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Sunday 19 July 2015

Coonawarra and Tasmania hit the road

It can be hard to attract visitors to your cellar door if you are among the most remote wine regions in Australia, so once a year the winemakers from Coonawarra and Tasmania hit the road for their annual big city shows. 

The 12th annual Coonawarra Wine Tasting Roadshow event will be travelling to Brisbane, Sydney, Melbourne, Hobart, Adelaide and Perth between August 9-19, aiming to catch up with wine lovers, writers, lifestyle journalists and trade personnel.

This year's roadshow marks 125 years since Coonawarra was established and no fewer than 26 wineries are involved, although not all have committed to all six cities. 

“John Riddoch was an extraordinary businessman, pastoralist and visionary, who conceived of the idea of the Coonawarra Fruit Colony in 1890 … and by 1895 the first vintage was produced”, said Cathy Hughes, wine industry officer for Coonawarra Grape and Wine Incorporated.

Riddoch commissioned a large tri-gabled winery and cellar, which was built of local stones and made ready for the third vintage in 1897. By 1898, Coonawarra wines were being exported to England and Europe.

“And here we are 125 years later living his vision of growing quality grape berries, and producing premium wines of immense distinction, especially our cabernet sauvignons, and showcasing them to the nation.”

This year's Coonawarra Roadshow itinerary features Brisbane: August 9 at the Lightspace; Sydney, August 11 at the Town Hall;  Melbourne: August 13 at the Town Hall, Hobart: August 14 at Hobart Function & Conference Centre, Adelaide: August 16 at the National Wine Centre, and Perth, August 18 at the Pan Pacific Hotel. 

Tickets to each event are $45 per person (plus a booking fee) and will include a Coonawarra wine glass for use during the event and as a keepsake. Online tickets for the 2015 Coonawarra Roadshow can only be purchased from the Eventbrite site or via the link from 

Tasmania's annual Tasmania Unbottled roadshow has been given a new name, VIN Diemen, and a new look with the involvement of Dan Sims and his Bottle Shop Concepts team. I hate the new name but I'm assured it is hip and happening. 

VIN Diemen is billed as celebration of all the gourmet island has to offer, particularly wine, with names including Clover Hill, Tolpuddle, Glaetzer Dixon, Grey Sands, House of Arras and Stefano Lubiana among the 26 wine producers on show.

Tasmanian ciders will also feature; Frank’s and Willie Smith’s will be on hand to prove why the Apple Isle is Australia’s spiritual home of cider and Lark Distillery will be pouring its new Forty Spotted Gin for guests in Sydney and Melbourne, where there will also be music from talented Taswegian Neil Gibson.

Chef David Moyle, from Franklin in Hobart, plans to showcase Tasmanian produce for guests to enjoy over a beverage or two at the Sydney and Melbourne events. Tasmania’s famous fresh produce, including Bruny Island cheeses, will also be on offer for guests attending the Brisbane event.

Tickets are now on sale for $35 and include a take-home wine glass as well as access to all the wines on tasting. 

The dates are: Melbourne: August 16, Meat Market, North Melbourne, Brisbane: August 20, at the Lightspace, and Sydney: September 5, Australian Technology Park, Eveleigh. 

Tickets are available at 

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