One of the highlights of our recent visit to Australia was certainly the Upper Goulburn Winegrowers Association’s (UGWA) Food and Wine Expo in Alexandra on August 11th. For the first time ever, Two Hills Vineyard participated in a wine expo, and that was truely exciting (our 2002 Sauvignon Blanc had participated in the Singapore Wine Show were the wine received a bronze medal but we were not present at the event).
Alexandra is a small but very charming country town in the middle between Mansfield and Yea, about an hours drive from Glenburn.
A sign somewhere along the road
The summary display with regional products
As newcomers to the game, our learning experience was steep. In fact we were poorly prepared indeed. However, our fellow wine growers from the UGWA welcomed us cordially and were not puzzled by our amateurish enthusiasm. Thanks to Susan Kinloch, the secretary of the UGWA, we were participating in the first place. Though we had only one variety to offer, a 2001 and a 2004 single vineyard Merlot, Susan convinced us that our participation would be welcome and beneficial. And so it was. Apart from learning how wine should be presented at such an occasions, we got to know some more of the members of our Association. Unfortunately, Charlie from Buller View Vineyard, who was to share a table with us could not make it. Our immediate neighbours were Henke Vineyard from Yark to our right and Nillahcootie Estate to our left. Large and small wineries and vineyards were all represented side by side.
The Two Hills “stall”
It started quite slowly at 10:30 in the morning but picked up in the early afternoon. Apart from wine, there were various processed foods, organic vegetables, olive products, salmon, bread and even locally produced textiles on display. We were lucky that our neighbours allowed tasters at our stall to us their spittoons. And in the end though we had only one red wine to offer, we had quite respectable sales. The joyous athmosphere had its effect also on us. Although we had to pack up rather quickly after the official closure and could not participate in the customary Wine Expo Dinner, we left the Alexandra Shire hHall rather enchanted and the firm belief that we would definitely come back next year for some more exposure in such an important regional event. We can only thank the other members of the UGWA for making it so easy for us to praticiate. It was a great experience.