“Australia’s history of nurturing Italian grape varieties is a modern phenomenon gaining momentum since 2000. What makes the story compelling are those championing and spearheading this change to our vinous landscape. They are farsighted, determined and often obsessive individuals.” These are the words of Walter Speller, Italian wine correspondent based in London working with Jancis Robinson, world renowned wine judge and writer.
Those who know Ashley Ratcliff (Ricca Terra Farms) and Tony and Pam Barich (Whistling Kite), will readily agree that the words “farsighted, determined often obsessive individuals” are among the first words coming to mind when describing these three Riverland wine entrepreneurs. Pam advised us this week the Whistling Kite 2014 Montepulciano has been selected for showing at the prestigious 21st Century Vino London event later this month.
Congratulations Tony and Pam and congratulations also to Ashley and Sue Bell of Bellwether Wines based in Coonawarra who’s nero D’Avola Rosé 2015 has also been selected. These two wines are among more than 50 selected to exhibit from 14 Australian wine regions. It was Ashley’s enthusiasm that initially encouraged a small cluster of Riverland wine growers including the Barich’s, to look beyond the far horizon of mainstream varieties and to consider alternative varieties, like vermentino, sangiovese, fiano and nero d’Avola and thus the Riverland Alternative Varieties Group was formed just six years ago.
21st Century Vino is part of the Wine Australia ‘Premium Australia’ Tasting on Tuesday September 29th, at Australia House in London. Walter Speller and Jane Faulkner, with support from Tennille and Kim Chalmers and Wine Australia, have produced a splendid book with details of the 21st Century Vino event and all of the wines being exhibited. http://21stcenturyvino.com.au/