Last week I went to Hobart, Tasmania, to attent the 8th International Cool Climate Symposium. This wine conference covered a vast array of topics including: establishing a standard definition for ‘cool climate’ regions, the effects of vine variability (down to bunch level), indigenous yeasts and the effects of different yeasts on wine composition, perceived complexity in wines, preventing oxidation of sparkling wine, effect of UV radiation on the biochemistry of grapes and ultimately on wine composition, wine aging, sustainability concerns, and the marketing of cool climate wine. The conference provided an amazing opportunity to network with a wide variety of wine professionals, including scientists, winemakers, viticulturalists, and PhD students from all over the world, but particularly Australia, New Zealand, Great Britain, and the cooler wine producing regions of North America (Oregon, Canada, Finger Lakes region of New York, and Michigan – who knew?!).
(The first networking event of the conference was a visit to Hobart’s err.. interesting.. museum Mona which is also home to Morilla Estate winery, where we did a tour and tasting of 20 or so Tasmanian wines)
The conference was kicked off with a keynote speech by Master of Wine and wine writerJancis Robinson, who talked about the future of cool climate wine and the regions that she predicts will be coming into the limelight.
In addition to 4 days of scientific (and a few industry-based) talks, the conference also included a tasting of 40+ Tasmanian wines where we got a sense of the Pinot Noirs, Sparklings, and Rieslings that are most characteristic of Tasmanian wines. A couple of the wines stuck out, such as the Pressing Matters R9 2010 Riesling, Pooley Butcher’s Hill 2009 Pinot Noir, the 2003 Jansz LD Cuvee, and the Milton 2010 Iced Riesling.