The wine line-up for this year’s Australia Day Tastings (ADT) features brand new releases, which will be showcased to trade and media for the first time.
Across the three-city roadshow, taking place in London (23 January), Edinburgh (25 January) and Dublin (29 January), there will be 1200 wines from 245 wineries. The trade can get up-to-date with the category, meet the people behind the wines, discover alternative varieties and new styles, and taste brand new releases. Visitors will be first in line to try the latest vintages, but also recently launched and soon-to-launch wines.
McWilliam's will be introducing their range with Enotria & Coe at the Australia Day Tastings in London and Edinburgh, after announcing the partnership with the distributor in October 2017. Scott McWilliam, sixth generation winemaker, will be pouring a selection of McWilliam's and Mount Pleasant wines alongside Enotria & Coe Buyer, Maggie Macpherson.
New releases include a sparkling Shiraz from Mollydooker, a Merlot from new clone pioneers MÉRITE, a 100% Cabernet Franc from Leabrook Estate, Bird in Hand’s Henry Holland Sparkling Pinot Noir Rosé and Salena Estate’s Touriga Nacional, Lagrein and Cabernet Sauvignon blend ‘BFR’ from the Riverland.
Some of the exhibiting wineries include iconic names like Penfolds, Torbreck and Yalumba, others will be new discoveries such as Eccentric Wines, Route du Van and Thompson Estate that are seeking distribution. Across the three tastings, 20 of the producers exhibiting are not yet in market.
For several producers, this will be the first time that they have exhibited their wines in the UK. Trevor and Mary Dickinson, husband and wife team of Dickinson Estate, will be showing seven wines from their winery in the Blackwood Valley in Western Australia. Also on her inaugural visit is Colleen Miller, Co-Founder of MÉRITE, who will be introducing the trade to cool climate Merlot from Wrattonbully, made from a parcel of four new clones.
Winemakers and winery owners also flying over to pour their wines includeAndrew Hardy (Petaluma), Christian Dal Zotto (Dal Zotto), Damian North (Journey Wines), Jeremy Dineen (Josef Chromy), Martin Spedding (Ten Minutes by Tractor), Rory Lane (The Story Wines), Theo Engela (Chaffey Bros Wine Co) and Toby Barlow (St Hallett) amongst others.
Scott McWilliam, Winemaker and Company Director of McWilliam’s Wines, said:
‘I’m really looking forward to launching the range with Enotria & Coe at the Australia Day Tastings in London and Edinburgh. It’s a great opportunity to introduce the trade to our distinctly cooler climate wines from some of the most cutting-edge wine regions of Australia.’
Charles Cutteridge, Wine Buyer at Majestic Wine, plans to attend the London event and said:
‘We’re renewing our focus on Australia for 2018 after some great success stories over the previous twelve months, so this Australia Day Tasting will be very important. As well as providing insight into the category, it’s a chance to try new products, meet producers and catch up with distributors.’
Gary O’Donovan, Managing Director and Buyer of O’Donovan’s, has registered for the Dublin event and said:
‘The Australia Day Tasting is an opportunity to find new trends, new varieties, new blends and most importantly get a chance to discuss these with the people exhibiting. The world of wine is constantly evolving and the Australian wine industry plays its part strongly in this evolution. This event is not just aimed at wine buyers but anyone in the drinks industry seeking to get an overview of the Australian wine category.’
Laura Jewell MW, Wine Australia Head of Market EMEA, said:
‘We’re very pleased to be showcasing over 1000 wines at this year’s Australia Day Tastings, from iconic greats to brand new releases. The events will give guests a snapshot of our 65 unique wine regions, and will highlight the diversity of Australian wine through a mix of varieties, styles and winemaking methods.’
Find out more about the Australia Day Tastings 2018, including how to register and to download the tasting booklets.
About the Australia Day Tastings
London - Tuesday 23 January 10am – 5pm
B1, Southampton Row, London, WC1B 4DA
Edinburgh - Thursday 25 January 1pm – 6pm
The Balmoral Hotel, Edinburgh, EH2 2EQ
Dublin - Monday 29 January 1pm – 6pm
The Round Room, The Mansion House, 2 Dawson Street, Dublin
Some of the new releases on show at ADT:
Almost all Australian Merlot is made from one clone, however MÉRITE Merlot is made from a parcel of four clones of Merlot that are new to Australia. MÉRITE Merlot will make its UK debut at the Australia Day Tasting in London, where it will be presented by Colleen Miller, one of MÉRITE’s founders. Seeking distribution.
Mollydooker Miss Molly Sparkling Shiraz
Miss Molly is The Boxer’s (Shiraz) girlfriend – bubbly and full of fun. Crafted from The Boxer Shiraz, it has a fresh berry profile, with notes of chocolate and liquorice. Available from Seckford Agencies.
Leabrook Estate Cabernet Franc
Leabrook Estate is all about classic varieties grown in the cooler regions of South Australia. The team will launch Leabrook Estate Cabernet Franc, a 100% Cabernet Franc from Barossa Valley fruit. Seeking distribution.
Bird in Hand Henry Holland Sparkling Pinot Noir
Bird in Hand, the Adelaide Hills winery that recently celebrated its 20th anniversary, will be showing the new sparkling rosé, affectionately named ‘Wine Me, Dine Me, Please Refine Me’. The bottle design was created by British fashion designer, Henry Holland. Bird in Hand winery owner Andrew Nugent will pour the wine in London. Available from Seckford Agencies.
Salena Estate Wines BFR
The BFR is a limited release from a family owned grape grower and wine producer in the Riverland. This wine will vary from year to year, whether a blend of 20 varieties or just one. 2016 is a blend of Touriga Nacional, Lagrein and Cabernet Sauvignon. Only a few thousand bottles are produced annually. Available from Grape UK.
Images available here.