On Sunday afternoon, in glorious Riverland sunshine, Eric Semmler delivered a Masterclass to surpass all Masterclasses, under the ancient gums, opposite Heading Cliffs, one of the Riverland’s most remarkable riverscapes.
Prof. Sue Bastian, of the School of Ag Food and Wine at Adelaide Uni is a strong advocate of Riverland wines. For several years now she has invited RW to provide wines for the annual Masterclass for fourth-year graduating students and post graduates. The event normally takes place in the classroom at the university. This year, to make the Masterclass one to be remembered, Sue made arrangements to bring 72 students and several key staff to the region to truly immerse them in the region that produces 60% of South Australia’s wine.
It's difficult to pick the expression most commonly used by the visitors but ‘gob-smacked’ was towards the top of the list. Eric presented eight wines from local producers: Kingston Estates, Basshams, Mallee Estates, Byrne Vineyards, Ricca Terra, Delinquente and Whistling Kite. Keryn Gorman from Illalangi provided a magnificent spread of local foods to follow the wine class. Tony Sharley and Rob Hughes arranged the transport of the student from the landing to the site in high-powered cruisers driven by Roger Fielke and Tony Townsend. The whole event was coordinated by the incredibly energetic Purple Giraffers, Lynda Schenk and Margot Stolle.
After their day in the sun the class relaxed at the Berri Hotel and on Monday visited Whistling Kite to meet the Master of Biodynamic viticulture, Tony Barich with Pam and Adam and then to the Berri Estates for a tour of the amazing packaging facility.
There’s little doubt that some of these graduating students will soon be back here living in the region and working in on of our world-class wineries.