27 June 2017

The Aussie adventure with Wines of Greece: Part 2 Adelaide

The second stop following Sydney in the Wines of Greece trip in Australia was Adelaide. This is a considerably smaller city compared to Sydney or Melbourne with approximately 1.3 mn population that makes it the fifth most populous city in the country. What it does have in abundance is the access to some of the most classic Aussie wines. These are produced very close to the city of Adelaide in the regions of Adelaide Hills, Barossa, McLaren Vale, Clare and Eden Valley. The last two are actually a little bit further away about 2 to 2.5 hours by car.

The first day started with an educational program for the Greek winemakers at the University of South Australia organized by Prof. Marianna Sigala and Wines of Greece (WOG). I managed to attend three of the day's presentations that were extremely updated, detailed and right to the point. Some of the topics covered were ''selling it profitably is where it gets difficult'', ''how to grow luxury wine brands'' and ''social Media and Wine Tourism marketing''. 

Phil Reedman MW talking about selling techniques

The rest of the day included the ''The Decoding the land of Dionysus'' masterclass at Georges at Waymouth followed by a great dinner meticulously prepared by the passionate about wine and food George Kasimatis and his team. During the masterclass which was the first ever presented in Adelaide there was a lively discussion about the distinctiveness of Greek wines and of the progress made so far into changing perception of their image. Why is that? Simple answer, there are still a lot of wine consumers not exposed to the new generation of wines thinking that Greek wine still circles around cheap Retsina and wine served in bulk during summer at the local taverns.

The Santorini flight 

I was very happy to see there two special friends David LeMire MW and wine writer Dan Traucki among other friends where a third one joined us at dinner; the inimitable Peter Barry, a pioneer winemaker producing Australia' s first Assyrtiko since 2016. Dinner was formidable with the Cone Bay Barramundi flirting with perfection and being a terrific match with the two Santorini pairings 

Peter Barry, Yiannis Karakasis and Gregory Michailos

The Cone Bay Barramundi with leeks and local mussels

For the next day there was a very intensive schedule of wineries visit in Barossa to see and discuss wine tourism topics and their cellar door philosophy. Jacob's Creek, St. Hugo, Seppelfields and Penfolds (with a lovely drop of Grange for the entire team of WOG and winemakers) offered inspiration, food for thought and numerous ideas for evaluation. My favourite line was from Jacob's Creek marketing ambassador arguing that ''we do not compete with our neighbors, we compete with other regions''. I would drink a whole bottle of wine to that!

With a sunset over Magill Estate and the right dimensions of the sky, the vines and colours a stunning day came to a proper end!

You can read the first story about the Sydney part here 

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