Australia – Then and Now


Australia has some of the oldest vines in the world, with 170-year-old Mourvèdre still producing wine in the Barossa Valley. This tasting is going to celebrate both tradition and new thinking, with examples of classic styles from some of the country’s most distinguished  regions, and the cutting edge, with alternative grape varieties and fast-developing new premium hot-spots.

The vine was taken to Australia 200 years ago, but the modern era of fine wine for export begins around 1980. Since then, regions like the Hunter Valley near Sydney, Victoria near Melbourne and Eden Valley close to Adelaide have become established.

Renowned for both quality and for being perfectly suited to certain grape varieties, we’ll taste examples from these traditional regions, but we will also discover the significant changes Australian wine has seen in recent decades: we’ll travel from Western Australia where the very first vines were not planted until the mid-1970s, to the island of Tasmania, currently the hottest cool spot in Australia for Riesling, Chardonnay, Pinot Noir and sparkling wine. We will also look to new varieties for Australia. How about Australian Nero d’Avola and Pinot Gris?

Tom has selected the six wines below for this virtual tour of Australia, tasting both the traditional and the new wave. He will explain about Australia’s diverse terroirs, their opportunities and challenges as we explore this wine producing country that many people think they know, but which can throw up some real surprises.

The Wines

Vintrigue, Pinot Gris 2020
McGuigan, Bin 9000 Semillon 2019
Rag & Bone, Eden Valley Riesling 2021
Bella Luna, Nero d’Avola 2018
Capel Vale, Debut Cabernet Merlot 2019
Trentham, Tasmanian Pinot Noir 2019

We look forward to welcoming you.