The Tasting Panel magazine

May 2016

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6  /  the tasting panel  /  may 2016 At a trade tasting in San Francisco, educator Chuck Hayward of JJ Buckley Fine Wines leads a tasting of benchmark McLaren Vale and Barossa Valley wines. by Deborah Parker Wong / photos by Daniel Kokin As winegrowing goes, South Australia is to wine in Australia as California is to wine in the United States. Namely, dominant. Hectare for acre, South Australia weighs in at twice the size of the Golden State and accord- ing to Jay Weatherill, the Premier of South Australia, who was visiting San Francisco accompanied by his team and representatives from Barossa and McLaren Vale, "It's even bigger than Texas." Home to 19 wine regions, the state is representative of the diversity found across Australia and produces 80 percent of the country's premium wine. San Francisco was Weatherill's last stop on a ten-day nationwide tour of the U.S., which he described as "under- going a transition and building on her strengths." Just as drought-stricken California has looked to Australia for water conservation strategies that helped them weather the "Big Dry," Weatherill was taking notes as he toured Rust Belt states whose economies are being transferred to high technology. He was keeping a sharp eye on signs of the slow, albeit steady growth of wine consumption by Americans and our willingness to buy wines in the $11 to $15 and the $100-plus price categories, as reported by the 2015 Direct Wine Shipping Report. With the U.S. being Australia's top export market for wine, differentiating the wines produced in South Australia from other New World competitors is clearly a priority. Weatherill announced that Adelaide, the capital city of South Australia, has joined Bordeaux, Bilbao/Rioja and San Francisco/Napa Valley to become one of nine wine produc- ing cities that collaborate through the Great Wine Capitals Global Network, which promotes tourism, education and research between its member cities. The honor will be a boon to the 200 tasting rooms that are within an hour drive of the city. Rusty Eddy and Steve Heimhoff compare notes on a dozen wines spanning six vintages at a trade tasting for South Australian wines. Upfont with South Australian Wine

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