Broadening the Australian palate with new wine grape varieties

The WA Government has backed local development of three new wine varieties from the Mediterranean – two receiving a medal at a recent Western Australian wine show.

The varieties, grown by grape growers in the Swan Valley, were made into wine at the Department of Primary Industries and Regional Development’s wine laboratory in Bunbury.

The department’s tailored wine laboratory enables small volumes of grapes to be made into wine samples for industry evaluation and consumer assessment.

The Prosecco and Nero d’Avola were sourced from Italy while the Mencia variety originates from Spain.

The wines were recently entered in the annual Labelmakers Geographe and WA Alternative Varieties Wine Show, where the Nero d’Avola was awarded a gold medal and the Mencia scored a silver. The Prosecco received positive comments as well.

The judges commended the Nero d’Avola’s vibrancy, structured palate with flavours of forest fruits and attractive spice. The Mencia was noted for its fresh red berries, savoury complexity and velvety smooth tannins.

The wines will now be taken to industry workshops with WA wine producers to demonstrate and examine the varieties’ suitability for local production.

The WA Government continues to support expansion of the WA wine industry through several initiatives including clonal evaluations, innovative winemaking practices and the WA Wine Industry Export Growth.