Warm reception for cooler climate Shiraz Symposium

Cooler climate Shiraz is very much on the radar if the success of the Regional Program’s recent Shiraz Symposium in Melbourne is any guide.

The event was a sellout, attracting producers from most regions within Victoria and also across the border into South Australia.

‘I even had interest from people in NSW wanting to do something similar up there’, said the AWRI’s Victorian Node Manager, Dr Mark Krstic.

He is quick to point out, however, that the focus was on “cooler climate” Shiraz in a stylistic rather than strictly geographical sense.

‘We looked broadly at growing and producing Shiraz in areas that are cooler than the traditional Shiraz regions, as well as using alternative winemaking techniques such as whole bunch fermentation or limited fining approaches to winemaking that give some stylistic differences to cooler climate regions’, he said.

‘There’s a lot of interest, I think, in what Australia can do with Shiraz in cooler regions, both from producers and consumers. After all, a Tasmanian Shiraz won the Jimmy Watson trophy two years ago’.

The annual symposium is a key part of the GWRDC-funded Greater Victoria Regional Program, which the AWRI runs in association with Wine Victoria.

The concept of a day looking at all aspects of Shiraz production from grape to glass (session three featured a tasting of 13 specially selected wines) was modeled on the successful Pinot Noir Masterclass sessions the AWRI ran in Victoria and Tasmania in 2012.

‘The idea was to combine research with case studies, benchmarking and presentations looking at international trends and developments, then finish by tasting the results of what we had all been talking about’, Dr Krstic said.

‘Not all of the content was new, but putting it together in this “grape to glass” way was, and the response was very positive’.

Session one focused on growing premium and ultra premium Shiraz, and included case studies from Jasper Hill and Paringa Estate. Session two was dedicated to winemaking, with insights presented by winemakers from Shaw + Smith and Salo wines.

Tasting wines at shiraz symposium
Tasting wines at shiraz symposium