Last Sunday June 29th, I attended the 2008 Great Edinburgh Shiraz Challenge (at the Edinburgh Hotel in Mitcham, Adelaide) and presented our 2005 Karra Yerta Wines Bullfrog Flat (Eden Valley) Shiraz. What a great day!
It started early as I travelled down to the city on the cold blustery morning via the Adelaide Hills. Somehow I managed to make it on time and even had 15 minutes up my sleeves to "set up" my stall before the general crowd were allowed entry. With 42 tables (each having one or two people from four different wineries) there was certainly no shortage of choice and in fact, it may have even been overkill to some. Some customers commented to me that there were so many wines that they'd initially decided to only try the wines of all the wineries they had not heard of before as they didn't think they could try everything.
I was fortunate to have the most wonderful wine people on either side of me and we all had a really enjoyable time, not only talking to the customers but also chatting to each other and having some laughs over general tales and aspects of the industry. On one side of me was Luke Trotter and his lovely wife Rebecca (The Blok Estate, Coonawarra) and on the other, Tom Krieghauser (an ex-pat US citizen, who now works for Yangarra Estate, McLaren Vale). Of course it was even better that they both had exceptional wines and I must admit I did enjoy having a small taste of them, on a few occasions during the afternoon:)
The staff at the Edinburgh were great and even provided a lovely lunch for the winery staff (special reminder to Joshua - who by now, is on a plane somewhere between Australia and Thailand (hopefully!), before heading back home to California - yes, you can have another serve of Aussie barbecue chicken and potato salad without feeling guilty:)
All in all, it was a well organised event and I can see why many regard it as one of Australia's largest and most successful wine-tasting events. Well done to the the Hotel staff, winery participants and approximately 900 tasters - it really went well and why not; what is better on a cold Adelaide afternoon than a tent full of 300 different shirazes..?