Oct 10th 2016

Unrivalled History - AFFW combine forces with New Zealand's Family of Twelve

In the spirit of collaboration the wine community is famous for, Australia’s First Families of Wine’s (AFFW) ‘Next Gens’ will be heading over the ditch in just over a week’s time, immersing themselves in New Zealand’s most famous family owned wine businesses.  The three-day tour, hosted by New Zealand’s Family of Twelve, starts in Auckland on 13th of October, when 19 of AFFW’s ‘Next Gens’ hit the ground running, starting their journey through Aetearoa, learning, tasting, talking and tweeting about their experiences.

Kicking off with a consumer tasting event at Glengarry Wines in Auckland on the evening of Thursday 13th October, the ‘Next Gens’ will be sharing tasting tables with members of the Family of Twelve, to taste and talk to local wine lovers about the variations of flavours and styles that come from the varying terroirs across both sides of the Tasman.  There is likely to be some lively banter!

Friday 14th will be spent exploring the wineries around Auckland as Family of Twelve members Villa Maria and Kumeu River host the ‘Next Gens’ for a number of structured wine tastings, including a premium Chardonnay masterclass with Michael Brajkovich MW. Other structured discussion topics include a presentation by Villa Maria’s Karen Fistonich on ‘Women in Wine’ and a Sustainability discussion moderateds by Villa Maria Chair Fabian Yukich.   

Saturday and Sunday the group tour continues as the ‘Next Gens’ travel to Blenheim in the Marlborough wine region, visiting Fromm Winery and Lawson’s Dry Hills, to understand sites and soils, organics and viticulture.  A tasting of premium wines from all of the Family of Twelve hosted by Neudorf’s winemaker, Todd Stevens will round out the visit.

Why New Zealand when AFFW is all about Australian wine?  After visiting each other’s local wineries over the past four years, it was time for the ‘Next Gens’ to look further afield for their next educational trip.  Given the shared values of both AFFW and the Family of Twelve, to promote premium wine on the world stage and at home, a visit to New Zealand collaborating with their leading wine group seemed like an obvious choice.

AFFW Chairman, Robert Hill-Smith from Yalumba, is right behind the visit, saying that, “the choice to travel across the Tasman, to develop the ‘Next Gens’’ knowledge and give them  exposure to the terroir and varietals of New Zealand is an amazing opportunity.  Ably led by the ‘Next Gen’ Chair, Scott McWilliam, I am certain that the group will return having formed strong relationships and with a deeper knowledge of New Zealand’s very special wines and wine families.” 

Family of Twelve immediate past Chair, William Hoare from Fromm Winery in Marlborough, agrees. “The opportunity to engage with AFFW’s ‘Next Gens’, will provide all of us with the platform to share information, knowledge and stories. I imagine by the time the tour is over, AFFW’s ‘Next Gens’ will have formed some long lasting bonds with the Family of Twelve that they will carry forward with them as Australia’s family business leaders of the future.” 

New Family of Twelve Chair and the first woman to hold the position, Judy Finn from Neudorf Vineyards in Nelson, agreed and is looking forward to welcoming the AFFW ‘Next Gens’ to New Zealand, as 13 of the 19 travellers are ‘women in wine’, just like her.

Australia’s First Families of Wine are:

Brown Brothers, Campbells, d’Arenberg, De Bortoli, Henschke Wines, Howard Park, Jim Barry Wines, McWilliams, Tahbilk, Taylors, Tyrrells and Yalumba. 10 of the 12 brands will be represented through the New Zealand tour.

The Family of Twelve are:

Ata Rangi, Craggy Range, Felton Road, Fromm Winery, Kumeu River, Lawson’s Dry Hills, Milton Vineyards, Nautilus Estate, Palliser Estate, Neudorf, Pegasus Bay and Villa Maria.