21st Century Vino is all about celebrating the quality and diversity of Australian wine.

The 21st Century Vino concept tracks and encourages Australian wine’s evolution beyond an homogeneous approach, one focused on a handful of mostly French varieties grown in almost every region, to a more regional, thoughtful approach.  This method considers the climate, topography, soils and a sense of place resulting in the idea that smart site + variety matching = delicious drinking.

The group of producers and advocates behind 21st Century Vino are a diverse and passionate bunch. Their focus is on quality Australian wines made from Italian varieties. 21st Century Vino activities encourage market and consumer awareness through informative and engaging educational events and tastings.


The next 21st Century Vino happening is in the United Kingdom very soon:

/ SEPTEMBER 29, 2015



‘At first I was driven by curiosity to see how Italian varieties are doing in Australia. But after having tasted the results it became abundantly clear to me: these varieties have found a new home and, more than that, are expressing their origin in a completely unique, transparent way. 21st Century Vino tracks these exciting developments in 3 seminars, while a free pour tasting of more than 50 wines shows the relevance of Italian varieties in Australia.’

Walter Speller, 2015


The 21st Century Vino concept was dreamed up by Chalmers to bring together their extensive network of growers and producers.  They’re very proud to be taking it to the world stage along with the passionate and enthusiastic Walter Speller and Jane Faulkner, both experts in their field of wine journalism with a bent toward Italy.


Telling the story of Italian varieties in Australia from the perspective of the growers and winemakers themselves. Be taken on a journey across time and terroir to discover what is really going on in antipodean vineyards and wineglasses.

During each forum, Australian wines will be tasted. They have been specially selected and include some rare and museum wines. Most of these wines are unique to the forum and not included in the day-long 21st Century Vino London  free-pour tasting.

Session One

A history of Italian varieties in Australia

/ 11.00 – 12.00PM

It might come as a surprise to learn Australia is producing fine wine made from Italian grape varieties. But more so, it is not a recent phenomenon. In this session, we go back to where it all started with the pioneers to discover the history of the varieties they planted and what those producers are doing today. We’ll also ask how they perceive the differences or similarities in their wines compared with the varieties produced in Italy.

Jancis Robinson MW and Walter Speller will introduce this ground-breaking session. Joining them will be a quartet of Australian producers including Garry Crittenden of Crittenden Estate from the Mornington Peninsula, Joel Pizzini from Pizzini in the King Valley, Kim Chalmers from Chalmers Wines at Heathcote and Mark Lloyd from Coriole in McLaren Vale.

MODERATOR / Walter Speller
PRESENTERS / Jancis Robinson MW, Jane Faulkner, Garry Crittenden (Crittenden Estate), Joel Pizzini (Pizzini), Kim Chalmers (Chalmers) & Mark Lloyd (Coriole)

Session Two

From one vine to nation wide
/ 1.00 – 2.00PM

For almost two decades, the Chalmers family has been at the forefront of growing Italian varieties in Australia thanks to a highly successful grape vine importation business. Along the way, Bruce and Jenni Chalmers with daughters Kim and Tennille have shared their passion, knowledge, their vines, grapes and wines across Australia so that other producers and wine lovers could do the same. The result is a more diversified landscape.

This session charts the evolution of some of those vines, who planted them, where and why? This discussion promises to be a fascinating insight into varietals, regional differences and winemaking influence so joining Walter Speller will be Kim Chalmers, from Chalmers Wines, Coonawarra-based winemaker Sue Bell, McLaren Vale winemakers, Corrina Wright from Oliver’s Taranga Vineyards and Matt Gant from First Drop and Michael Dal Zotto from Dal Zotto Wines in the King Valley all of whom have a link to Chalmers grapes or vines.

MODERATOR / Walter Speller
PRESENTERS / Kim Chalmers (Chalmers), Sue Bell (Bellwether), Corrina Wright (Oliver’s Taranga), Matt Gant (First Drop) & Michael Dal Zotto (Dal Zotto)

Session Three

The hip, the hot and the happening

/ 4.00 – 5.00PM

Some of the most exciting and left-of-field wines made in Australia are from artisanal, small-scale producers who are experimenting with different winemaking techniques from picking fruit earlier, extended maceration to using clay vessels for aging. This forum will put the spotlight on winemaking but also on the idea of varieties versus terroir. And in amongst all of this, is the most significant impact on viticulture – climate change. We explore the issues of climate change and how Italian grape varieties have a part to play in reshaping the Australian landscape as a result. Finally, we need to ask what is the perception of Australian fine wine in the UK market and can wines made from Italian grape varieties be a part of that picture?

Joining Walter Speller on this important and fun discussion is David Gleave MW managing director of Liberty Wines, wine writer and chair of the Australian Alternative Varieties Wine Show, Jane Faulkner, Coonawarra-based winemaker Sue Bell and Dave Fletcher, a nebbiolo-obsessed Australian winemaker based in Barolo, Italy.

MODERATOR / Walter Speller
PRESENTERS / David Gleave MW (Liberty Wines), Jane Faulkner (Wine Writer & AAVWS Chief of Judges), Sue Bell (Bellwether) & Dave Fletcher (Fletcher Wines)


21st Century Vino will showcase wines from vineyards and producers right across Australia, highlighting the regional uniqueness and varietal authenticity of this new breed of Aussie wine. Taste your way around the country and maybe even meet a few of the passionate producers who are changing the face of Australian wine.


/ 10.00AM – 5.00PM

Producers represented



“Last year, I visited several Australian wine regions investigating how Italian grape varieties are doing so far away from their homeland. As the Italian correspondent for www.jancisrobinson.com, I was completely in awe of the authenticity and originality of many of the 400 or so wines I tasted. After publishing an in-depth four part series about those wines, regions and producers, I thought it would be a great idea to actually showcase the best, most intriguing wines to the London trade at a special event where the unique expression of Italian varieties across Australia’s many terroirs could be revealed.

For partners, I approached wine writer and judge Jane Faulkner, who had invited me to be the international judge at last year’s Australian Alternative Varieties Wine Show, and Kim Chalmers, director of Chalmers Wines, one of the foremost producers of Italian varietals. As it turned out, earlier this year in Melbourne the Chalmers family celebrated the diversity of Australian wine through its Italian varieties at an event called 21st Century Vino. It proved a perfect blueprint for my London tasting. 21st Century Vino is such a strong, catchy title and I thank the Chalmers family for allowing me to appropriate it.

 21st Century Vino London will coincide and complement Wine Australia’s Premium Australia Tasting featuring wines at £10 retail and above. With Jane and Kim’s expertise and enthusiasm, combined with Wine Australia’s assistance in providing Australia House as the venue, I have a platform to show that, apart from Italy, Australia is the most dynamic, soul-searching and fascinating wine country in the world. At this event, I will also lead three masterclasses canvassing the history of Italian varieties in Australia, covering regionality, climate change, trends and more.

 I hope to see you all in London this September.”

Walter Speller

Click here to read Walter’s article about Italian varieties in Australia on JancisRobinson.com
[ http://www.jancisrobinson.com/articles/italian-grape-varieties-in-australia-part-1 ]


To register for attendance at 21STCV London during Wine Australia’s
Premium Australia Tasting, please contact Emma from Wine Australia.

/ SEPTEMBER 29, 2015

Emma Symington
+44 7540 726340


For media and PR communications in regards to the Premium Australia Tasting contact:

Hannah Silverman
+44 7453 548 601


Read Wine Australia’s official media release about the Premium Australia Tasting & 21st Century Vino sub-program here:
Wine Australia – Premium Australia Tasting


Follow Wine Australia on social media:

21stCV_Twitter_Icon     21stCV_FB_Icon     21stCV_Instagram_Icon



Join the conversation now. Get the latest news and stay in touch to hear all the chatter leading up the big event. #21STCV

For more information on 21st Century Vino London contact Wine Australia:

Emma Symington
+44 207 438 4665

For more information on 21st Century Vino in general contact:

Tennille Chalmers
0415 822 120

Get Social: