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Emerging grape varieties and the Australian wine industry

The Riverland Alternative Wine Group, in combination with emerging grape variety specialists, is hosting a seminar on 29 July at the Renmark Club.

The line-up of presenters include wine writer Max Allen, viticulturist Mark Walpole, manager of East End Cellars Angus Buchanan, grower of alternative grape varieties John Pargeter, alternative variety advocate Kim Chalmers and renowned winemakers of alternative varieties Matt Gant, Eric Semmler and Andrew La Nauze.

Industry enthusiast and chairman of the Riverland Alternative Wine Group, Ashley Ratcliff said, “This is an exciting opportunity for industry members to learn more about varieties such as Montepulciano, Nero d’Avola, Tempranillo, Vermentino, Fiano and Savagnin.

The role that these varieties play in the future landscape of Australian wine needs to be considered…this is not about replacing our existing offering; rather, it is more about improving it.”

The seminar will be complimented by benchmark tastings that compare existing Australian wines, made from the previously mentioned varieties, to wines from around the world and in particular the countries of origin.

Attendees will be requested to pay a $40 fee, representing good value given the diverse range of speakers and the tutored tastings, however, places are limited.

Running the seminar a day prior to the Australian Society of Viticulture and Oenology’s Mildura seminar ‘Vineyard soil health – unearthing facts from fiction’ will also allow attendees to extract further benefits.

Participants of the Riverland Alternative Wine Group’s seminar who are not members of the Australian Society of Viticulture and Oenology (ASVO) will receive members price to their seminar, which will be convened on 30 July at the Mildura Working Man’s Club.

Key supporters of Riverland Alternative Wine Group’s seminar include JMA Engineering, Yalumba Nursery, Grape and Wine Research and Development Corporation, Australian Society of Viticulture and Oenology, Riverland Wine Industry Development Council and the Riverland Vine Improvement Committee.

The ASVO seminar has a focus on assessing and measuring soil health; understanding organics and biodynamics; and composts, mulches and biochar. Organics and biodynamics in particular, evoke passion and strong reactions from both proponents and opponents.

ASVO chief executive officer, Debra Robinson, said interested industry members were invited to come along and evaluate organics and biodynamics.

“You can also taste organic and biodynamic wine at the lunchtime tasting event where we’ve assembled a team of experts to present up to the minute material and the results from recent research, including a market perspective and panel discussion facilitated by wine writer and critic Max Allen,” she said.

For more information about the Riverland Alternative Wine Group seminar, contact Tim Smythe on 0427 772 185.

For more information about the ASVO Mildura seminar, contact Amy Swinburne on (08) 8410 9855 or or register on line at www.asvo.com.au

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