The wine trade in the United Kingdom (UK) and Denmark are embracing Australian wine with renewed enthusiasm following Wine Australia’s Off the Vine and Made Our Way tastings in London and Copenhagen.
With a focus on illustrating Australia’s innovative and experimental approach to wine, the tastings featured more than 350 wines from nearly 40 producers across 27 regions, drawing a crowd of more than 300 key wine trade and media to the unconventional settings of the Steel Yard’s railway arches at London’s Cannon Street station on 20 September, and the 400-year old Christian IV’s Brewhouse by Copenhagen’s canals (24 September).
Wine Australia Chief Executive Officer Andreas Clark said the tastings were an important part of building enthusiasm for and cultivating conversations about the diversity of Australian wine to create new market opportunities and support export growth.
‘Our winemakers are curious by nature, perfecting old concepts and playing with new ideas to create something extraordinary. In fact, you could say we have a proud tradition of starting new traditions. That’s what makes our wines so exciting and we’re finding this story is resonating with trade and consumers alike internationally.’
‘We’re increasingly hearing renewed optimism from Australian wine importers and this drives home the importance of continuing activities that challenge perceptions of our wines and provide exciting insights into our wines.’
The Off the Vine and Made Our Way tastings built on the themes introduced through Wine Australia’s acclaimed Artisans of Australian Wine tasting in 2016, with a line-up featuring alternative varieties, emerging styles, organic and biodynamic wines, as well as minimal intervention wines. This year’s event gave UK trade another taste of the Australian wine sector’s innovative nature and, for the first time, the event went to Denmark, renowned for its vibrant gastronomic scene and growing sustainable movement.
As well as challenging perceptions and wowing the trade with the Australian wine’s diversity and innovation, the Danish event was an important market entry piece. Australia’s huge contingent of exhibiting winemakers featured many first-time exhibitors, with 133 wines in the tasting brand new to the market and seeking distribution.
Winemakers and winery owners, who travelled to London and Copenhagen included Taras Ochota (Ochota Barrels, Adelaide Hills), Julian Forwood (Ministry of Clouds, McLaren Vale), Brendan and Kirstyn Keys (BK Wines, Adelaide Hills), Nic Peterkin (LAS Vino, Margaret River), Ray Nadeson (Lethbridge, Geelong) and Timo Mayer (Timo Mayer Wines, Yarra Valley).
Feedback following the UK tasting:
‘When I first started writing about wine in the early 90s there was an incredible buzz about Australian wine. At this week's tasting I felt that kind of excitement again with a whole raft of new styles and grape varieties. You feel it’s undergoing a new revolution - there seems a real energy at the moment in the Aussie wine scene.’ Fiona Beckett, wine writer at The Guardian
‘Despite being in the wine trade for over 20 years, there were so many new things to discover at this extraordinary tasting. Australia’s pioneering spirit was certainly on show and it was incredible to taste the next iteration of Australian wine.’ Adam Lechmere, General Manager at the IWSC
‘I loved the tasting. These are the producers you want to talk to, they’re extremely likeable, innovative and challenging. I’d love to take this bunch to my favourite pub, we could be there hours sharing stories. It’s the people, as well as the place, which makes Australian wine exciting.’ Oz Clarke, wine writer
‘The opportunity to show my wines to such a diverse and professional crowd was a pleasure. Lots of laughs as well as discussion. A good sign for Australian wine that a number of high profile people attended and it seems like there’s a lot of energy in the hospitality sector as well.’ Jayden Ong, One Block
Images from the UK tasting can be downloaded here