It was a distinct honour and a privilege to be named the third fellow for the Australian Alternative Varieties Wine Show. What an incredible insight into one of the most forward-thinking initiatives in the Australian wine scene today! Here are some of the amazing experiences that came with such an honoured award, I was truly humbled. Many thanks to the AAVWS for the opportunity to attend as the 2016 Fellow, I heartily encourage everyone to consider applying for this years show!
Without question, the most fun part of the Australian Alternative Varieties Wine Show calendar is the famous Long Lunch where the trophies are announced. The five-course menu is designed by none-other than Mildura institution Stefano Di Pieri, with a selection of wines from the previous years show, many of them trophy winners. The festivities are emceed by the Chair of the AAVWS, which this year was former guest on The Vincast wine podcast and all around lovely guy, Ashley Ratcliff. Have a watch, then head to the show website to find out all of the trophy winners. Don’t forget to let me know what you think in the comments below, like share and subscribe, and be sure to visit my website and follow me on social media. Many thanks to the AAVWS for the opportunity to attend as the 2016 Fellow, and also for the use of some pictures from the Facebook page.
On the second part of a series looking into the Australian Alternative Varieties Wine Show, I look at one of the most valuable events of the week – particularly for the producer exhibitors – Talk & Taste. These seminars provide a forum for guest speakers, some of whom are on the judging panel, to discuss topics very pertinent to those working with alternative varieties in Australia. This year panels covered three areas, I took some (very amateurish) footage from the front row, here are a few talking points. Many thanks to the AAVWS for the opportunity to attend as the 2016 Fellow, and also for the use of some pictures from the Facebook page.
I was honoured to be named the 2016 Australian Alternative Varieties Wine Show Fellow, given an in-depth behind-the-scenes look at the show and the events run around it. Heading up several days early and offering to steward a few days, I took the opportunity to learn more about the show, and how it improves the quality of Australian wine made from emerging grape varieties. Here is the first video in a short series on the show, outlining how the show is run. Please let me know if you have any questions, feel free to make comments below!
For the past fourteen years, Ashley Ratcliff has worked for arguably Australia’s most important family-owned wine business, Hill-Smith Family Vineyards. Over those years he worked in many different elements of the business, from viticulture to marketing, operations to running one of the wineries. More recently he has established a vineyard in the Riverland – considered one of the warm-hot irrigated regions known for large volume grape production – and has been planting more alternative varieties to show the potential for these grapes in the region, particularly for high quality fruit. He has now thrown himself 100% into Ricca Terra Farms, and even has other plans for the future.
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Ashley Ratcliff from Ricca Terra Farms