create a casual feast featuring the freshest seafood and succulent meats.
  • There will be a selection of wines from New South Wales and Canberra focusing on cool climate wines, classics and new varieties. Local Sydney sommeliers, winemakers and special guests will join the celebration. 

Sunday 2 April (Sydney)
9.30am – 2pm Wild Wines
Wild Wines
When
Sunday, 9.30am – 2pm
Presented by
Tim Wildman MW

  • A visit to Wild Life Sydney Zoo
  • Barangaroo for lunch and a natural wine tasting at Cirrus Restaurant
  • The featuring wines will hail from across Australia including Adelaide Hills, Gippsland, McLaren Vale, Margaret River, Yarra Valley, Great Southern and Clare Valley. Lunch will be hosted by Tim Wildman, MW, who is passionate about natural wines. Tim established James Busby Travel and is a winemaker himself. 

9.30am – 2pm A Scenic Sunday Lunch
A Scenic Sunday Lunch
When
Sunday, 9.30am – 2pm
Presented by
Lyndey Milan

  • A tour inside the iconic Sydney Opera House and walk around Circular Quay, followed by a homemade lunch prepared by Australian chef, Lyndey Milan.
  • Attendee’s will include Australia’s most celebrated women in the wine community, including Amanda Yallop, Head Sommelier at Quay, Judy Sarris, Editor of Gourmet Traveller Wine, winemakers Corrina Wright (Oliver’s Taranga) and Sam Connew (Stargazer Wine).
  • The wines served at lunch will all have been made by outstanding female Australian winemakers from Coonawarra, Tasmania, Margaret River, McLaren Vale, Langhorne Creek, Adelaide Hills, Barossa Valle and Clare Valley. 

9.30am – 2pm Urban Walkabout of the Inner West
Urban Walkabout of the Inner West
When
Sunday, 9.30am – 2pm
Presented by
Mike Bennie

  • The sommeliers will experience Sydney’s inner west with Mike Bennie including his guide to Newtown with a sit down picnic and tasting of some of Mike’s favourite wines while learning more about Australia’s drinking culture. 

9.30am – 2pm Riesling Rendezvous
Riesling Rendezvous
When
Sunday, 9.30am – 2pm
Presented by
Mark Davidson

  • The sommeliers will board a boat and sail across Sydney Harbour.
  • Lunch will be hosted by Wine Australia’s Global Education Manager, Mark Davidson at Watson’s Bay Hotel.
  • The lunch will focus on Riesling from all over Australia; the sommeliers will taste and learn about the diverse range of Riesling Australia produces, from the classics to those pushing the boundaries. 

Monday 3 April (Melbourne)
12.30pm – 3.30pm Welcome to Victoria Lunch
Welcome to Victoria Lunch
When
Monday, 12.30pm – 3.30pm
Presented by
Wine Victoria

  • Wine Victoria and the Victorian Government will host a welcome lunch at Stokehouse.
  • Joining the lunch will be Minister Pulford and Victorian winemakers and influencers in the Australian wine community
  • A panel will host the lunch to discuss some of the key themes the sommeliers have indicated they are keen to discover more about Australian wine. The panel will include Sebastian Crowther, MS and Beverage Director at Rockpool Group, Kate McIntyre, MW, Moorooduc Estate and Michael Dhillon, Bindi Wines
  • The Victorian wines presented will have a focus on Chardonnay and Pinot to match the modern Australian menu with a focus on seafood, and an overarching philosophy of fresh, clean, zesty and light. 

5pm – 7pm Australian First Families of Wine
Australian First Families of Wine
When
Monday, 5pm – 7pm
Presented by
Australia's First Families of Wine

  • Australia's First Families of Wine are twelve of Australia’s leading multi-generational winemakers that are the heart and soul of Australian wine - with history, heritage and provenance, these families are rich with unique characters, stories and iconic wines that are part of Australia’s vinous past – and future.
  • The CEO’s of the twelve first families will personally present a tasting of their wines at this event including the likes of Bruce Tyrell, Stephen Henschke and Darren De Bortoli.

Tuesday 4 April (Melbourne)
7am – 3.30pm Regional Victorian day trips
Regional Victorian day trips
When
Tuesday, 7am – 3.30pm
Presented by
Wine Victoria

Yarra Valley, Mornington Peninsula, Geelong, Macedon Ranges and Melbourne urban walking tour.

7.30pm Highlights of the High Country
Highlights of the High Country
When
Tuesday, 7.30pm
Presented by
Victorian High Country

  • The Victorian High Country will take centre stage as the finest regional wine producers share their stories and wines.
  • Rocco Esposito, from PROJECT Forty Nine will host the event. Free pour tastings and a fabulous menu featuring local produce with an Italian influence will be created especially by Rocco for this exclusive celebration. Guests will include winemakers and producers from the regions as well as local Melbourne sommeliers.
  • A number of winemakers will be attending, including those from Pizzini, Castagna, All Saints Estate and Campbells Wines and Fowles Wines 

Wednesday 5th April (Melbourne)
7am – 3.30pm Regional Victorian day trips
Regional Victorian day trips
When
Wednesday, 7am – 3.30pm
Presented by
Wine Victoria

Yarra Valley, Mornington Peninsula, Geelong, Macedon Ranges and Melbourne urban walking tour 

5pm – 6pm Sparkling Tasting
Sparkling Tasting
When
Wednesday, 5pm – 6pm
Presented by
Frank Moreau MS

Master Sommelier, Frank Moreau will host an Australian sparkling wine tasting ahead of The World’s 50 Best Restaurants awards. 

6pm – midnight The World’s 50 Best Restaurants awards
The World’s 50 Best Restaurants awards
When
Wednesday, 6pm – midnight
Presented by
The World’s 50 Best Restaurants

The 50 visiting sommeliers will attend the 2017 awards ceremony at Melbourne’s historic Royal Exhibition Building

Thursday 6 April
11am – 3pm Brunch, Chardonnay and Cabernet
Brunch, Chardonnay and Cabernet
When
Thursday, 11am – 3pm
Presented by
Mark Davidson

  • Brunch at urban winery Noisy Ritual in Brunswick East.
  • Winemakers from key Chardonnay and Cabernet regions will be attending 

Thursday 6 April – Monday 10 April Regional visits
Regional visits
When
Thursday, Thursday 6 April – Monday 10 April
Presented by
Wine Australia

The sommeliers will visit wine regions further afield after The World’s 50 Best Restaurant awards and have chosen to spend time in either Tasmania, Western Australia, South Australia or New South Wales / ACT.


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