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With vintage over, David Pike takes a look at a special event on the WA wine calendar, a two-day tasting organised by the Western Australian Wine Industry Association.

WHAT better way to get over my vintage hangover than to spend an afternoon tasting the produce from more than 80 Western Australian wineries?

The Western Australian Wine Industry Association has invited wineries from right across the State to showcase their wines at a two-day tasting at the GPO in Forrest Place on Thursday May 9 and Friday May 10. Without question this is going to be one of the best opportunities for the Western Australian wine-loving public to sample the diversity of styles being produced here in the West.

Sarah Dent, who is the CEO of the Wine Industry Association, suggested: “That those visiting the exhibition will have a unique opportunity to speak with winery owners, winemakers and viticulturists, in addition to simply tasting through over 500 wines”.

This is the first time such an event has been organised by the Wine Industry Association and it is hoped that, over the next few years, the event will become a week-long event showcasing the regional produce and wines.

This year’s exhibition will feature wines from established and benchmark wineries, such as Cape Mentelle and Moss Wood, right through the spectrum to relatively new players such as Three Drops and West Cape Howe. The event will provide an opportunity to not only taste but also to enjoy several educational sessions the Wine Education centre has organised.

Over the two days you are invited to sign up for master classes involving two of our leading winemakers and members of the lecturing staff at the Ed-Centre.

The first of the master classes involves John Griffiths, winemaker at Ferngrove, who will present a selection of rieslings from around the world with a focus towards ‘our own world-renowned riesling region – the Great Southern.

A tad parochial, perhaps, but nevertheless an opportunity to explore this noble variety and the various styles it produces. This course is being presented Thursday May 9 at both 1pm and 7pm (the session lasts for an hour and half) and cost is $88 per person, with limited tickets available

The second of the courses looks at cabernet sauvignon and, in particular, the style of Margaret River against other renowned cabernet regions, such as Coonawarra and Bordeaux. This master class is being conducted by Houghton winemaker Larry Cherubino and promises to be one of the highlights of the two-day event. The cabernet course will be presented on Friday at both 1pm and 7pm (the session lasts for an hour and half) and cost is $110 per person, with limited tickets available.

There also will be an opportunity to sit in on an introductory session designed to take the mystery out of wine tasting. During these sessions, which are being held for just 40 minutes every hour from 6pm each night, you will be introduced to the world of wine.

You will be encouraged to taste through a range of red and white wines, focusing on their appraisal, evaluating the wine through its aromas and palate flavours. These sessions are designed to be fun and informal.

During the Thursday and Friday you are able to visit at either the lunchtime session, which runs from 12pm-3pm, or the evening session from 4pm-9pm. Those with a keen interest may like to take the opportunity to look at white wines on the Thursday and pop back to look at reds on the Friday.

It may not be possible to taste through all the wines on offer and each person will have their own agenda when they arrive. I like to have a look at wines I haven’t tasted before and I certainly look at the white wines before setting off on another loop of the exhibition and tasting the reds.

For more information about the Western Australian Fine Wine Exhibition and bookings for the various classes on May 9 and 10, contact the Wine Industry Association on 9385 1699 or check out the website www.winewa.asn.au

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