There is wonderful news below, just in from Wine Australia, announcing whom they have chosen as participants in a ground-breaking week of wine tutorials in the Barossa Valley in June:
Twelve of the world's fastest-rising wine influencers, from across 10 different countries, will join leading Australian commentators and winemakers for the Landmark Australia Tutorial in June 2009.
After an exhaustive application process involving over 4000 initial enquiries, the inaugural Landmark Australia Tutorial intake will comprise an exceptional group of media, trade and educators from around the world:
- Barbara Philip MW (Canada)
- Bell - Pei Tang (China)
- Dermot Nolan MW (Ireland)
- Essi Avellan (Finland)
- Frank Kämmer MS (Germany)
- Jamie Goode (UK)
- Julia Harding MW (UK)
- Lim Hwee Peng CSW (Singapore)
- Rebecca Leung (Hong Kong)
- Sean Razee MS (US)
- Tyler Colman (US)
- Yukari Iwashiro (Japan)
The winning applicants will attend a unique, week-long residential course aimed at exploring Australia's contribution to fine wine performance, viticultural practice, technical innovation and education from a truly international perspective.
On receiving notification of her selection, Barbara Philip MW commented: "This initiative is just so groundbreaking; it is not just about wines or marketing but about putting a whole country and its industry in context. I believe this tutorial is key to increasing appreciation of unique and characterful Australian wines in the global arena."
Over 130 formal applications were received, resulting in an extremely competitive selection process for the Tutorial's executive committee.
"I have observed that both the Australian wine industry and its wines have moved into a new phase of growth and development. The hosting of Landmark Australia Tutorial is a sign of Australian wine industry's maturity, as well as its confidence in the dynamic wine world stage," said Mr Lim Hwee Peng CSW.
The successful applicants will be joined in the Barossa by a distinguished line-up of Australian wine writers and makers who will present an authoritative narrative and a series of context-setting tastings of Australia's fine wines. The June 2009 tutorial aims to be the first in what is hoped will become an annual event, and what the organisers believe can become the world's most sought-after educational wine experience.
To view the Tutorial schedule and to review further information on the 12 participants please visit www.wineaustralia.com/landmark.
I can now reveal that when I first heard of this clever scheme, presumably inspired by the famous Len Evans Tutorials that have been held annually in Australia to teach Australians about the finest wines of the world, and designed to refine the image of Australian wine worldwide, I asked Wine Australia what sort of participants they were looking for. The answer was a one-world email; 'Julia!'.
Certainly the Australians could not hope for anyone more intelligent, receptive, conscientious and diligent - although I'm not 100% sure that the skilled copy editor in her would approve of the way the list above has been alphabetised by first name. (At least it's consistent, she might point out.)
As a woman I notice with approval that precisely half of the chosen dozen are female, and as an online publisher and writer, I note approvingly that three of the Landmark participants are arguably best known for their websites: Julia here, Jamie Goode for www.wineanorak.com and Tyler Colman for www.drvino.com . The selectors also seem to have given precedence to educators, which makes a lot of sense if the Australians want to get maximum benefit from their investment in this interesting group of 'wine influencers'.