The Webster (American) dictionary defines pride as “a lofty and often arrogant assumption of superiority in some respect.” The Collins (English) dictionary defines it similarly as “too high an opinion of oneself, inordinate self-esteem”. Riverlanders tend to be bashful about success; keen to avoid the limelight. Pride sits uncomfortably with most and yet it is one of the key words on the front cover of the recently released Riverland Wine publication “Vineyard to the world”.
As readers know, over the past 18 months, Riverland Wine has joined with the Australian Grape and Wine Authority (AGWA) to promote the region’s vines, wines, people and river-scapes to groups of international wine writers, educators, buyers and sommeliers. Two groups have recently spent time in the region, meeting growers and winemakers, seeing real vineyards and real wineries, tasting some of our outstanding wines and being stunned at our scenery and landscape. Without exception the most common sentiment among the visitors is that of surprise. Surprise that the region is such a major contributor to the Australian wine industry; surprise that production standards are so high, surprise at the passion of winegrowers and winemakers for their vineyards, wines and technology; surprise at the level of environmental sensitivity and wonder at the unique and ancient river-scapes. They ask why these features are such well hidden secrets.
Following is a brief excerpt of a note sent last week from Camilla Coste, the European Events Manager for AGWA who recently led a group of visitors to the region from the UK, Ireland, Finland, France, Poland and Norway. She writes:
“Sorry it’s taken me so long to send my thanks to you. I wanted to take this opportunity to send you a huge thank you and congratulations for organising and hosting us in your wonderful region. The group and I truly enjoyed our time in the Riverland and were overwhelmed by the exceptional hospitality we received. It was an eye-opener for me too and I am looking forward to hopefully being able to send more guests to this part of the world. I can speak on the behalf of the group when I tell you that everyone was so impressed with the wines they tried and thoroughly enjoyed meeting the people who make them. The commitment to the environment and the sheer passion that was transmitted by our hosts during our short trip was a direct example of what is being done in the region to promote these changes.
The hospitality we received at Paringa House and the brilliant flights on our last day were a standout for the group. Everyone has gone back to their home countries now but I can tell you that our guests will have memories of this visit for a very long time!”
Perhaps a little pride and self promotion could be a good thing?
Illika from Finland made a short video of the entire trip. Watch Now…