For the love of Adelaide - it’s not just patriotism

30 October, 2017 - Emily Hay

We are a patriotic bunch, us South Aussies. Of course we have our good- natured regional rivalries (the title of ‘best Grenache’ is a hotly contested one in particular) but when it comes to state-wide pride we’ve got it in spades, and rightly so.

Adelaide has a lot to be proud of and to add further proof our fair city was named a Great Wine Capital of the World in 2016. This is a huge moment in our history, aligning us with the likes of Bordeaux, Napa, Rioja… Becoming just the 9th city globally to be awarded this title. Incredible!

Now, because we do festivals so darn well, what better way to celebrate the diverse delights of our many wine regions than by joining the delicious new Ferment the Festival with a series of masterclasses hosted by the poster boy of SA wine communication, Mr Paul Henry. I have been fortunate enough to hear Mr Henry speak on a few occasions and he is truly an exceptional presenter, his dedication to – and love for – the SA wine regions is wonderfully infectious.

After attending the Brilliant Blends and Beyond Masterclass I have to admit (and I didn’t actually think it was possible) I fell a little bit more in love with the wines of South Australia. Against comparative examples from other Great Wine Capitals of the World the SA wines look, polished, pure and just bloody delicious! All the wines served to show how the diversity in our regional terroir serves to produce outstanding wines that can hold their own against the best of the world. Stand outs in particular were:
The Islander Estate White Blend (Kangaroo Island) – all texture, toast, lemon curd and a gorgeous lick of acid

Ruggabellus Fluus Grenache Mataro Syrah Cinsault (Barossa Valley) the elegant lady in pearls whose language makes the grandkids blush. Floral, pure, complex red fruits with just the right amount of dirty funk.

Lake Breeze Arthur’s Reserve Cabernet Blends (Langhorne Creek) - everything you could ever want from a Cabernet - juicy, sweet spice with a hint of woody herbs and well integrated tannin.

Job well done SA, keep it up!

While being named a Great Wine Capital of the World is fantastic in and of itself, we must be careful not to rest on our laurels and expect the title to do the work for us. Mr Henry agrees that this is not an outcome, it is an invitation to the table of our global peers, a platform which lends weight to our stories of fine food and wine experiences. I implore all involved in the industry, including as a consumer, to get out there, explore more of our 9 wine regions. Then get vocal about our place in the Great Wine Capitals of the World program, we should show our pride! If we all share our experiences and stories under the same banner the more people will sit up and listen. And that can only be good for us all.

Emily Hay, Wine Media Cadet.

Header photo courtesy Ferment the Festival. Other photography by Emily Hay.