More than 100 wine influencers—sommeliers, wine writers and other industry members—turned up for the first-ever Australia Decanted event in Lake Tahoe, California, which took place from July 22–26.
Wine Australia has launched a series of such events in the United States to showcase the quality of Australian wine and is part of a $4.2 million ($AUD 6.5 million) investment to speed the growth of the country’s wine sales in the U.S., according to an Australian agriculture official. Of Australia’s five largest wine markets, only the U.S. failed to grow in value in 2017.
Attendees immersed themselves in Australia’s wine history, regions, grape varieties and food pairings over the course of the four days.
José Delgado, sommelier at San Francisco’s Michelin-starred Mourad, said, “I have new found respect for what Australia is doing.”
Other influencers included Sally Stewart, sommelier at Wolfgang Puck in New York, Nico Snyman, head sommelier at Aureole in New York, Cathy Huyghe, Forbes journalist, and Laura Burgess of Laura Uncorked.
Many Australians at the event likened it to a fresh start in the U.S. wine market with a younger audience open to discovery.
“It’s really like the conversation has finally changed on the wines we are all making,” said winemaker Steve Flamsteed from Giant Steps in the Yarra Valley.
Yalumba’s long-time Chief Winemaker, Louisa Rose, said, “For a lot of people this was a new country to explore. They have got over the Australian stereotype.”
Australia Decanted is set to become an annual event, with an aim clearly defined by Wine Australia CEO, Andreas Clark.
“The U.S. trade has told us that now is the time for Australian exporters to re-engage with the U.S. market,” he said.
In addition to the wineries previously mentioned, these producers also provided guides and wines: Bindi, Clonakilla, Grosset, Mac Forbes, John Duval Wines, Shaw + Smith, S.C. Pannell, Wynns Coonawarra Estate, and Yarra Yering.
Last Updated: May 4, 2023