A fun time at the #accesszone at the #LIWF (London International Wine Fair) 2011

On Monday I flew to London to help out on the Discovery Wines stand for my old winery Omaka Springs Estates.

As always it was great to go to the fair to catch up with a lot of old and new friends, and this year THE place to me for me to find everybody was at the access zone. The access zone was set up as a “digital” network place where one can go either in person or on line and meet like minded wine and social media people. There were several presentations, workshops and interviews during the 3 days and these were the ones that stood out for me:

1. Announcement of the winners for the Born Digital Wine Awards (#BDWA)
The Born Digital Wine Awards give credit to digital content creators, which until now had not really explicitly been done. The winners were picked by a prestigious jury and awarded a price of 1000 Euro’s each.
Best Wine Tourism Feature -Wink Lorch Wine Days Out in the French Alps
Best Editorial Wine WritingTim Atkin Towards a New Chile (Part 1)
Best Winery Self-Produced Content - Randall Grahm On a Mission: The Germ of an Idea
Best Investigative Wine Piece - Richard Ross Phylloxera– the English connection
Best Wine Themed VideoJay Selman The Scent of Black

2. The creation of a Pan European wine by blending Austrian Gruner Veltliner, Macon Village and Italian Falanghina.
This was a double exercise of which unfortunately I missed the first part… However it is very well described on the Access Zone’s Sponsor Thierry’s site.
The concept was to create a Pan European wine with the help of 3 winemakers and a tasting panel of Nakedwines.com angels and international wine bloggers. Three blends were created but one was immediately dismissed by the angels. I participated to the second part of the #disruptwine project which was the taste off. Please find my tasting notes e here below:
Wine 1: 30% Gruner Veltliner, 40% Falanghina, 20% Macon Village
dry, medium acid, mineral notes, a little stone fruit and some spice good body, little short on the finish
Wine 2: 50% Gruner, 40% Falanghina, 10 % Macon Village
Crisp and Spicy, little fresher and lighter, great minerality, more intense fruit flavours of peach, nectarine and meyer lemon flavours, lingering finish.
The number 2 wine was the winner – most of us had picked it as our preferred wine – and is now on sale from the Naked Wines site.

3. The Outsiders and a little private Languedoc tasting with Ryan O’ Connell of O’ Vineyards

Enjoying some Languedoc Wine with Louise from the Outsiders

Enjoying some Languedoc Wine with Louise from the Outsiders


Highlights were:
Benjamin Darnault – Picpoul de Pinet 2010
dry, medium (-) acid, medium + body,medium alcohol, floral (honey suckle), apricot, little peach – medium + finish
Picpoul de Pinet is a grape which is only found around the little town of Pinet – it is less stingy and more floral than the Rhone Picpoul.

O’ Vineyard O’Syrah 2005
dry, medium+ acid, medium to medium+ tanin, medium flavours of stewed plum, jammy black fruit, medium + body, integrated oak and little spice on the finish

O’Vineyards Trah, Lah, Lah, 2008 (65% Merlot, 35% Cabernet Sauvignon)
dry, medium acid, medium + tanins, medium body, medium+ flavours of boysenberry, black cherry eucalyptus, little olive leaf on lingering finish

I thoroughly enjoyed catching up with everybody at the Access zone and wished I could have spend a lot more time there. Maybe next year…

About Caroline

Caroline is a certified Sommelier (by the CMS) and WSET diploma student. In order to specialize in the wines of Champagne she moved to the region and currently works as a wine consultant, wine educator and wine writer. She is a member of the Circle of Wine Writers and writes for several international publications including Palate Press, Snooth, Wine-Searcher, Decanter and Vinogusto; further activities include teaching Champagne related courses at Reims Management School and organizing personalized tasting experiences at http://www.tastingswithatwist.wordpress.com as well as being a regular judge at international wine competitions.
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