Today was full day, beginning with a introductory session to the Hunter Valley and New South Wales. It was a fascinating trip through the area, with history highlighted by Dr. Julie McIntyre of the University of Newcastle and then a trip through the vineyards with agriculturalist Liz Riley of Vitibit, concluding in the cellar with Liz Silkman of Silkman Wines.
Bruce Schoenfeld, as the keynote speaker, shared his insights on wine media and journalism and discussed the current culture of wine writing. We then heard about the China market with Asian experts Jeson Chen, Leos Tian and Beth Dourrough. The discussion centered around the current state of the Chinese wine industry and the use of social media in influencing and buying wines. It was a fascinating discussion of an industry that many of us did not know much about.
After lunch, Travis Fuller of Pernod Ricard hosted a unique tasting that included Perrier Jouet Grand Brut, Steingarten Riesling 2018, Brancott Estate Chosen Rows Sauvignon Blanc 2010, Church Road Grand Reserve Chardonnay 2017, Campo Viejo Dominio 2015, Kenwood The Barn Pinot Noir 2016, Ysios Los Prados 2015, and St Hugo Vetus Purum Barossa Shiraz 2010. It was an unique experience that we all enjoyed immensely.
The afternoon continued with a session on digital marketing and media, presented by Trish Barry of Mastermind Consulting. Trish shared insights into the current state of social media and how to navigate the constant changes with consistency and flexibility.
Then came the Live Wine Social: Red. This unique experience can only be described as exciting, chaotic and thoroughly enjoyable as participants rush to taste, write and post about the wines they are tasting, all within 5 minutes. After the rush of the Social, the attendees actually were able to meet the winemakers one on one and ask more questions though the followup tasting, a nice finish to a very full day.
But it wasn’t over yet! The evening was packed with our Friday Wine Country Excursions. Attendees were whisked away to different locations to experience all the area has to offer, including tastings and dinner with local wineries. Local wineries who participated included Around Hermitage, Mt Pleasant/Brokenwood/Thomas/De Iuliis/Margan, The Magic of Mount View, Tyrrell’s Wines and Wine House Hunter Valley.
From all the buzz around the hotel after everyone got back, a good time was had by all and it was definitely the perfect way to end the day.