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April 4, 2019

Drink smarter at Tasting Australia 2019

Learn a little more about what’s in your glass at East End Cellar’s roster of boozy masterclasses.

  • Words: Johnny von Einem
  • Pictures: Supplied

A huge part of South Australia’s culinary culture exists in liquid form – be it in our heritage wine industry, or the burgeoning producers of beer and spirits.

While CityMag feels comfortable claiming expertise in the area of consumption, there is certainly more we could learn about our favourite booze and its production.


Tasting Australia
Friday 5 April – Sunday, 14 April
Multiple locations throughout Adelaide and South Australia

East End Cellars is the official curator of beverages for Tasting Australia’s Glasshouse Kitchen dinners, and they’re running all five bars in Town Square, so who better to turn to for our learning moment.

Along with the festival’s beverage director, Nick Stock, the EEC team have put together a program of masterclasses, and below we’ve listed our picks of the roster from least to most expensive.


One Hour Wine School

2pm Saturday, 6 April and 7pm Wednesday, 10 April, Masterclass Pavilion at Town Square, Victoria Square, Adelaide 5000
Tickets: $53.06

This image: Meaghan Coles


According to Nick Stock, this is an event purely dedicated to “the art of enjoyment.”

Two winemakers from Yalumba will take a gaggle of wine-interested folks on a one-hour guided tour of the basics of getting the most out of your glass.

“The idea of the One Hour Wine School is to get people interested in wine, and to also just get them started in being interested in wine,” Nick continues.

“We just want to make people enjoy wine. There’s no homework, it’s not a serious tasting… it’s really a chance for people to have an entertaining and informative experience.”

Don your L Plates and grab a glass.


Freshest of the Bunch: Young Winemakers Showcase

12:30pm Saturday, 13 April, Masterclass Pavilion at Town Square, Victoria Square, Adelaide 5000
Tickets: $78.57

Charlotte Dalton. This image: Lauren Bezzina


East End Cellars has collected up an assortment of the best new talent in South Australian wine for Freshest of the Bunch, an informal tasting event where drinkers can have their glasses toped up by the winemakers themselves.

“It’s a very cool bunch of winemakers that are all pushing forward really fast in the scheme of making a name,” Nick Stock says.

“If you really like someone’s wine you can go and hang with them as long as you want, or you can move around – it’s a choose your own adventure.”

Among the winemakers in attendance will be Michael John Corbett of Vanguardist, brothers Jono and Damon Koerner of Koerner Wine, Charlotte Hardy of Charlotte Dalton, Rebecca Dugmore of The Stoke (not Stroke) Wines, and Mark and Duncan Lloyd from Coriole Vineyards.


Dean Hewitson and a very old Mourvèdre vine (planted in 1853)

1000 Years of Wine

3:30pm Saturday, 13 April, Masterclass Pavilion at Town Square, Victoria Square, Adelaide 5000
Tickets: $129.59

South Australia is home to some very old vines, and 1000 Years of Wine is dedicated to showcasing why that heritage matters.

“It’s basically 10 wines that are all from vineyards of 100 years or older, so it’s actually more like 1500 years of wine,” Nick Stock says.

“We talk about this thing called terroir, which is wine comes from here and it tastes like that, it comes from there it tastes different, and that’s because of terroir.

“If you think about a vine that’s 150-years-old, the biomass underneath the ground, the root system is like a tree, it’s huge. What does that do? It collects information. It’s like having the biggest bandwidth you can ever imagine to get information into your wines. That’s the essence of what makes these wines amazing.”

Among the 10 old vine producers will be, Andrew Hardy of Accolade Wines, Colin McBride from Adelina, Marco Cirillo of Cirillo Estate Wines, and Dean Hewitson, who works with the world’s oldest-known Mourvèdre vines – planted in 1853.

“It’s also the story of these vineyards; it’s not a coincidence that these things have been there for 150 years,” Nick continues.

“It’s survived two world wars, electricity wasn’t around – think about all the things that have happened in that course of time. It’s the story behind these vineyards and why they’re there.”


Pinot Pioneers: Jane Eyre and William Downie

7pm Thursday, 11 April, Masterclass Pavilion at Town Square, Victoria Square, Adelaide 5000
Tickets: $129.59

Winemaker Jane Eyre


Both established winemakers in their own right, Jane Eyre and William Downie are regularly collaborators, coming together for their shared love of pinot.

“Jane Eyre’s a Melbourne girl, used to be a hairdresser, got interested in wine, now she’s in Burgundy and she’s one of the rising stars in Burgundy in France,” Nick Stock says.

“Bill Downie is mid-generation now in terms of pinot – he was one of the first young generation pinot makers to break through – and they’re mates and they make wine together in Australia.

“This event’s all about their personal journeys following this dream.”

And if, Like Jane and William, you’re quite partial to a pour of pinot noir, East End Cellars has also put together an International Pinot Noir Tasting, where the best pinot producers of Australia will be up compared with some of the best from around the world.


Teste di Nebbiolo

12:30pm Sunday, 14 April, Masterclass Pavilion at Town Square, Victoria Square, Adelaide 5000
Tickets: $150

Winemaker Steve Pannell


The best value tasting in East End Cellars’ masterclass series, according to Nick Stock, is Teste di Nebbiolo, where the Adelaide Hills’ future as a world-renowned nebbiolo-producing region will be on display.

“Outside of its home in Italy, which is a place called Piedmont, the Adelaide Hills is shaping up, in the global scheme of things, as the next best place for this grape variety,” Nick says.

“It’s a heroic grape variety, it’s super respected, so that’s why we’re shining a light on that and we’re bringing the best examples from Italy – which are famous, expensive bottles – and we’re putting them alongside the best examples from the Adelaide Hills.”

S.C. Pannell, whose founder, Steve Pannell, has a deep history making Adelaide Hills nebbiolo, and even consults to winemakers in Piedmont, will be among the wines on show, along with Solita, Tonic Wines, Longview, and Sparkletown – a winery solely dedicated to Nebbiolo


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