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25/05/2015

Top sommeliers toast Wrattonbully’s appeal

The Wrattonbully wine region has been praised for its quality wines and unique sense of place after last week’s visit of highly influential Australian sommeliers.

Ten guests representing some of the country’s best restaurants gained a unique view of the region’s geology by delving deep beneath a vineyard during an underground tour of Schultz Cave. Members of the SIP (Sommelier Immersion Program) Tour organised by Wine Australia were also given a comprehensive insight into the importance of the soils of Wrattonbully by geologist and Peppertree Wines owner John Davis, with a structured tasting at Pavy Wines and dinner at Struan House capping off the day.

Shanteh Wong, Sydney’s Quay Restaurant assistant head sommelier, said she enjoyed visiting a region “steeped in community and commonality for quality wines from low yielding exceptional vines”.

“I was lucky enough to be able to taste the past and recent vintages of many producers and I'm impressed and excited about Wrattonbully's future; not only for Bordeaux varietals but for new and diverse white varietals too,” she said. “My time spent in Wrattonbully and exploring their cave systems and soil profiles gave me a unique sense of place in an already developed and promising region.” 

James Freckleton, Wrattonbully Wine Region Association president, said the visit was a valuable opportunity to build on the region’s profile.

“We’re always working hard to share our story, but the sommeliers are also looking for the stories to tell, so if they get to see it all first hand, it’s a win-win for everybody,” he said. “They’re the ones talking direct to the consumer about our wines and our story, and that’s the best marketing that we can get, but introductions like this also create great future inroads for our producers, as the sommeliers can relate to the area. They were a great group, and we would like to think that they will become ambassadors for Wrattonbully.”

Guests on the SIP Trip represented venues in the running to win the Wine Australia-sponsored Gourmet Traveller WINE’s Wine List of the Year award for ‘Best Australian Representation’.

“This was first time to Wrattonbully for all but one of the sommeliers and they were blown away by the sense of community in the region, the quality of the wine and the hospitality of the regions’ producers,” said Aaron Brasher, Wine Australia’s regional director. “The sommeliers had a chance to hear many wonderful stories of the Wrattonbully region and these stories will be shared when they return to their restaurants.”

Brasher said the opportunity to spend time in Wrattonbully exploring the soils, aspects and vineyard sites was an invaluable experience that helped them to grasp the history of the region.

“They all walked away from the experience armed with greater knowledge of why certain varieties work so well in the region and the wine styles and clones they should keep an eye on in the future,” he said. “This trip has helped Wrattonbully become a region that this group of top sommeliers from across the country will always remember and it will encourage them to keep Wrattonbully wines top of mind when they’re looking for new wines to serve to their diners.”

 

 

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