Rare chance to taste Australia's best of the best

By / 26th of April, 2017
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A $950-a-head vertical tasting of Australia’s most famous wine Penfolds Grange spanning six decades will headline a series of wine masterclasses to be held in Adelaide next week.

The Tasting Australia festival has ramped up its beverage focus in 2017 with daily masterclasses run by East End Cellars in the event’s Town Square.

The sessions, which start at $40, also include vertical tastings of a decade of Rockford Basket Press and six vintages of Penfolds St Henri Shiraz across five decades.   

Other masterclasses include Australian Pinot Noir, Seriously Sparkling and the King and Queen of Riesling, where leading German white winemaker Egon Müller and the Clare Valley’s Kerri Thompson will lead an in-depth tasting of Rieslings from Australia and overseas.

Wine industry characters, pictured below, Robert Hill-Smith (Yalumba), Stephen Pannell (S.C Pannell) and Chester Osborn (d’Arenberg) will debate the virtues of Grenache from the Barossa Valley and McLaren Vale regions alongside wine writers Nick Ryan and Nick Stock.

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East End Cellars, a boutique wine retailer that has wine bars, an importing business and its own labels, won the right to curate the masterclasses and run the beverage side of things in the festival’s city hub in Victoria Square.

Proprietor Michael Andrewartha said while pouring drinks for the expected 60,000 visitors to the Town Square in the week was daunting, he was determined to help a produce a “Tasting Australia like no other”.

He said the 200 wineries, craft breweries, distilleries and cider houses involved would cater to all tastes and budgets.

“We’ll have something for all pockets, from free tastings every day and we’ve compiled a list like no other,” Andrewartha said.

“We want this to be the event where people come to discover what’s great in this state.

“South Australia has done food very well for a long time and they’ve brought us into the picture to make it about wine as well.”

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The popular East End Cellars in Adelaide.

Tasting Australia 2017 is taking place from April 30 to May 7, with eight days showcasing South Australia and celebrating Adelaide’s status as a Great Wine Capital.

South Australia is consistently responsible for about 50 per cent of Australia’s annual production and 75 per cent of its premium wine.

On the food side of things, this year’s Tasting Australia will feature the world’s best female chef Ana Ros, Marco Pierre White and many other leading culinary experts.

Tasting Australia creative director Simon Bryant said autumn was a perfect time to explore the state.

“From Town Square in the city to South Australia’s amazing regions, there are so many interesting food and beverage activities to enjoy during Tasting Australia,” he said.

“You can visit a farm gate, meet a producer, do a tasting with a winemaker or try a masterclass with one of our visiting chefs.”