When an English wine buyer described Australian wine as "boring", he would have had no idea that it his comments would lead to the creation of the Australian Alternative Varieties Wine Show (AAVWS).
Key points:This year the Australian Alternative Varieties Wine Show received 752 entriesThe event gives obscure wines the opportunity to be benchmarkedThe Best Wine of the Show was awarded Heathcote's Santa and D'Sas for their Valentino 2016 Sangiovese
AAVWS manager Helen Healy said at the time the comment was made, Australia had just three white wines and three big reds on shelves in major UK supermarkets.
In comparison, French, Italian, German, and Russian varietals were in abundance.
The show has now been running for 20 years and even the pandemic has not stopped it from going ahead in Mildura.
"We have a definition of what constitutes an alternative variety and it's about the understanding of it, the growing of it, the making of it and the uptake by the consumer", she said.
Pinot grigio and pinot gris were the first wines to be graduated 10 years ago.
"We felt that was really becoming quite a popular wine among consumers and there were enormous plantings of it throughout Australia," Ms Healy said.
Prosecco was graduated two years ago and there is now talk that a third variety will be moved on when the wine show committee meets in December.
Winemaker Glen James has been involved in the event for 15 years, but this was his first time as chief judge.
He says it is the most important wine show in the industry.
"It is where varieties and styles bubble up commercially for the first time."
"To see a progression over the years … the graduation of varieties out of the show and now we're seeing more recent plantings coming into play excitingly … is really exciting," he said.
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The Best Wine of the Show was awarded to Heathcote's Sant and D'Sas for their Valentino 2016 Sangiovese.
Andrew Santarossa said the company, which has been around for eight years, was humbled to accept the award.
"It not only shines a spotlight on the varietal Sangiovese but on the wine growing region of Heathcote," he said.
The duo dedicated their win to Mr Di Scascio's father.
"The Valentino range is named after my father who was very special to both of us and inspired us to make wine. We only do the top Italian red and white varietals in his name," Matt Di Scascio said.
Trophy winners:Best Wine of the Show – Valentino 2016 SangioveseBest Red Wine – Valentino 2016 SangioveseBest White Wine – Pikes Wine 2021 Luccio AlbarinoBest Red Italian Variety – Valentino 2016 SangioveseBest White Italian Variety – Oliver's Taranga Vineyards 2021 FianoBest Iberian Variety Wine – Pikes Wine 2021 Luccio AlbarinoBest French Variety – Whicher Ridge 2019 Mademoiselle V
Posted 8 Nov 20218 Nov 2021Mon 8 Nov 2021 at 6:32am, updated 8 Nov 20218 Nov 2021Mon 8 Nov 2021 at 7:59amShareCopy linkFacebookTwitterArticle share optionsShare this onFacebookTwitterLinkedInSend this byEmailMessengerCopy linkWhatsApp