Wine Australia hosts world’s best sommeliers

Guillermo Cruz, Head Sommelier at Mugaritz Restaurant in San Sebastián

Some of the world’s best Sommeliers are in Melbourne this week as part of the World’s 50 Best Restaurants 2017 program, which the city will host for the very first time.

The awards will see some of the world’s finest Chefs and Sommeliers tour the state, sampling our cuisine and wine and delivering talks before the big awards are held in Melbourne this April.

What is the World’s 50 Best Restaurants 2017?

For the last 14 years, these are the awards that shine a light on the best culinary delights the world has to produce. In 2017, that light will be squared directly on Victoria.

‘The king of Modena’, Italy’s Massimo Bottura, headlines a stellar cast of chefs that will tour the country and try the best cuisine we have to offer.

Other big names include; Jordi Roca (one-half of the world-famous Roca brothers from Spain), Chicago food and art fusion specialist Grant Achatz and Bangkok’s Gaggan Anand bringing his unique blend of traditional and modern Punjabi cuisine.

The World’s 50 Best Restaurants Awards that were hosted in Melbourne last night. Victoria’s Attica and Brae are among the top 50 restaurants in the world.

Attica moved up one place from last year to number 32 while Brae jumped 21 places, to take out the 44th position on the coveted list.

Highlighting the nation’s best wine

As part of the World’s 50 Best Restaurants program, some of the world’s leading Sommeliers will travel to Victoria to sample our diverse and prestigious range of wines.

New York’s Joo Lee will headline the touring party, an esteemed Sommelier from Eleven Madison Park who has reached No.3 in the world.

He will be joined by Seamus Williams-Sharkey, Head Sommelier at The Ledbury in London, Asia’s 50 Best Restaurants No.1 ranked Vladimir Kojic from Gaggan in Bangkok; and Guillermo Cruz, Head Sommelier at Mugaritz Restaurant in San Sebastián.

Kojic said Australia ranked highly for Sommeliers to visit because of the calibre of product produced.

“Wine and dining always go together, this trip is such a great opportunity to meet fellow sommeliers and some of my favourite winemakers,” he said.

“For Sommeliers, Australia has become one of the hottest spots to visit in the last five years due to the amazing results of new wave winemakers.”

Andreas Clark, CEO of Wine Australia said the visit would be a fantastic opportunity for Australia.

“We will have the most talented sommeliers in the world exploring our exceptional food and wine offering,” he said.

“We know that they are becoming more curious and excited by Australian wine and our winemakers, so we can’t wait to show off the remarkable wines we’re producing. We hope they take their discoveries back home and share more of our wine with the rest of the world.”

Proof is in the pudding

The Victorian wine industry will be put squarely in focus during this tour, which ends in Melbourne. It presents a golden opportunity to share the top quality products the state produces with the world.

The Victorian wine industry is worth A$1.5 billion and employs over 12,000 people. There are 21 distinct wine regions in the state, which includes 800 wineries and 3000 vineyards. These sprawl over 25,000 hectares in the state and play host to 1.5 million visitors each year.

There are too many quality drops to mention them all, but some of the standouts include the 2016 VIC ONE winning 2015 Dominique Portet Origine chardonnay from Yarra Valley and the Baileys of Glenrowan Founder Series Classic Muscat which took out a platinum award at the Decanter World Wine Awards.