Meet the 2017 Fellow: Katie Spain

Wow. The Australian Alternative Varieties Wine Show fellowship. What a great opportunity for a wine-obsessed storyteller. I am chuffed to jump aboard this juicy, alternative variety dreamboat.

Ironically, I grew up surrounded by milk, not wine. I’ve pulled more udders than I’ve poured wine but a childhood spent on a dairy farm gave me an appreciation for hard work, early mornings, the smell of cow manure, and the relief of a hot shower after a hard day’s work. My Dad enjoyed a glass of “good red” after a long day on the land and we’d often raid his booze cabinet when he wasn’t looking. Back then, it all seemed a little overrated. I never really saw the light until 15 years later. Wine appreciation set in after a long stint living in Europe. There, I chased stories and the art of journalism and storytelling.

These days I live in Adelaide. Not a bad spot for a writer. Or a drinker.
To earn a crust I am editor of Fritz Magazine, staff writer for Wine Business Magazine Australia, national travel magazine GDAY Mag, Broadsheet, and restaurant reviewer for the Gourmet Traveller 2017 Food Guide. I spend most of my days telling the stories of people who make, grow, sell, and pour wine. I have a particular thing for all things alternative and attending the show in Mildura will help me in the quest to tell the world about it.

Storytelling is an honour. Nothing makes my heart skip a beat like a fresh issue of WBM hot off the press. My cover stories over the past six months include Yangarra’s Peter Fraser (SA), Joe Holyman from Stoney Rise (TAS), Deviation Road’s Kate Lawry (SA), Yarra Yering’s Sarah Crowe (VIC), and upcoming feature on New York somm-turned McLaren Vale winemaker Brad Hickey (aka Brash Higgins).

f271dffa884d405bfcdd119b01253735I like to challenge the readers of Fritz Magazine to think and drink widely. A feature story on Samuel Smith, the young South Australian who turned his life around in the name of natural wine, hopefully did just that.

I love to natter and have hosted food and wine events for Tasting Australia, and attended and reported on the Somms Of The World event with Wine Australia to coincide with The World’s 50 Best Restaurants 2017. I am a former journo with The Advertiser newspaper, Sunday Mail, and feature writer for SA Weekend Magazine. I am also a regular guest on ABC and 5AA radio. My Dad would say I like the sound of my own voice. He’s probably right.

The learning never ends. I recently completed WSET II and wrote a piece on McLaren Vale’s alternative varieties in the upcoming McLaren Vale Guide. Keyboard tapping is my thing. When I’m not drinking wine or quizzing winemakers about their lives, I’m usually writing about it, tweeting about it, or getting my hands dirty in their vineyards and sheds.

I can’t wait to hit the road for Mildura and attend The Australian Alternative Varieties Wine Show to learn more, quiz winemakers, write about it, and spread the alternative variety love. See you all there.

Katie Spain

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Changing the World

“The massive impact the AAVWS has had on wine production and consumption in Australia over the last 15 years is now flowing overseas as alternative varieties breathe new life into the UK market and add colour and excitement to the Australian offering.”