How many different grape varieties have you tried? Join the Great Australian Varietal Challenge.
This project is a collaborative effort by winemakers who are using one or more rare varieties in Australia.
The aim is to develop ways to jointly promote these varieties to wine outlets and directly to interested consumers. If someone is brave enough to try Arinto perhaps they might like to try Assyrtiko. Or vice versa.
This can be done more effectively by targeted, cooperative activities.
The coordinator of the project is Darby Higgs, founder of the Vinodiversity website.
Rare variety in this context means that there are less than 10 producers in Australia, regardless of its global importance.
The current list of the varieties covered by the project is on this page. As you would understand it is not a static list.
You might be surprised to know that there are over 100 grape varieties that fit into that category - and at least 200 wineries which are using at least one of these varieties. So while the varieties are rare, collectively there is the potential to make a big noise.
The major benefit for participating wineries will be selling more of their wine.
If a restaurant is pouring Verdejo this month then maybe they need to hear about your Arinto.
A retailer having success with Mencia might like to also stock your Pinotage.
If a wine enthusiast has discovered Dornfelder then perhaps she needs to know about your Zwiegelt.
A sustained and co-ordinated Social Media campaign will inform buyers at retail outlets, restaurants, wine bars and the general public about these new wines.
If we combine forces on our various social media outlets we can reach a huge audience of consumers who are interested to try something different.
Cooperative action on Instagram, Facebook and Twitter.
Setting up a shared Pinterest board.
Book production: The printed book is now available from this page
Number one, join the tribe. Initially at least we will be coordinating our activities via an email newsletter. We might need some project organisation software later.
Members will be encouraged to take part by
The following varieites are rare in Australia. Ten or less producers are using them. Some are new, some have been around for yonks. The list is necessary incomplete and the definition is a bit fuzzy.
Aleatico, Aligote, Albarino, Alvarelhao, Ancellotta, Aranel, Arinto, Assyrtiko, Aucerot, Baco noir, Baroque, Bastardo, Bianco d'Alessandro, Biancone, Blaufrankisch, Boǧazkere, Bonvedro, Bourboulenc, Brachetto, Cabernet Sanzey, Canaiolo, Caracosa, Carmenere, Carnelian, Caverdella, Chanel Paradisa, Chasselas, Cienna, Clairette, Colombard, Colorino, Cornifesto, Cortese, Corvina, Counoise, Crouchen, Cygne Blanc, Doradillo, Dornfelder, Fer, Fernao Pires, Flora, Fragola, Friulano,Furmint, Garganega, Giallo, Gouais, Grecanico, Greco, Grenache Blanc, Grenache Gris, Grillo, Harslevelu, Inzolia, Jacquez, Kerner, Kyoho, Lambrusco Maestri, Lexia, Macabeo, Madeline Angevine, Malvasia, Mammolo, Marzemino, Mavrodaphne, Mencia, Mondeuse, Moscato Giallo, Muller Thurgau, Nebbiolo, Negramoll, Orange Muscat, Palomino, Pavana, Pecorino, Pedro Xinmenez, Petit Meslier, Picolit, Picpoul, Pignoletto, Pinotage, Red Semillon, Refosco, Ribolla Giallo, Rondinella, Rossola Nera, Roter Veltliner, Rubienne, Rubired, Saint Macaire, Sauvignon gris, Scheurebe, Schioppettino, Schonburger, Siegerrebe, Slankamenka, Souzao, St Lauren, Sylvaner, Taminga, Tarrango, Teroldeg,o Tinta Barroca, Tinto Cao, Torrontes, Trincadeira, Trollinger, Tyrian, Verdejo, Verdicchio, Verduzzo, Vespolina, Villard Blanc, Zibibbo, Zweigelt....
More to come
Using the tag #rareozzies