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Australia’s First Families of Wine Have Arrived

Talking Bout Their Generations

Tasting Panel Magazine
May, 2015
by Elyse Glickman

Speed tastings, wine filled seminars and a great reception from the trade and press make for a very successful start.

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In a spectacular ceremony at the Sydney Opera House in 2009, Australia’s First Families of Wine (AFFW) joined forces to raise greater worldwide awareness of quality Australian wines and their origins. The roots of the organization’s 12 families run deep . . . as far back as the mid-19th century. The participating wineries share the required distinctions of being family-controlled, having multiple generations involved in the industry, offering samplings of 20+ vintages of their wines, upholding the best environmental practices and taking a leadership role in the Australian wine industry bodies and organizations. Collectively, Australia’s First Families of Wine represent 16 wine regions, four states, 48 generations of winemakers and over 1,200 years of experience.

“Australia’s First Families of Wine is a powerful medium for illuminating the extraordinary pedigree, depth and quality of Australian winemaking,” remarked Kathy Marlin, Managing Director, Negociants USA— representatives for Yalumba, Henschke and Jim Barry.

Wine Australia and participating importers are working together this May to create a comprehensive two-week tour to introduce North American wine professionals to the AFFW story in San Francisco, New York, Montreal, Toronto and Vancouver. Via seminars and speed-tasting events, 11 of Australia’s First Families of Wine will take attendees on a journey from their first generation of wine producers to the dawn of their modern wine production era to the regional and stylistic expressions that define Australian wines collectively as a global brand. It will also provide them a platform to present the distinctive personalities behind their individual wines.

Rob Buono, President of Old Bridge Cellars, representative for d’Arenberg, commented “In the U.S., we don’t have a sense of the deep winemaking history that these Australian families represent. If you attend an event with all of these wineries present, you will be entertained by the genuine characters that head these families, but more impressed by the terroir-driven differences of their wines. They represent the history as well as the evolution of regional Australian wines in the U.S. market and are investing in the trade to ‘taste’ their stories.”

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