9 masterclasses celebrating French wine varietals at Tasting Australia 2024

French wine varietals at Tasting Australia 2024
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Tasting Australia 2024 has a great range of wine masterclasses and events to choose from and unsurprisingly, there are plenty related to French varietals. These events largely focus on Australian wines from these French varietals. There are also several events around champagne and French wine at Tasting Australia 2024, which we spoke about last week. Discover the masterclasses celebrating French wine varietals at Tasting Australia 2024.

French wine varietals at Tasting Australia 2024

Masterclasses on French wine varietals at Tasting Australia 2024

Each of these masterclasses focus on French wine varietals at Tasting Australia 2024.



9 & 10 May 6:30pm

Fourth Hill Providore, Verdun


Immerse yourself in a unique wine experience at Fourth Hill Providore. You’ll taste Adelaide Hills Wine Show trophy-winning chardonnays alongside their winemakers, learning more about what sets each apart.


Enjoy a blanc de blanc sparkling on arrival, then be guided through an array of chardonnays together with three courses designed to pair perfectly with these exceptional wines. Chardonnay is a good mirror of climate and terroir. Those from the cool-climate Adelaide Hills are elegant, textured and lean, but have the acid structure to age and evolve. These bright and stylish white wines challenge traditional assumptions about chardonnay and rival the very best with their fruit intensity.


This will be an evening exploring some of Australia’s very best chardonnays and is not to be missed. It sold out in 2022 and received rave reviews



Sat 4th May 2024 at 6:00 PM

The University of Adelaide Masterclass Pavilion, Victoria Square/Tarntanyangga, ADELAIDE


It’s official: grenache is having a moment. Wine lovers the world over are enamoured with its versatility – fruity and floral here, rich and full-bodied there. And South Australia is a major part of the story.


Leading this masterclass are master sommelier Sebastian Crowther, wine importer and distributor Liz Carey and two winemakers going all in on grenache: Amelia Nolan of the Barossa’s Alkina and Rob Mack from McLaren Vale label Aphelion. Discover what drew them to the variety and why local producers are increasingly selecting it as a flagship. No more second billing for this star.


Singular expressions of grenache spearhead Alkina’s offering. Its range shares stories of geology and terroir, with Nolan sourcing fruit from both historic and more recently planted Greenock vineyards. Mack – also known as Mr Grenache – launched his label in 2014 with one pristine ton of Blewitt Springs grenache. Steady growth and a series of plaudits have followed; while Aphelion now produces up to 12 wines, its muse is unchanged.


The time is right. Embrace the zeitgeist and get some flash grenache in your glass.

French wine varietals at Tasting Australia 2024/ les creepages français au Tasting Australia 2024


Tue 7th May 2024 at 6:00 PM

Longplay Bistro, 131 Pirie St, ADELAIDE


Single-vineyard McLaren Vale grenache is a rare thing. Even rarer is two of Australia’s foremost and gifted grenache winemakers sharing a masterclass podium.


Join Stephen Pannell (S.C. Pannell) and Peter Fraser (Yangarra Estate) for a deep dive into the soil, sky and old vines of McLaren Vale. New, old, unreleased and rare, this promises to be a grenache masterclass beyond compare.



Food: Tasting plate

Beverages: Masterclass of 12-15 wines over five brackets



Sat 11th May 2024 at 6:00 PM

The University of Adelaide Masterclass Pavilion, Victoria Square/Tarntanyangga, ADELAIDE


New World, old vines, new ideas, same old magic. Dive into New World pinot noir as they celebrate the best of the best, with a few European interlopers just for fun. The Adelaide Hills, Otago, Martinborough, California and more will feature – exquisite pinot noir wherever you look.


Wine writer, judge and presenter Erin Larkin will host this masterclass, which is also set to feature New Zealand winemakers Helen Masters and Nick Mills in conversation with Adelaide Hills winemaker Andrie Whisson and Tasting Australia drinks curator Banjo Harris Plane.


Masters has spent more than two decades making wine with Ata Rangi, established in 1980 by trailblazing winemaker Clive Paton. Its full range is feted, though it’s pinot noir that earned this Martinborough label the New Zealand equivalent of grand cru status. Mills works at Rippon, his family estate, found beside Lake Wanaka on the South Island. Biodynamic practices are used to care for its vineyards, with six varieties grown and some vines more than 40 years old. Pinot noir remains the flagship, praised for depth and brilliant nuance.


The Piccadilly Valley’s high, cool slopes are home to the acclaimed Whisson Lake, known for single-vineyard pinot noir grown across a 15-acre hill. Whisson, who steers the label with her husband Mark, pursued winemaking after time working as a surgical intensive care nurse. Since 2010 she has spent every vintage in the winery.


Rounding out the masterclass lineup is Harris Plane, a former sommelier in top Australian and international restaurants who today leads online wine retailer Good Pair Days in addition to shaping the Tasting Australia drinks program with partner Meira Harel.


Ready? We’re turning the spotlight to pioneering pinot and the people who craft it.


  • Food: tasting cheese board
  • Beverages: four tasting brackets with four wines in each; a total of 16 wine tastings


Rosé at Tasting Australia 2024 MASTERCLASS – ROSÉ COLOURED GLASSES

Sun 5th May 2024 at 12:00 PM

The University of Adelaide Masterclass Pavilion, Victoria Square/Tarntanyangga, ADELAIDE


Think pink. This sassy celebration of rosé will go beyond the traditional, exploring other rosy-hued treasures too. Hosting the fun is Sydney-based sommelier and communicator Samantha Payne, with McLaren Vale winemakers Lauren Langfield, Irina Santiago-Brown and Brad Hickey set to offer their insights too. Discover a rosé that doesn’t play by the usual rules, taste the variety in a pre-batched cocktail, and delve into leading editions from near and far.


Langfield – Young Gun of Wine 2023 winner – studied fashion before realising viticulture and wine production were more her scene. Since 2022 she has been based at McLaren Vale’s off-grid, sustainability-driven Orbis, crafting a range loved for poise and freshness. Adelaide Hills vineyards provide the fruit for Langfield’s eponymous label, with bright, fruit-forward styles its goal.


The Fleurieu Peninsula is also home to Santiago-Brown, a world-renowned sustainability consultant. She and husband Dudley Brown left overseas careers in tech and government to launch Inkwell Wines and live the change they sought.


Hickey, meanwhile, makes minimal intervention wines under the Brash Higgins banner he founded alongside vigneron partner Nicole Thorpe. Together they seek to capture the essence of McLaren Vale’s sun and soil, producing a deliciously textural range that challenges convention while still respecting the tried and true.



Sun 12th May 2024 at 4:00 PM

The University of Adelaide Masterclass Pavilion, Victoria Square/Tarntanyangga, ADELAIDE


Big. Bold. Brawny. Think you know shiraz? Not so fast. This class is going beyond the stereotypes for a closer look. These are some of the most exciting wines being made in South Australia and beyond: supple styles with fascinating nuance. Settle in as they put them in a global context. Wine professional Erin Larkin is leading this masterclass alongside winemakers Riley Harrison and Adam Wadewitz.


Try local releases from Ngeringa and Alkinga alongside international stars like Gaillard and Guigal, exploring the evolution of shiraz and syrah – and their unique personalities. Larkin, whose specialties include judging, private cellar curation and writing for the likes of Halliday Wine Companion and Robert Parker Wine Advocate, will set the scene.


Harrison, a Young Gun of Wine finalist for the past three years, took a slow and steady approach to development of his eponymous label. Its mission: producing coveted wines with great perfume, mouthfeel and the ability to transport. Grapes are sourced from a range of South Australian sites, with Murdoch Hill supplying the grapes Harrison uses to make his Black Hound syrah and Kookaburra cabernet sauvignon-shiraz.


The hugely accomplished Wadewitz is joint chief executive and chief winemaker at Shaw + Smith in the Adelaide Hills, and a partner in the MMAD label based in Blewitt Springs. Stints working worldwide have honed his stills, recognised with accolades including joint dux of the Len Evans tutorial.



Sun 12th May 2024 at 2:00 PM

The University of Adelaide Masterclass Pavilion, Victoria Square/Tarntanyangga, ADELAIDE


Chardonnay is perhaps the ultimate confluence of terroir and winemaker. It’s the hottest top-end white wine in the world right now – and the sought-after wines of pioneering New Zealand label Kumeu River have played a significant role in shaping its global rise over the past four decades. Join winemaker, University of Adelaide alumnus and Master of Wine, Michael Brajkovich for a closer look.


Brajkovich has maintained close ties with Australia’s leading chardonnay producers, and his influence continues to shape and inspire great chardonnay producers of today and tomorrow across New Zealand, Australia and beyond. Brajkovich’s work with the university and close ties with accomplished and emerging chardonnay winemakers will be celebrated first-hand in this deep dive into the world of great chardonnay.


Local wine expert Nick Stock is set to host this exclusive, one-off tasting that showcases the leading edge of Kumeu River wines, the best of New Zealand and Australia, and the future of great chardonnay wines the world over. Also joining the panel are two esteemed Australian chardonnay winemakers, both graduates of the University of Adelaide. Michael Downer has claimed significant ground for the reputation of both his family’s Murdoch Hill winery and the Adelaide Hills region as purveyors of world-class chardonnay and continues to lead in this highly competitive category. Virginia Willcock, chief winemaker at pioneering Margaret River winery Vasse Felix, is a highly regarded and awarded chardonnay winemaker whose wines have consistently set the standard for style and quality in the highest ranks of Australian chardonnay.


You’ll enjoy a guided tasting through a carefully curated line-up of the very best chardonnays and a refreshingly candid approach to decoding the greatest white wine of all.



Food: cheese tasting plate

Beverages: chardonnay masterclass



These events may not be specifically about French wine varietals specifically but you will definitely come across some in them.



Sat 11th May 2024 at 8:30 PM

The University of Adelaide Masterclass Pavilion, Victoria Square/Tarntanyangga, ADELAIDE


You know there’s a whole world of drinks out there. But 26 in one tasting? Yes and yes. The beverage program is wrapping up in style.


Be there as producers share a full grape-a-bet of wares across one very special stand-up session. Everything from Arneis to Zinfandel is on offer. Explore a huge variety of local, national and international wine, with spirits and other coveted options featured too. You can be sure to find some French wine varietals at Tasting Australia 2024 in this event.


Tasting Australia celebrates drinks and the talented folk behind them. That’s true across the entire festival – and especially so here. Featured wine producers include Alpha Box and Dice, Ministry of Clouds, Unico Zelo, Rippon, Alkina, Seppeltsfield and more. Featured spirit producers include Lobo, Senjo and 23rd Street Distillery


Food: roving finger food, including pork and fennel sausage rolls and mushroom and ginger steamed buns

Beverages: walk-around tasting with 26 individual beverages available to try

A-Z of wine


Sat 4th May 2024 at 2:00 PM

ALSO MASTERCLASS – HOW TO WINE: WEEKEND 2 (Sat 11th May 2024 at 2:00 PM)

The University of Adelaide Masterclass Pavilion, Victoria Square/Tarntanyangga, ADELAIDE


Many people like wine. Far fewer are confident talking about wine. Let’s change that.


It’s easy to be intimidated by the scene. Join Tasting Australia co-drinks curator Banjo Harris Plane, sommelier, communicator and wine consultant Samantha Payne and The Point Group food and beverage director Alex Kirkwood for a fun look at the fundamentals. Got questions? Sorted. Not sure where to start? No worries!


Payne hosts events and vineyard tours across Australia, also writing about wine, drinks, food and travel for the likes of Gourmet Traveller, Broadsheet and Decanter. Her focus: sharing all that’s great about beverages without confusing jargon. Fellow Sydneysider Kirkwood shapes the offering at venues including the fabulous Shell House. He came to the role after serious stints at other noted restaurants, among them a decade alongside Matt Moran at Aria.


Expect plenty of insights from Harris Plane, whose online business Good Pair Days helps customers navigate the wine world to find their perfect matches.


Wondering how to wine? Elitism is out – enjoyment is most definitely in.


Can’t make it over the first weekend? Join the second session, Masterclass – How to Wine: Weekend 2 (Sat 11th May 2024 at 2:00 PM)

What are your favourite French wine varietals? Which of these events about French wine varietals at Tasting Australia will you attend?


Want to know more about French wine varietals? Read our articles celebrating the various wine days

Champagne Day 2023 – discover everything you need to know about champagne

International Chardonnay Day 2022: 23 facts about Chardonnay

#DrinkChenin Day 2021: all about chenin and which to drink

International Grenache Day 2021: Discover 11 things you didn’t know about Grenache to celebrate

VINE & BUBBLE is Australia’s only magazine dedicated to Champagne

World Malbec Day 2022: 19 facts about Malbec

International Merlot Day 2022: we delve into the world of French merlot

Pinot Grigio Day 2022: 13 Facts about Pinot Gris

International Pinot Meunier Day: 13 facts about champagne’s lesser known grape

International Pinot Noir Day 2022: discover 15 facts and which wines to drink

International Sauvignon Blanc Day 2022: 13 Facts about Sauvignon Blanc

A year in wine: French wine varietal days of 2021


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