It was the year 2004 that we first heard about the AAVWS and because of my interest in Alternative varieties we thought we’d go along and enter our Sangiovese which at the time only had it as a clean skin.
We arrived on the Friday avo that 1st week of November. Back then the tasting was in the basketball courts with about 50-60 wines up for tasting.
We had heard a about Stefano de Pieri as a chef and that he was putting together this amazing long lunch which was being held on a the Avoca river boat.
It ended up being better than we imagined. Since then it has been our yearly event which we look forward to and have also introduced it to several family and friends.
Nowadays we arrive on the Thursday as not to miss all the highlights commencing with the Chalmers Dinner that evening. The Friday seminars (Talk and Taste) are sure not to be missed. Followed by our meet and greet at the Brewery before going to either Stefano’s or Spanish Bar & Grill.
Saturday we are up early to taste the winning wines and from there to the Fabulous Long lunch which we must admit from year to year just keeps getting better.
Yearly we look forward to seeing friends we made from previous years and to making new friends – from punters who are there interested in learning about alternative varieties to people in the industry who hadn’t been before.
Over these years we have achieved gold, silver and bronze awards for our wines.
I thoroughly enjoy the seminars on the Friday as I find them very informative covering all elements from Viticulture aspect to wine making process and marketing. Over the course of these years it’s confirmed to me that these varieties don’t happen over night, however with knowledge and patience they have proven to come a long way……I always walk away inspired.
The AAVWS has slowly however surely made an impact in Australia. More and more wine consumers are willing and obliging to trying something new. It makes us think of how, many years ago, people were hesitant to try new foods from different cultures… and look at where we are with food today……
From having 50-60 entries in 2004 to 600 plus. today, is a pretty good indication to where Alternative Varieties are heading!