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Emerging Victorian oenologist to experience Champagne vintage
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Melbourne Food and Wine, in conjunction with Melbourne Airport, is pleased to announce the winner of the inaugural Melbourne Airport Emerging Winemaker Award. Kelly Wellington of Yarra Glen, currently a cellarhand at Coldstream Hills, Yarra Valley, and a recent honours graduate in oenology, was selected as the winner from a strong field of applicants.
In recognition of her potential as an aspiring Victorian winemaker, Kelly will be awarded a month-long overseas placement to coincide with the 2009 vintage at renowned producer Champagne Larmandier-Bernier, located near Vertus in France, in September.
Having just begun vintage at Coldstream Hills following a cellarhand role at Yering Station, Kelly will gain this further valuable experience in Champagne following a vintage at Chard Farm in Central Otago, New Zealand. In her application, Kelly spoke with excitement about the opportunities presented by the Melbourne Airport Emerging Winemaker Award.
“I have worked with sparkling base wines, tirage and expedition liqueurs in Australia but to witness the méthode Champenoise with such strong principles of natural expression, natural primary and secondary fermentations, and carefully nurtured cuvées would be a truly powerful experience. To be a part of vintage at Champagne Larmandier-Bernier would help propel me towards the winemaking/assistant winemaking position that is my greater goal, and I would like to thank Melbourne Airport for this amazing opportunity,” said Kelly.
Winemaker Sophie Larmandier commented recently on what she anticipates Kelly’s placement will bring to Champagne Larmandier-Bernier and what Kelly in return can expect to gain.
“We expect that hosting a person from Victoria who is interested in wines will bring us a new perspective on our work and our wines. Given her geographical distance, it’s almost certain that she has a different point of view – and that, for us, is exciting!”
At the head of one the leading Champagne houses, winemakers Pierre and Sophie Larmandier have challenged regional conventions by using biodynamics and low yields to produce small-batch cuvées that result in beautifully textured and structured wines.
“In our endless quest to understand how to make ‘grands vins’, we like to spend time with people who share the same ambition. We hope to offer Kelly a rewarding experience, and that she will gain much from being part of the Larmandier-Bernier 2009 vintage,” said Sophie.
Kelly, who has worked in Sunraysia, the Adelaide Hills, Central Victoria and the Yarra Valley, and has been a panel member of the Australian and New Zealand Wine Industry Journal Varietal Report tastings, has been proactive in pursuing opportunities to further her career in the wine industry and is a most deserving recipient of the Melbourne Airport Emerging Winemaker Award.
Kelly will meet Sophie and Pierre Larmandier when they visit Melbourne this month to discuss their wines at The Global Wine Experience, part of Melbourne Food and Wine Festival’s Langham Melbourne MasterClass (21 & 22 March 2009).
For background information on the Melbourne Airport Emerging Winemaker Award, visit www.melbournefoodandwine.com.au/www/html/402-emerging-winemaker-award.as